I find students typically respond best to an lesson-style that closely mirrors Oxbridge-style supervisions, which might be called diagnostic; a written homework task provides not only useful opportunity for correcting rather specific details of style, grammar and dialectic --thus developing the corresponding skill of self-criticism -- but also serves as a springboard for explorations into the history, context, literary techniques and critical response of the work, or works at hand. I hope to help the student move beyond the set-texts, authors, or plays; not only because this would of itself be interesting, helping to develop the enthusiasm that is certainly the most vital ingredient for success in exams, but because being acquainted with the broader literary/cultural context that a work is situated greatly deepens one’s understanding of it. Moving beyond the set-texts needn’t be very time-consuming; often a few short articles, a chapter of a book, a poem or a play can dramatically broaden one’s perspective. Together with acquiring knowledge of historical context, the chief aims of my lessons will also be to help the student develop their ability to analyze texts.

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