Marks allocation for the literature component:

Poem 5 marks
Novel 15 marks
Total 20 marks

Note that candidates will only be tested on NOVEL and POEMS.

Complete Guide: QWERTYUIOP

Complete Guide: QWERTYUIOP

Here's an extract:

Write about one of the characters that you like in the short story,


Miss Broome

Miss Broome was old Mr Bannister’s secretary for forty-three years. She typed letter by letter and she hated the young girls who touch-type without having to look at the keyboard. According to Harry Darke, the young girls gave Miss Broome “the push”. When her boss retired her after forty three years, she had no place to go, for the office was her home and the job was “all she lived for” (p25). Thus whenever a new girl came to work, her ghost which haunted the typewriter would scare the girl until she was too frightened to continue. Sure, Miss Broome was angry and vicious at first...

Complete Guide : The Curse

Complete Guide : The Curse

A Comprehensive Guide to The Curse

Here is an example from the Guide:


In this chapter we are introduced to Puan Kamsiah and her daughter, Siti. We are also introduced to Datuk Zulkifli and Datin Sharifah, who are Azreen’s foster parents; they are sponsoring Azreen’s studies in London. We also introduced to Puan Normala and Noor, her daughter. Noor and Siti are classmates.

Siti conveys to her mother what Noor has been telling her classmates that Madhuri has been murdered. Puan Kamsiah feels that the ‘wicked woman’(p12) Puan Normala is spreading ‘malicious lies’ (p12) about Madhuri and ‘the poor girl isn’t even properly laid to ground yet!’ (p12) When Siti quotes her mother’s description of Normala as ‘a slimy cobra with a three-forked tongue’ (p12), it gives us a hint of the character of Normala: She is, in fact, a busybody and the village gossip.

Guide to GULP and GASP

Guide to GULP and GASP


Yes, the most comprehensive guide on Ann Fine's Step by Wicked Step to help you prepare for your SPM English 1119 Exam is out. Chapter by chapter analysis with lots of explanatory notes to explain the plot, theme, and characters of this loving & touching story. Page references are given to save you the trouble of having to locate important texts and quotes.

Complete Guide to Poems

Complete Guide to Poems

Sample Question and Answer

What does it mean when the poet says but on their brows there was not a sign of despair?

It means that despite the difficult situation they were in, they did not show any sign of hopelessness.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

SPM English 1119

The SPM English 1119 Exam comprises two papers: Paper I and Paper 2. Paper 1, which is strictly on essay writing, requires candidates to write two essays: Directed Writing and Continuous Writing. Paper 2 tests students in the following areas: reading and comprehension, information transfer skills, vocabulary, summary writing skills, and literature. Writing skills are given a very much higher weightage than other language skills.

To read the whole article, please click the following link:


Monday, April 26, 2010


BABY CHIN YOU HAYNE NEEDS YOUR HELP. Three- week-old You Hayne is suffering from a congenital heart condition called patent ductus arteriosus whereby an additional  blood vessel channels extra blood into the lungs. Now, he lies in bed with the aid of a ventilator support at the Gleneagles Intan Medical Centre waiting for the surgery that will give him a normal life. I call upon charitable Malaysians to help Baby You Hayne who needs RM30,000 for the surgery that will give him a normal life.  If you wish to help Baby You Hayne, please visit my website at http://www.spmenglish1119.com to purchase the SPM English 1119 Self-Tuition Course for your children, relatives, or friends. RM 6.00 (USD 2) from every purchase will go to You H ayne. The donation will be handed over to the New Straits Times Charity Unit which highlighted You Hayne’s plight on 26 April 2010. Please hurry as Baby You Hayne’s surgery should not be delayed for too long. This donation drive will be from May to October 2010.For more information, please contact Aida at NST, tel: 03-2282 2323 (ext.6659)  

Friday, April 16, 2010

How Not To Write A Dialogue or Conversation

Just the other day Maria rather tactlessly drew Kennot Waite's attention to the rashes on his left cheek. That made him blush and now the rashes seem redder than a red rose and so he decides he must make an appointment with a skin doctor (that's a dermatologist) before the rashes paint his whole face red. Here's the exchange on the phone with the clinic's receptionist:

KW: Excuse me, I want to make an appointment with the doctor.
Woman : Err...may I know...?
KW: Okay, my name is Kennot Waite. What time can I see the doctor?
Woman : Mr Waite, I'll put your name down for three o'clock. Is that alright?
KW: Yes, that's fine.
Woman: Mr Waite, we'll see you at three. Goodbye.

You'll notice that the customary greeting is missing at the beginning of the exchange. Kennot Waite appears to be rather polite by saying "Excuse me" before he 'requests' an appointment. Actually his request is more like a demand : I want to make an appointment with the doctor. He should have said : Excuse me, I would like to make an appointment with the doctor.

When the woman asks Kennot for his  name, he cuts her off. And the interruption is rather rude and abrupt although he guessed correctly that she was going to ask him his name. At times one may have to interrupt, but one has to do it politely. For example, you may say: Excuse me, if I may inteerupt/Sorry for interrupting... Then you proceed with what you are going to say.

Another shortcoming of this dialogue is that there is no proper close. This is the conclusion before you hang up the phone. Kennot Waite should have responded by saying something like this: Thanks. Goodbye.

So, whether you are writing a dialogue in the PMR English exam or SPM English exam, the features of a dialogue are the same. Apart from the fact that the speakers must respect each other, a dialogue is just like other forms of essay writing; it has an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

SPM English 1119- Directed Writing (Paper 1)

In Paper 1 of the SPM English 1119 exam., there are two compulsory essay questions Directed Writing (Section A) and Continuous Writing (Section B).

As the name suggests, in Directed Writing, you have been directed to write with suggested short notes.What is required of you is to expand the given notes into an essay which can be in any of the following forms: a) a narrative story b) a descritption of an event c) a speech or talk d) a message e) a description of a place f) a description of a person g) a description of a process h) a dialogue or conversation i) a letter j) an opinion piece.

Are there differences in the way we write the different essays?

Firstly, the form of the essay will differ. Say, you're writing a dialogue which means you will have two speakers engaging in a conversation. If you are asked to write a conversation, then you should have at least three speakers. Your essay, therefore, is not written in the usual essay form: a continuous prose passage, one paragraph after another, from beginning to end. A dialogue would look like this:

Peter: How are you, Pan?
Pan :  Great! And you?
Peter: So, what have you been doing these days?

Secondly, the style may vary with the different essay forms. When writing a dialogue, you write in the conventions of a conversation. For instance, you may use contractions (I'll, You won't) and there are certain social courtesies involved. By courtesies, I mean the form of expressions used in greetings, interrupting politely, and closing a conversation.

Thirdly, you'll have to pay attention to your grammar and how you link the given notes into a cohesive dialogue or conversation. As an example, what tense should you use? That depends on the subject matter.If you are talking about a football match in the papers, you would most likely say: "Inter Milan played much better throughout the game. They deserved to win. Anyway, I think they are a much better team compared to Manchester United." You will notice that two tense forms are used : simple past (relating a past event) and simple present (stating your opinion, what you think at the time of speaking).

As a way of helping you write better dialogues or conversations, I would suggest as a first step to listen. Yes, listen to others talking. You can do plenty of listening by watching the movies or shows on TV.spmenglish1119.com

Monday, April 5, 2010

SPM English 1119 Exam

spmenglish1119.comThe SPM English 1119 exam comprises two papers : Paper 1, which essentially tests students on essay writing, and Paper 2, which tests students on grammar, vocabulary, information transfer, reading comprehension, summary writing, and literature.

Generally, most students find questions that require writing skills the most challenging or difficult. I remember tutoring a group of science undergraduates of a public university and almost all the students I encountered had horrendous writing skills. The science essays and reports were almost incomprehensible because the content was often overwhelmed by the grammar mistakes and faulty syntax. So, it's no surprise that SPM students taking their English exam find essay writing the most challenging. In the SPM English exam essay writing skills are tested in Paper 1's Directed (Section A) and Continuous Writing (Section B) questions as well as Paper 2's Summary Writing (Section C) and Literature (Section D) questions. As you can see, there's quite a lot of stress on essay writing skills.

In subsequent posts, I'll be dealing with essay writing in the SPM (and PMR) English exam as well as the other sections. In the meantime, I'm  giving away one (1) "SPOT" Essay Question (2010) for the SPM English 1119 Examination which comes with guidelines, notes, an essay outline, and a sample answer to the first 100 readers who FOLLOW my BLOG and leave a comment.

Acknowledgement: I wish to thank Berlin for the breezy artwork. Her blog is at http://berlin-fashionunplugged.blogspot.com