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.
Tuesday, 2 March 2010
English Paper I
Answer to this Paper must be written on the paper provided separately.
You will not be allowed to write during the first 15 minutes.
This time is to be spent in reading the question paper.
Attempt all four questions
The intended marks for the questions or parts of questions are given in bracket [ ].
You are advised to spend not more than 35 minutes in answering Question 1
(Do not spend more than 35 minutes on this question)
Write a composition of [350-400 words] on any ONE of the following: 
a. Would you choose to travel by bus or by train for a long overnight journey? Give reasons for your choice.
b. What are the most sought after College Courses today? Why are they so?
c. Imagine that a rich uncle gave you thousand rupees and the freedom to spend it on any three things of your choice. What would you spend it on? Give your reasons.
d. Write a short story with the theme The hand that rocks the cradle, rocks the world.
e. Study the cartoon below and write a story taking suggestions from it. There should be a clear connection between the cartoon and the story.
Select any one of the following
Write a letter in about 150 words. Make sure your letter has the correct format and details. Select one of the following. (Do not spend more than 20 minutes on this question) 
1) Write a letter to your mother/father/guardian telling that you have forgotten to bring the computer application text to the vacation classes and requesting to bring the book, which you have left at home earliest.
2) Write a letter to a manager of mobile work shop complaining about unsatisfactory repairs carried out on your car and asking him to rectify the same.
Read the passage given below and answer the questions a, b, and c that follow:
In China, there is a bride- price, not a dowry. Though the newspapers inveigh against this, it is a fact of life for a boy in China and his family. In some cases the parents of the girl make enormous and unreasonable demands on the boys for furniture, clothes and all kinds of fancy apparatus-radio, TV, watches, bicycle, a sewing machine. In one case, Nanjing University student stole a thousand yuan from an old couple in order to fulfill his little girl friend’s demands, and, when caught, killed himself. In the area where I did my research [three villages in Jiangsu] one of the larger items of annual expenditure for any family with sons was building materials. These are bought year after year from the boy is about twelve years old, a few logs one year, some bricks sold cheaply by the local kiln the next, tiles, cement, iron bars for windows and so on. It is almost impossible for a boy in this rural area to get married unless he has a place of his own to live in.
One of the teachers from Liaoning, an untiring young man of twenty-three, insists on speaking in English with me. This is something that happens ad nauseum on the Nanjing streets whenever foreigners are spotted. No place is safe, no privacy respected by the worst of these ‘language rapists’, who are interested in you for your language. You may be sitting on the balcony of the Drum Tower, sipping tea, watching the sunset, red and smoky, over the roofs of the city; you may buying onions in the crowded market and trying to prevent yourself and your purchases from being crushed by your fellow customers; you may be standing in a bus, or at a bus stop or at a counter in the post office; nowhere you are safe from the machinations of the language rapist. He will smile at you determinedly, and begin a conversation – “hello. Do you speak English? So do I. What country are you from?” The first few times this is attractive, but quickly palls. It becomes increasingly apparent that he is not interested in you. You are a punch bag for language practice.
It is difficult therefore to avoid an immediate sense irritation, almost a reflex rudeness. But the circumstances that have encouraged this behaviour should in fact arouse sympathy: many people- students, workers, government servants- are anxious [and sometimes compelled] to learn English, but the opportunities for speaking English are almost non-existent. True, there are Chinese Radio and Voice of America and BBC programmes that teach the language, but this is not practice in conversation. True, there a growing number of English teachers in Chinese Universities and other institutions, some of whom are shamefully overworked by their departments and their own sense of duty or enthusiasm. But only a miniscule proportion of language learners can get them; and even they do not have much time left after the wearying hours of teaching and correction. Small wonder, then, that some students of English batten onto any foreigner they see in the streets.
a. Three words or phrases from the passage are given below. Give the meaning of each as used in the passage. One-word answers or short phrases will be accepted. Two answers for the same question will not be accepted. 
2. reflex rudeness
b. Answer the following questions in your own words. 
i. What illustration has been given to support that demands on a young man in China for an enormous bride price are unreasonable?
ii. Suggest a reason why the young man of twenty-three has been said to be ‘ untiring’? What does this adjective reveal to us about the writer?
iii. Explain; “ You are merely a punch bag for language practice.’
iv. In what way does the average foreigner react to these language rapists? Do you think that such a reaction is justifiable, from the foreigner’s point of you?
v. What attitude does the writer desire the foreigner to adopt towards the English-practicing behaviour of the Chinese? Why?
c) Describe in about 80 words the English learning situation in China, as the writer portrays ii in this passage. 
d) Give a suitable title to your summary. Give reason for the choice of the title. 
a. Rewrite the following sentences correctly according to the instructions given after each. Make other changes necessary without changing the meaning of any sentence. 
1. “You would better see the doctor, Judy,” Mark said. (Begin: Mark suggested….)
2. Usha plays tennis better than Kiran. (Begin: Kiran ……)
3. He is said to have been in the Indian Army. (Begin: People …)
4. I started work in the office a year ago. (Begin: I have been ……)
5. You remembered to sign the contract. ( use a question tag)
6. As soon as he heard the news, he rushed to the hospital. (Change into a negative sentence)
7. The farmer said, “Let me have a good harvest.” (Change the narration)
8. Rita didn’t apply for the job and she regrets it now. (Begin: Rita wishes ….)
9. My friend is a good cricket player. He is also a good long distance runner. [Use: Besides….]
10. Who can forget the achievements of the freedom fighters? [Change into an assertive sentence.]
b) Fill in each blank with the word which is appropriate. 
1. The wife stood ……….. him all the time.
2. True happiness consists ………. Contentment.
3. This river abounds ………. Fish.
4. The old man was acquitted ………… the charge of murder.
5. Our ship is bound ……….. Singapore.
6. They will fight ………… the last man.
7. That portrait is true ………. Life.
8. He always failed ………. want of help.
9. It is better not to interfere ….. his affairs.
10. The Principal presided ….. the meeting.
c) In the following passage fill in each of the numbered blanks with the correct form of the word given in brackets. Example: 0 = pay 
City dwellers --0--- dearly for the doubtful privilege of living in a city. They pay -----1----(exorbitant) for accommodation which is frequently inferior to that to be -----2----(find) cheaply in rural areas, they spend huge sums on food which they -----3----(can) have -----4----(grow) for themselves in a village or rural ‘town’ and they waste that little is left on expensive entertainments, which they -----5----(will) have no need for in a rural area. In addition to the -----6----(finance) cost, they also pay -----7---(dear) in terms of physical and mental health as their bodies and minds are -----8----(threat) daily in pollution, accidents, robbery, violence and the disease caused by -----9----(overcrowd) in unsanitary areas. In the rural areas such risks are not part of the cost of -----10----(day) life.
An Approach to ICSE English Gopakumar Menon