Friday, 18 July 2014

Independent Learning Log

4:00pm - 4:30pm

Title of Article: Case Study - Somali Pirates

Summary: In the so-called "failed" state of Somalia, where poverty is widespread and situations are dire, many fishermen and locals have since turned to piracy. Piracy, the alternative financial institution of Somalia, pays well, as each pirate receives a whopping $30000 to $75000, a far cry from the meagre $600 fishermen earn on average. The men's wives are even given compensation whenever the men go on missions. Furthermore, in this apparently lawless trade, there are rules and codes of conduct set up such that no hostages are to be harmed and rape carries a death sentence. Local Somali communities benefit from these illegal activities as well, providing many kinds of services to the pirates in exchange for loot and ransom money. It is no wonder that many say piracy has done more for Somalia than the government could ever have.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Independent Learning Log

Public Trust

In the recent years, there have been growing doubts about the reliability of businesses as well as the media. With national institutions repeatedly failing to close the gap between performance and expectation, there has been a downturn in trust shown by the public. The revelation that Singapore has come in lower than China on the 2014 Edelman Trust Barometer which measures domestic trust in business to do the right thing is shocking. However, the state of trust in Singapore still remains comparatively high.


Time Magazine, The End of Iraq

Article: Twilight of the Hunter

Although majority of people think that poaching of polar bears are cruel and unscrupulous, many do not realise the rationale of the people who do so. The community of Inuit in Northern Canada face severe poverty, and as a last form of survival, they hunt down these polar bears, as they have poor economic statuses. Instead of shutting down poaching all together, they should invent a way to both save the polar bears, and help the poachers.

Shaun Neo (22)


Time Magazine, The End of Iraq

Article: Twilight of the Hunter

In Northern Canada, Inuit hunt polar bears for a living not because they like to, but because they are living in extreme poverty. Hunting polar bears became their only way to make a living as the pelt and meat of polar bears can fetch them a hefty sum of money. 
However, many can agree that such constant poaching of polar bears is not good, since polar bears are known of their endangerment. 

ILL Valence Leung

Time Magazine, The End of Iraq

Article: Twilight of the Hunter

Summary: People may think that the poaching of polar bears is unethical and very cruel, along with the fact that polar bears are endangered. However, many do not realize that for some people, it is a necessity to do so. A community of Inuit in Northern Canada grapple with extreme poverty, substance abuse and a legacy of mistreatment from the Canadian government. In order to survive, they have taken to hunting down polar bears, as they feel that it is their last sources of subsistence. There are social economic factors that force them to continue hunting the endangered animals. It is however not right to let the Inuit protect the bears as they need a form of survival. Many blame them, without listening to their side. Justice is endangered in the Arctic.

English ILL Valence Leung

8:00pm - 8:30pm


What I did:

I researched about literary terms.

What I learned:

Literary terms are describing words for forms of writing. It is the typical structures of writing that is used to convey meanings simply. When used properly, can evoke appreciation of literature.

Common literary elements include plot, setting, protagonist, antagonist, narrator, narrative method, dialogue, modd, theme etc.

Common literary techniques include personification, hyperbole, imagery, similes, metaphors, irony, alliteration, allegory, etc.

An example would be: 
Irony: the use of words where the intended meaning is the opposite of what was expressed.

~The bread is so soft i could pass as a brick.

~How nice of you to break my phone!

A glossary of literary terms can be found here:

Independent Learning Log (Gabriel Leong)

1:10pm - 1:40pm


What I did:

In line with the task set for us, I did some research on literary terms(otherwise known as literary devices or literary techniques) and other related topics.

What I learned:

Literary terms include personification, similes, hyperboles, etc. They are used to describe forms of writing. For example, the definition of "personification" is "the attribution of a personal nature or human characteristics to something non-human, or the representation of an abstract quality in human form". Many professional authors use personification and many other literary devices in their writings. An example of personification may be "The wind howled through the trees." This is due to the fact that the wind is not a living thing and is non-human but has been described using the word "howling", a sound that a human or wolf may make. Thus, the wind has a human characteristic or is an example of personification.


ILL - Ain

Article Title: Promising Uncertainty
Summary: The summary of this article was about how people in the world have made promises to their friends or family members, in which they question whether they can fulfil these promises that they have made. Promises are made and some promises have helped nurture people to be better leaders for their peers. However, what matters is whether people have achieved something from what they have done than keeping up to a promise half-heartedly.

ILL 16/7/2014- Kang Zhi

To what extent is it possible to make the punishment fit the crime?

There are two sides to this argument. There are many that argue that the criminal should be punished according to the seriousness of the crime commitment to be fair to everybody. However there are others that argue otherwise that there may not be an absolute match between the scale of the punishment and the cost to society. Also, no judicature functions perfectly and the guilty sometimes go free while the innocent gets punished, making it seemingly impossible to balance punishment with the crime committed.

Somali Pirates - Ikmal Hakeem ILL

Somali pirates are considered to be more successful than the government in Somalia. They have established a better economy (though through illegal means) and have also established their own laws as well as their own police force, making them a more efficient governing system than the one in Somalia.

Independent Learning Log

Article name:

Discuss the claim that in the modern world, people should care more about international than national issues. (Article will be based on "Should".)


People should be concerned more about international then national issues as modernisation has deeply eroded national boundaries, rendering the distinction between domestic and international affairs, making it difficult to define. Additionally, many of issues are only manageable through international cooperation.

ILL (Flight of the Children)

  There has been an increase in unaccompanied children fleeing from Central America to the US. Many children say that criminal violence is their reason for leaving. It is believed that drug cartels are selling false tales of citizenship to the youths, who come from countries affected by violence by organized gangs. Three military bases have been opened to house the children, who are arriving in numbers so great that shelters are overwhelmed.

Somali pirates - Marco Ajay Gerard Obé ILL

Pirates in Somalia developed as a militia effort to deter foreign overfishing in their waters. This graduated to piracy after the lucrative benefits of piracy were discovered and resentment of foreign fishing reached a breaking point. The institution is almost formalised and more or less sustains what remains of the state's economy in stolen goods and ransom, with captives speaking of little abuse and polite treatment. Codes of conduct and a rank system regulate the pirates, a quasi-military force. Wives of pirates are compensated, rape holds a death penalty and income is fair to a man's work, similar to 18th-century pirate articles of conduct. For non-pirates,  maintainance and servicing of the 'industry', such as account management, ship repair, and even professional negotiators for hostage situations and is a source of employment for many, arguably doing more for the people than the state's efforts, placing world governments and the local government in the predicament of economy vs. morality and the guilt many nations bear for being responsible for the overfishing in the first place.

Independent Learning Log

Broader Perspective, The Essay Issue

Article : To What Extent is it Possible "To Make the Punishment Fit the Crime"?

Summary :

In this article, there is a discussion on the value of justice and the eternal debate of what can be considered "just" and "fair". While some might argue that punishment that has been meted out should correspond with the severity of the crime that has been perpetrated, this would be a difficult matter to consider. The notion of fairness and justice is perceived differently among individuals. The law can be considered both just and unfair to different perceptions. The sentence for adultery varies with the different continents and judicatures. While it sounds good in theory, an achievement of perfect equilibrium between the punishment and crime committed is still a distant hope for Man.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Thursday (10 July 2014) Oral Practice Lesson at LO1

Please bring: 
LD- Shared Google Docs
Rubrics Handouts

1) Group yourselves in 3s according to your seating arrangement.

2) Identify yourselves as #1, #2 and #3 (Candidate, Examiner 1 and Examiner 2 on a rotation basis)

3) Reading Passage and Picture #1 will be given to all candidates and examiners. 10 minutes preparation time will be given to all students.

4) Examiners 1 and 2 will grade and comment on the candidate's performance based on the rubrics.

Repeat the above steps for the next two candidates.

RHD English Oral Presentation (Meredith)

Dear Mrs Jang, I have emailed the audio recording to you as Blogger does not allow us to post voice recordings. 

Thank you!

Friday, 4 July 2014

RHD Project- English Oral Presentation

Each student to produce a 1-minute podcast (Spoken Interaction component) based on the following question:

Social Media is the greatest threat to racial harmony in Singapore. Do you agree?

Date of Submission: Wednesday (9 July 2014)
Marks: 20
Assessment Criteria: Personal Response, Clarity in Expression, PACC (Refer to rubrics)