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ENGLISH PAPER 2 Marking Scheme- Kenya certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE 2016)

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Read the passage below and then answer the questions that follow.(20 marks)

I hate to tell you this, but your kid is spoiled. Mine aren't much better. That, in essence, is the finding of a recent media poll. Most of us think most of our kids are
overindulged, materialistic brats. 

I bring this issue up to talk about a controversial study that deals with corporal punishment-spanking - and it has outraged those who oppose the practice while rearming those who support it.

Dr. Diana Baumrind studied 164 families from the time their children were in preschool until they reached their 20s. She found that most families used some form of corporal punishment. She further found that, contrary to what we have been told for years, giving a child a mild spanking (defined as open-handed swats on the backside, arm or legs) does not leave the child scared for life. Baumrind makes a distinction between the minor punishments practiced by most parents who spank and the harsher variants practiced by a tiny minority (shaking and blows to the head or face, for example).

For my money, there was always something spurious about the orthodoxy that assured us all corporal punishment, regardless of severity, was de facto abuse. Nevertheless, we bought into it, with the result being that parents who admitted to spanking were treated as primitive dolts and heaped with scorn. They were encouraged to negotiate with misbehaving children in order to nurture their self esteem.

But the orthodoxy was wrong on several fronts. In the first place, it is plainly ridiculous to equate a child who has been swatted on the butt with one who has been stomped, scalded or punched. In the second, the argument that reasonable corporal punishment leads inevitably to mental instability always seemed insupportable and has just been proved by Baumrind's study.

Don't get me wrong, contrary to what its proponents sometimes claim, corporal punishment is not a panacea for misbehavior. Rearing a child requires not just discipline, but also humour, love and some luck.

I have seen too many children behave with a sense of entitlement to believe it is. Heard too many teachers tell horror stories of dealing with kids from households where parents are not sovereign, adult authority not respected. So the pertinent question is not: to spank or not to spank? Rather, it is who's in charge here? Some folks think it's abuse when you swat a child's backside. But maybe, sometimes, it's abuse when you don't. 

(Adapted from The Allyn & Bacon Guide to Writing by John Ramage, John Bean and June Johnson. Boston: Longman, 2012)

  1. What does the author mean when he says "most of us think most of our kids are overindulged, materialistic brats". (2 marks)
    • Most parents believe that their children are provided with all they need plus more making them became spoilt pampered brats
  2. According to the author, what is the effect of mild punishment? (2 marks)
    • Mild punishment does not leave a child scared for life either physically or emotionally and it is helpful
  3. What is the controversy in the passage? (3 marks)
    • The controversy is whether it is beneficial to administer corporal punishment on their children
  4. What are the two major findings of Dr. Diana Baumrind's study? (2 marks)
    • Corporal punishment has actually been used by most families on their children in various forms. There is no physical harm caused by mild spanking
  5. What is the author's personal view about corporal punishment?(4 marks)
    • The author's personal view about corporal punishment supports mild corporal punishment.
    • Not supporting severe punishment
    • Punishment must be administered with love and humour.
    • Corporal punishment is not a guarantee to stop child misbehavior
  6. Identify two other words that the author uses in the passage to mean mild corporal punishment? (2 marks)
    • Spanking.
    • Swats/ Swatting.
  7. Use two illustrations from the passage to explain the author's use of informal language. (3 marks)
    • Kids/brats,
    • Folks.
    • Swatted on the butt.
      • The general public finds informal language appealing.
  8. Explain the meaning of each of the following words as used in the passage.
    1. Materialistic (1 mark)
      • More interested in what money can provide / buy in their life.
    2. Panacea (1 mark)
      • Cure/ Remedy / measure to correct wrong doings /solution.

Literacy Appreciation

Read the excerpt below and then answer the questions that follow. (25 marks)

"Brothers, people of Sakwa, we are pleased to welcome you to Yimbo. It is customary, because of the good dak between us, for you to marry our daughters and we yours. We are therefore more than neighbours, we have great wat between us because of the intermingling of blood though this has not occurred between our two lines so there is no danger of brother marrying sister - a great taboo. Since you are our brothers, we will not make things difficult for you." Here he stopped to take a sip of kong'o and you could have heard the ants talk, so great was the silence. However, nobody was fooled by his sweet words.
He continued, enjoying immensely the tension he was creating. "Our daughter, Adoyo Obanda is a great beauty whose assets have been praised and sung by many a nyatiti singer from here to ChumbuKombit, from Sakwa to Loka Nam. She is as fleet as a gazelle and her flying feet have been incorporated into the sayings of our village so that mothers sending their daughters on errands tell them to run like Adoyo of the flying feet. She has been carefully brought up and has been taught all the requirements of Chik. She is very apt pupil, and will therefore not bring shame and ruin to her husband by improper conduct.
Her antecedents are peerless for she can trace her bloodline clear to Ramogi our great father and her blood is pure for we have always taken care to marry correctly. She is also the eldest daughter of our great chief, a man whose fame is known throughout this land. After careful consultation, we have therefore decided that thirty head of cattle should be the proper bride price." Was that an inaudible gasp from someone at the back? Chief Owuor Kembo signaled to his uncle and the old man spoke. 

"Brothers, people of Yimbo, we have listened with great care to what you have to say. Since the contract of marriage is a matter of great import, we wish to beg leave to consult with each other outside before we return our verdict."
"Feel free to do so," Aloo said magnanimously. They moved some distance away and Akoko watching from her mother's kitchen thought amusedly to herself, "I should ask father to give me a piece of land to settle on because at this rate I shall never leave his house."
(Adapted from The River and the Source by Margaret A. Ogola. Nairobi: Focus Publishers, 2012)

  1. What reasons had the old man given that had prompted the need for Chief Owour Kembo to urgently seek a wife? (3 marks)
    • Chief Kembo K’ Agina dies young Owuor Kembo is now the chief. It is unthinkable that the chief should be unmarried,
  2. "It is customary, because of the good dak between us for you to marry our daughters and we yours." Identify two other customary practices on marriage in this community that are revealed in this excerpt. (2 marks)
    • Wat - A way of preventing blood relatives marrying each other. Brother from marrying a sister.
    • Chik - Education of young maiden’s requirements of marriage. Payment of bride price.
  3. Explain the character traits of Chief Owuor Kembo and Aloo that emerge in this excerpt. (4 marks)
    • Owuor Kembo
      • Observant/ sensitive/ alert/ keen/ attentive
      • Follows every bit of conversation and the marriage negotiations.
      • Notices that there is a negative reaction.
      • Wise/respectful/ tactful - Allows his uncle to speak.
      • Decisive - Knows when his uncle's turn to speak- Signals his uncle to speak.
    • Aloo
      • Articulate/ captivating/ eloquent - Leads a discussion /clearly/ decisively able to create suspense.
      • Tactful/ respectful/ hospitable/wise and proud - enjoys every bit of conversation. Skilful/ crafty/ ingenious/cunning - The way he presented his case.
  4. What was the response of Chief Owuor Kembo's party on the bride price requested for by Aloo? (2 marks)
    • Bride price should be paid in full come that day on a specified date, the cattle would be driven to the in-law's homestead/ compound for marriage to take place
  5. In what circumstances was the thirty head of cattle referred to unfavourably later in the story when Akoko was married to Chief Owuor Kembo? (2 marks)
    • When Akoko is blamed of slow birth-rate and is accused of standing in the way of the chief marrying another wife.
  6. "I should ask father to give me a piece of land to settle on because at this rate I shall never leave his house."
    1. Why did Akoko say these words? (2 marks)
      • Akoko said these words because it looked like when the negotiations were going out their suit had been rejected like others before.
      • Many suitors had been dismissed before and when she saw them walk out she thought that they too had been dismissed.
    2. What do Akoko's words reveal about Chief Odero's character? (2 marks)
      • The Chief was possessive of his daughters and concerned about their future well-being. He is choosy, adamant/ loving/ proud and demanding .
  7. "Since the contract of marriage is a matter of great import, we wish to beg leave to consult with each other outside before we return our verdict."
    1. What is your view on the success of Akoko and Chief Kembo's marriage? (2 marks)
      • Their success is hinged on commitment of each to marriage and the chief not listening to the voice of relatives about the slow birth rate of his wife.
      • Hardworking and loving
    2. Identify and comment on one marriage you consider successful in The River and the Source. (2 marks)
      • The marriage of Aoro and Wandia inspite of demands by their careers doctors they are committed deeply to each other and to raising a good family. Mark Sigho and Elizabeth
  8. "Feel free to do so," Aloo said magnanimously. Rewrite in indirect speech.(1 mark)
    • Aloo said magnanimously that they should feel free to do so.
  9. Explain the meaning of the following words as used in the excerpt.
    1. errands (1 mark)
      • Short missions/journeys to deliver something
    2. apt (1 mark)
      • Ready to learn/ quick/ has an attitude to learn
    3. import(1 mark)
      • Importance now and in the future/ of great value/ significance


Read the poem below and then answer the questions that follow.

The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.
By Robert Frost
(Adapted from Understanding Poetry by Jim Reeves London: Heinemann, 1965)

  1. Explain the meaning of the poem. (4 marks)
    • Literal meaning: The traveler comes to a cross road and has to determine between the two ways which one to take in order to continue with his journey. After much mental debate, the traveler picks the road "less travelled" .
    • Symbolic meaning: Our choices determine how our lives will be in the day to come/future. The persona makes a rare choice (uncommon choice which will determine his destiny).
  2. Explain the meaning of the line 'Yet knowing how way leads on to way.' (2 marks 
    • Our chice will lead to new things and other opportunities
    • One road will always lead to another. The choices we make lead to other openings/opportunities.
  3. Identify and explain the use of symbolism in the poem. (3 marks)
    • Symbols: forked road - process of making choices in life obstacles/challenges/pitfalls
    • grassy- The road is not well used and needed someone to walk on it. It is more challenging or difficult option to take .It is less popular and people avoided it.
    • Undergrowth – Challenges / hardship in life
  4. What does the poet means when he says that 'I took the one less travelled by'? (3 marks)
    • He took the road that looked less used. A rare / unusual option
  5. What does the poem reveal about the character of the persona? (3 marks)
    • Characteristics of the persona:
      • Adventurous – explores unknown territory
      • Daring/ courageous – challenges the unknown
      • Cautious – weighs his option
      • Decisive - makes uncommon choices
  6. What is the tone of the poem? (3 marks)
    • The tone is solemn (negative)/ soul-searching/ regretful/ remorseful - makes a bad choice and regrets.
    • The tone is contentment/ relief/ contented/ optimism - made the choice he doesn't regret/ a way leads to another way
  7. Explain the meaning of the following words as used in the poem.
    1. diverged (1 mark)
      • Divided/forked/ separated/ parted/ branched/split
    2. sigh (1 mark)
      • relief/ sign of good/ bad ending/ satisfaction/ contentment/ regret/


  1. Rewrite each of the sentences below to make it communicate more sensibly. (3 marks)
    1. Powerful and comfortable the buyer really liked the car. (The buyer really liked the powerful and comfortable car.
      • Powerful and comfortable, the car was really liked by the buyer.
      • The buyer really liked the car:/ powerful and comfortable.
      • The buyer really liked the car because/since/for/as it was powerful and comfortable.
      • This required candidates to apply grammatical knowledge to rewrite the given sentences to remove ambiguity occasioned by misplacement of related segments.
    2. They left the field full of sweat.
      • Full of sweat, they left the field/sweaty/sweating
      • When they left the field, they were (all) sweating/sweaty/full of sweat/sweaty/sweating.
    3. Mukasa loves growing vegetables.
      • Vegetables are what Mukasa loves growing on his farm.
  2. Insert the correct punctuation marks in the sentences given. (4 marks)
    1. Whose responsibility is it to see whether this machine is working
      • Whose responsibility is it to see whether this machine working?
    2. My one big question however is what you do with your free time
      • My big question, however, is what you do with your free time,
    3. Amazing That was the best party I have attended in years.
      • Amazing! That was the best party I have attended in year
    4. Please tell me the way to the police station
      • Please, tell me the way to the police station.
  3. Complete each of the following sentences using the correct phrasal verb formed from the word given in brackets. (4 marks)
    1. Kimeto.........................of the marathon race due to fatigue, (pull)
      • pulled out
    2. The local council fire brigade...................the fire after many hours, (put)
      • put out
    3. It is clear from her looks that Claire.........................her mother, (take)
      • takes after
    4. The youth adults for guidance, (look)
      • look up
  4. Rewrite the following sentences according to the instructions after each. (4 marks)
    • It was tough but we eventually made it up the mountain. (Begin: Tough.....)
      • Tough as it was, we eventually made it up the mountain.
    • Rashidi said that he had not insulted me. (Use......denied.....)
      • Rashidi denied having insulted me / Rashid denied that he had insulted me.
    • She is busy renovating her house so that she may rent it out. (rewrite using: with a view)
      • She is busy renovating her house with a view to renting it out.
    • Mshamba will not at any cost support your cause. (Begin: At.....)
      • At no cost will Mshamba support your case.
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