Teaching Literature in an Interactive Way

Shared by Johnny Tiang Kah Hoe (A126075)

Literature is an excellent method to introduce other varieties of English. Literature is able to open up multi-traditional aspects of human life, which encourages students to broaden their horizons. According to Muniandy et al. (2010), by introducing literatures that is very much Malaysian, students will be exposed to new uses and forms of their own language.

The ministry of Education has introduced English Literature as a subject into the secondary school curriculum. This subject is claimed to be able to replace PPSMI (Pengajaran dan Pembelajaran Sains dan Matematik dalam Bahasa Inggeris , which is planned to be abolished in 2012, to play a role to improve English language proficiency among the students.

There are several teaching approaches such as video, role play, dramatisation, questioning that can be used in teaching literature to the students. In this essay, I will suggest the use of interactive game produced by an application called “Hot Potatoes” in teaching literature. Below is a simple interactive task that is created using “Hot Potatoes” to teach a short story “QWERTYUIOP” to the form four students. The game requires the students to arrange the events in the short story in a correct sequence. Students can evaluate thenselves by click the button “Check” after they finished their events arrangement. Teacher interruption in the task accomplishment is at minimum level. Thus, students can practice independent learning in their task fulfillment.

An Interactive Game

You can download the tutorial and installer of Hot Potatoes from to create your own interactive games. It is a simple application to be utilised.


Muniandy, Mohan K., Nair, Gopala Krishnan Sekharan, Krishnan @ Shanmugam, Shashi Kumar, InnaAhmad,      Norashikin Mohamed Noor. 2010. Sociolinguistic competence and Malaysian students’ English language proficiency. English Language Teaching 3(3): 145-151.


Teaching Literature: Potato People

By LEE CHEN PING (A126076)

As the Malaysia Form 2 students are learning “Potato People” by Angela Wright in their literature component, I realised the need to expose the background and historical setting for that story. Well, “Potato People” takes place in 1840s at Ireland where extreme famine occurred because their staple food, potatoes were attacked by fungus. People were left starving and death was common. Moreover, the English colonisation has worsened the whole situation. Therefore, most people tried to escape to America in order to survive.

The historical context above is not mentioned in the story. The story straight away starts with famine and the escape to America. Therefore, I believe most of the students will be wondering why there is famine and what had happened. If teachers are able to explain in detail about the history of Ireland, students will be able to understand the “Potato People” better.

So, I have created a short video about “The Great Famine” in Ireland. This video is quite short but very informative. Teachers are most welcome to use it for their set induction.