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HOW TO ACE CXC/CSEC ENGLISH

  Learn not to  make simple things difficult.  Diligently prepare your examination,so that you can be satisfied when you see the results. Here is an example of language and communication errors which mar the advertisement shown below.


Smile if you can spot the  errors; correct them and ensure that you do not make the same or similar errors of punctuation (misuse of the comma) and spelling (improper insertion of an 'o' in the word 'studies'.

GIVEN THAT YOU HAVE OBTAINED AN  'A' IN THE EXAMINATION, TO WHAT EXTENT DOES THE STUDY OF LITERATURE HELP CAREER ADVANCEMENT?

While there is no easy answer, it is safe to say that it is always a good idea to know about others in other settings as well as in your own. Literature helps this kind of knowledge since it also includes the study of cultural and social norms. Therefore it follows that the study of literature aids the ability to develop life skills which are also needed to succeed in the workplace. Literature is the reading  of written works of fiction, followed by a discussion of what has been read. In today’s world where technology is so significant, literature continues to be important for social and cultural development. Even students who intend to take up careers in scientific fields will benefit from obtaining credits in literature.    This is because analytic problem solving, when you consider information and assess its relevance to tasks to be accomplished, is one skill which reading and the study of literature helps to develop. this type of thinking makes you more open to following instructions, and to giving and receiving of the type of constructive criticism which helps you to function effectively as part of a team.
'SONGS OF SILENCE' A NOVEL APPROACH
Workbook and Notes for CSEC and other examinations
by Lorna A Fraser

Songs of Silence,  published in 2002, is not one of the more popular books on the CXC syllabus which ends this year, but this is exactly why you should use it to answer examination questions. This book  does not follow what you may have learnt about the form of a novel.  Each ‘chapter’ is an episode written in a compact story-telling format, with a beginning or exposition, a well-structured middle and a climax which quickly leads into a resolution of its conflict(s).  It is set in Baltree district,  rural community  in Hanover, at the northwestern tip of Jamaica. It is narrated by Marlene, the protagonist  is an adult looking back at herself as a child  between nine and sixteen years old.

 Marlene’s point of view as narrator could be said to be the ‘eye’ of the ‘I’, the perceptive observer who is at times a participant.  This is the creative imagination, that part of herself of which she is not aware but which is apparent to the perceptive reader  .

Significance of the Title

The title is reminiscent of the phrase ‘Songs of Freedom’ in Bob Marley’s ‘Redemption Song'.

You can shine in answering examination questions on the prose fiction section of your examination paper using Songs of Silence by Curdella Forbes as your text, as long as you apply certain easy principles in your preparation.

1.     Make an honest effort to read the text from start to finish, even if you do not understand right away what it is all about. You need to show the examiner that you are familiar with the text.

This is the first requirement; practice reading in order to fulfill it; and you can only benefit from the consequent development of your reading and comprehension skills.

2.     Study the text, using this workbook to help yourself. The introductory notes will guide you how to systematically answer questions about what you read. Whether working alone, in a group or with the assistance of your teacher, you should quickly develop knowledge of the text and learn how to use relevant examples to support the points which you make in your answers.

3.     Apply information from other sources to your study of literature. As a CSEC student, you are fortunate to be studying the work of writers who like you, grew up in the Caribbean and use varieties of the language which you know. You are preparing for your examination from a position of strength because you know about the way of life they portray, based on your own experience, study of history and social studies, as well as from music, films, dance which are themselves other forms of storytelling utilized by people who share a common legacy of slavery and colonialism.

Get this workbook s an e-book at amazon.com
http://www.amazon.com/A-Novel-Approach-Songs-Silence-ebook/dp/B005LSR5PY

You might also like: English language revision notes:
http://www.amazon.com/Revision-Notes-CSEC-English-A-ebook/dp/B004O0UCSM


emancipationskirt5
Art With a Tropical Flair seemed   a  good way of putting my recreational activities to good use with  objects close at hand, in the natural environment. The images of the landscape which abound with plants and animals, fish and birds, mountains and valleys, rivers and the sea inspire me to keep creating fine art as well as to design and items of contemporary clothing for women. African print is always trendy, and this skirt  seeks to capture the sense of emancipation when freedom was gained in 1838, after so many years of toil and tears.  Now the sun shines golden, the brown earth beckons with its promise of providing a real living, the chains of fruitless toil are broken and the joy of freedom radiates from within...




The images of the landscape which abound with plants and animals, fish and birds, mountains and valleys, rivers and the sea inspire me to keep creating fine art as well as to design and make items of contemporary clothing for women. See my art on display a 'Lorna's Images'
http://jabeauty.imagekind.com/store/GalleryList.aspx





HOW CAN  LITERATURE  HELP SOMEONE TO  DEVELOP GOOD ATTITUDES?
You can be anything you want to be in the future  when you decide to read extensively , and when you learn the lessons for life which are portrayed in literature texts.

 
Literary texts which portray aspects of social and cultural norms as part of their setting are important because they serve to preserve aspects of a country’s national heritage which may otherwise die. This can be seen in texts to be studied from either the   Shakespearean or the Modern drama section of the CXC/CSEC examination cycle which ends in June 2014.

A MIDSUMMERNIGHT’S DREAM

THE MAGIC OF MIDSUMMER NIGHT IS LIKE A DREAM THAT ON WAKING IS SEEN TO BE REAL

Shakespeare, the Renaissance Writer
Shakespeare lived and worked during the renaissance. In general, the renaissance is a term used to describe the reawakening of interest and philosophies about the nature of life that were popular especially in the writings of ancient Greece and Rome. During the renaissance Europeans moved away from the restrictive ideas of the Middle Ages which ended around the middle of the 15th century A.D. Instead of focusing on the absolute power of God, great thinkers started to question mankind’s relationship to God – an idea that caused an unprecedented upheaval in the accepted social hierarchy.  Shakespeare embraced the Renaissance in the freedom which he displayed in his exploration of the natural and social world around him. It is the humanity of Shakespeare’s characters, rather than their social positions which makes them particularly interesting. One such example from A Midsummer Night’s Dream is Bottom.

Classical References in the Play
Shakespeare’s extensive use of classical references in A Midsummer Night’s Dream also reminds us that public interest in classical mythology was common in his time. These references would have made the play more interesting and relevant to real life of the audiences in his time, but also add to its meaning for today’s world. This is the reason why Shakespeare is still studied extensively in our time.

Some of these classical references can be seen in the characters’ names, such as:

Theseus: the hero who killed the Minotaur

Hippolyta, queen of the amazons, defeated in battle by Theseus who then made her his queen

Egeus: Theseus’ father

Helen: the Trojan woman whose beauty caused the Trojan War

Demetrius: a Greek god.

Lysander and Hermia are the only major characters who are not named for supernatural or superhuman figures. In the play they merely want to marry and live a happy life, but are prevented from doing so by Hermia’s father who assumes god-like status in his insistence that she marry whom he chooses.  A Midsummer Night’s Dream features the belief in magic which was common in Shakespeare’s time. Magic, like dreams is an instrument of countering the power and the tyranny of kings and unjust fathers.

The Play within the Play

Pyramus and Thisbe: the play within the play uses the classical story of lovers forbidden to marry to further comment on the dilemma of Lysander and Hermia, which however is saved from being a tragedy by the magical intervention of the fairies, led by their godlike king and queen, Oberon and Titania.  It is introduced by Philostrate, ‘our usual manager of mirth’ (master of the revels). This was a real office in Shakespeare’s day, The Master of the Revels, deputy to the Lord Chamberlain, headed the Revels Office, the department of the royal household responsible for the coordination of theatrical entertainment at court. When the Master of Revels organized an upcoming season of performances he would summon the acting troupes so that they could audition before him and his three subordinate officers. The Master would then choose which companies would perform and which plays they were allowed to produce. If the Master saw fit, he would delete lines or passages and even request that entire scenes be inserted into the original material.

Sources/further reading: http://www.shakespeare-online.com/theatre/
http://shakespeare.about.com/od/historicalcontext/a/Renaissance.htm

                                   **************

OLD STORY TIME

MAMA'S DISLIKE OF BLACK WOMEN SETS OFF A SERIES OF MISFORTUNES FOR HER SON LEN
In this modern comedy which has serious undertones, themes which are extensively explored are:

1) Race, class and colour relations (Nutten black nuh good)
2) Family conflict (Mama/Len/Lois)
3) The search for love
4) Local religion/superstition (The role of obeah in coping with personal stresses)
5) Journeys (literal and figurative)

Trevor Rhone's play Old Story Time draws heavily on a nostalgic exploration of Jamaica's culture prior to and around the early years of Jamaica's independence. Trevor Rhone utilizes modern theatrical devices to explore the culture of 1950s to 60s Jamaica, when storytelling on the shop piazza in the moonlight flourished as a mode of self expression as well as entertainment.

_________________________________________________________________________-

NOTES ON JAMAICAN RING GAMES

Please follow this link to see the entry on children playing ring games in the moonlight during the 1950's in rural Jamaica

http://lorna-2livej.livejournal.com/10156.html

               DEVELOPING READING SKILLS

                       
Reading is a powerful way of stimulating developmental changes which allow anyone to benefit from new and returning educational opportunities.
"The tiger gave a mighty leap which took it half way up into the tree, not high enough to catch the little monkey but  enough to propel it over the woods side of the fence.  and in the terrifying moment before it landed in the moat which separated its enclosure from the woods, its mighty eye bored into Jenny's...it's fiery eye looked directly into hers...'

Read more in Secret Thunder and Other Stories: an  e-book by Lorna A Fraser

New Secret Thunder cover I

This collection of short stories, of increasing levels of difficulty, also includes 'Secret Thunder', 'The Light on the Hill' and other stories about overcoming the challenges and conflicts of growing up. It's good for enhancing reading and comprehension skills, and enables the young reader and aspiring writer to try writing stories too.


available on amazon.com

CXC STUDENTS NEED TO READ

Why should you read?  Reading  helps in order to develop analyzing and synthesizing skills  Nowadays, when it has become the norm to study English language only, without the accompanying English literature, students should consider reading extensively in order to familiarize themselves with how writers use the English language, as well as to get much needed practice in the 'higher order skills' of  analyzing  and synthesizing which are developed as a result of reading and discussing literature texts and answering questions about them.



For those who don't like to read, you might like to explore the images in my Etsy store! There's no charge no charge to look!
http://www.etsy.com/shop/LadyJsArtandThings

CXC English A Study Guide'

TURN YOUR NEGATIVES INTO POSITIVES AND
YOUR POSITIVES INTO SUPERLATIVES

(Notes and Ideas on how to make CSEC English Language work for YOU

When I wrote the Observer English A Study Guide, I included
hints for study skills for students, since I found that passing
the CSEC examination needed more than just academic competence.

This new book for CSEC English Language is a way of giving the student
the most important gift he/she will ever receive:the power to change
by believing in him/herself.  In other words, students can turn their
negatives into positives and their  positives into superlatives.








  • 32 pages

  • For grades 9 - 11

  • Published August 2011


LETTY'S POOL

SHE FOUGHT THE  SPIRIT OF WAR  AND WON LOVE AND JOY THROUGH FAITH ....



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In Jamaica's 50th year of Independence, I wanted to portray something of our roots, through storytelling. My mother told me the story of 'Aunt Jane' possibly a maroon, who used to come 'down from the hills'. My father also used to tell stories of his grandfather, the descendant of Scottish immigrants...

Letty's Pool is an attempt to capture a sense of this mixed heritage. In addition, the setting as well as the characters draw on these family stories plus legends of Nanny of the Maroons as an exemplary leader with psychic powers. Nanny of the maroons, a historical figure who lived in the eighteenth century, played such an outstanding part as a leader in the Maroon Wars that she has been designated a National heroine. Not many facts are known but many legends abound about Nanny of the Maroons, also sometimes called Queen Nanny.

But since history is really the story of people's lives, 'what if' a Peter Andrews and a Janey (who had no surname) really met and married as they did? Would their romance have been such a social crime that it would have resonated down through two hundred years to be a curse to succeeding generations? What if there was a child, like Deidre, growing up in this place, among these hills and valleys that were uniquely mine at a moment in time; could the experience of, running free among the hills and valleys of this place sustain the inner life through its outward beauty?....

In Letty's Pool this link is explored when British and African culture and lifestyle merge on the shores of the Caribbean. It is the story of an Unlikely Romance which resonates across the ages. Letty's Pool explores what might have happened when supposed enemies found love on the shores of Jamaica...but did their star-crossed romance let loose a dangerous curse, a curse which has the power to replicate itself almost, as the 'hidden spring' of Nanny Town metamorphoses into Hidden Springs Village and Letty's Pool.


RETURN TO NEISBERRY HILL
Where love was lost and innocence betrayed
I also tried to explore the abovementioned themes in the setting of pre-emancipation Jamaica.
 In the past, Neisberry Hill, (Naseberry Hill), the seventh hill of Kildare,  is a place where the dreams of youth are often stillborn. Francis goes on a journey of self-discovery in the city, where he  learns that the answers to the great riddles of life often lie not outward, but inward.  His return to his birthplace is marked by both tragedy and hope; and in order to claim his lost love, he has to let go of one of his most profound beliefs.



small_naseberryhillcover

Both titles available on amazon.com.

Reading Resources for the Entire Family

KINGSTON BOOK FESTIVAL 2012....

Held Saturday, March 17, 2012. 10am – 6pm. at EMANCIPATION PARK....

Still available BOOKS FOR THE SCHOOL LIBRARY OR RESOURCE CENTRE

· Reading for enjoyment for parents and children...

These include..

DEE PLAYS IN THE MOONLIGHT

Dee and her friends Tony, Carmen and Rosie go out to the village square after seven o’clock to play in the moonlight, and they have so much fun!



JAMAICAN RING GAMES

One ring game played by Jamaican children in the 1940s to 1960s was MOONSHINE BABY.  One night when the moon is shining brightly, you lie on the ground.  Your friends put small white stones all round your body.when you get up off the ground, you see a shape formed by the shiny stones.

Deeplaysinthemnlghtcvr.1

                                     





THE BITTERWOOD TREES

Sasha and Laura-lee spend the summer with their uncle in Kenton Village. There they help to solve an old mystery, but they cannot stop the 'revenge' of the bitterwood trees.




http://www.amazon.com/The-Bitterwood-Trees-Lorna-Fraser-ebook/dp/B00825VCH0

....

HERE I’LL CLING & OTHER POEMS

Whatever happens, I shall never let go of my dreams; here I'll cling, like the  butterfly which clings to the leaf, even as it's rocked by the storms of life.

For all ages

By  LORNA A FRASER

Original Author of The Observer English 'A' Study Guide



LORNA A FRASER, M.A., dip Ed.

EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES, EXTRA CLASSES, MANUSCRIPT EDITING

CONTACT:

Telephone: 876 3921047

E-mail: lorfas@yahoo.com

Books in Print are available at

CERT BOOKSTORE

33 Hope Road

Kingston 6

JAMAICA, W.I.

E-books are available online at amazon.com


LIKE TO SEE SOMETHING DIFFERENT?


Art with a tropical flair;  there's no charge to look!
http://www.etsy.com/shop/LadyJsArtandThings


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Fraser, Lorna A. "   HOW CAN  LITERATURE  HELP SOMEONE TO  DEVELOP GOOD ATTITUDES?." lorna_2livej . 2014. (day/month/year you accessed the page) http://lorna-2livej.livejournal.com/.

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