Sunday, 31 July 2016

Section D of the English A 2018 Exam

(Suggested time:  45 minutes)  
You MUST answer this question.  
Your answer should be approximately 250 to 300 words in length.  
You MUST write in Standard English.  

Write your answer on the RULED PAGES provided, pages 20-21.  You are expected to write within the word limit.  

In your answer you will be assessed on the  

(a) clarity, organization and development of your argument 
(c) correctness of grammar, sentences, paragraphs, vocabulary, spelling and punctuation.   

5.  You are a member of a school board that is considering reforms.  One of the suggestions is that all schools should make provisions for students who have disabilities of any kind. 

Write the speech you would make to the board, giving your views on the statement.    
                                                                                                                                        (25 marks) 

Friday, 29 July 2016

Section C of the English A Paper 2 2018 Exam

(Suggested time:  45 minutes)  
You MUST answer ONE question from this section.  
Your answer should be approximately 400 to 450 words in length.  
You MUST write in Standard English.  However, dialect may be used in conversation. 
Write your answer on the RULED PAGES provided, pages 13 - 16.  You are expected to write within the word limit.  

In your answer, you will be assessed on how well you  

(a) used the stimulus provided 
(b) developed and organized the content of your writing
(c) used language appropriate to your audience, purpose and content 
(d) used appropriate grammar, sentence structure, paragraphs, vocabulary, spelling  and punctuation.  



3. Write a story based on the picture below.   

                                                                                                                                (25 marks)

4. She held her son close by her side as she walked quickly along the narrow road.  This was the moment.    

Write a story which includes these words. 
(25 marks)   

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

CSEC English A Section B Question 2 – Sample Letter

No 67 Happy View,
St James.

October 12, 2014

The Manager,
The Fair Trade Commission,
Green Hill,

Dear Sir/Madam,

I write to complain against Best Line Supermarkets from which I purchased a box of cereal on October 10, 2014.  I have two areas of concern: the treatment I received, and the quality of the product.

The item was on sale and I paid $8.45 for it.  On arrival home I realized that the product had expired since September.  I returned the package, with the bill, and was directed to speak with the supervisor.  He simply said that it was my duty to check any product I wanted to buy.

I went to the manager, explained the issue and expressed my disappointment.  I also requested a refund but he too told me that I should have checked the date before making the purchase.  In addition, he said that their policy is no exchange or refund on sale items.  He promised to speak to his colleague, then he dismissed me and went to the telephone.  I believe this treatment is unjust and would like you to intervene to rectify this matter.

Yours sincerely,

Hadia Rogers

Monday, 25 July 2016

Section B of the 2018 English A Paper 2 Exam

(Suggested time: 35 minutes)  

You MUST answer this question.
Write your answer on the RULED PAGES provided, pages 8 and 9.  There may be more space than you need.

2. Study the situation presented below and then answer the question that follows.

You purchased an item from a supermarket.  On arrival home you noticed that the expiry date had passed. You attempted to return the item but you were told that it was on sale and the manager refused to give you a refund or replacement.

Write a letter to a consumer protection group or the editor of a newspaper in which you complain about the quality of the product and treatment which you received.

Your answer will be assessed on how well you

 formatted your letter
 selected relevant and complete information
 organized and expressed the information in your letter
 used appropriate grammar, sentence structure, vocabulary, spelling and punctuation.

Your letter MUST be in continuous prose.

Make sure to include all the details that would help in highlighting the matter.  Your letter should include:

 Details of the complaint, for example:

              - Date and time of purchase
              - Cost of the item
              - Specific condition of the item
              - Response of staff

Total 30 marks 


Friday, 22 July 2016

Summary: Tattoos Model Answer


 Tattoos are permanent markings which have been around from the beginning of civilization.
 They were brought to the Caribbean from Africa, China and India, but the Amerindians wore them even before.
 They were used by people in the Caribbean for religious, ethnic and cultural purposes
 Over the years they came to be personal expressions identified with rebellion and deviance.
 Attitudes have changed towards tattoos and today they have become acceptable as marks of uniqueness and difference.
     (5 marks)  


        From the beginning of civilization tattoos and other body markings have been marks of identification, spiritual protection and decoration.
       Tattoos are permanent markings which vary greatly and can be personally very revealing.  A tattoo is an instant of your life etched forever on you for the world to see.
       Tattoos and other body markings were characteristic of the Amerindians of the Caribbean as well as of the Africans, Chinese and Indians who came there.  For all these people they had cultural, spiritual and ethnic significance.
       Over the centuries tattoos and other body markings have changed back and forth from group significance to individual significance, presenting a daily image of difference and uniqueness.
                                                                                                                                               (20 marks) 

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Section A of the 2018 CSEC English A Exam

(Suggested time: 40 minutes)  
You MUST answer this question.  

Write your answer on the RULED PAGES provided, pages 4 and 5.  There may be more space than you need.  

1. Read the following article on tattoos carefully and list FIVE MAIN points discussed, then write a summary of the article in NOT MORE THAN 120 words.  If this limit is exceeded, only the first 120 words of your answer will be read and assessed.   

As far as possible, use your own words.  Your summary must be in continuous prose.  You may use your answer booklet to jot down a plan.  In your answer, you will be assessed on how well you: 

(a) identified the main ideas and opinions in the extract
(b) organized and expressed these ideas and opinions in your own words 
(c) used appropriate grammar, sentence structure, vocabulary, spelling and punctuation.  


        Since the beginning of civilization, they have served as marks of identification, spiritual protection and decoration. Now at the cusp of another millennium, tattoos and other varieties of body markings are resurfacing as a popular form of individual self-expression.  
      Tattoos are timeless and can be as unique as the bearers they adorn. They don't fade away like favourite T-shirts, or get lost or broken like school rings. They stay with you forever, until death. They become a part of you from the day you sit in the artist's chair, etching your emotions alongside the needle's sting, transforming an instant of your life into a symbol for the world to see.  
     Tattoos and other body markings arrived in the Caribbean with African slaves and indentured workers from China and India. They were sometimes the only permanent keepsakes of peoples snatched from their ancestral places. The Caribbean's original Amerindian inhabitants also used tattoos to mark spiritual milestones. The Taino of the Northern Caribbean Islands, for instance, used vegetable dyes to affix images of their guardians onto their skin. These images also indicated an individual's lineage, or his or her social position. Each tattoo was both a personal history book and a mark of belonging.  
    Over the centuries, however, tattoos and other forms of bodily adornment have mutated, exchanging religious and cultural significance for individualist associations. Sometimes that mark of individuality has been confused with rebellion and non-conformity, often alluding to a stain of bad character. Tattoo-wearers have seemed wild, dangerous, even just plain bad.  
     But today, tattoos have come full circle. Celebrities, writers, lawyers, housewives, all proudly display their marks of rebellion. An entirely new perception of the art of tattooing has arisen, which is more than just a preoccupation with style. This rediscovered form of expression has spawned an entire subculture of individuals among us. They carry this common bond of distinction through their daily routines. Via the images on their forearms, shoulders, ankles, or torsos, they connect to each other, announcing to the world that it is OK to be unique and different.  

Adapted from "Pictures made flesh". Caribbean Beat, July/August 2003.  
                                                                                                              Total 25 marks  

Monday, 18 July 2016

Descriptive Writing Notes

Description presents a verbal portrait of something concrete like a person, place, or thing; or something abstract such as an emotion or quality to make a point.

Description is not merely a catalogue of facts or a collection of ornaments; like all expository writing, it must make a point or have a purpose.

Specific and vivid details make readers experience the subject, and arranging those details logically helps a reader understand why the subject is interesting and significant.

Good description requires:

Imagery – refers to appealing to the readers’ senses (sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch) to actively involve them in the experience. Selection of details is vital to the effect of the mind picture.

Impressions and observations are arranged in an appropriate pattern designed to capture both detail and wholeness. The writer should strive to use lively language which engages the reader intellectually, emotionally, and where appropriate physically!

Dominant Impression – refers to the overall effect of the piece of writing. Successful impressionistic description focuses on a single dominant impression. From the many details available, the writer selects those which will help to create a mood, atmosphere, reaction; or to emphasise a feature or quality. The amount, type, and word choice of details should be relevant to one’s purpose and audience. Like narration, descriptive writing uses pace to add to or heighten impression.

Position – refers to a chosen slant appropriate to the purpose. Objective positions uses description which is purely factual, uncoloured by any feelings of the writer (e.g. business reports, scientific papers.) Impressionistic or subjective description tinges the factual with the writer’s personal impressions; instead of describing how something is the writer describes how it seems.

Order – refers to the placement and arrangement of information. In description, the writer has more freedom in structure than in other types of exposition, but there must still be some logical orderliness for the sake of readability and effect. Both objective and impressionistic description should be realistic in appropriate degree to achieve its purpose. Visual description is usually spatial. That is presenting the details as the eye would find them on a horizontal plane, vertical plane or in relative distance.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Write a Sequence Paragraph based on Pictures

With the help of the pictures above, describe the procedures you follow during a fire drill.

Friday, 15 July 2016

Write a Short Story based on Pictures

Instructions: Examine the picture below and write a short story based on the pictures below in not less than 250 words.

NB: You can change the word limit.

Monday, 11 July 2016

Alternative to English A School-Based Assessment (SBA) 2018-2025 Outlined

Paper 032,  Alternative to School-Based Assessment (SBA) – The exam is 2 hours  and it is 21% of Total Assessment

Private candidates are required to write Paper 032, an Alternative Paper to the SBA.

The Alternative Paper will assess the candidate’s acquisition of skills in the same areas of the syllabus identified for the SBA.

This paper will consist of a guided critique of three pieces of stimulus material:   

1. An excerpt from a recent newspaper article on a topical issue;
2. A cartoon strip or lyrics to a  song on the same topical issue;
3. A poem, short story, public speech (extract) on the same issue.

Candidates will answer three compulsory questions.

Two questions will require short answer responses and one question will require the creation of an imaginative piece in response to the theme selected.

Marks will be awarded for content, organization, effective use of language, voice or style; and  word choice.  

1. Candidates will be required to respond to questions on:

(a) issues raised in the stimulus;
(b) possible impact on the intended audience;
(c) language techniques used.

2. Candidates will be required to respond to questions about oral presentations. Candidates must research and be aware of the characteristic features of oral presentations.

3.  Candidates will select ONE of the issues/situations raised in the stimulus and create a personal response to it.

The response can take the form of drama, poetry, prose, lyrics to a song (a satisfactory response should be no more than 2 pages in length).


Saturday, 9 July 2016


 Paper 031,  School-Based Assessment –  (SBA – 21% of Total Assessment)  

One  SBA will be required to complete both aspects of the English Syllabus: English A and English B. 

A student who does English A only OR English B only OR English A and B will be required to submit ONLY one SBA.  The SBA will be credited for both English A and B. 

The SBA is expected to be done by each student working as an individual, and as a member of a small group approved by the teacher where:   

1. individual refers to each student, who has responsibility for his/her own portfolio;   

2. group refers to 4 – 5 students sharing a general topic, who work together to discuss and solve problems, explain ideas, learn from peers, improve oral skills, and practise social skills and leadership roles.    

The marks assigned to a student will consist of:   

1. his/her individual mark (Plan of Investigation, Oral Presentation, Reflection, Participation Measure);   

2. the mark assigned to the group ( Quality of Group Behaviour, Written Report).   


Each student will create a Portfolio on an issue/topic/theme/event selected by the students in the group and approved by the teacher.  The issue/topic/theme/event will also be orally presented.  The issue/topic/theme/event selected should allow for meaningful research and presentation.   

The Portfolio should include the following:  


An introduction to the issue/topic/theme/event (A satisfactory response should be no more than 100 words).  

(a) Why did you choose this issue/topic/theme/event? 

(b) What are the expected benefits to you as a student of English? 

(c) How do you intend to collect relevant information on your issue/topic/theme/event and use this in your presentation?  

2. PARTICIPATION MEASURE – A measure of the candidate’s individual participation assessed by self and teacher.  


A minimum of THREE pieces of material, for example, print, audio, visual media must be collected and presented in the Portfolio and should address the issue/topic/theme/event selected.  

One of the three pieces must be print.  

These pieces will form the basis for the process of enquiry and group work activities (cognitive, psychomotor, affective) in which students will become aware of and practise English language skills.  


THREE entries in which the student reflects on the issue/topic/ theme/ event selected should be completed.

In the first entry the student must indicate how each piece of material helped to shape his or her thinking about the issue/topic/ theme/event. 

The second entry should discuss the use of language in the material selected and the third entry should state how the process of doing the SBA helped the student to become a better person.

The reflection should be written in class under the teacher’s supervision.   


A written report of the investigation should be a summary of the processes, procedures and outcomes of the research. 

It should include the material collected, reasons for selection and analysis of the material. 

A satisfactory report should be about 250300 words in total.  


A personal response related to issue/topic/ theme/ event should be delivered orally in 3 to 5 minutes.  

The oral presentation should be delivered predominately in standard English and in a genre of the student’s choosing, for example, drama, poetry, prose, role play, speech, argument, exposition.  

The student should deliver a brief overview of the presentation including the genre chosen, the sources used and a comment on the kind of language used. 

A brief plan of the Oral Presentation must be submitted in the Portfolio. 



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Friday, 8 July 2016



The English A examination is offered at the General Proficiency level.  The Assessment comprises three papers, Paper 01, Paper 02, and Paper 031 or Paper 032.

Papers 01 and 02 are assessed externally.

Paper 031 is the School-Based Assessment (SBA) and is assessed internally by the teacher and moderated by CXC.

Paper 032 is an Alternative to the SBA and is intended for candidates registered as private  candidates.

Paper 01:
The duration of the exam is 1 hr, 30 mins

It is worth 29% of the total assessment (This has been changed from 24%)

The paper contains 60 compulsory multiple choice items

Section 1 has 25 discreet items (This has been changed from 20)

The comprehension passages come in the form of examples from: (novels, short stories, biographies, diaries, letters); 

    • one expository extract (encyclopaedia extract, reports, instructions, newspaper articles, texts of speeches, transcript of conversations); 

    • one argumentative extract (for example, an advertisement, a speech or a letter to the editor); 

    • one visual extract (for example, table, chart, form, diagram, map, cartoon, advertisement).

In Section 1, marks will be awarded for the ability to understand meaning conveyed through word choice, grammar, syntax, sentence structure, punctuation and paragraphing.  

Section 2 has 35 questions from comprehension passages (This has been changed from 40)

In Section 2, marks will be awarded for the ability to:  
(a) obtain information accurately; 
(b) grasp insights from reading literature; and 
(c) recognise and evaluate opinions expressed in various forms.   

1 mark is allotted per question
Total = 60 marks

Paper 02:
The duration of the exam is 2 hrs, 45 mins (This has been changed from 2 hrs, 30 mins)

It is worth 50% of the total assessment (This has been changed from 76%)

Section 1:

1 Question-   Summary (Compulsory Question)[25 marks]
(This has been changed from 30 marks)

Marks will be awarded under Profile Dimension 1, as follows:  
 In Section One, marks will be awarded for the ability to:  

(a) use appropriate grammatical forms, and suitable punctuation and paragraphing to convey  meaning clearly and with facility;  

(b) communicate factual information clearly, concisely, and adequately in written instructions, reports and summaries in appropriate language.  

Section 2:

2 Questions- Exposition (Answer One Question)- [30 marks] 

This question will require candidates to respond to given stimulus material. The response may take the form of an email, letter, report, notice, or article. 

The question will change from year to year, but will focus on the skills of communicating factual information concisely.  

In Section Two, marks will be awarded for the candidate’s ability to:  

(a) communicate factual information clearly, concisely, and adequately in written instructions, reports and summaries in appropriate language;  

(b) obtain information accurately.  

Section 3:

2 Questionsshort story, (Answer One Question)- [25 marks]
(This has been changed from 35 marks)

Section 4:
1 Question - Argumentative Essay, (Compulsory Question)- [25 marks] 
(This has been changed from 35 marks and two questions)

In Section Four, marks will be awarded for the ability to communicate personal opinion clearly and cogently in language which effectively persuades or dissuades. 

Total = 105 marks (This has been changed from 130 marks)

Marks will be awarded under Profile Dimension 2, as follows:    

In Section One and Two, marks will be awarded for the ability to:  

(a) use appropriate grammatical forms, and suitable punctuation and paragraphing to convey meaning clearly and with facility;  

(b) use appropriate language and communicate factual information clearly, concisely and adequately in writing letters, reports and summaries.   In Section Three, marks will be awarded for the ability to give aesthetic satisfaction to others in personal, creative and imaginative language. 

Details Based on The New English A SBA will be coming soon.

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Things Fall Apart Guided Reading Questions

Chapter 1   

How was Okonkwo's identity in the village formed? Give some details of Okonkwo's  physical identity.
How would Okonkwo describe a successful man?
Describe Unoka. In whose eyes was he a failure? Was he a starving artist? pacifist?
Compare Unoka and Okonkwo.

Chapter 2  

Describe some of the traditions and rituals.
How is justice brought upon the tribal people? Who decides?
How did Ikemefuna come to Umuofia?
How did Okonwko rule his household?
Okonkwo's life was dominated by fear. Describe the fear that dominated his life.  
For Okonkwo is gentleness a weakness? Explain
Describe Ikemefuna.

Chapter 3  

Describe Okonkwo's childhood.
Where do people go to obtain advice for troubles? the future?
What ritual surrounded seeing the Oracle?
What advice did the Oracle give to Okonkwo's father?
How are diseased/dying people treated in the tribe? How are they buried?
What privileges are given to a man's first wife?
What was needed to approach Nwakibie for some yams?

Chapter 4  

Okonkwo had no patience for less successful men.
Does hard work deserve success?
How did the Ibo judge a person?
At one point, Okonkwo says that affection is a sign of weakness. Do you agree?
How did Okonkwo break the Week of Peace?
What emphasis is placed on the "gods" in the tribe?

Chapter 5  

Who was the most important god, Ani? (Judge of morality/conduct)
Describe the New Yam Festival.
Why was Okonkwo fond of Ezinma?

Chapter 6

What do you think is the significance of the wrestling matches?

2012-2017 CSEC English B Course Outline

You can send me an email at if you want a copy of this course outline to use in your class.

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Persuasive Writing Techniques

In order to develop your argumentative essay, you must use the following techniques effectively.

a)      Using facts and opinions

b)      Using evidence based on authority-doctors, scientists, public figures

c)      Judging relevance of evidence based on authority

d)     Drawing conclusions

e)      Use of evidence-eg. Statistics

f)       Use of analogy: comparison

g)      Use of contrast: opposite

h)      Repetition: repeating a word or phrase for emphasis

i)        Appeal to emotions/use of emotive language

j)        Direct personal appeal: use of the pronoun “You”

k)      Anecdote: A little story or incident

l)        Irony-the opposite of what is said

m)    Sarcasm-often intended to hurt, says the opposite of real meaning

n)      Hyperbole- exaggeration (going ‘over the top’ for effect. “He said so a million times” 

o)    Rhetorical Questions: These are questions asked for effect but answered by the speaker/writer
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