English Paper 1 Questions and Answers - KCSE 2021 Past Papers

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  1. Imagine you are the student leader in charge of games and clubs activities in your school. There has been a decline in students' participation in these activities. The Principal has appointed you the Chairperson of a Committee to investigate the causes of the problem.
    Write the report, giving recommendations on what should be done to address the problem. (20 marks)
  2. Read the passage below and fill in each blank space with the most appropriate word. (10 marks)
    Knowing how to talk about characters in a story is an important aspect of the study of literature. Can you(a)........out if your friend is in a good mood or a bad mood? (b).................................. probably can. What your friend says or does (c) ............................ reveals
    his or her character. At their (d) ...........writers reveal the traits of the characters in their stories in the (e) ........................ way. They describe what the characters do or say. They offer other (f) ............................... about the characters' traits too. Writers also (g) .......
    information about a character's motives or reasons (h).................... saying or doing something. Often in a story (i) .................... will be a single motive behind the (i)........that a character does or says.
  3. Read the poem below and then answer the questions that follow.
    The Beard
    By Proscovia Rwakyaka
    In the pulpit he swayed and turned. Leaned forward, backward, To the right: to the left. His solemn voice echoed; Lowly the congregation followed, Do you love your neighbour?' Meekly they bow at his keen eye Now examining a grey head Heaving under her sobs. His heart leapt assured - 'Her sins weigh on her! So with her he chats outside; *Weep not child you are pardoned.' “But, sir, your beard conjured up The spirit of my dear goat!
    From: Poems From East Africa. David Cook and David Rubadiri (Eds.) EAEP, Nairobi.
  4. Give two illustrations to show that Jane is polite. (2 marks)
  5. In the dialogue, Jane hesitates to respond two times. Explain one possible reason for the hesitation. (2 marks)
  6. In your own words, rewrite any two of the responses by the Trader to demonstrate negotiation skills and politeness. (4 marks)


  1. Expect an investigative report
    • Methods/ Procedure
    • Findings
    • Conclusion
    • Signing off

Content - 7 Marks
Introduction 1 mark for a good introduction
Findings- Reasons for decline - 3 marks for any 3 relevant points
Relevant conclusion - 1 mark
Recommendations -2 marks for any 2 relevant points
Note: relevance is stressed.

Language (08 marks)
Place learner in appropriate linguistic ability as per the provided be accordingly.

Group D (01 - 02 Marks)

Candidate does not communicate and their language ability is so mu 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.</br<>

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 otvocabulary
  • 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 sparks
    1. figure 
    2. You 
    3. always/often 
    4. best
    5. same 
    6. clues/hints 
    7. present/give 
    8. for 
    9. there 
    10. things
        1. rhyme - echoed/followed
        2. alliteration - His heart
        3. assonance - congregation, followed
        4. Rhythm - forward/backward
          to the right to the left
          Any 2 illustrated features = (4 marks)
        1. Using appropriate intonation for a yes/no question.
          • Point at the audience turning eyes from one side to the other.
          • Open gestures
            2 x 1 = (2 marks)
        2. With a facial expression of surprise about what the preacher was thinking Rising and following intonation;
          "But sir' → rising intonation
          The rest → falling intonation (2 marks)
      1. Ma.na.ge
      2. register
      3. a'gree'ment
      4. teacher
    3. The speaker may observe the following
      • Body language eg. fidgeting/unnecessary movement
      • Facial expression eg staring blankly, day
      • Looking out though the window
      • Leaning backwards 
      • Murmuring, talking whispering 
      • making noise
      • dozing.
      • shuffling their feet
      • Yawning
      1. breathe
      2. pool 
      3. fowl
      4. pear (4 marks) 
        • She greets the trader, "Good morning"
        • She uses the word please when requesting for a discount.
        • She says she is sorry to have bothered the trader. (2 marks)
        • She is surprised at the trader's rudeness
        • She hesitates to decide on what to say next (2 marks)
      3. Replace the trader's responses that show lack of negotiation skills (being rude, unwilling to establish rapport, and failure to compromise) with suitable language,
        • "What do you want?" How may I help you?
        • 'Then find another shop 
        • "Really
        • 'Get lost!
          Any 2 suitable and grammatical responses = 4 marks
          Penalize for correctness maximum 2 mks
          (4 marks)
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