THESE NOTES WERE EXTRACTED FROM STEPS TAKEN BY MASON COLLEGE, FESTAC
1.Real Literature teachers are hard to find these days yet the subject is central to the progress of many Arts and Law students who in turn constitute a very substantial part of students in each secondary school.
2.Some of us were lucky to have attended schools where literature was emphasized. Not only this, we had extremely good tutors at Christ’s School Ado-Ekiti such as our ex-Principal,Rev.Donald Mason and Mr S.A.Oloketuyi both now of blessed memories.They were colourful in the classroom and turned literature into such a lively subject that students loved to be associated with characters from their Literature books. In school we nicknamed ourselves Literature names instead of those of movie or music stars of those days. Though we had the equivalent of P-SQUARED, IYANYA and KCEE we used words like “Banquo” “Malcolm”, “Farmer Boldwood” instead to describe ourselves. It was not because we didn’t like movie stars like those in Bonanza, or John Wayne, or Elizabeth Taylor. But we paid attention to literature because it was a living subject in and out of our classrooms.
3.Mason College also copied Christ’s School Ado- Ekiti by making Literature compulsory for all students up to their SS2 promotional examinations. We also introduced the Novel Summary Scheme which impacted not only on the standard of English Language but also the attitude of students to Literature as a living subject.It is also doubtful if other schools gave enough time to the subject on their weekly academic time-tables as we did.
BUT THEN, WHAT ADDITIONAL STEPS WERE TAKEN TO IMPROVE STUDENTS’ PERFORMANCES?
4. Tutors were reminded that Literature must not be taught as a subject for exams only but as a motivational source for the lives of students. Each tutor was asked to be Shakespeare, dramatist,novelist and poet at the same time.They were to understand that the elements brought to play at this level was what would make the subject a lively one. EVERY LITERATURE CLASS WAS TO BE CONSIDERED AS A POSSIBLE AVENUE FOR DEVELOPING POTENTIAL NOLLYWOOD ACTORS/ACTRESSES, FILM PRODUCERS AND MOVIE DIRECTORS !!!!
5. All students having Literature on a particular day were to produce the textbook (text) for that day at the gates when signing into the school (in the morning) or be included as offenders in the Daily Management Report for warning purposes
6. Senior students were encouraged to take more novels for summarization from the CLASSICS section of the school library and Literature tutors were asked to be more involved at library shelves when students made their choices.They were also asked to improve marking standards for summaries submitted by students in return.
7.Management informed all parents that all recommended Literature texts or those chosen by the school as permitted by the examination bodies must be purchased by all students by the end of October each year i.e. during the first month of the 1st Term.
8.Literature tutors were politely told to make sure that all Literature texts were covered in class by the second term of each academic year (end of March) for JS3 and SS3 students. For emphasis it was specified that no text whether from Shakespeare, other Drama,Prose (African and non- African), Poetry ( African and non- African) was to remain untouched by the end of March for both classes.
9.Tutors were also asked to make sure that notes given to students covered the following schedule prepared by the HOD for Languages.
TOPICS FOR CLASS DISCUSSIONS AND NOTE-GIVING UNDER EACH GENRE
LITERARY TERMS SHAKESPEARE DRAMA POETRY PROSE
(a) Definitions √ × × × ×
(b) Plot Summary × √ √ × √
(c) Background/Setting √ √ √ √ √
(d) Main incidents × √ √ × √
(e) Subject matter × × × √ ×
(f) Themes √ √ √ √ √
(g) Characterization × √ √ × √
(h) Language √ √ √ √ √
(i) Figures of Speech √ √ √ √ √
(j) Forms/Structure √ × × √ ×
(k) Dramatic Devices √ √ √ × √
(l) Poetic Devices √ × × √ ×
10.All multimedia support materials available in the school were to be used during class tutorials. These included VCDs, DVDs, VHS, the Internet and related educational CDs in the Computer Room such as Encarta, Britannica etc. Our tutors were asked to find time to watch, read or have these media materials demonstrated to them through the HOD,Languages. Tutors were asked to see such materials as providing the basic ‘meat’ for their Literature tables.
11.Any available movie covering the text especially those of Shakespeare were to be played for them with the hope that they would have a clearer understanding of the text therefrom.Our library was fully stocked with movies of all Shakespeare’s Drama and those of many classic novels too. They are all to be found at Lagos Books Club today.
12.In absence of multimedia materials, tutors were to look for relevant books and supplemental reading in the school Library or at Bookends (now known as Lagos Books Club) to support their lectures and notes.
13.Tutors were also encouraged to invest part of their hard – earned salaries in some of the text, especially Shakespeare, abridged editions of Drama texts, Prose books and one or two anthologies of African and non- African poems. These as pointed out to them were their basic tools for use in classrooms and would surely be part of what was to become their personal library in future.
14. Students were also to be encouraged to read aloud from the text with the material divided up so that each class member participated the way we were taught Literature and.Bible Knowledge at Christ’s School Ado-Ekiti.
15. At the end of each class period, tutors also told students the next passages to read in advance.Not exactly as homework but as a pleasurable material for their relaxation.
16. Comics on Shakespeare works available in the library were photocopied for students to take home and glance at from time to time On the other hand they were asked to be brought to the classrooms for discussions.
17. Homework and terminal tests were patterned according to past questions from JSCE, WAEC, NECO and JAMB.All these materials were available in the school Library for use or reference by both students and their tutors.
18. Scarce but recommended poems (African and non-African) were obtained and typed out neatly and given to students if they were not available in any anthology of poems in the school Library or at Bookends. Please note that there is no poem listed by WAEC/NECO/JAMB that can not be downloaded from the net and reproduced for students to use. So non-availability should be no excuse for not treating a particular poem with students before their national exam.
C.AFTER-SCHOOL LINKAGE ACTIVITIES
19. During after-school activities links were also created to literature texts and passages by short plays,riddles and jokes or inter-class quiz sessions.
20. In the case of Romeo and Juliet students were convinced to come on Saturdays to plan a BALL which was executed nicely with some very funny masks on.The pics from that ball (see one of them above) have been put severally on different pages of this site for future reference by those involved.
- Waec/neco Literature in English…literary Terms and Concepts for Appreciation Purposes…how Many on This List Do You Actually Know Like Chimamanda? (lagosbooksclub.wordpress.com)
- Waec/neco Literature in English…here Is One of the Best Introductions to Figures of Speech for Nigerian Secondary Schools (lagosbooksclub.wordpress.com)
- Waec/neco Literature in English (2)…appreciation of an Author or His Work- What Do Examiners Want? (lagosbooksclub.wordpress.com)
- For Teachers or Parents and Exclusively From Us Only!…absolutely Free Past Waec, Neco and Gce Marking Schemes in These Subjects. (lagosbooksclub.wordpress.com)
- Moments to Treasure No.138 and a Short History of Mason College,festac (edupedianigeria.wordpress.com)
- For Past Post Utme Questions and Some Answers Visit This Page (edupedianigeria.wordpress.com)
- Moments to Treasure No.136 and a Short History of Pass Tutorial College,festac (edupedianigeria.wordpress.com)