An Approach to ICSE English provides a platform to contribute, discuss and comment on the various issues related to the study and practice of English for the students and teachers of ICSE syllabus. Even with its focussed nature, An Approach to ICSE English will be beneficial to everyone involved in the learning the niceties of the English language.

Monday, 20 July 2015

ICSE 2016 English I Practice Test Two

ICSE 2016 English I Practice Test Two
Question 1
(a) Your friend has recently won a prize. Write a letter to congratulate him on his/her success.
(b) As the Secretary of the SUPW Club of your School you are going to organise a Seminar on  Save water, Save Earth for the students of your city. You want a sponsor and hence decided to write a letter to the Managing Director, Atalntic Enterprises, Pvt Ltd, Hyderabad for sponsorship. Write a letter giving full details of your seminar and request him to kindly sponsor the undertaking.
Question 2
Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow:
Question 3
(a) Fill in the blanks with appropriate words: [5]
1. Richard aims ……becoming a writer. 
2. The Principal assure you ……his help..
3. She is confined ……bed with tonsillitis.
4. The workers takes a different stand ……this issue.
5. The studebts are eligible ……The scholarship.
(b) Rewrite the following sentences according to the instructions given after each of them, Make other changes necessary, but do not change the meaning of the sentence.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

ICSE 2016 English 1 Grammar and Composition Practice Test One

ICSE 2016 English 1 Grammar and Composition Practice Test
Time: One hour                                                                                               Maximum Marks: 25

Question 1
You are interested in doing a short course in ‘Interior Decoration’ during your Dussera holidays. Write a letter to the Director, InsideOut Academy, St. George Street, Pune, enquiring the duration of the course, the terms and conditions for admission or any other details you feel essential.             [10]
Question 2
a) In the following passage, fill in each of the numbered blanks with correct form of the words given in brackets. Do not copy the passage, but write in correct serial order the word or phrase appropriate in the blank space. Example: (0) understand                                                                     [4]
In order to …..0……[understand] Belmont, the reader must be able to contrast it with Venice.  Belmont …..1……[be]full of music, love, riddles, and poetry.  Shakespeare’s lines which …..2……[speak]in Belmont or by key Belmont characters are lyrical.  Likewise, at the end of the play, all of the couples are in Belmont.  They …..3……[leave]Venice or have always …..4…… [live]in Belmont (i.e., Portia).  Finally, Belmont clears up all the problems between the couples or seems …..5……[sweep] away the mundane cares of the world.  Bassanio and Gratiano give up their wives …..6……[entrust] rings in Venice, but it is Belmont where the plot is unknotted, and the men work to …..7…… [gain] their wives' hearts. Moreover, a …..8…… [trouble] Antonio goes to Belmont after the courtroom ordeal, perhaps to escape a city which makes his heart heavy.
b) Fill in the blanks with appropriate words:                                                                                    [5]
(i) The government is worried .......the consequences of the meeting with the rebels.
(ii) The vacuum locks ....... the flavour of its content.
(iii) A true leader is not overwhelmed ......... criticism.
(iv) We should translate our dreams ......... reality.
(v) The Captain is entrusted........ unlimited powers.
(vi) The child was entrusted ....... the care of the matrons.
(vii) There is no meaning in quarrelling ........trifles.
(x) We should stand .......our friends in an hour of crisis.
c) Rewrite the following sentences after making necessary changes as directed or fill in the blank with a suitable word to make it a meaningful sentence.                                               [6]
a) But for his help, he would have perished. [Begin: Had he…]
b) As soon as I reached home, it started raining. [Begin: Hardly…]
c) She is the most arrogant girl in the class. [ Change into positive degree]
d) Nobody will deny that he tried his best. [Begin: Everyone….]
e) Delhi is one of the most populous cities in India. (Use: ‘more’)
f) The magistrate said to the lawyer, “You should submit your evidence now.”
 (Begin with: The magistrate told…….)
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Friday, 15 May 2015

Poetry Study Aid: I Believe: Brucelish Sangma

Poetry Study Aid: I Believe: Brucelish Sangma

Despite its apparent simplicity, the poem I Believe is highly symbolic and deeply philosophical. The fundamental assertion of the poem is the celebration of the countless longings and abilities of man. Man’s aspirations are majestic and boundless and the poet Brucellish Sangma firmly believes that man is endowed with the abilities and competence to fulfill his boundless desires and lofty ideals.  Working hard with determination and purpose, man is capable of accomplishing all that he aspires to.  The poet believes that a human being can soar to unimaginable prominences and overcome numerous barriers to arrive at his or her life’s objective.
The poem has the feel of a Japanese haiku poem, with its three-lined stanzas- each stanza an entity in itself. The six haiku-like stanzas, each stanza consisting only of a single sentence, cumulatively assert the recurring theme of the poem- the infinite capacities of man and his limitless dreams and untold aspirations. The poem is written in a simple style and is in Vers libre - in free verse with no specific rhyme scheme or steady weave of rhythm. The poet recourses to the use of the poetic technique Anaphora by deliberately repeating the phrase ‘I believe’ at the start of each stanza.
Anaphora is a poetic technique in which a word or a phrase is repeated at the beginning of a sequence of sentences, or stanza in a poem.
·       I believe if a pebble is thrown upwards
I can pierce the heavens
And see the angels at play.
The speaker of the poem ‘I believe’, probably the poet Brucellish K Sangma herself, asserts that if she throws a throws a pebble into the sky , she can pierce the sky and have a glimpse of the heavenly heights and see the angels frolic.
On a literal level, the utterance of the poet seems a fantasy; however, what makes the utterance pregnant and significant is the symbolism. The pebble thrown up symbolises the relentless endeavours and persistent efforts directed by man to elevate his life to a lofty stature and to achieve the apparently unattainable objectives. The heaven stands for the seemingly unreachable goals and achievements. With the appropriate attitude coupled with willingness as well as competence and diligence, we are bound to create our world a better place to live in, thereby making not only our life but also the life of our fellow human beings joyful and wonderful. Thus, we can create heaven on earth. The angels symbolises both the great achievers of the worldly world and also the spiritual aspiration of each and every soul in this world.
The poem has different tiers of beingness and significance: in an all-inclusive level, the poem illuminates the abilities and desires of men and women; in a feminist standpoint, the abilities and desires of all women smothered by the outdated social norms and banal cultural traditions; and in a specific viewpoint, the abilities and desires of the tribal women in North East states of India. The ‘I’ of the poem can signify all or any one of these levels. These individuals who strongly wish to liberate themselves from customs and boundaries that stand in the path of their advancement, want to unshackle themselves and soar into the greater heights of human achievements.
·       I believe I can soar to the heights
Touch the silky clouds
And feel the stars.
I believe I can dive
Right into the depths
And swim with the sharks.
The poet believes that she can soar high up to the heights and flavour the delicate fluffiness of the clouds. The heights or the sky stands for the pinnacle of human triumphs and the sensation derived from the fluffiness of the clouds signifies the fulfilment and pleasure of attaining the unattainable. Stars are the congregation of astral figures among men, the ultimate achievers. The poet believes that with resoluteness and consistent efforts she can be one of these astral figures who have achieved celestial stature and brought glory to the human race.
The poet is confident that, like a diver diving into the depths of the sea to forage for the treasures in the depths of the ocean, she can dive deep into the sea of life and immerse herself in the treasured experiences of life. These myriad experiences of life ennoble and enrich the poet and she emerges as a better human being with profound understandings of the intrinsic qualities of life.
The depths stands for the sea of life and the sharks symbolise the challenges of life. The challenge to confront the travails of life and the exhilarating sensation of overcoming them are immense and gratifying.
The poet here uses binary opposites- soar/heights and dive/depths- to bring out the aptitudes and competence of human beings and the limitless potentials of their accomplishment.
·       I believe I can claw into the earth’s belly
Pick up the priceless gems
And adorn myself with them.
I believe I can do many things
Amidst the human angels
Surrounded by the world’s treasures.
The poet furthermore asserts that she has the resolve to claw out the invaluable stones in the earth’s interior and adorn herself with these gems.
Here, metaphorically, the poet affirms that, with dogged determination and firmness of purpose, man can exploit the natural resources on earth for the collective benefit of mankind. Even though clawing connotes a destructive and violent activity, here the poet confirms that the violence is not destructive but constructive and beneficial for the whole of humanity. Man has to resort to violence and destruction at times to bring about the social changes conducive to his evolution and advancement.
Many a man, throughout the ages, has achieved great things by utilising their innate qualities and