The Visual Text also known as Text 1 and Text 2 under the New Secondary School English Syllabus 1184 constitutes 5 marks in Paper 2 of the Secondary English Comprehension Paper. For PSLE English, Visual Text 

In view of MOE’s new EL Syllabus 2020 which targets is to develop effective and affective language use in students hence promoting critical thinking amongst our youths, this section has been revamped to one with a comparative nature.

Text 1 is a visual text type such as a poster while Text 2 is a short blurb / extract that can be anything from something akin to a Straits Times forum post or a blog entry by someone. 

Advertisements

What is Visual Text Comprehension?

In this media-saturated world, our student’s sense of reality about the world is often warped through the prism of the media we consume daily. These can be in the form of visual texts which are used to convey messages and communicate ideas in a variety of ways. These texts include print media such as posters and flyers as well as non-print ones like websites and online advertisements.

Visual text comprehension refers to the ability to understand and interpret information presented in visual formats, such as images, diagrams, charts, graphs, maps, and other non-verbal representations. Students need to try to make sense out of the visual elements such as the design of the artwork or photograph used in the poster in Text 1 and try to extract meaning and drawing conclusions from the visual information presented. 

How to do well for Visual Text? 

Understanding how to process and think critically about the messages that we encounter both online and offline is an important skill that students need to have in this 21st Century.  The visual text precisely test the students’ ability to process and interpret both visual and written texts. Mastering Visual Comprehension skills will also help us deepen our skills needed for scoring in the entire Paper 2. This is because the question and answer techniques are similar and can be applied across the different texts.

Advertisements

Here are three tips to score for your Visual Text

  1. Know your PAC (Purpose, Audience and Context) 

Understanding the context in which the visual text is presented is crucial. It may involve considering the source (who produce the poster/advertisement?), what is the objective or purpose of producing such a poster or writing the blog? Who are the audience for the poster?  For Text 2, students must look closely at the accompanying textual information to fully comprehend the visual content.

   2. Extracting Information in relation to the question

Students must study the images or pictures carefully and read the questions closely so that students can extract relevant information from the visual text, which may involve reading numerical values, identifying the symbols or logos in the visual text drawing conclusions based on the visual cues. 

3. Be clear and precise in your answer

Very often in Visual Text, creators of the visual text may use words that are intended to have impact, also known and imparted to you by your English Teachers as “Language for impact” . This simply means the visual text uses  language in a way that captures the audience’s attention, conveys the intended meaning clearly, and leaves a lasting impression. Students must be sensitive to any metaphors, similes, and other forms of figurative language can add depth and vividness to the text. They must be able to the explain the effect fully to suit the questions requirements.

Advertisements

Thank you for reading the entire article, to reward you for all that eyeballs, here’s a Free English Comprehension Sec 4 Prelims Visual Text Practice from St Margaret Secondary School with answer from our 2023 Secondary 4 English Prelims Papers based on the latest MOE Syllabus 1184. Looking for more free test papers

The Learning Space SG SMSS 2023 Prelims Visual Text with answers 

Are you looking for more help? 

English Tuition by Secondary School Teachers in Singapore 

Sign up for our Secondary English Online Group Tuition every Friday 5pm to 630pm or 7pm to 830pm and Sunday from 11am to 1230pm or 2pm to 3.30pm, contact us on Whatsapp for more details. Prepare for your O’levels English with our team of MOE/NIE-trained teachers today. You can get an experienced teacher to guide. Click here to know the tuition rates and contact us for 1 on 1 in-person lesson/group lesson or go Online 1 to 1 lesson / online group lesson. 

 

Advertisements

O’Levels English Literature Tuition 2065 – How We Live Now

Humanities (Social Studies, Literature in English) 2262 Elective Literature/SS 

 ‘How We Live Now’  is a chosen text for students taking O’Levels Literature in English (Syllabus 2065). It is a MOE Cambridge O-Level text for students taking exams from year beginning 2024. 

This book is a compilation of Short Stories by Writers in Singapore, revolving around issues, themes concerning Singaporean settings and daily living on our sunny shores. 

Close to Home By Jinny Koh

An excerpt

Plot Summary:

Told from the first person perspective of Nicky, readers are given a first hand recount of the narrator’s experience of being sent to live with a neighbourhood Aunty as his mother who is suffering from cancer could no longer take care of him for the moment. 

Advertisements

During the short stay, Nicky discovers Aunty Loh’s past and current struggles, from an estranged husband to her own daughter suffering a miscarriage. On a fateful day, Aunty Loh’s flat caught fire. After the fire, Aunty Loh sold her flat and disappeared from Nicky’s life. 

 

Characters:

Nicky the Narrator Aunty Loh Nicky’s mother
Nicky’s Father  Aunty Loh’s Daughter Peifen  Aunty Loh’s husband Uncle Loh
     

Points to note for this short story:

Relationships: Nicky and Mother

What is the relationship between Nicky and his mother like? Does Nicky openly express his views and feelings to his mother? Does he have love and affection for his mother? Why does he fear that ‘each time her eyes closed, they might never open again.’ (Pg 27) How was he like when he was preparing Mother’s Day card and why was he “embarrassed” by his own card? Do you think he yearns for her mother while being separated from her? How was that revealed? Was it through his actions such as how he often ‘peer(s) outside Aunty Loh’s window at the common corridor’ with the hope of ‘(catching) a glimpse of (his) mother’. 

Relationships: Nicky and Aunty Loh

How would you describe Nicky’s connection with Aunty Loh? Did his opinions of her changed over time or was it always the same from beginning to end. Do you recall how Aunty Loh greeted Nicky when he arrived (see page 24 of the text) what did she say? What does that tell about her attitude? Similarly, was Nicky acting the same way to Aunty Loh from the beginning of his stay at Aunty Loh’s house to the end? Many interactions between them shows how their relationships evolved, for instance, Nicky helping to thread the needle for Aunty Loh when sewing the pillow for Peifen’s baby. We witness how she taught Nicky how to thread the needle and Nicky helping to clear up the sewing materials when Aunty Loh dozed off. (see page 32 of the text).  

Advertisements

Preparing for Exams:

Possible Question:

How does the writer make Aunty Loh an likeable / affable character?

Characters bring the readers on the journey. Writers often capture the interests of readers by creating relatable, likeable characters.

In the short story, ‘Close to Home, Aunty Loh is presented to be someone relatable that quickly captures readers’ hearts.

Here’s a quick questions-checklist that you can use to see if writer manages to make you like her.

1) Is Aunty Loh relatable? Most of us reader prefer characters that are interesting and relatable.

2) Is Aunty Loh’s behaviour, antics funny? 

3) What makes Aunty Loh stand out?

4) Does Aunty Loh have sympathy? 

5) Did Aunty Loh encounter some personal setbacks?

Want to improve your literature grades? Stuck with understanding poems? Get professional help now. Reach out to our team of professional and highly experienced tutors for 1 to 1 Private Tuition to help you get the distinction you deserve. Looking for Literature tuition or IB Language Arts tuition? Contact us today.

Advertisements

GRAMMAR QUIZ: 
Should you say “I am wearing an or a uniform.” ?

Read on for the answer below. 

When do you use An or A?
Simply put, you use ‘An’ when initials sound a e i o u. In uniform ‘u’ sounds like ‘you’ which starts with ‘y’ not ‘u’ sound like the one in an umbrella. Hence a uniform is correct.’
How can you improve on your Editing? 
In O’levels English Paper 1 (1128), Editing is a weighty section worth 10 marks. Many students are unable to score a good grade for this section because they may not be familiar with some key rules of grammar. Read on for some quick tips for editing and common preposition mistakes. 

To get professional help for English Tuition in Singapore, reach out to us and our team of tutors (MOE Trained Teachers, Full Time Tutors and University Undergrads) today. For a limited time, you can get a trial lesson for online Secondary English Tuition at just $40 onwards.  

Tips for Editing at O’Levels

(i) Prepositions of Time 

When do you use ‘In’ , ‘On’ and ‘At’ ?

In

  • Parts of days

Morning / Afternoon

E.g. It is 7am in the morning. 

  • Months

E.g. My birthday is in July

  • Years

E.g. I was born in the year 2005.

  • Centuries 

E.g. As we usher in the 21st Century …

On

  • Holidays that end with ‘day’

E.g. I was born on National Day.

  • Days of the week

E.g. I forgot that my homework was due on Monday. 

  • Days of the month 

E.g. Singapore’s National Day is on 9th August.

  • Dates 
At

  • Holidays without ‘day’ (Lunar New Year, Deepavali) 

E.g. I am always busy at Deepavali because I have many relatives to visit. 

  • Time (Midnight, Noon, 10am, 1pm) 

E.g.  I am going to meet my best friend for lunch at 1.30pm. 

Prepositions of Place >>  in, on, and at.

In

    • Neighbourhoods

    E.g. I live in Clementi 

    • Cities

    E.g. I work in London

    • Countries

    (China)

    E.g. My family lives in China 

On

    • Streets, Avenues

    E.g. I live on the Sixth Avenue 

    • Islands

    I live on Sentosa Island

    1. Large Vehicles or surfaces 

    E.g. Train, Bus, Ship

    E.g. I lost my wallet on the train 

At

    • Addresses

     

    E.g. I live at 210 Riverdale Street 

    1. Specific Location 

    E.g. I am at home now

For a limited time only, we are offering a special promotion for Secondary 1 to 5 O’levels Express Online Tuition at just $40 for one class (50% off). You will gain access to notes and coaching by our team of ex and current MOE Teachers. Whatsapp us or email us today.

Advertisements

It’s finally here! Your O’levels results are released! 

Despite the pandemic, students who sat for the O-level examinations last year set a roaring new record, with over 80 per cent of the cohort attaining five or more passes. 

What should you do next?

For those of you who passed with flying colours, congratulations. For some who didn’t do as well as you like and aren’t sure what to do next. Grab a treat and read on.

 

Let’s start by look at some numbers.

How did the previous batch of candidates fare? In 2019, 85.2 per cent secured five or more passes, while the 2020 batch scored 85.4 percent, up 0.4 percentage points from the previous year.

Advertisements

The Ministry of Education (MOE) said that of the 20,300 candidates who sat for O’levels in 2019, 52 per cent were posted to the five polytechnics here. Another 38 per cent were given places in the junior colleges (JCs) and Millennia Institute, and about another 10 per cent were posted to the Institute of Technical Education.

What to do after O’levels?

 

First and foremost, be brave, if results aren’t what you expected or you have changed in the last year and now want something different, then do it! Defer entry, travel, change your course just don’t feel trapped into doing something that isn’t right for you. If your results did not meet your expectations, chin up. Take comfort in the fact that local universities will no longer factor in O-level results for admission come 2020. 

There could be a myriad of reasons why O’levels did not go well for you. Perhaps, you were too stressed or ran out of time. Move forward. You can’t change the past, but you can make things better. 

Advertisements

Here are some paths you can consider after your O’levels results. 

1. Consider retaking your O-levels

If you have an ambition to fulfil, a dream course or school in mind that you cannot get into after trying all avenues (like appeals), give this option some serious thought. Being a year behind your peers is perfectly okay; everyone takes different paths and you’ll see this especially in polytechnics, where you can have classmates twice your age!

If you decide that this is what you want to pursue, please be reminded that you’ll have to pay to sit for the exams again. There are two ways to go about it:

  • Retaking your O-levels as a private candidate 
  • Retaking your O-levels in your current secondary school, which needs you to meet certain criteria

Retaking as a private candidate demands a lot of self-discipline. You’ll need to work out a studying schedule and keep to it, find out when and where to register for the papers and remember that the extra year you’re taking is an investment of your time and money. Sign up for our preparatory courses for O’levels English or tuition classes and let our tutors guide you. Most of our tutors are former teachers who will definitely be able to give you sound advice. Click here to reach us. 

Advertisements

Alternatively, ITE offers a General Education (GE) Programme that offers part-time classes for English, Combined Humanities, Maths, Additional Mathematics, Double Sciences, Literature, Geography, Chinese, Tamil as well as Principles of Accounts. Classes run up to 32 weeks.

2. Take a Foundation Course

Private institutions here offer foundation diplomas that you can take—these last anywhere from 6-12 months full-time and give you the qualifications to progress to relevant diplomas offered by the same institution. Admission criteria is manageable for foundation diplomas; typically, all you’ll require is one GCE O-level pass and an O-level grade in English ranging from A1-D7, depending on the private institution.

Alternatively, you can explore pre-university entry programmes from private universities like Kaplan, MDIS, James Cook or even foundation year programmes abroad (which give you the chance to gain admission to overseas universities).

Advertisements

Do note that this option can be very costly and in times of Covid-19 pandemic, it may not be the best approach at the moment. 

3. Slow down and study in a Centralised Institute

How about joining Millennia Institute (MI)?A Centralised Institute offers three-year pre-university courses under three streams. These are the arts and science streams that a typical JC offers as well as an additional commerce stream. 

The three years will give you a little more time to catch up on your studies and mug for the A-levels if you need some time (again, you’ll still need self-discipline). You’ll need an L1R4 of 5-20 to be eligible for admission.

Advertisements

Specific subject requirements are as follows:

English Higher Chinese/Malay/Tamil Chinese/Malay/Tamil Chinese Basic/Malay Basic/Tamil Basic E Math/A Math
A1-C6 A1-E8 A1-D7 Merit/Pass A1-D7

 

If you find yourself unable to meet these requirements, Millennia Institute has a conditional student programme which will require you to re-sit for the relevant language and/or mathematics papers O-levels. You can re-take them for 2 times before your offer is revoked.

4. Consider enrolling for Poly Early Admissions Exercise

You can consider studying for a NITEC or Higher NITEC in ITE, before applying for a place in a Polytechnic via the Early Admissions Exercise (EAE). The EAE is a centralised aptitude-based admissions exercise, which allows students to apply for and receive conditional offers for admission to polytechnics prior to receiving their final grades.

This will be a longer route that will require a lot of resilience, but there are many who have taken it before you and succeeded. It’s also a suitable option if you’ve already set your heart on a polytechnic course, or have narrowed down an area of interest. You might need to submit portfolios and undergo interviews and aptitude tests, so start preparing early!

Hopefully, this article clears your doubts and let us link you up with a team of best tutors to help you fulfil your dreams. We are currently offering a trial lesson for private candidates. Email us your interest today.

Advertisements
O’levels Paper 1

O’levels Paper 1 Student’s Model Essay:

Question: Write about an occasion when an inconsiderate act leads to drastic consequences

“Bang, bang, bang, buzzzzz,” the sound of the relentless pounding of the drill reverberated throughout the walls of my flat. The cacophonous sound had jolted me from my deep slumber. Bleary-eyed, I dragged myself towards the main door, hoping to find out who or what is causing such a din.

I opened my door and was livid to find that the entire common corridor has been filled with tools, wooden planks, stacks of old newspaper and old furniture. A long extension ladder was also placed against the parapet. It turns out that my new neighbour Dashen has been using the common corridor like his own workshop.

“Oh my gosh! Can you please STOP?!” I yelled, my voice shooting up 50 octaves, my eyes flashing angrily.

“Why are you making so much noise so early in the morning? Don’t you know you cannot block the common corridor? You are obstructing everyone. This is very inconsiderate!” I hollered again. Rage gripping me and anger flooding through my veins.

Advertisements

Dashen darted me a baleful look, flicked his cigarette, turned his head, walked back into his flat, ignoring me completely.

At this point, I could feel a vein popped out in my neck, my jaw thrust forward with indignation. I stomped back to my room to put on some proper clothing so that I can confront him.

Suddenly, an acrid smell hit my nostrils. It was smoky campfire-ish smell. I raced to the front door only to find thick gray smoke billowing in. Like a monstrous beast, it wolfed everything in its way. Nothing was spared. Flames ripped across the ceiling as if they had been shot from a flamethrower. At the corner of my eyes, I caught a glimpse of a burning cigarette that landed on the pile of newspaper.

Advertisements

Immediately, everything clicked.

Our inconsiderate new neighbour, Dashen, must have flung his cigarette onto the newspapers that he had left outside. The cigarette must have stabbed into a tottering stack of cardboard boxes intermixed with old newspapers and an old cabinet that was missing a leg. The suffocating smoke jolted me to my senses. I quickly reached for my phone and dialled 995. As I put down the phone, a thought struck me like lightning. Oh no! I have to alert Auntie Wong, our recently widowed, octogenarian neighbour who is living alone. I knocked furiously and frantically at her door. Just as I thought, she was home and had just woken up too.

“We have to get out of here! There is a fire!” I bellowed. Mrs Wong was hyperventilating. I took her hand and helped her out of her flat. There was choking smoke, so black and thick that it seemed you could grab it by the handful. Suddenly, out of nowhere, I heard a lot sound. Crack! Thud! The ladder that Dashen left outside the corridor had fallen, landing on Mrs Wong’s left leg. Gasping for breath, I mustered all my strength and pushed the ladder away, almost tripping over the debris. I picked the frail Mrs Wong up and carried her down the stairs. Just as we were able to go down the stairs, a loud boom echoed behind me and we were hurled forward. At this point, the firemen had arrived and managed to bring the both of us to safety.

After battling with the fire for close to four hours, the fire was finally extinguished. The police had also arrived and told us that there some flammable substances such as cleaning agents and electronic items in the old cabinet that Dashen had left outside the corridor. Dashen was also questioned by the authorities and the police took him away to assist with further investigation.

Advertisements

Dashen’s terribly selfish, horribly reckless act endangered everyone. Lives could have been lost because of such thoughtless act and careless oversights. Dashen’s inconsiderate act has started a disastrous fire which took have taken a heavy toll on innocent lives.

What exactly do examiners look for in a well written narrative or personal recount essay?

Content: Students need a well-organized story will have all three parts, and the ideas will be presented in a clear and logical way. Your story must be credible and not too far-fetched.

Language: To get The paragraphs will be set appropriately, with colons and semicolons used as they should, and the ideas presented should be easy to connect and understand, making it a smooth read for the reader.

Advertisements

For more insider’s tips and sample essays, subscribe here. You can also reach out to our team of professional and experienced tutors to give you a head start today.

Advertisements
live without our smart phones

 

Do you know that the average Singaporean spend over 12 hours on their gadgets daily?

There is no other contraption in the world today that is more indispensable to our lives than the smartphone. While it was previously just a means of voice communication, a (frowned-upon) appendage for the selfie narcissists, the mobile phone is now ever more instrumental to our lives, particularly so in this post-covid world where social distancing and telecommuting has become the norm.

According to a research report by consultancy Ernst & Young, nearly 80 percent of the 1,000 Singaporeans they interviewed on mobile usage shared that they check their phones before and after sleeping. Our dependency on our smartphone has been further accelerated by the current pandemic.

To avoid catching the insidious bug, we contact trace with our phones. When confined at home, we isolate ourselves from others and swipe left on our phones hoping to meet some virtual Mr or Miss Right for companionship. To protect ourselves and prevent germs from spreading, we pay with our phones. The Singapore government is on a fervent digital frenzy to get all their hawkers to jump on the Smart Nation bandwagon, extending a Hawker’s Productivity Grant capped at $5000 over three years just so that Hawkers can all be ready to accept digital payments in time for the fourth industrial revolution. According to CNBC, it is expected that nearly three quarters of the world will use just their smartphones by 2025.

Advertisements

Of course, with the increasing popularity of mobile phones among people comes the sharply contested debate as to whether or not we can live without our phones. Are we becoming slaves to our devices? While there is a valid case to be argued that cell phones are evidently addictive and can lead to possible anti-social behaviours and even social disorientation. Some pundits have even coined the phrase “Nomophobia” an abbreviation for “no-mobile-phone phobia” to describe a condition where people have an extreme dependency on their phones and develop anxiety when they cannot use their phones.

Even our last line of defence, our seniors have fallen prey to the cell phone. The silver generation previously heralded as the naysayers of mobile phones and social media have become new converts of the technology. Under the circuit breaker, some seniors have been embracing technology that was previously unfamiliar to them and they are bonding with their loved ones through their phones. According to IMDA, 76 percent of seniors in Singapore in 2019, a significant leap from just 18 percent in 2013.

Will we ever be freed from the clutches of that alluring glass body with OLED display and facial recognition? Wait, let me Google it on my phone.

Advertisements

This essay is written by Young Writers of The Learning Space. For more O’levels and A’levels model essays, sign up for our membership and you will receive a special Welcome Package with compliments.

Advertisements