‘Where the Durian Tree Grows’ is a collection of five short stories rooted in Malaysian culture revealing its hidden treasures. The durian fruit is symbolically mentioned in this title as it is regarded as symbol of mystique. One should not judge it based on its spiky outer appearance; the magic begins when you pry open the fruit as it reveals a soft, succulent, fleshy yellowish pulp and discover the mystical qualities of this unique tropical fruit. The plots in the stories revolve around solving a mystery. I specifically wrote in such a manner to allow readers from all over the world to be exposed to places in Malaysia and at the same time get a feel of experiencing adolescence life in Malaysia.

I have been teaching English and Mathematics in Malaysian Secondary Schools and then moved on to become a lecturer at a public university; namely; Sultan Idris University of Education. Here I taught undergraduates majoring in TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language). I taught various papers pertinent to the course such as “Literature for Young Adults”; “Teaching Methodology”; “Computer Assisted Language Teaching” and more.

Prior to ‘Where the Durian Tree Grows’, I have published many more story books but they were published by local publishers. ‘Where the Durian Tree Grows’ is my first attempt at an international level.

If you ask me- “What inspired me to write my book?” then, I need to relate my experience teaching at the university. Some of us (lecturers) were given the task to teach English Language Proficiency Classes to foreign students. These students had limited exposure to English Language. They were students in dire need of assistance to grasp the language before they could continue their studies in their respective fields. They were mainly aiming to study in the Business and Arts faculties.  They needed reading materials suitable for their level of proficiency. Books available in the library were of a higher standard. These students were struggling even to read newspapers in English! The students in my class were mainly from China and Indonesia. They were very eager learners. Some of the other lecturers who were assigned with the same type of students began borrowing my story books. The stories were meant for young adults, however, they came in handy for the teaching of the language as a foreign language! The students enjoyed reading the stories and the books gave them an avenue to practice reading in the target language.  This gave me further motivation to continue writing in this genre.

It took me about six months to complete ‘Where the Durian Tree Grows’. ‘Where the Durian Tree Grows’ is meant to instil good characters amongst children and young adults without being “preachy”. The stories are all embedded with values such as ‘Intellectual values’; “Civic Values” and “Character Values”. By “Character Values”, I mean characters in these stories possess either one or more values such as bravery, honesty, creativity and diligence.

The one message I would like to convey to my readers would be- people from different parts of the world are all connected in many ways although our cultures may be distinct from one another. Our differences should be a point of reference to better our lives and not be points to condemn each other.

I am working on a sequel. I have a collection of another five short stories. These stories have similar elements as the “Where the Durian Tree Grows”. However, this time the title could be “Colourful Grains”!



Do get a copy- you may get it here at google play.google.com/…/Leela_Chakrabarty_Where_the_Durian_Tree_Grows

Also available at Amazon.com amazon.com/…tion/dp/1482853639/ref=sr_1_1

and Barnes and Noble barnesandnoble.com/…hakrabarty/1122824054

Here is the latest document for Form 1 English as revised from 1st APRIl 2014.PPPM BAHASA INGGERIS TINGKATAN 1

Here is the latest document for Form 2 English as revised from 1st APRIl 2014.PPPM BAHASA INGGERIS TINGKATAN 2

Here is the latest document for Form 3 English as revised from 1st APRIl 2014.

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Now, we will review the poems studied in Form Four to Form Five classes by recalling “What is the poem about?” in the discussions and answering 2 sets of questions per poem according to the SPM exam format. Do try to answer them on your own before you peep into the answers given. All the poems studied in the Upper secondary will be discussed here, they are: “Are you still playing the flute”-by Zurinah Hassan; “Nature” –H. D. Carberry; “In the Midst of Hardship” –by Latiff Mohidin and “He had such Quiet Eyes” -by Bibsy Soenharjo.

Discussion on the poem “Are You Still Playing Your Flute?”
The poet is about a woman’s thoughts about her boy friend who looks more interested in playing the flute which seems to be his passion. He appears to be oblivious to what is happening to his family, relatives and friends. The persona and her boyfriend, the flutist live in two different “worlds” as their lifestyles and the way of thinking are now rather different. In the first stanza, there is a tinge of feeling of being neglected by the flutist. The poet feels that “watching the rain, gazing at the evening rays, collecting dew drops and enjoying the fragrance of the flower” are luxuries of life and all these luxuries can be enjoyed in the rural areas but not in the city where people are ‘unemployed and desperate’, ‘disunited by politics’ and killed ‘mercilessly’ due to various political reasons. The question is whether there is someone who is still playing the flute. In other words is there anyone trying to defend the art and tradition.
Read the poem “Are You Still Playing Your Flute?” and answer the questions.

“Are You Still Playing Your Flute?”

Are you still playing your flute?
When there is hardly time for our love
I am feeling guilty
To be longing for your song
The melody concealed in the slim hollow of the bamboo
Uncovered by the breath of an artist
Composed by his fingers
Blown by the wind
To the depth of my heart.

Are you still playing your flute?
In the village so quiet and deserted
Amidst the sick rice fields
While here it has become a luxury
To spend time watching the rain
Gazing at the evening rays
Collecting dew drops
Or enjoying the fragrance of flowers.

Are you still playing your flute?
The more it disturbs my conscience
to be thinking of you
in the hazard of you
my younger brothers unemployed and desperate
my people disunited by politics
my friend slaughtered mercilessly
this world is too old and bleeding.
By Zurinah Hassan

SET 1:
1. What did the persona mean when she said ‘deserted’?
2. Why is the persona feeling guilty?
3. Why is the question “Are you still playing your flute‟ repeated as the starting line of all the stanzas?
4. In your opinion, is this a romantic poem? Provide reasons for your answer.

1. The villagers have left/migrated to look for jobs in the town/city.
2. Feeling guilty as she is enjoying the music when the nation is plagued with problems
3. This is to stress on the activity as something that should not be done when the nation is facing so much trouble.
4. No, it is not a romantic poem. It is poem that shows the irony between a leisure activity and problems faced by the nation at the same time.
SET 2:
1. How would you describe the persona in the poem?
2. Write one line from the poem that depicts that people are jobless.
3. Provide three phrases that depict the message of cruel realities of a nation in uncertainty of its future.
4. In your own words describe why the poet used the word “sick” to describe the rice fields.

1. a very perceptive and reflective woman.
2. my younger brothers unemployed and desperate
3. my people disunited by politics; my friend slaughtered mercilessly; this world is too old and bleeding.
4. Perhaps the yield is not rewarding/ the harvest is destroyed due to bad weather.

Discussion on the poem “Nature”
The poem describes the weather conditions in Jamaica. It emphasizes that Jamaica does not have the four seasons of spring, summer, autumn and winter. Nevertheless, the weather conditions of golden sunny days and wet rainy days are just as good and are almost similar to the four seasons. It is a descriptive poem about the changing weather. It celebrates the richness of the land’s produce and how alive and abundant Nature is. Through the poem, the poet describes the beauty of the weather in Jamaica. The fruit trees blossom and the bushes are full of bees. The tall grass sways gently in the breeze.This is a poem that really sums up the fact that seasons do not make a difference in the islands.
We must not forget that in the past cane fields in Jamaica were a pit of slavery and forced labour. Now they are free. Perhaps it could be a reason why Jamaicans appreciate and celebrate life. Jamaica embraces its past through expressions such as music, dance, and joyful celebrations. Despite intense political strife and racial divide, the people of Jamaica have maintained the relaxed attitude for which the Caribbean is famous. Jamaicans are proud of who they are and pride themselves on their native culture.
Read the poem ‘Nature’ and answer the questions-
We have neither Summer nor Winter
Neither Autumn nor Spring.
We have instead the days
When the gold sun shines on the lush green canefields-
The days when the rain beats like bullet on the roofs
And there is no sound but thee swish of water in the gullies
And trees struggling in the high Jamaica winds.
Also there are the days when leaves fade from off guango trees’
And the reaped canefields lie bare and fallow to the sun.
But best of all there are the days when the mango and the logwood blossom
When bushes are full of the sound of bees and the scent of honey,
When the tall grass sways and shivers to the slightest breath of air,
When the buttercups have paved the earth with yellow stars
And beauty comes suddenly and the rains have gone.

SET 1:
1. Why do you think H.D.Carberry wrote the poem?
2. List three words related to nature.
3. Which line in the poem ‘Nature’suggests the sense of smell?
4. Based on your knowledge of the poem ‘Nature’, describe a theme in the poem.

1. He wants to celebrate the richness of the land’s produce and how alive and plentiful Nature is.
2. gold sun, rain, trees.
3. The line, “When the bushes are full of the sound of bees and the scent of honey”
4. Appreciating one’s country-Life in one’s country has its share of ups and downs but one must always look at the brighter side of life. In this poem, the poet stresses on his country’s weather being sunny, rainy and windy. The poet states that we must appreciate what we have.
SET 2:
1. In your words describe the weather as depicted in the poem.
2. State one moral value that you have learnt from the poem.
3. Note that the poem ends with the line “and beauty comes suddenly and the rains have gone”. Describe how this bears a resemblance in our life.
4. In the opening lines of the poem, the poet describes the things that are absent. In your opinion, what is the poet trying to convey?

1. There are hot sunny days and cold wet windy and rainy days. It is so pleasant that there is little climate difference between the seasons. Most days are sunny with the gold sun shines on the cane fields. Even on rainy days, it is a beautiful sight.
2. We must appreciate the beauty of nature and not compare our lives with others.
3. This is a big resemblance to our life, as it has been our experience that after bad times, good times will follow and sometimes ever so abruptly.
4. It is to highlight the pleasant climate on the island. It has no extreme weather conditions and seasons do not make a difference in the islands.

Discussion on the poem “In the Midst of Hardship”:

As the title suggest, this poem is trying to convey the hardship that a family in a village is facing after a big flood. In this poem, the poet tells of the situation of a farmer and his family. They only returned at dawn after being out in the floodwater for a day and night after tirelessly looking for their son’s albino buffalo. They are all wet and hurt but they do not show any despair or of losing hope. Although they have been born into a life of hardship, they have never complained. They spend time together, enjoying each other’s company. They are grateful for what they still have instead of what is lost. Now, they are in the kitchen and they joke and talk while preparing to relax with a smoke.

Read the poem “In The Midst Of Hardship” and answer the questions-

“In The Midst Of Hardship”

At dawn they returned home
their soaky clothes torn
and approached the stove their limbs marked by scratches
their legs full of wounds
but on their brows
there was not a sign of despair

The whole day and night just passed
they had to brave the horrendous flood
in the water all the time
between bloated carcasses
and tiny chips of tree barks
desperately looking for their son‟s
albino buffalo that was never found

There were born amidst hardship
and grew up without a sigh or a complaint
now they are in the kitchen, making
jokes while rolling their cigarette leaves
By Latiff Mohidin Translated by Salleh Ben Joned

SET 1:

1. Write down the line which shows that they have been out for long hours?
2. The theme may not be exactly about hardship as implied by the title. What is the theme related to?
3. What does the phrase ‘albino buffalo’ tell you?
4. What value did you learn from the poem? Explain.


1. The line ‘The whole day and night just passed’.
2. Facing hardship with optimism
3. They are in the village as people in the town will not rear buffaloes.
4. Despite the hardship, we must remain resilient and strong. Often, the difficult time is not a permanent one.

SET 2:

1. Why were their clothes “soaky”?
2. Write down the line in the poem which reveals that this incident took place in a village?
3. What does the phrase “bloated carcasses” refer to?
4. In your opinion, what kind of attitude do the last two lines imply? Explain.

1. They were wet
2. ‘desperately looking for their son’s albino buffalo that was never found’
3. Animals killed as they drowned in the flood water.
4. They family was very optimistic- they were making jokes not crying or show signs of despair.

Discussion on the poem “He had Such Quiet Eyes”:

This is a poem about the love of a man and how deceptive in can actually be. A man with seductive, powerful and alluring eyes sometimes melt the heart of a naive, innocent, foolish young lady, who will eventually give her everything to him, devote herself to satisfy his starving lust. In other words, it is a story of a girl who meets a boy and falls in love with him. The boy makes her believe that he loves her very much. The girl gives her everything to the boy and the girl loses everything. Finally the boy leaves her. This poem brings out the concept of the power of the eyes and how, since ages and ages ago up till today, men all around the world are still using the same old trick and women, all over the world still fall for it. Young girls should be prepared to face the ugliness of the real world.

Read the following stanza of He had Such Quiet Eyes and answer the questions.

He Had Such Quiet Eyes

He had such quiet eyes
She did not realise
They were two pools of lies
Layered with thinnest ice
To her, those quiet eyes
Were breathing desolate sighs
Imploring her to be nice
And to render him paradise

If only she’d been wise
And had listened to the advice
Never to compromise
With pleasure-seeking guys
She’d be free from “the hows and whys”

Now here’s a bit of advice
Be sure that nice really means nice
Then you’ll never be losing at dice
Though you may lose your heart once or twice
Bibsy Soenharjo-1968

SET 1:

1. What does the phrase ‘thinnest ice’ imply?
2. In this poem, the poet talks about the betrayal of a young girl’s feelings for a man. She believes in his sincerity to her as he had pleaded to her to surrender to him. Write the two lines depicting this.
3. What is the main theme in this poem?
4. What did you learn from this poem? Explain.


1. Something that is dangerous. When you step on a thin ice, you are likely to fall as the ice breaks or melts.
2. To the young girl, those quiet eyes ‘Were breathing desolate sighs’ and ‘ Imploring her to be nice’
3. Deceit
4. We sometimes encounter people who have ill intentions towards us. We should take precaution against them.

SET 2:

1. The phrase “two pools of lies‟ is a metaphor. What does it refer to?
2. Write down two words or phrases from the poem that describe the eyes.
3. Describe in your own words how the girl is being deceived by the eyes.

1. the eyes that are deceiving
2. i)quiet ii) the desolate sighs
3. The man eyes is very deceiving, deep, calm but dangerous, just like a pool in winter. It may look inviting and peaceful to see a still lake, but when you try to walk on the thin ice, it will break and you will drown in the icy cold water.

Now, we will review the poems studied in Form One to Form Three classes by recalling “What is the poem about?” and answering 2 /3 sets of questions per poem according to the PMR exam format. Do try to answer them on your own before you peep into the answers given. All the poems studied in the Lower secondary will be discussed here, they are: ‘The River’ by Valerie Bloom , ‘Mr. Nobody’ by Unknown author, ‘I Wonder’ by Jeannie Kirby, ‘Heir Conditioning’ by M. SHANmughaligam, ‘A Fighter’s Lines’ by Marzuki Ali, ‘Leisure’ by William Henry Davies.

Form One Poems
What is the poem “The River” about?
The River is about the many characteristics of a river. The river is a wanderer where he moves from one place to another. He does not stay still and is always moving. He is also a winder where he twists and turns or meanders. He is also a hoarder or a collector where he keeps things deep down in his river bed. Sometimes, he behaves like a baby when he is happily flowing along. At times, he is a singer as seen through the happy sounds of the water. Finally, he is also a monster and can devour trees. Each stanza describes the river in a particular way. Therefore, we are able to name the stanzas accordingly:
Now, read the poem and answer the questions-
The River
The River’s a wanderer,
A nomad, a tramp,
He doesn’t choose one place
To set up his camp.

The River’s a winder,
Through valley and hill
He twists and he turns,
He just cannot be still.

The River’s a hoarder,
And he buries down deep
Those little treasures
That he wants to keep.

The River’s a baby,
He gurgles and hums,
And sounds like he’s happily
Sucking his thumbs.

The River’s a singer,
As he dances along,
The countryside echoes
The notes of his song.

The River’s a monster
Hungry and vexed,
He’s gobbled up trees
And he’ll swallow you next.
– Valerie Bloom
SET 1:
1. Why does the river twist and turn?
2. Based on the poem, what does the river represent?
1. it is flowing continuously and thus twists and turns at the obstacles along the way.
2. the journey in a man’s life- with good times and bad times as life goes on.
SET 2:
1. When we say that the river sings and dances, what is the river compared to?
2. (a) What does the choice of words like hungry, vexed, gobbled and swallow indicate about the river?
(b) Explain why the river which is compared to a baby is later compared to a monster.
1. Entertainer/someone happy
2. (a) irritated and angry
(b) The river is happy and becomes useful when we take care of it but the river becomes angry as it overflows and flooding occurs when people do not take care. People simply dump things into the river and causes the river to be polluted.
What is the poem “Mr Nobody” about?
The poem is about a mysterious little person who creates a lot of mischief in the house and gets away with it. This person is named as Mr. Nobody to give a shroud of mystery to the persona. He is not noticed as he moves around very quietly. Mr. Nobody makes a mess of things in the house. He uses things but never puts them back in order. He dirties the house, leaves his prints everywhere, soils the carpet and the curtains. When things are misplaced in the house, everyone points the finger to Mr. Nobody. Yet he never gets caught as no one has ever seen him or reports of his deeds.

Now, read the poem and answer the questions-
Mr. Nobody
I know a funny little man,
As quiet as a mouse,
Who does the mischief that is done
In everybody’s house!
There’s no one ever sees his face,
And yet we all agree
That every plate we break was cracked
By Mr. Nobody

‘Tis he who always tears our books,
Who leaves the door ajar,
He pulls the buttons from our shirts,
And scatters pins afar;
That squeaking door will always squeak,
For, prithee, don’t you see,
We leave the oiling to be done
By Mr. Nobody.

He puts damp wood upon the fire,
That kettle cannot boil;
His are the feet that bring in mud,
And all the carpets soil.
The papers always mislaid,
Who had them last but he?
There’s no one tosses them about
But Mr. Nobody

The finger marks upon the door
By none of us are made;
We never leave the blinds unclosed,
To let the curtains fade;
The ink we never spill; the boots
That lying around you see
Are not our boots-they all belong
To Mr. Nobody
Author Unknown

SET 1:

1. Why did the curtains fade?

2. (a) What are the three things Mr. Nobody should have done?

(b) Why do you think the persona in the poem is given a name Mr Nobody? What does the name indicate?

1. The blinds were not closed thus the strong light caused the curtains to fade.
2. (a) Closed the door, rearrange the papers, oil the door
(b) To give a mysterious identity to the persona. Maybe to even suggest that there is no definite person existing, that the mischief can be done by anyone.
SET 2:
1. List two activities done by Mr. Nobody as in stanza 3.

2. What is the central idea of the poem? Discuss

1. Used damp wood to boil water, brought in mud and soiled the carpets.
2. No one dares to admit to their actions. Thus, they tend to point fingers at others. In life, we come across people who create mischief and never get caught or own up to their mistakes, yet we tolerate them and still live among them.
Form Two Poems
What is the poem “Heir Conditioning” about?
The first stanza is light as the grandchild seems to be asking frivolous questions. The reader would probably find this entertaining – that the grandchild is unable to understand how the adults could actually live without the modern inventions. The grandchild saw nothing good of those times. The tone here is “ignorant, and looking down”. The tone is anticipation of trivial answers.

There is a change in the tone in the second stanza. It is emphatic and a no nonsense answer from the grandfather. The tone “more experienced” implies that the grandchild did not have the privilege and contrarily should not look down towards the elderly. The older generation argues that despite the grandchild’s “backwards” view towards them, wonderful experience was evident at the time. The tone here also suggests wisdom, as a sharp contrast to the ignorance.

Read the poem and answer the questions-

‘Heir Conditioning’
Grand dad did you breathe
before air cons were invented?
was it hard staying
alive without modern inventions?
Grandma weren’t you flustered
as you fluttered with paper fans?
could you communicate before
faxes and long distance calls
became basic necessities?

Grandchild we lived
before your age. Because
of our ignorance,
we did not know
pollution, stress, traffic jams
destruction of forests, streams and
we feared God and nature
now nature fears you and
money is your new God.
by SHANmugalingam
Set 1:
1. List three things in the poem that indicate the negative effects of modernization?
2. What does the title of the poem mean to you? Provide an explanation for your answer
Answers :
1. pollution, stress, traffic jams
destruction of forests, streams and
2. The title of the poem “Heir Conditioning” suggests about the conditioning of the minds of the younger generation who are so dependent on modern inventions in their daily life. Their minds are so tuned/conditioned to having modern inventions to manage their daily life that to them it may seem impossible to live without these inventions.
Set 2:
1. What is the poet’s main concern in the second stanza?

2. What is the message that the poet wishes to express in this poem?
1. The poet expresses his concern that though there is progress with modern inventions, man is regressing. If modern amenities and development are there to give us comfort, easy access and a better lifestyle, how come we have to deal with calamities and problems like stress and traffic jams?
2. The poet is trying to impart the message that modernization should be a gradual process and that mankind should not be overly dependent or taken up with new inventions that could lead to the destruction of the environment.

What is the poem “I Wonder” about?
The persona is curious about who, what and why do “things” happen. She is curious about nature. The persona discovers that the beautiful world is so big and mysterious and that there are so many unanswered questions. But we always try and look for ways to find out the answers to all of our questions. The last two lines about ‘dad’ not telling imply that not everyone will know the answers to the mysterious questions but they can always learn. The question represents the basic instincts to rely on some trustworthy power and since it is read through the eye of an innocent child, the line may refer to the father of the child, as a child usually will ask anything from the parents. These two lines suggested knowledge gained through asking. A child will not gain the whole knowledge all at once but will eventually learn bit by bit. It also stressed on the need of a teacher or a father to guide the curious child.
Answer the following questions based on the given poem “I Wonder”.

I wonder why the grass is green,
And why the wind is never seen?

Who taught the birds to build a nest,
And told the trees to take a rest?

O, when the moon is not quite round,
Where can the missing bit be found?

Who lights the stars, when they blow out,
And makes the lightning flash about?

Who paints the rainbow in the sky,
And hangs the fluffy clouds so high?

Why is it now, do you suppose,
That Dad won’t tell me, if he knows?
Jeannie Kirby

1. What does the use of the word ‘wonder’ in the passage indicate? Explain.
2. In your understanding what does the last line imply?

1. Man’s ability to think.
2. A teacher or a father is needed to guide the curious child

Set 2:
1. What does the persona want to know about the moon?
2. (a) How does the curiosity within the persona leads him/her to behave?


(b) In your opinion, what is the major theme of the poem?

1. She wonders why the shape of the moon is sometimes not complete and wonders where the missing part is.
2. (a) She asks more questions as she looks around.
(b) A major theme of the poem is the value of education. We must be aware that knowledge can produce intellectuals and a civilised society. We must always be resourceful and independent in enriching our world of knowledge.
What is the poem “A Fighter’s Lines” about?

Our country Malaysia does not want to miss out on what most countries are aiming for-to reach the highest level of development. But, without realizing it, we are slowly losing our morality and our country is slowly being engulfed in a sea of lies. The poet stresses here that if we, as the younger generation cannot find the way to stop the dishonesties and lies we are putting our country’s fate in danger as this dishonesties can actually shake the stability of our country and the peace it possesses. That is why in the Stanza 4, he urges the younger generation to be united disregard of the races and religions to speak out their opinions. This is important as these lies may cause disharmony amongst us. As the persona feels helpless, he wants the younger generation to come forward and fight in the name of justice.

Answer the following questions based on the given poem “A Fighter’s Lines”.

“A Fighter’s Lines”
I am old and worn
and have lost all my strength
and the history of the fight for independence
have forced sacrifices
that know no name
or life

from the wheelchair of the rest of my days
I, body and energy crushed
see and cannot do much
these times are too big a challenge
for the remnants of my crippled years
the net of deceit spread everywhere
disturbs me

In the name of justice
Wake up and form ranks sons of our ancestor
Be brave
And erect a wall of people
Stand up heirs of our freedom

I have no more voice
It is you now who should speak!
Marzuki Ali
SET 1:
1. Who is the persona in the poem?
2. (a) What does the word ‘history’ in line 4 refer to?

(b) Why does the persona feel helpless?


1. A soldier

2. (a)The war fought for independence
(b) He has been injured due to his involvement in the war for independence. Now he is old and disabled and cannot do much to free his country from new challenges. He still cares for the country but unable to fight as he used to do.

SET 2:
1. What does the phrase “a wall” refers to?

2. (a) Who is referred to by the pronoun “you” in the last line?
(b)What message is the poet trying to spread? Explain

1. ‘United population”. In order to fight for our freedom, first we have to be united.

2. (a) younger generation
(b) We must defend our independence after the hardships that our late warriors had been through as they sacrificed themselves to grant us the peace that we are able to enjoy now. With all of our efforts, we must work hard to retain it.
What is the poem “Leisure” about?
The poet is trying to tell us to take time to appreciate the beauty of nature. People are too busy with their daily life & worry too much, that they forget to watch and admire nature’s beauty. Sometimes, the mind should be free of work stress so that we can we enjoy the beauty of the little pleasures of life. We are usually not alert of our surroundings. Thus, life becomes meaningless as become unhappy. We must learn to set aside time for ourselves and our families.
Answer the following questions based on the given poem “Leisure”.


What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
William Henry Davies
SET 1:
1. What is implied by the word “Leisure” as used in the poem?
2. Explain what the poet meant by the last two lines.

1. Time spent enjoying simple beauties cherished and regarded as a forgotten pastime.

2. The fever and fret of worldly responsibilities deprives man of sweet moments of leisure and rest. If human life is nothing but painful cares and worries, then it is really poor and miserable. Man should give as much importance to pleasure and peace of mind as to the earning of money to raise his status.

SET 2:
1. What is implied by the word ‘stare’?

2. Discuss in your own words the views of the poet on the life of man in the modern age.


1. The various things that people are not able to do due to lack of leisure.

2. He has condemned the materialistic attitude of life that makes it ugly and unpleasant. He thinks that the desire for material progress has given man unnecessary cares and worries of life. He remains awfully busy day and night. The love of earning money makes him indifferent to all the charms and pleasures of life.
SET 3:
1. Why is the word ‘Beauty’ capitalized?
2. (a) Why did the poet express grief in the poem?
(b) In your opinion, why must we take advantage of our free time?
1. The word “Beauty” in line nine is capitalized as if it is a name. Beauty is a metaphor but also a name for Mother Nature.

2. (a) The poet expresses his grief at the fact that modern rush of life has deprived us of many commonplace pleasures. We run around after our material pursuits, so crazily that we have no time to spend in a relaxed manner and appreciate nature.
(b) The poem teaches us that we need to slow our lives down and take a look around and notice the little things. Every piece of technology mankind crafts is just a manipulation of the nature that was previously there. Nothing humans create can derive from something other than what is found in nature; therefore, the greatest piece of the entire everlasting universe is and always will be nature. We need to take advantage of our free time. Leisure should be something that is put to great use.

School Based Assessment (SBA) is introduced as part of the National Transformation Programme to produce world-class human capital. It is one of the measures taken by the Malaysian Education Ministry to enhance pupils’ mastery of learning through the national assessment system and it is in-line with the Educational Transformation Plan. It was introduced last year. Thus UPSR in 2016 and PMR 2014 will be revamped to accommodate the transformation. School Based assessment emphasizes ‘assessment for learning’ and ‘assessment of learning’ to ensure a more systematic mastery of knowledge.
Implementation of SBA
Teachers conduct formative assessment during the learning process and also summative assessment. However, this does not mean that teachers have to create test papers or handouts as instruments every time they wish to assess a pupil’s achievement. Teachers can carry out creative activities that are fun, to gather information about their pupils’ learning progress.
Homework, quizzes, question and answer sessions and even observations are all examples of activities which teachers could use as instruments to assess pupils’ development and growth. The difference now is that teachers have to record pupils’ learning progress systematically.
Students’ achievements are measured against a Performance Standard which is developed by the Examinations Syndicate and mapped from the standard curriculum. Performance Standard explains the performance or mastery of a pupil in a particular field he undertakes within a learning period based on an identified benchmark. Standard Referenced Assessment allows teachers as well as parents to find out and measure each pupil’s progress based on his performance measured against a set of performance indicators.
Thus, a student’s achievement is no longer measured by comparing his grades with those of his peers/classmates. In this case, a learner is supposed to only compete with himself, whereby, his achievement is no longer gauged by his position in class. Instead his achievement is ranked with reference to bands.
It should be remembered that SBA is not a new invention. Question and answer sessions, class tasks and homework are all tools of assessment that can be employed by teachers to gauge their learners’ understanding. Teaching and learning becomes meaningful when assessment is designed and conducted well.

Assessment FOR Learning

Assessment FOR learning is different from what historically has been referred to as formative assessment. If formative assessment is about more frequent, assessment FOR learning is about continuous. If formative assessment is about providing teachers with evidence, assessment FOR learning is about informing students about themselves. If formative assessment tells users who is and is not meeting state standards, assessment FOR learning tells them what progress each student is making toward meeting each standard while the learning is happening—when there’s still time to be helpful.

In the perfect assessment system, one would seek to balance these assessment purposes. The foundation would be a continuous array of assessments FOR learning used to help students learn more—to lead them up the scaffolding. In addition, periodic early warning formative assessments would help teachers see student progress in terms of standards mastered, revealing to them as to who needs additional help. And finally, once-a-year accountability tests (summative assessments) would serve to verify the ultimate level of student success.

Today SBA is an integral part of the teaching and learning process. Therefore all teachers should possess a good understanding of SBA as a good knowledge of it would lead to the implementation of best practices at different stages in SBA. The main goal of classroom assessment is to obtain valid, reliable, and useful information concerning student achievement.

This requires determining what is to be measured and then defining it precisely so that tasks that require the intended knowledge, skills and understanding while minimizing the influence of irrelevant skills can be constructed. A good planning of the test makes expected learning outcomes explicit to students and parents and shows the types of performances that are valued.

Teachers should prepare a tentative list of instructionally relevant learning outcomes. Then, list beneath each general instructional objective a representative sample of specific learning outcomes that describe the terminal performance students are expected to demonstrate. It is advisable to begin each general objective with a verb (e.g., knows, applies, interprets, etc). Begin each specific learning outcome with an action verb that specifies observable performance (e.g., identifies, describes, explains, etc). Teachers should state instructional objectives in terms of learning process and review the list for completeness, appropriateness, soundness and feasibility. It is suggested that teachers should develop a table of specifications to identify both the content areas and the instructional objectives to be measured. The test and assessment specifications should be used as a guide.

Range of tasks:
In a large classroom, teachers can create or provide different tasks for different levels. For example, we might have two sets of comprehension questions for a text. Set A for all students and set B for stronger ones. Similarly we can give different students different homework.
Here are some samples of instruments/ tasks that teachers can set according to the band descriptors for–Band 3 (Form Two)

Performance Standard B3
Use knowledge acquired through listening, speaking, reading and writing
Descriptor B3 DL1
Giving compliments and responding appropriately.
Evidence B3 DL1 E1
Able to compliment someone and respond appropriately to the compliment

Sample Instrument/Task set:
Prepare (Prepare= action verb that specifies an observable performance) a short dialogue on how you would compliment someone in various situations. Teacher can provide situations such as: Your mother prepared a delicious dish. Compliment her/ Your friend wore a beautiful dress. Compliment her. Teacher prepares a dialogue box.

Performance Standard :B3
Use knowledge acquired through listening, speaking, reading and writing
Descriptor :B3 DL2
Listening to and understand messages and descriptions
Evidence B3 DL2 E1
Able to identify main ideas and supporting details.
B3 DL2 E1
Able to answer comprehension questions orally.

Sample Instruments/Tasks set:
Listen to an interview in a radio talk show. As you listen, write down the details to be passed to your friend who is interested to go to the concert. Identify important details such as the date of concert, the venue, the price of the ticket. Convey the message to your classmates. Teacher prepares a worksheet with a table to be filled by the students.

Performance Standard Use knowledge acquired through listening, speaking, reading and writing
Descriptor B3 DT1
Writing descriptions
Evidence Able to write a description on a topic of interest:
• using adjectives/adverbs
• in at least 3 paragraphs
• in about 120 words

Sample Instruments/Tasks set:
You have an interesting pastime. You collect first day cover albums- Describe about your hobby using the notes below)/ You and your family explored the “National Park” recently. Describe your holidays using the notes provided below. You may also add other relevant information using suitable adjectives. Your essay must not be less than 120 words and in at least 3 paragraphs. Teacher provides some notes for the writing task.