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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, 12 October 2009

ICSE English Syllabus 2009

ENGLISH (01)
Aims:
1. To develop and integrate the use of the four
language skills i.e. listening, speaking, reading
and writing.
2. To enhance the ability of the candidates to express
their ideas and feelings in their own words and for
them to understand the use of current English.
3. To provide candidates with exposure to good and
appropriate literature in English.
4. To develop an interest in the appreciation of
literature.
5. To use English effectively and appropriately.

There will be two papers: Paper 1. English Language;
Paper 2. Literature in English.
Each of these papers will be of two hours duration.
Paper 1: English Language (80 Marks)
Internal Assessment (20 Marks)
Paper 2: Literature in English (80 Marks)
Internal Assessment (20 Marks)
PAPER 1 -- ENGLISH LANGUAGE
(Two hours) - 80 marks
Four questions will be set, all of which will be
compulsory.
Question 1: Candidates will be required to write a
composition from a choice of subjects which will test
their ability to: organise, describe, narrate, report,
explain, persuade or argue, present ideas coherently,
compare and contrast ideas and arrive at conclusions,
present relevant arguments and use correct style and
format. The subjects will be varied and may be
suggested by language or by other stimuli such as
pictures. The subjects will be so chosen so as to allow
the candidates to draw on first hand experience or to
stimulate their imagination.
With one subject, a number of suggestions about the
content of the composition will be given, but the use
of the suggestions will be optional and a candidate
will be free to treat the subject in any way that he/she
chooses.
The organisation of subject matter, syntax,
punctuation, correctness of grammatical constructions
and spelling will be expected to be appropriate to the
mode of treatment required by the subject.
Question 2: Candidates will have to write a letter
from a choice of two subjects requiring either a formal
or an informal mode of treatment. Suggestions
regarding the content of the letter may be given. The
layout of the letter with address, introduction,
conclusion, etc., will form part of the assessment.
Candidates will be expected to be familiar with the
use of appropriate salutation, format and style for
letters.
Question 3: An unseen passage of prose of about 500
words will be given. Uncommon items of vocabulary,
or structure will be avoided. One question will be set
to test vocabulary. Candidates will be required to
show that they understand the words/phrases in the
context in which they have been used. A number of
questions requiring short answers will also be asked
on the passage. These questions will test the
candidates’ ability to understand the explicit content
and organisation of the passage and to infer
information, intentions and attitudes from it.
The last question will consist of a summary that will
test the candidates’ ability to distinguish main ideas
from supporting details and to extract salient points to
re-express them in the form of a summary. Candidates
will be given clear indications of what they are to
summarise and of the length of the summary.
Question 4: There will be a number of short answer
questions to test the candidates' knowledge of
functional grammar, structure and usage of the
language. All the items in this question will be
compulsory. They will consist of sentence completion,
multiple choice or other short answer type of
questions.
PAPER 2 -- LITERATURE IN ENGLISH
(Two hours) - 80 marks
Candidates will be required to answer five questions
from at least three of the prescribed textbooks, one of
which must be drama, one prose and one poetry.
Prose and Drama
Questions set will be central to the text. Candidates
will be required to show that they have understood the
passage and are able to clearly give their interpretation
of the questions set, which should be in their own
words and relevant to the text.
Excerpts may be given from the prose and drama texts
leading to questions on the specific book.
12
Poetry
A poem, or passages from poems, will be given and
questions will be set to test the candidates’ response to
the poem. The questions will focus on the content,
understanding and the personal response of
candidates to the poem as a whole.
NOTE: The Class X - ICSE examination paper will
be set on the entire syllabus prescribed for the
subject.
The Class IX internal examination is to be
conducted on the portion of this syllabus that is
covered during the academic year.
The Council has not prescribed bifurcation of the
syllabus for this subject.
Note: For list of prescribed text-books see
Appendix- II.
INTERNAL ASSESSMENT
Paper 1 - English Language
Class IX: A total of three assignments need to be
undertaken, which should include creative writing and
aural assignments.
Class X: A total of two assignments need to be
undertaken, which should include a piece of creative
writing and an oral assignment.
Creative Writing (IX & X) – The assignments
should be of approximately 300 to 400 words each.
Aural and Oral (IX / X) – Assignments should be of
reasonable length/ duration which is to be decided by
the teacher.
Paper 2 - Literature in English
Class IX: Two or three assignments of approximately
300 to 400 words each.
Class X: Two or three assignments of reasonable
length (not exceeding 1500 words in total).
SUGGESTED ASSIGNMENTS
Paper 1 - English Language
Class IX: Creative Writing: Students are to write
short compositions, the stimuli being: i) a piece of
recorded music; ii) a recorded series of sound; iii) a
picture/photograph; iv) an opening sentence or phrase;
v) a newspaper/magazine clipping or report; one piece
of factual writing which should be informative or
argumentative; one piece of expressive writing which
is descriptive and imaginative; preparation of
film/book review.
Aural: Listening to a conversation/talk/reading of a
short passage and then writing down the relevant or
main points in the specified number of words and
answering the given questions.
Class X: Oral: Prepared speech/declamation;
impromptu speech/debate/discussion; report/interview;
elocution; role-play / general conversation on selected
topics.
Creative Writing: Students are to write short
compositions, the stimuli being: i) a piece of recorded
music; ii) a recorded series of sound; iii) a
picture/photograph; iv) an opening sentence or phrase;
v) a newspaper/magazine clipping or report; one piece
of factual writing which should be informative or
argumentative; one piece of expressive writing which
is descriptive and imaginative; preparation of
film/book review.
It is also suggested that students be made aware of
contemporary forms of written communication, such
as fax, memo, etc.
Paper 2 – Literature in English- Classes IX and X
Assignments should be based on the prescribed
textbooks on the following lines:
(i) Character/thematic analysis;
(ii) Socio-economic, cultural, historical relevance /
background;
(iii) Summary / paraphrase.
The texts selected for Class IX for Internal
Assessment would be different from those selected for
Class X.
EVALUATION
The assignments/project work are to be evaluated by
the subject teacher and by an external examiner.
(The External Examiner may be a teacher nominated
by the Principal, who could be from the faculty, but
not teaching the subject in the section/class. For
example, a teacher of English of Class VIII may be
deputed to be an External Examiner for Class X,
English projects.)
The Internal Examiner and the External Examiner will
assess the assignments independently.
Award of marks (20 Marks)
Subject Teacher (Internal Examiner) 10 marks
External Examiner 10 marks
The total marks obtained out of 20 are to be sent to the
Council by the Principal of the school.
The Head of the school will be responsible for the
entry of marks on the mark sheets provided by the
Council.
13
INTERNAL ASSESSMENT IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE - GUIDELINES FOR MARKING WITH GRADES-CREATIVE WRITING
(CLASSES IX & X)
Grade Content/Analysis of Idea,
Thought/ Feeling.
Expression/ Effective
Expression of Idea
Structure/ Organisation of
Material
Vocabulary/ Use of
Words, Phrases
Originality/
Imaginative/
Innovative
Marks
I The candidate analyses the ideas,
feelings and experiences
effectively. Reasoning is logical
and effective.
The candidate expresses
the ideas, thoughts and
feelings effectively.
The work is very well
structured with a sense of
beginning, middle and
conclusion, paragraphing
and appropriate sentence
structured.
The use of vocabulary
exhibits a high level of
competence in handling
language.
The work is
imaginative
interesting and
engrossing.
4
II The candidate analyses the ideas,
feelings and experiences with well
defined explanations, reasoning is
logical and persuasive.
The candidate expresses
the ideas thoughts and
feelings well and with
clarity.
The work is very well
structured with some sense
of conclusion and of
paragraph lengths.
The vocabulary exhibits
competence of word
usage; correctness of
grammar and spelling.
The candidate's
work is quite
interesting and
engrossing.
3
III The candidate analyses the idea,
feelings and experiences with a
fair degree of detail and
explanation. Reasoning is fairly
logical and persuasive.
The candidate expresses
the ideas, thoughts and
feelings fairly well and
with a fair degree of
clarity.
The work is fairly well
structured;
candidate follows simple
paragraphing .
The candidate uses
straightforward
vocabulary and fairly
good pattern of spellings.
The candidate
demonstrates the
ability to sustain the
interest of the
reader.
2
IV The candidate attempts to analyze
ideas, feelings and experiences
with simple explanation and detail.
Reasoning and arguments are not
very convincing.
The candidate expresses
the idea, thoughts and
feelings intelligibly and
in simple language.
The work shows some
understanding of
paragraphing and structure.
The candidate's
vocabulary is limited and
the spelling, punctuation
and grammar is
sometimes poor.
The candidate is, to
some extent, able to
sustain the interest
of the reader.
1
V The candidate attempts a basic
analysis of ideas, feelings and
experiences with few simple
explanations and few details. Is
unable to present proper
arguments.
The candidate is unable
to expresses the ideas,
thoughts and feelings,
uses simple language and
work is not very
intelligible.
The candidate does not
display an understanding of
structure, paragraphing.
There is consistent
weakness in spelling,
punctuation and
grammar.
The candidate is
unable to sustain the
interest of the
reader.
0
14
INTERNAL ASSESSMENT IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE-GUIDELINES FOR MARKING WITH GRADES - AURAL ASSIGNMENT
(CLASS IX)
Grade Understanding/ Comprehension
Main Idea, Central Theme
Recall Vocabulary Context/ Correlation to Other
Areas
Marks
I The candidate accurately
understands the central idea of the
passage as well as the relevant
points in the selected passage/
talk.
The candidate recalls all the
important points made (written/
verbal).
The candidate uses appropriate
and correct vocabulary while
recalling the points made.
The candidate clearly understands
the context and can widely
correlate the passage to the other
areas.
3
II The candidate gives ideas fairly
close to the central / main idea of
the passage as well as understand
some of the relevant points heard
in the selected passage/ talk.
The candidate recalls some of the
important points made (written/
verbal).
The candidate uses correct but
simple vocabulary while recalling
the points made.
The candidate can moderately
understand the context of the
passage and can moderately
correlate the passage to the other
areas.
2
III The candidate cannot fully
comprehend the passage and
gives only a few ideas related to
the central theme of the passage.
The candidate recalls very few of
the important points made
(written/verbal).
The candidate makes various
errors in vocabulary while
recalling the points made.
The candidate can only faintly
understand the context of the
passage and relate it to the other
areas.
1
IV The candidate is neither able to
understand the central/main idea
of the passage; nor able to
understand relevant points heard
in the passage/talk.
The candidate is unable to recall
the important points made
(written/verbal)
The candidate uses incorrect
vocabulary while recalling the
points made.
The candidate is unable to
understand the context of the
passage and is unable to correlate
the passage to the other areas.
0
15
INTERNAL ASSESSMENT IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE - GUIDELINES FOR MARKING WITH GRADES - ORAL ASSIGNMENT
(CLASS X)
Grade Fluency of Language Subject Matter Organization Vocabulary/
Delivery
Understanding Gesture Marks
I Speaks with fluency and
has full operational
command over the
language.
Matter is relevant,
rich in content and
original.
Content is well
sequenced and well
organized.
Uses appropriate
vocabulary and
pronounces words
correctly.
While speaking, the
candidate emphasizes
the important points.
Uses natural and
spontaneous
gestures that are
not out of place.
3
II The candidate speaks
with fairly good fluency
and has reasonable
operational command of
the language.
The subject matter
is mostly relevant,
consisting of a few
original ideas.
The content is
satisfactorily
sequenced and well
organized.
The candidate
pronounces most
words correctly and
uses simple
vocabulary.
While speaking the
candidate emphasizes
most important points.
Uses some natural
gestures.
2
III The candidate speaks
with poor fluency and
does not communicate
except for the most basic
information.
The subject matter
is irrelevant and
lacks originality.
The subject content is
very poor and lacks
organisational
structure.
The candidate
pronounces many
words incorrectly and
uses inappropriate
vocabulary.
While speaking, the
candidate emphasizes
some important points.
Uses very few
natural gestures.
1
IV The candidate cannot
communicate even the
most basic information.
The subject matter
is negligible.
The subject content
comprises of mere
words with no
structured sentences.
The candidate is
unable to correctly
pronounce most words
and has a limited
vocabulary.
While speaking, the
candidate is unable to
emphasize important
points.
Uses no natural
gestures.
0
16
INTERNAL ASSESSMENT IN ENGLISH LITERATURE -GUIDELINES FOR MARKING WITH GRADES (CLASSES IX & X)
Grade Understanding of Text
(Narrative)
Examples from Text Understanding of text-
Interpretation and
Evaluation
Appreciation of
Language,
Characterization
Critical Appreciation -
Personal Response
Marks
I The candidate
demonstrates expertise in
giving an appropriate
account of the text, with
well-chosen reference to
narrative and situation.
The account is suitably
supported by relevant
examples from the text.
The candidate understands
the text with due emphasis
on interpretation and
evaluation.
The candidate appreciates
and evaluates significant
ways (structure, character,
imagery) in which writers
have achieved their
effects.
The candidate is able to
effectively reflect
personal response (critical
appreciation) to the text.
4
II The candidate
demonstrates a high level
of competence in giving
an account of the text,
with appropriate
references to the narrative
and situation.
The account is supported
by examples from the text.
The candidate understands
text with some emphasis
on interpretation and
evaluation.
The candidate appreciates
and evaluates significant
ways in which writers
have achieved their
effects.
The candidate is able to
reflect a personal response
to the text.
3
III The candidate
demonstrates competence
in giving an account of the
text with some reference
to the narrative and
situation.
The candidate understands
the text and shows a basic
recognition of the theme
and can support it by a
few examples.
The candidate recognizes
some aspects of the text
used by authors to present
ideas.
The candidate recognizes
some of the significant
ways in which the writers
have used the language.
The candidate is able to
communicate a personal
response, which shows
appreciation.
2
IV The candidate gives a
broad account of the text
with reference to the
narrative and situation.
The candidate understands
the basic meaning of the
text.
The candidate relates the
text to other texts studied.
The candidate recognizes
differences in the way
authors write.
The candidate
communicates a
straightforward personal
response to the text.
1
V The candidate is unable to
demonstrate an
understanding of the basic
events in the text.
The candidate is unable to
understand the text or
support it with any
examples.
The candidate is unable to
relate the text to the other
texts studied.
The candidate is unable to
recognize the differences
in the way authors write.
The candidate is unable to
give a personal view of
the text studied.
0

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