1. To develop and integrate the use of the four language skills i.e. listening, speaking, reading and writing for the purpose of effective communication.
2. To develop a functional understanding of the grammar, structure and idiom of the language.
3. To develop the capacity to read efficiently and access information effectively.
4. To develop an appreciation of good literature.
5. To experience, through literature, the thoughts and feelings of the people of the world.
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.
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
Paper 1 – English Language
1. Schools will prepare, conduct and record assessments of the Listening and Speaking Skills of candidates as follows:
Class IX: Three assessments in the course of the year.
Class X: Two assessments in the course of the year.
2. Pattern of Assessment.
a) Listening Skills
A passage of about 300 words is read aloud by the examiner twice, the first time at normal reading speed (about 110 words a minute) and the next time at a slower speed. Candidates may make brief notes during the readings. They then answer an objective type test based on the passage, on the paper provided.
The recommended number of candidates at a sitting is 30.
b) Speaking Skills
Each candidate is required to make an oral presentation for about two minutes, which will be followed by a discussion on the subject with the examiners, for about three minutes.
Subjects for presentation may include narrating an experience, providing a description, giving directions how to make or operate something, expressing an opinion, giving a report, relating an anecdote or commenting on a current event.
A candidate may refer to brief notes in the course of the presentation but reading or excessive dependence on notes will be penalized.
It is recommended that candidates be given an hour for preparation of their subject for presentation and that they be given a choice of subject, on a common paper.
The assessment will be conducted jointly by the subject teacher and the external examiner who will each assess the candidate. (The External Examiner may be a teacher nominated by the Head of the School 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).
Award of Marks
Listening Skills : 10 marks
Speaking Skills : 10 marks
The total marks obtained out of 20 are to be sent to the Council by the Head of the School. The Head of the School will be responsible for the entry of marks, on the mark sheets provided by the Council.
Schools are required to maintain a record of all assessments conducted in Listening and Speaking Skills for candidates of Classes IX and X. These include copies of the assessment tests, topics for presentation and marks awarded. The record will be maintained for a period of 2 months after the ICSE (10) examinations of the candidates concerned.
Paper 2 – Literature in English
Schools will set, assess and record written assignments by the candidates as given below:
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).
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.
(iv) Appreciation of literary qualities.
(v) Identifying with a character. Putting oneself in the place of a character in given circumstances and explaining one’s actions.
(vi) Imagine alternative outcomes or endings in a literary piece and the effect on all concerned.
The texts selected for Class IX for Internal Assessment would be different from those selected for Class X.
The assignments/projects are to be evaluated by the subject teacher and by an external examiner. (The External Examiner may be a teacher nominated by the Head of the school, 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 Head of the school. The Head of the school will be responsible for the entry of marks on the mark sheets provided by the Council.
Schools are required to maintain a record of all assignments, duly assessed, for a period of 2 months after the ICSE examinations of the candidates concerned.