KCSE 2018 English Paper 1 with Marking Scheme

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  1. A travelling theatre group is staging a performance of one of the literature set books in the local sub-county hall. Members of the drama club, the form three students and the form four students would want to watch the performance. As the secretary of the drama club, write a letter to the principal asking for formal permission. In your letter, give details about who will attend, the date and time of the performance and the cost. You should also explain why the performance is important. (20 marks)
  2. Read the passage below and fill in each blank space with the most appropriate word. (10 marks)
    Are leaders born or are they created out of circumstances and experience? The debate (a)............ this topic has gone on as long as the chicken-and-egg (b)............. There are strong points for (c)...................A. side. For our purposes, we will say that the answer is a little bit of (d)..........Some individuals such as royalty are born and bred to (e)......................... on leadership roles in later life. Other people develop into leaders over a sustained (f).... ........... of time. This is the type of leader (g)............. should all strive to become. All too (h)................. people find themselves in awe of great leader, wondering, "where do beings like these come from?" What these same individuals fail to realize is that (i).................. Personality and luck can (j)................... to a leader's success, those things are not the essence of what makes an exceptional leader.
    (Adapted from: Everything Leadership Book by Bob Adams)
    1. Read the Poem below, and then answer the questions that follow.

      I was angry with my friend;
      I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
      I was angry with my foe:
      I told it not, my wrath did grow.

      And I watered it in fears,
      Night and moming with tears;
      And I sunned it with smiles,
      And with soft deceitful wiles.

      And it grew both day and night.
      Till it bore an apple bright.
      And my foe beheld it shine,
      And he knew that it was mine.

      And into my garden stole,
      when the night had veiled the pole;
      in the morning glad I see;
      My foe outstretched beneath the tree.

      By William Blake
      1. Identify and explain any two features that would make this poem easy to recite. (4 marks)
      2. Describe the rhyme scheme of this poem.(3 marks)
      3. In an oral performance of this poem, how would you say the last line? (2 marks)
    2. Paying attention to the vowel sound in each of the following words, pick the odd one out.(6 marks)
      1. scene, ship, these, bean, be
      2. one, sun, put, ton, but
      3. hard, hurt, firm, earn, fur
      4. rode, coat, port, sew, know
      5. sit, nine, fight, eye, hide
      6. soup, food, sue, root, good
    3. For each one of the words below. provide another word which is pronounced in the same way but spelt differently.(5 marks)
      mite ...................................
      rest ...................................
      waist ...................................
    4. Read the dialogue below then answer the questions that follow
      Ms. Simiyu: Good morning Kantai, why are you waiting outside?
      Kantai: Good morning Madam. I was waiting to speak to you.
      Ms. Simiyu: What is the problem this time? Are the boys in your class fighting again?
      Kantai: There is no problem, Madam. My class sent me to ask you to allow them to attend the entertainment session tomorrow. Ms. Simiyu:You already know the answer to this, Kantai. Your class had their turn last weekend.
      Kantai: It is true Madam, we had our turn last weekend. But Madam, the video showing this weekend is based on one of our literature set texts. Here is the notice Madam.
      Ms. Simiyu: Let me see it.
      Kantai: Here, Madam. Also Madam, we have come up with questions which we will answer and discuss in groups after watching the video.
      Ms. Simiyu: Where are the questions?
      Kantai: Here they are Madam
      1. What marks politeness in this negotiation? (2 marks)
      2. What in this negotiation shows that Kantai had prepared his case well? (2 marks)
      3. What in Ms. Simiyu's behaviour encourages Kantai to continue with the negotiation?(2 marks)
      4. Provide two appropriate turns to complete the negotiation; one from Ms. Simiyu and one from Kantai.(4 marks)


Expect a formal letter

  1. Writer's address and format - (1 mark)
  2. Date and format - (1 mark)
  3. Recipient's address and format - (1 mark)
  4. Salutation - Dear sir, or Dear madam, (1 mark)
  5. Subject-"Re' must appear in subject, if not deny mark -(1 mark)
  6. Content appropriate to instructions - (6 marks)
  7. Complimentary close and signature - (1 mark)

Language and mechanics of writing - (8 marks)
Award marks according to the linguistic ability of a candidate as follows:

Group D (01 - 02 marks)
Candidate does not communicate and their language ability is so minimal that the examiner has to guess what they intended to write. 

  • Poor use of expressions 
  • Poor use of punctuation marks 
  • Hardly any correct sentences
  • Spelling errors
    (Broken usage must be identified)

Group C (03-04 marks)

  • Lack of confidence in language use
  • Very simple sentences
  • All manner of grammatical errors
  • Mother tongue interference
  • Poor organization of ideas
  • Sentence construction errors-identify the word causing it and use marking symbols

Group B (05-06 marks)

  • Communicates fluently, with ease of expression
  • Well-constructed sentences
  • Good use of vocabulary
  • Some errors (slips)
  • Sentence variety

Group A (07-08 marks)

  • Ease of expression with no errors of punctuation, spelling and grammar
  • Good planning/organization of ideas
  • Clever use of vocabulary and maturity in language use
  • Definite sparks
  • Items of merit-indicated by a tick

Cloze test

  1. on
  2. one
  3. each
  4. both
  5. take 
  6. period 
  7. we
  8. often
  9. although/though
  10. contribute


      • The lines are simple and the language is not difficult - easy to read and remember.
      • There is regular repetition of words at regular predictable parts of the poem. For example stanzas, two, three and four start with the word "And" and all the lines of stanza one with I'.
      • The stanzas are of the same size; all have four lines.
      • The lines are basically of the same length.
        These characteristics give the poem a song-like pattern to which a performer can impose a tune
        (Any two (2) well explained points 2(two) marks each - Total 4 marks).
    2. The rhyme scheme in all four stanzas is aabbccddeeffgghh. In stanza one we have 'friend/end' and foe/grow, in stanza two 'fears/tears and smiles/wiles, in stanza three *night/bright' and 'shine/mine'; in stanza four stole/pole' and see/tree'. (3 marks)
    3. In a celebratory tone. The persona has been plotting to kill the enemy for a long time and
      now his plans have borne fruit a smile to show contentment. It could be said in a falling or rising intonation (low-falling intonation suggests both the end of the poem and the sad message of death). Deliberate slow pace 
    4. Use of gesture-e.g. outstretched hands to show how the foe stretched beneath the tree
       (2 marks, I mark for identification, and 1 mark for illustration/explanation)
      (Give reasons from the text to qualify the answers)
  1. Picking out odd vowel sound. (6 marks)
    1. ship; 
    2. put;
    3. hard;
    4. port
    5. sit 
    6. good
  2. might;
    5 marks
    1. The teacher greets the student at the start of the dialogue to create rapport
      The student returns the greeting;
      The student addresses the teacher with respect throughout [Madam). 
      The teacher respects turn taking rules
      (Any 2 points)
    2. - He brought the notice of the meeting as proof that there will be a video.
      - He brought proof of his class's preparation.
      - He had reasons why watching the video was important to them. (Any 2 points)
    3. - She shows interest in the evidence Kantai has brought.
      - She listens to him.
      - Courteously/politely responds to what Kantai says
      - Let's Kantai express himself
    4. Varied, but must show completion of the negotiation.
      Suggestions: Teacher can express appreciation for what Kantai has done/commend him for thorough preparations and promise to try and get permission or exemption. Kantai thanks the teacher and makes/promises that the students will behave well. (2 marks each).
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