English Paper 1 Question and Answers - KCSE 2020 Past Papers

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Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education
101/1 ENGLISH Paper 1 (Functional Skills)

Instructions to candidates

  1. Answer all the questions in this paper.
  2. All your answers must be written in the spaces provided in the question paper.
  3. Candidates must answer the questions in English.


    1. Read the following advertisement and answer the questions that follow.(20 marks)
      Kenya Talent Academy is looking for a suitably qualified, experienced and enthusiastic sports coach.
      • Responsibilities
        • Coaching and training students in a variety of sports.
        • Counseling and mentoring the youth.
      • Requirements
        • A minimum of a degree in Physical Education from a reputable A institution.
        • A minimum KCSE grade C+ in English.
        • Some experience in counseling young people.
        • Excellent communication skills.
      • Imagine you are qualified for the advertised position, write an application addressed to:
        Kenya Talent Academy
        Sports and Talent Division
        Ministry of Education
        P.O. Box 4410-00200

    2. Read the passage below and fill in each blank space with the most appropriate word. (10 marks)

      Writing letters and notes to people who have suffered a painful loss can be a very sensitive and difficult task. It is (a)........ a hard task that we might react by (b)........ it, starting then stopping or distracting (c)........ until we can get (d)........ the right state of mind. (e)......... is it too difficult? lt is because writing (f)....... a short note on a sympathy card (g)....... us to walk with a person in grief and empathize with their (h)........ It is not easy, and it is not pleasant (i).......... it is a(g)................act of communicating that we care.

      Adapted from: A Perfect Word for Every Occasion by
      Liz Duckworth, Bethany House Publishers. 2012

      1. Study the riddle below and answer the questions that follow. 

        Challenger    : Take a riddle.
        Respondent   : I take it.
        Challenger    : This small woman cooks better than your mother.
        Respondent   : It's a bee.

        1. Describe the stages of a riddling process evident in the riddle above. (4 marks)
        2. Who are the most likely participants in a riddling process? (1 mark)
        3. What would have happened if the respondent had not got the right answer? (1 mark)
      2. For each of the following words, give a word that is pronounced the same (6 marks) 
        1. Blue
        2. Flour
        3. Air
        4. One
        5. Know
        6. Would
      3. For each of the following words, underline the part that is stressed. (3 marks) )
        1. advice
        2. tribalism
        3. surprise
      4. You are the Chairperson of your English study group. Explain three things that you would do to ensure that the discussion is conducted effectively. 6 marks)
      5. Read the following conversation between Hamisi and the Secretary of Walimu Wema College and answer the questions that follow.

        Hamisi         : Hello.
        Secretary     : Hello. Who are you?
        Hamisi         : I am lan Simiyu. Is that Walimu Wema College?
        Secretary     : Yes. What do you want?
        Hamisi         : I would like to talk to the Pri...
        Secretary     : The Principal is not in.
        Hamisi         : I wanted to enquire about the requirements for joining the college.
        Secretary     : There's no room for more students.
        Hamisi         : Could you kindly tell me about the next intake?
        Secretary     :I don't know. You will see the advert in the newspapers. (hangs up)

        1. Identify the shortcomings in the Secretary's responses. (3 marks)
        2. Correct any three responses of the Secretary to ensure that they adhere to telephone etiquette. Write your responses in the table below.

          What she said                                          What she should have said                           








  1. Expect an application letter( 2 letters mark both)
    • Format elements (6 marks)
      • Addressers' address
        underline the name & deduct in language
      • Addressee's address
         as is can include The Director, CEO,HR etc
      • Salutation- Dear sir/ madam,
                         Dear Director x
        wrong order of salutations & re-interchanged - don't award
      • Date
      • Reference / heading
        RE: /REF:- linguistic
      • Closing - Yours faithfully/ sincerely if addressed to a particular person
      • Signature (1/2)
      • Name of the writer( 1/2)
        Closing, signature & name- order rearranged, do not award
    • Content
      • Reference to all the stated requirements
        Degree: D - must have name of uni, P. E, Degree from a reputable institute
        C+ & above in English 
      • Ability in a variety of sports
      • Enthusiastic
      • Relevant experience
        Experience Ex-has been guiding/ couseling youth.
        Communication skills : formal training, good skills, clubs related, fluent in...
        Variety of sports: V- at least 2 sports
    • Language use
      Place learner in appropriate linguistic ability as per the rubric provided below and award marks accordingly
      • 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
      • Group B (05 - 06 Marks) 
        • Communicates fluently, with ease of expression.
        • Well-constructed sentences
        • Correct punctuation and spellings
        • Good use of vocabulary
        • Some errors
      • 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 spark
    1. such
    2. postponing
    3. Ourselves
    4. into
    5. Why
    6. even
    7. requires
    8. feelings/emotion
    9. yet
    10. vital/crucial
        • The Proposition/invitation - The challenger invited the audience to a riddling session.( can lift from the riddle itself)
        • Acceptance - The audience accepted to participate in the session,
        • The Riddle /The challenge -- The challenger posed a question riddle/statement
        • The response - The respondent made the correct answer
          4 x 1 = 4 marks,
      2. Children /Adults- children to children, adults to children, adults to adults
        riddling is usually done by children or adults posing riddles to one another to sharpen their wits/ create awareness of their environment.
      3. A prize would be given and the challenger would give the correct answer
      1. blew
      2. flower
      3. heir
      4. won
      5. No
      6. Wood
        6x1=6 marks
    3.  no stress markers
      1. advice
      2. tribalism 
      3. surprise 
        3 x 1 = 3 marks
      • Give every member of a group a chance to make/their contributions to avoid one person dominating the discussion/ Ensure members are participating.
      • Nominate the secretary to take notes to capture all the points made
      • Introduce the topic and the scope of discussion to maintain focus
      • Ensure proper turn taking for order in communication/avoid discouraging
      • Appreciate every person's contribution to encourage participation
      • Ensure contributions are given through the chair to maintain order and for smooth turn taking
      • Ensure polite interruptions for clarification and inquiry.
      • The chair to wind up to end discussion appropriately. 
      • Ensure use of polite language to promote harmony or to ensure there is no tension
        Provide a reason for each action 3x2 = 6
        • The secretary receives the call rudely: " Who are you?" 
        • She interrupts Hamisi rudely/ impolitely/unprofessionally
        • She dismisses him – There is no room... lower
        • She does not/fails introduce herself Mark
        • She hangs up without waiting for the conversation to end/ Hangs up on Hamisi.
        • She assumes the role of the principal by giving categorical answers. "There's no room for more students."
        • Responds uncourteously- "what do you want?"
          3 x 1 = 3 marks . 

        What she said                                          What she should have said                           

         1. Hello, who are you?

        Hello, how can help you? 
        May I know who I'm speaking to?
        Who are you , please?

         2. The Principal is not in

         I am sorry the Principal is not in. Would you mind leaving a message?

        3. There is no room for more students

         I am afraid this years' intake is closed.
        However, the next intake will be
        advertised soon.

        4. What do you want


        How may I help you? What do you want, please?

        5. I don't know


        I'm afraid I don't have the details.
        I'm afraid I don't know.

        Expect responses that illustrate a clear understanding of telephone etiquette and use of polite language.
        6x1= 6 marks


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