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(Syllabus) CBSE Class 11th & 12th : English Core Syllabus 2011 (Code No: 301)
Students are expected to have acquired a reasonable degree of language
proficiency in English by the time they come to class XI, and the course will
aim, essentially, at promoting the higher-order language skills.
For a large number of students, the higher secondary stage will be a preparation for the university, where a fairly high degree of proficiency in English may be required. But for another large group, the higher secondary stage may be a preparation for entry into the world of work. The Core Course
should cater to both groups by promoting the language skills required for academic study as well as the language skills required for the workplace.
The general objectives at this stage are:
to listen to and comprehend live as well as recorded oral presentations on a variety of topics,
to develop greater confidence and proficiency in the use of language skills necessary for social and academic purposes.
to participate in group discussions/interviews, making short oral presentations on given topics.
to perceive the overall meaning and organisation of the text (i.e., the relationships of the different “chunks” in the text to each other).
to identify the central/main point and supporting details, etc.
to build communicative competence in various registers of English.
to promote advanced language skills with an aim to develop the skills of reasoning, drawing inferences, etc. through meaningful activities.
to translate texts from mother tongue (s) into english and vice versa.
to develop ability and knowledge required in order to engage in independent ~ reflection and enquiry.
to develop the capacity to appreciate literary use of English and also use English creatively and imaginatively.
At the end of this stage learners will be able to do the following:
read and comprehend extended texts ( prescribed and non-prescribed) in the following genres: fiction, science fiction, drama, poetry, biography, autobiography, travel and sports literature, etc.
text-based writing (i.e., writing in response to questions or tasks based on prescribed or unseen texts)
understand and respond to lectures, speeches, etc.
write expository/argumentative essays of 250-500 words, explaining or
developing a topic, arguing a case, etc.
write formal/informal letters and applications for different purposes.
write items related to the workplace (minutes, memoranda, notices, summaries reports; filling up of forms, preparing CVs, e-mail messages, etc.).
taking/making notes from reference materials, recorded talks etc.
The Core Course should draw upon the language items suggested for classes IX-X and delve deeper into their usage and functions. Particular attention may, however, be given to the following areas of grammar:
the uses of different tense forms for different kinds of narration (e.g. media commentaries, reports, programmes, etc.).
the use of passive forms in scientific and innovative writings
converting one kind of sentence/clause into a different kind of structure as well as other items to exemplify stylistic variations in different discourses
modal auxiliaries – uses based on semantic considerations.
Methods and Techniques
The techniques used for teaching should promote habits of self-learning and reduce dependence on the teacher. In general, we recommend a multi-skill, learner-centred, activity based approach, of which there can be many variations. The core classroom activity is likely to be that of silent reading of
prescribed/selected texts for comprehension, which can lead to other forms of language learning activities such as role play, dramatization, group discussion, writing, etc. although many such activities could be carried out without the preliminary use of textual material. It is important that students be trained to read independently and intelligently, interacting actively with texts, with the use of reference materials (dictionaries, thesauruses, etc.) where necessary. Some pre-reading activity will generally be required, and the course books should suggest suitable activities, leaving teachers free to devise other activities when desired. So also, the reading of texts should be followed by post reading activities. It is important to remember that
every text can generate different readings. Students should be encouraged to interpret texts in different ways.
Group and pair activities can be resorted to when desired, but many useful language activities can be carried out individually.
In general, teachers should encourage students to interact actively with texts and with each other. Oral activity (group discussion, etc.) should be encouraged.
Class XI (ENGLISH CORE)
One paper 3 Hours Marks: 100
SECTION – A
Reading unseen Passages for Comprehension and Note-making 20 Marks (40 Periods)
Two unseen passages with a variety of questions including 5 marks for vocabulary such as words formation and inferring meaning. The total length of both the passages together should be around 1100 words.
1. The passages could be any of the following two types:
2. (a) Factual passages e.g. instructions, descriptions, reports.
(b) Discursive passages involving opinion e.g. argumentative, persuasive.
SUMMARY – Class XI
One of the passages should have about 600 words carrying 12 marks, the other passage should have about 500 words carrying 8 marks.
The passage carrying 08 marks should be used for testing note-making for 5 marks and testing vocabulary for 3 marks. Vocabulary for 2 marks may be tested in the other passage carrying 12 marks.
WRITING 20 Marks( 40 periods)
3. One out of two tasks such as a factual description of any event or
incident, a report or a process based on verbal input provided (80-100
4. One out of two compositions based on a visual and/or verbal input (in about 100-150 words). The output may be descriptive or argumentative in nature such as an article for publication in a newspaper or a school magazine or a speech. 08
5. Writing one out of two letters based on given input. Letter types include (a) business or official letters (for making enquiries, registering complaints, asking for and giving information, placing orders and sending replies); (b) letters to the editors (giving suggestions, opinions on an issue of public interest) or (c) application for a job. 08
GRAMMAR 10 Marks (30 Periods)
Different grammatical structures in meaningful contexts will be tested. Item
types will include gap-filling, sentence-reordering, dialogue-completion and
sentence-transformation. The grammar syllabus will include the following areas:
6. Determiners, Tenses, Clauses, Modals and Error Correction 4
7. Editing Task 4
8. Reordering of sentences 2
TEXTUAL QUESTIONS 40 Marks (100 Periods)
Questions on the prescribed textbooks will test comprehension at different levels: literal, inferential and evaluative based on the following prescribed text books:
1. Hornbill : Text book, published by NCERT, New Delhi.
2. Snapshots : Supplementary Reader, published by NCERT, New Delhi.
English Reader 30 Marks
9. One out of two extracts based on poetry from the text to test comprehension and appreciation. 4
10. Two out of three short answer questions from the poetry section to test local and global comprehension of text (upto 30 words). 6
11. Five out of six short answer questions on the lessons from prescribed
text (upto 30 words) 2×5=10
12. One out of two long answer type questions based on the text to test global comprehension and extrapolation beyond the set text. (Expected word limit would be about 100-125 words each) 10
Supplementary Reader 10 Marks
13. One out of two long answer type questions based on Supplementary Reader to test comprehension of theme, character and incidents. (upto 100 words) 4
14. Two out of three short answer questions from the 3+3 = 6
Supplementary Reader (upto 30 words)
1. Hornbill – Text book published by NCERT, New Delhi.
2. Snapshots – Supplementary Reader published by NCERT, New Delhi.
Conversation Skills (Listening + Speaking)
Conversation Skills will be tested both as part of Continuous Assessment and at the final examination. Out of the 10 marks allotted for Conversation, 05 marks may be used for testing Listening and 05 marks may be used for testing Speaking. The Conversation Skills Assessment Scale may be used for evaluating.
The examiner will read aloud a passage based on a relevant theme or a short story. The passage may be factual or discursive. The length of the passage should be around 350 words.
The examinees are expected to complete the listening comprehension tasks given in a separate sheet while listening to the teacher. The tasks set may be gap-filling, multiple choice, true or false or short answer questions. There may be ten different questions for half a mark each.
Narration based on a sequence of pictures. In this section the candidate will be required to use narrative language.
Description of a picture (can be pictures of people or places) Speaking on a given topic to test recall of a personal experience.
At the start of the examination the examiner will give the candidate some time to prepare. In case of narration the present tense should be used.
Topics chosen should be within the personal experience of the examinee such as: relating a funny anecdote, retelling the theme of a book read or a movie seen recently.
Once the candidate has started, the examiner should intervene as little as possible.
Conversation Skills Assessment Scale
1. has general ability to understand words and phrases in a familiar context but cannot follow connected speech;
3. has ability to follow short connected utterances in a familiar context;
5. has ability to understand explicitly stated information in both familiar and unfamiliar contexts; discourse;
7. understands a range of longer spoken texts with reasonable accuracy, and is able to draw inferences: not interfere with communication.
9 shows ability to interpret complex discourse in terms of points of view; adapts listening strategies to suit purposes.
1. shows ability to use only isolated words and phrases but cannot operate on connected speech level;
3. in familiar situations, uses only short connected utterances with limited accuracy:
5. shows ability to use more complex utterances with some fluency in longer still makes some errors which impede communication:
7. organizes and presents thoughts in a reasonably logical and fluent manner in unfamiliar situations; makes errors which do
9. can spontaneously adapt style appropriate to purpose and audience; makes only negligible errors.
One Paper 3 Hours Marks: 100
Reading unseen Passages and Note-making 20 Marks (40
Two unseen passages with a variety of questions including 03 marks for vocabulary such as word formation and inferring meaning and 05 marks for note-making.
The total length of the two passages will be between 950-1200 words. The passages will include two of the following:
(a) Factual Passages e.g. instructions, descriptions, reports.
(b) Discursive passage involving opinion e.g. argumentative, persuasive or interpretative text.
(c) Literary passage e.g. extract from fiction, drama, poetry, essay or biography
Summary – Class XII
A passage of about 600-700 words carrying 12 marks and another passage of
about 350-500 words carrying 08 marks
1. A passage to test reading comprehension. The passage can be literary, factual or discursive. The length of the passage should be between 600-700 words. 12
2. A shorter passage of 350-500 words for note-making and abstraction. 08
Advanced Writing Skills 35
Marks (70 Periods)
3. One out of two short compositions of not more than 50 words each e.g. advertisement and notices, designing or drafting posters, writing formal and informal invitations and replies. 5
4. A report or a factual description based on verbal input provided (one out of two) (100-125 words) 10
5. Writing one out of two letters based on verbal input. 10
Letter types include:
(a) business or official letters (for making enquiries, registering complaints, asking for and giving information, placing orders and sending replies):
(b) letters to the editor (giving suggestions on an issue) (c) application for a job
6. One out of two compositions based on visual and/or verbal input (150-200 words). Output may be descriptive or argumentative in nature such as an article, or a speech. 10
Text Books 45 Marks (100 Periods)
7. One out of two extracts based on poetry from the text to test comprehension and appreciation 4
8. Three out of four short questions from the poetry section to test local and global comprehension of text. 6
9. Five short answer questions based on the lessons from prescribed text. (2×5) 10
10. One out of two long answer type questions based on the text to test global comprehension and extrapolation beyond the set text. (Expected word limit about 125-150 words each) 10
11. One out of two long answer type question based on Supplementary Reader to test comprehension and extrapolation of theme, character and incidents (Expected word limit about 125-150 words) 7
12. Four short answer questions from the Supplementary Reader (2×4) 8
1. Flamingo : English Reader published by National Council of Education Research and Training, New Delhi.
2. Vistas : Supplementary Reader published by National Council of Education Research and Training, New Delhi.