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English IGCSE students watch bespoke lecture from Marianne Monson

Last week students at BIS HCMC Secondary Campus had a unique opportunity to watch a bespoke lecture from American author and women’s historian, Marianne Monson. The purpose of the lecture was to further prepare students for their upcoming IGCSE English Literature exam, with specific focus on the context of the set text ‘My Antonia’ by Willa Cather. Monson is well placed to discuss this period in history as her recent book Frontier Grit focuses on the lives of remarkable women flourishing on the American frontier.

  • Marianne Monson

Mrs Lanyon Jones, who organized the lecture, commented, ‘I first had the idea for Marianne Monson to speak to our students when I read her excellent book Frontier Grit. I was captivated by the tales which Monson presents of remarkable women overcoming the adversities of the harsh frontier landscape as well as breaking out of the social norms which had previously constrained them. I decided to contact Ms Monson to ask her to speak to our students so that she could share her knowledge and passion about the frontier with them. She produced a fascinating lecture about Cather’s presentation of the frontier, then delivered a question and answer section where she explored the areas of the text our students were most interested in.’

Year 11 clearly enjoyed the lecture and gained valuable insights into the set text. One Year 11 student commented, ‘I really enjoyed the lecture, it taught me about the unique levelling influence which the frontier had on people’s lives. Marianne Monson helped me to see the frontier as an exciting place where anything was possible and I have a new found appreciation for the hardships which the main characters had to endure’.

Gavin Donnelly, Head of English, praised the lecture, ‘Due to our location in Vietnam, students do not frequently have the opportunity to hear academics such as Monson speak. Her expertise, passion and reflections on our set text come at a seminal moment as our Year 11 students make their final preparations for their final exams.’

Ms Lanyon Jones, English Teacher

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