English literature has been around for more than a few centuries. A man from the 14th century,Geoffrey Chaucer (1343-1400) is known today as the father of English literature. In modern days, we are more familiar with songs, movies and theatres. That is actually literature. Song lyrics are relatable to poetry, movies to novel and short stories, and lastly theatres to drama

Basically, English literature will allow you to study in depth of literary texts and how it works in the English subjects. Before we delve into it further, there is one big misconception about the English literature subject which we have to clear up. Literature used to be a part of the English subject but starting from 2020, it has become an elective subject (solely focused on literature) known as English Literature (Kesusasteraan Bahasa Inggeris).

The Standards-Based English Literature Curriculum for Secondary Schools (SBELitC) can be taken as an elective subject for those who are interested in learning English literature for SPM. You can choose this elective when you get into your higher secondary class in Form 4. There are varieties of English language used in the literary texts, though Standard British English is used as the official standard of reference.

This elective allows you to study the literature texts in depth compared to the Language Arts module in Primary Curriculum and the Literature in Action module in Secondary Curriculum

Let’s go further into the English Literature SPM Questions Format.

The best English tutors available
Ziyad farhan
5
5 (14 reviews)
Ziyad farhan
RM20
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson belanja!
Iman
5
5 (5 reviews)
Iman
RM45
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson belanja!
Robert
5
5 (9 reviews)
Robert
RM50
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson belanja!
Madelyn
5
5 (13 reviews)
Madelyn
RM70
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson belanja!
Adil
5
5 (10 reviews)
Adil
RM50
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson belanja!
Wern
5
5 (6 reviews)
Wern
RM50
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson belanja!
Ruth wang theen
5
5 (16 reviews)
Ruth wang theen
RM50
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson belanja!
Nur adriana
5
5 (6 reviews)
Nur adriana
RM30
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson belanja!
Ziyad farhan
5
5 (14 reviews)
Ziyad farhan
RM20
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson belanja!
Iman
5
5 (5 reviews)
Iman
RM45
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson belanja!
Robert
5
5 (9 reviews)
Robert
RM50
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson belanja!
Madelyn
5
5 (13 reviews)
Madelyn
RM70
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson belanja!
Adil
5
5 (10 reviews)
Adil
RM50
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson belanja!
Wern
5
5 (6 reviews)
Wern
RM50
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson belanja!
Ruth wang theen
5
5 (16 reviews)
Ruth wang theen
RM50
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson belanja!
Nur adriana
5
5 (6 reviews)
Nur adriana
RM30
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson belanja!
Let's go

What is the English Literature SPM Questions Format?

The aim of the study is to reach 3 standards encompassed in the Content Standards, Learning Standards and Performance Standards through assessment and pedagogical approaches. At the end of Form 5, the students will have to achieve Content Standards

Meanwhile, a Learning Standard is the expected learning outcome that the students get in their secondary education and Performance Standard can be determined through assessments to track student’s progress in the form of formative assessments. Pedagogical approaches are important for learning and teaching experiences to stay in line with the current practices.

Here is the Overall Performance Levels in the Standard Document for Curriculum and Assessment drafted by the Examination Boards of Malaysia.

PERFORMANCE LEVEL
OVERALL PERFORMANCE LEVEL DESCRIPTORS
1Pupils show poor knowledge of the text, require full guidance when reading and interpreting the texts. Pupils provide irrelevant or hardly any personal responses and produce works which demonstrate very little creativity and originality.
2Pupils show limited knowledge and understanding of the content and language of the texts. Pupils provide limited personal responses and produce works which demonstrate limited creativity and originality.
3Pupils show some knowledge and understanding of the content and language of the texts. Pupils provide relevant personal responses and produce works which demonstrate some creativity and originality.
4Pupils show good knowledge and understanding of the content and language of the texts.
5Pupils display some maturity in thought in personal responses and produce works which demonstrate a commendable level of creativity, originality and independence.
6Pupils show in depth knowledge and understanding of the content and language of the texts. Pupils demonstrate insight, sensitivity, individuality and flair in personal responses and produce works with a high level of creativity, originality and independence.

(Source: Malaysian Ministry of Education, MOE)

Literature allows students to explore relationships, ideas, places, time and events. Whereby, students will have a better understanding of human nature, being able to express themselves, learn about the people around them and the world at large (being able to empathize). The study of literature can forge cultural understanding and prepare students for the real world situations. 

There are three learning genres in English Literature,

  • prose (short stories and novels)
  • poetry (poem)
  • drama. 

Basically, there are six short stories, two novels, three dramas and a list of poems that you’ll study in the English Literature. Here is the list of texts that are recommended for you to learn in Form 4 and Form 5.

Texts
Form 4
Form 5
Prose (Short Stories and Novels)
Either learn six stories or one novels
-
Drama
One play written for the stage (not a film scripts) from a selections
-
Poetry
-10 poems from a selection

The questions will make you choose from EITHER the six short stories OR answer EITHER one of the novels, ‘The Clay Marble’ OR ‘The Lost King’, one of the three dramas listed, and all of the poems which are compulsory.

What will You Learn in Novel for SPM English Literature?

woman engrossed in reading novel
Reading a thick novel might be challenging for a beginner, but you will soon discover the wonder of a whole new world behind its pages. (Source: Unsplash)

Novel is one of the genres in English Literature under Prose. You’ll need to answer only one over four questions in Section A which allows you to choose between 2 novels that you’ve learnt or either one of 6 short stories

Part A will get you a total of 35 marks. Each question will be divided into 2 parts of questions and you’ll need to answer them all. 

There are 2 novels that you may study at school which are The Clay Marble’ by Minfong Ho or The Lost King’ by Scot Gardner. You’ll only learn 1 novel depending on your school. However, you can learn both novels by yourself. 

The literary or poetic devices for prose which consist of both novels and short stories are diction, flashback, foreshadow and cliff hanger.  You’ll learn more on How to Tackle English Literature SPM Novel Questions.

The best English tutors available
Ziyad farhan
5
5 (14 reviews)
Ziyad farhan
RM20
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson belanja!
Iman
5
5 (5 reviews)
Iman
RM45
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson belanja!
Robert
5
5 (9 reviews)
Robert
RM50
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson belanja!
Madelyn
5
5 (13 reviews)
Madelyn
RM70
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson belanja!
Adil
5
5 (10 reviews)
Adil
RM50
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson belanja!
Wern
5
5 (6 reviews)
Wern
RM50
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson belanja!
Ruth wang theen
5
5 (16 reviews)
Ruth wang theen
RM50
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson belanja!
Nur adriana
5
5 (6 reviews)
Nur adriana
RM30
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson belanja!
Ziyad farhan
5
5 (14 reviews)
Ziyad farhan
RM20
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson belanja!
Iman
5
5 (5 reviews)
Iman
RM45
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson belanja!
Robert
5
5 (9 reviews)
Robert
RM50
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson belanja!
Madelyn
5
5 (13 reviews)
Madelyn
RM70
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson belanja!
Adil
5
5 (10 reviews)
Adil
RM50
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson belanja!
Wern
5
5 (6 reviews)
Wern
RM50
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson belanja!
Ruth wang theen
5
5 (16 reviews)
Ruth wang theen
RM50
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson belanja!
Nur adriana
5
5 (6 reviews)
Nur adriana
RM30
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson belanja!
Let's go

What will You Learn in Short Stories for SPM English Literature?

Short stories are similar to novels, only that the length of the story is shorter. The genre is prose. You can either choose 1 novel or 1 short stories for Section A. You cannot answer both. Part A will carry 35 marks over 100. 

There are 6 short stories for English Literature: 

  • Sambal with Anchovies
  • Embracing Your Shadow
  • Thieving Daughter
  • The Winter Hibiscus
  • Turning Thirty
  • Birds of Paradise

The literary or poetic devices for short stories are the same with the novels which are  diction, flashback, foreshadow and cliff hanger.  You’ll learn more on Understanding the Format for Short Stories in SPM English Literature

What will You Learn in Drama for SPM English Literature?

Drama questions lie in Section B. You will need to choose 1 out of 3 questions which is the one drama that you have learnt. Remember, you’ll need to answer part A and part B of the questions. The weightage for section B is 35 marks.

There are 3 choices of drama in SPM English Literature 2021. Among these are:

  • Flower for Algernon adapted by Bert Coules
  • Hope Springs by Richard Conlon
  • The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare

The literary or poetic devices for poetry are monologue, soliloquy, dramatic irony, comedy and symbolism. You’ll learn more on What You Should Know About Drama Questions in SPM English Literature 2021.

What will You Learn in Poetry for SPM English Literature?

reading a poetry book
Beautiful words and hidden meanings could be found behind the short stanzas of a poem, if you learn how to appreciate it. (Source: Unsplash)

Section C is a section for you to answer Poetry questions. Here you need to learn all 10 poems and understand better. It is stated that ‘Address to a Child During a Boisterous Winter Evening’ won’t be coming out in SPM 2021. Therefore you can exclude that in your spot questions. 

You will need to answer only one of two questions. There will be 2 parts in each question. You will need to answer both parts to get a total mark of 30

There are 10 titles to learn in SPM English Literature 2021 which are:

  • The Passionate Shepherd to His Love
  • Daffodils
  • To Autumn
  • Address to a Child During a Boisterous Winter Evening
  • The Tyger
  • London
  • Half-Term
  • The Little Black Boy
  • If
  • Miners

The literary or poetic devices for poetry are metaphors, simile, personification and imagery. You’ll learn more on Answering Tips for SPM English Poetry 2021.

Where to Find the Best SPM English Literature’s References to study?

woman in a bookstore
You can find all sorts of English literature in a normal bookstore with different genres, even outside of SPM syllabus. (Source: Unsplash)

In short, English literature is a very interesting subject that allows you to understand more on human behaviors, feelings and expression. Since the literature elements have been separated from the English subjects, therefore, you wouldn't be able to learn English literature at school unless there are teachers available to teach you. 

Fret not, you can always take English literature as one of your elective subjects because you can find a broad range of resources available. There are a lot of poetry websites where you can easily get your hand on references without paying a cent!

Moreover, you can also find literature exercise books at any bookstore and MOE has an official version of texts that can be found everywhere including online stores.  Besides that, you can learn from Youtube and online tv channels. The best site you can go to is DidikTV. 

To answer literature questions, there are 3 main things you need to analyse in detail in order for you to be able to explain and interpret the literary texts.

  1. Identify the literary elements used
  2. How the character, plot, setting and theme resonate with each other
  3. Explain the evidence that you get from the literary texts to support your arguments

As you may know English literature doesn't have any specific answers to the questions because human is unpredictable. Therefore, the most important part for you to be able to get a good mark is by providing relevant evidence/s to back up your answer.

Sounds easy right?

If you are still thinking on  whether to take literature as an elective, read here to find out more where to find The Best SPM English Literature Learning Resources for SPM 2021.

If you are still not confident to do self-revision, you can seek help from any available tuition centre or online tutors. Superprof is one of the best reputable education platforms that have a line of great and experienced literature teachers

Aside from the fact that Superprof is a global online platform, the tutor is able to do physical class too!

What is the best thing besides doing some learning and studying from the comfort of your own couch?

>

The platform that connects tutors and students

First Lesson Free

Enjoyed this article? Leave a rating.

5.00 (1 rating(s))
Loading...

Alia

Alia Jamaludin is known as a passionate environmentalist and animal lover. By being both educator and writer, she can reach out her positive thought to almost every being on this planet.