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English Lesson Note for JSS3 (First Term) 2023

English Language lesson note for JSS3 First Term is now available for free. The State and Federal Ministry of Education has recommended unified lesson notes for all secondary schools in Nigeria, in other words, all private secondary schools in Nigeria must operate with the same lesson notes based on the scheme of work for English Language.

English Language lesson note for JSS3  First Term has been provided in detail here on

English Lesson Note for JSS3 (First Term) [year] 1

For prospective school owners, teachers, and assistant teachers, English Language lesson note is defined as a guideline that defines the contents and structure of English Language as a subject offered at SS level. The lesson note for English Language for SS stage maps out in clear terms, how the topics and subtopics for a particular subject, group works and practical, discussions and assessment strategies, tests, and homework ought to be structured in order to fit in perfectly, the approved academic activities for the session.

To further emphasize the importance of this document, the curriculum for English Language spells out the complete guide on all academic subjects in theory and practical. It is used to ensure that the learning purposes, aims, and objectives of the subject meant for that class are successfully achieved.

English Language Lesson note for JSS3 carries the same aims and objectives but might be portrayed differently based on how it is written or based on how you structure your lesson note. Check how to write lesson notes as this would help make yours unique.

The JSS3 English Language lesson note provided here is in line with the current scheme of work hence, would go a long way in not just helping the teachers in carefully breaking down the subject, topics, and subtopics but also, devising more practical ways of achieving the aim and objective of the subject.

The sudden increase in the search for JSS3 English Language lesson note for First Term is expected because every term, tutors are in need of a robust lesson note that carries all topics in the curriculum as this would go a long way in preparing students for the West African Secondary Examination.

This post is quite a lengthy one as it provides in full detail, the English Language-approved lesson note for all topics and sub-topics in English Language as a subject offered in JSS3.

Please note that English Language lesson note for JSS3 provided here for First Term is approved by the Ministry of Education based on the scheme of work.

I made it free for tutors, parents, guardians, and students who want to read ahead of what is being taught in class.

JSS3 English Language Lesson Note (First Term) 2023



WEEK 1 Revision

Grammar: Revision of parts of speech: Nouns, Pronouns, Verbs and Adjective

Composition: Informal Letter

Literature – in – English: Introduction to Fiction and non-fiction

2 SPEECH WORK: The Schwa sound / /

Grammar: Expressing/describing emotions (Verb+ preposition)

Reading and comprehension: purpose

Composition: Informal Letter

Literature – in – English: Poetry

3 SPEECH WORK: Stress and Intonation

Grammar: Adverbs of Frequency

Comprehension: Reading

Composition: Writing a Story

Literature – in – English: Reading of recommended prose text

  1. SPEECH WORK: Consonant /3/ and /d3/

Grammar: Changing positive statement to negative

Reading and comprehension: critical reading:

Literature in English: Introduction to rhyme scheme

  1. SPEECH WORK: consonant sounds/d/,/Ө/,/z/

Grammar: Modal forms–will, can, could, etc

Reading and comprehension: reading to identify the meanings of words in various contexts

Composition: Revisit the formal and informal letter

Literature – in – English: Use the recommended text on Drama (ii) Theme/setting in the recommended text

  1. SPEECH WORK: Contrasting /3:/ and /c/

Grammar: Adjectives and Adverbs

Reading and comprehension: reading to identify the facts and opinions in a given passage

Composition: Formal Letter

Literature – in – English: use recommended text on Drama, (ii) characterization and plot in the recommended text

  1. SPEECH WORK: The consonant sound // and // (contrast)

Grammar: Adverbs of place and manner

Reading and comprehension – reading to explain the facts and opinions in a selected passage

Composition: Debate

Literature – in – English: Rhyme scheme

8 SPEECH WORK: the consonant

Grammar: Idiomatic expression

Reading and comprehension: refer for week 6

Composition: descriptive essay – My favourite Subject

Literature – in – English: Revision

  1. SPEECH WORKS: The consonant sound /w/ and /j/

Grammar: Adverbs of cause and reason

Reading and comprehension: A revision of week 4

Composition: Debate

Literature – in – English: Revision of the recommended text (ii) Revision on literary terms



Week 1


  1. Grammar – Parts of Speech Revision

Noun – A noun is the name of a person, animal, place or things.

Example – Tolu drove the Car to Atlanta

Tolu (person), Car (thing), Atlanta (place)

Pronoun – A pronoun is a word that takes the place of a noun. Examples: he, she, it, they, someone, who. Pronouns can do all of the things that nouns can do.

Example – I gave myself a round of applause

Verb – A verb is an action or a doing word

Example – Tolu is driving a green car

Adverb – An adverb is a part of a speech which can be added to a verb to modify its meaning. Examples: fast, never, well, most, least, more, less, now, for and there.

Example – She sings loudly

Adjective – Adjectives are descriptive words that modify nouns and pronouns, i.e gives more meaning to nouns.

Example – The tallhandsome boy gave me 3 cents

Conjunction – A conjunction is a word that joins two or more words, phrases, or clauses.

Example – The poor boy came but my Aunty drove him away

Preposition – A preposition is a word that shows the relationship between a noun or pronoun and other words in a sentence. Prepositions are words like in and outabove and below, and to and from

Example – The boy came from a humble background

Exclamation – An exclamation (also called an interjection) is a word or phrase that expresses strong emotion, such as surprise, pleasure, or anger. Exclamations often stand on their own, and in writing they are usually followed by an exclamation mark rather than a full stop.

Example – Wow! I got a Christmas gift


Identify the parts of speech in each sentence

  1. Mr Olu bought a beautiful green dress for his new wife
  2. The man walked quickly through the dark alley
  3. Wow! The fisherman caught a big fish
  4. The car entered into the Lagoon
  5. Peter is kind but Paul is stingy
  6. Reading and Comprehension – Scanning for Main points

A quick look through the passage to find specific information is called Scanning. Scan lines 1 – 15 of the story below and find out as quickly as you can:

  1. Who is Adamu?
  2. Who is Sonkowa?
  3. Who is Sonkowa’s Father?

In a certain town there lived a poor man named Adamu. Although he was very poor, Adamu was a very good man. He was liked and respected by everyone, and even birds and animals seemed to trust him, for it was very noticeable that they showed no fear whenever he came near them.

In the same town, there lived a beautiful girl few years younger than Adamu. Her name is Sonkowa. Sonkowa was as good-natured as she was beautiful, and many men wanted to marry her. Sonkowa’s father was a wealthy trader and he was naturally anxious that his daughter should make a good marriage preferably to one of the other rich merchants who lived in the town. However the ruler of the town made it clear he wanted to marry Sonkowa, and her parents felt like there was little alternative, for they had no wish to offend he ruler of the town. But when they approached their daughter on the matter, they were shocked by her response.

10 ‘How can I become the junior wife of a man old enough to be my father? Please the only man I want to marry is Adamu.’
‘What! Adamu, the poor man? He hasn’t got two coins to rub together! You must be joking,’ said her father
But Sonkowa was determined. Her parents were equally determined not to offend the ruler. They insisted that she should marry him, but Sonkowa said ‘I would rather die.’
Sonkowa refused to drink or eat, and when her parents saw how obstinate she was, they explained the situation to the ruler.
15 ‘If she doesn’t marry Adamu, she will die.’ said her father. ‘I beg you, let the marriage take place. But it won’t last long – Adamu is too poor.’
‘Hmmm! said the ruler, thoughtfully. ‘I agree let her marry that man. But I shall make sure the marriage doesn’t last long. I shall arrange a fatal accident for Adamu. She will soon forget him – and then she will marry me!.
When Sonkowa heard she could now marry Adamu, she was delighted. She began to eat normally again and soon regained her strength and beauty.

Questions from Comprehension

  1. Sonkowa’s parents tried to persuade her to
    marry a rich merchant
    b. marry a wealthy trader
    c. marry Adamu
    d. marry the ruler of the town
  2. ……. there was little alternative’ in line 7 means
    they had some choice
    b. they really had no choice
    c. they had another small choice
    d. they had a real choice
  3. Which of the following is closest in meaning to the word ‘obstinate’ in line 14
    b. obnoxious
    c. determined
    d. badly behaved
  4. The ruler’s plan was to let Sonkowa marry Adamu and then
    grow tired of him
    b. forget him after the ruler had arranged an accident
    c. discover that he was too poor
    d. regain strength and beauty
  5. What is the theme of this story
    b. Gender Issues
    c. Love
    d. Disobedience


Informal letters include letters you write to your contemporaries, parents and other relations and pen-pals. Unlike formal letters, which are official letters, informal letters are meant to be chatty, allowing the use of short forms, jokes, colloquial English and slang.

Features of an informal letter include:

  1. Writer’s Address and Date
  2. Salutation e.g. Dear Sola, Dear Father…..
  3. Introduction: Usually pleasantries.
  4. Body of the letter
  5. Conclusion
  6. Subscript e.g. Yours sincerely, Your daughter, Yours ever, Yours affectionately


Evaluation: Write a letter to your best friend, telling him/her of your plans for this academic session


  1. Literature – Introduction to Fiction and Non-fiction

Fiction is content, primarily a narrative, that is made from imagination, in addition to, or rather than from, history or fact. According to, fiction is “something invented by the imagination or feigned, specifically an invented story; the action of feigning or of creating with the imagination. Writers sometimes use fictional creatures such as dragons and fairies. The term most commonly refers to the major narrative forms of literature, including the novel, novella, short story, and narrative poem or song, though fiction may also describe the works of other narrative presentational forms, such as comics, live performances (for example, theatre, opera, and ballet), electronic recordings (for example, many works of film, television, radio, and Internet), and games (for example, many video games and role-playing games). Works of fiction are primarily invented or imaginary. Short stories, novels and novellas of various subgenres — romance, science fiction, historical fiction, mystery — are considered fiction. Fiction usually contains elements of a story: plot, characters, settings and themes. Many works of fiction have facts in them; for example, historical fiction uses information about a particular time to create a meaningful and realistic setting for an invented story. Fiction is “literary” if it has a reputation of merit, usually due to superb style or characterization. Fiction constitutes an act of creative invention, so that faithfulness to reality is not typically expected; in other words, fiction is not assumed to present only characters who are actual people or descriptions that are factually true.

Subsets of genres, known as common genres, have developed from the archetypes of genres in written expression. The common genres included in recommended Literature in verse or prose, usually for theatrical performance, where conflicts and emotion are expressed through dialogue and action.

  • Classic – fiction that has become part of an accepted literary canon, widely taught in schools
  • Comic/Graphic Novel – scripted fiction told visually in artist drawn pictures, usually in panels and speech bubbles
  • Crime/Detective – fiction about a committed crime, how the criminal gets caught, and the repercussions of the crime
  • Fable – narration demonstrating a useful truth, especially in which animals speak as humans; legendary, supernatural tale
  • Fairy tale – story about fairies or other magical creatures, usually for children
  • Fan-fiction – fiction written by a fan of, and featuring characters from, a particular TV series, movie, etc.
  • Fantasy – fiction with strange or otherworldly settings or characters; fiction which invites suspension of reality
  • Fiction narrative – literary works whose content is produced by the imagination and is not necessarily based on fact
  • Fiction in verse – full-length novels with plot, subplot(s), theme(s), major and minor characters, in which the narrative is presented in verse form (usually free verse)
  • Folklore – the songs, stories, myths, and proverbs of a people or “folk” as handed down by word of mouth
  • Historical fiction – story with fictional characters and events in a historical setting
  • Horror – fiction in which events evoke a feeling of dread and sometimes fear in both the characters and the reader
  • Humor – Usually a fiction full of fun, fancy, and excitement, meant to entertain and sometimes cause intended laughter; but can be contained in all genres
  • Legend – story, sometimes of a national or folk hero, that has a basis in fact but also includes imaginative material
  • Magical Realism magical or unreal elements play a natural part in an otherwise realistic environment
  • Metafiction – also known as romantic irony in the context of Romantic works of literature, uses self-reference to draw attention to itself as a work of art, while exposing the “truth” of a story
  • Mystery – this is fiction dealing with the solution of a crime or the unraveling of secrets
  • Mythology – legend or traditional narrative, often based in part on historical events, that reveals human behavior and natural phenomena by its symbolism; often pertaining to the actions of the gods
  • Realistic fiction – story that is true to life
  • Science fiction – story based on impact of actual, imagined, or potential science, usually set in the future or on other planets
  • Short story – fiction of such brevity that it supports no subplots
  • Suspense/Thriller – fiction about harm about to befall a person or group and the attempts made to evade the harm
  • Tall tale– humorous story with blatant exaggerations, swaggering heroes who do the impossible with nonchalance
  • Western – set in the American Old West frontier and typically set in the late eighteenth to late nineteenth century

Non – Fiction Writings

Nonfiction is a content (often, in the form of a story) whose creator, in good faith, assumes responsibility for the truth or accuracy of the events, people, and/or information presented. A work whose creator dishonestly claims this same responsibility is a fraud; a story whose creator explicitly leaves open if and how the work refers to reality is usually classified as fiction. Merriam-Webster’s definition of nonfiction is “literature or cinema that is not fictional.” According to, nonfiction is “written works intended to give facts, or true accounts of real things and events.” Works of nonfiction are meant to be factual. This means magazine articles, newspaper stories, encyclopedia entries, interviews and textbooks are all nonfiction. Many aisles in bookstores are full of nonfiction — the cooking, art, travel, science, religion, true crime, psychology and decorating sections all contain factual works. While there are no hard-and-fast rules about what makes a piece of nonfiction “literary,” a good bet is that a piece of literary nonfiction will have a bit more of a story than, say, a recipe or a paragraph in a textbook. Biographies, autobiographies, essays and memoirs are among genres that may be considered creative or literary nonfiction.

  • Biography/Autobiography – Narrative of a person’s life. A true story about a real person.
  • Essay – A short literary composition that reflects the author’s outlook or point.
  • Narrative nonfiction – Factual information presented in a format which tells a story.
  • Speech – Public address or discourse.
  • Textbook – Authoritative and detailed factual description of a topic.
  • Reference book – Dictionary, thesaurus, encyclopedia, almanac, atlas, etc.






Speech Work – Central Vowel /Ə/

Grammar (Verb + Prepositions)

Reading and Comprehension – Skimming for Specific Information

Literature – Prose

  1. Speech Work – Central Vowel /Ə/

This short sound is very common in English. It only occurs in unstressed syllables. It is the vowel you normally hear in these common words: a, an, the, and, but, of. When you have to make this sound, your mouth should not be wide open. Read the following words and phrases aloud. The unstressed syllables are shown in italics, and all contain /Ə/:

again about alone away 
teacher mother tailor  neighbour
an egg the book glass of water
at school at home poor but happy

Note that when the comes before another word beginning with a vowel, the sound is no longer /Ə/ but /i/. Say the following:

He mixed the eggs together and poured them into the oil

  1. Grammar (Verb + Prepositions)

Describing Emotions

Some verbs are not words of action: they express a state of being. Examples include be, become and feel. Often these verbs are followed by an adjective. In these examples, this pattern is used to talk about emotions.




Often, a preposition and an object follow the adjective, as in the examples which follow:

Sonkowa wasHappyWithAdamu
TheyFeltShockedAtHer response


Different adjectives are followed by different prepositions. Here is a list of common examples:

Alarmed, embarrassedAt
Happy, pleasedWith, by
Resentful, certainOf
Worried, anxiousAbout


Complete these sentences below about the story

  1. Sonkowa was worried …………. her father’s plan
  2. Sonkowa’s father was pleased ______ the ruler’s reply
  3. Adamu was alarmed ________ the bird’s words
  4. Sonkowa’s father became resentful ______ of his daughter’s attitude
  5. Sonkowa was embarrassed ___the ruler’s attention
  6. Adamu felt certain ____ Sonkowa’s love for him
  7. His father became anxious ____ his daughter’s welfare
  8. We were pleased _____ the story

Describing Emotions

Sometimes an adjective maybe followed by to and the infinitive:

I was sorry to hear your news

I’m pleased to meet you

Adjectives like those above can also be followed by a clause beginning with that:

I’m very pleased that you came

Adamu was anxious that they should leave quickly

  1. Reading and Comprehension – Skimming for Specific Information

Read paragraph A below and answer the following questions

  • Each paragraph is about one topic
  • Each paragraph usually contains a topic sentence


The Locust is a species of grasshopper.
Locusts are found in all continents of the world except Antartica.
In Africa, there are ten species of locusts.
They are very common in tropical areas, except where it is wet.


Locusts live in two form, or phases as they are called:
the solitary phase and the gregarious phase.
In the solitary phase, they live alone like any other grasshopper.
and cause little damage.
But if their numbers increase, they enter the gregarious phase.
In this phase, they can become swarms big enough to darken the sky.
and they are very dangerous

  1. The topic is
    b. Locusts
    c. African Locusts
  2. Which is the topic sentence?


  1. Literature – Prose

Prose is a form of language that exhibits a grammatical structure and a natural flow of speech rather than a rhythmic structure (as in traditional poetry). While there are critical debates on the construction of prose, its simplicity and loosely defined structure have led to its adoption for use in the majority of spoken dialogue, factual discourse and both topical and fictional writing. It is commonly used, for example, in literature, newspapers, magazines, encyclopedias, broadcasting, film, history, philosophy, law and other forms of communication. Prose is a communicative style that sounds natural and uses grammatical structure. Prose is the opposite of verse, or poetry, which employs a rhythmic structure that does not mimic ordinary speech.

Prose is a form of language that has no formal metrical structure. It applies a natural flow of speech, and ordinary grammatical structure rather than rhythmic structure, such as in the case of traditional poetry. Normal every day speech is spoken in prose and most people think and write in prose form.  Prose comprises of full grammatical sentences which consist of paragraphs and forgoes aesthetic appeal in favor of clear, straightforward language.

Example of a Prose verse:

Read this from “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” written by Robert Frost.

“The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Common Examples of Prose

Everything that is not poetry is prose. Therefore, every utterance or written word that is not in the form of verse is an example of prose. Here are some different formats that prose comes in:

  • Casual dialogue: “Hi, how are you?” “I’m fine, how are you?” “Fine, thanks.”
  • Oration: I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. –Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Dictionary definition: Prose (n)—the ordinary form of spoken or written language, without metrical structure, as distinguished from poetry or verse.
  • Philosophical texts: Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you. –Friedrich Nietzsche
  • Journalism: State and local officials were heavily criticized for their response to the January 2014 storm that created a traffic nightmare and left some motorists stranded for 18 hours or more.

Characteristics of Prose

  • Written in paragraphs
  • Tells a story rather than describes an image or metaphor
  • Generally has characters and a plot

Some Common Types of Prose

  1. Nonfictional Prose:A literary work that is mainly based on fact although it may contain fictional elements in certain cases. Examples are biographies and essays.
  2. Fictional Prose:A literary work that is wholly or partly imagined or theoretical. Examples are novels.
  3. Heroic Prose:A literary work that may be written down or recited and employs many of the formulaic expressions found in oral tradition. Examples are legends and tales.
  4. Prose Poetry:A literary work which exhibits poetic quality using emotional effects and heightened imagery but are written in prose instead of verse.


  1. Why are paragraphs inevitable in when writing?
  2. Here are two more paragraphs about locusts. One is well written and the other is not. Read paragraphs A and B and answer the following questions-A. Locusts live in two forms or phases, as they are called: the solitary phase and the gregarious phase. In the solitary phase, they live alone like any other grasshopper, and cause little damage. But if their numbers increase, they enter the gregarious phase. In this phase, they can become swarms big enough to darken the sky, and then they are very dangerous.B. In a few hours a swarm of locusts can eat all the vegetation in an area. A swarm of locusts can cause terrible damage. For example, 10,000 million locusts can eat 20,000 tonnes of food in a day. So in one day, they can eat enough maize to feed 100,000 people for a year.1. Identify the topic sentence of the paragraphs A & B.2. Which of the two paragraphs is well written? Why?
  3. Rewrite the badly written paragraph.
  4. What is a prose?
  5. Mention and discuss the characteristics of a prose.
  6. Discuss the four types of prose that you know.


Week 3


Speech Work – Intonation

Grammar – Adverbs of Frequency

Critical Reading

Literature – Prose (Cont’d)

  1. Speech Work – Stress and Intonation

Falling Intonation

This means that the voice goes down after the last stressed syllable in the sentence. Read the following examples aloud. Note that the last stressed syllable is printed in capital letters


I like reading ↓ NOVels.

She doesn’t enjoy ↓ POetry

Wh – questions:

What are you ↓ DOing?

Why are you com↓PLAINing?

How much does that ↓ BOOK cost?

Commands and requests:

Look ↓ OUT!

Sit ↓ DOWN, everyone!

Look each way before crossing the ↓ ROAD


Good ↓ GRACious! I don’t be↓LIEVE it!

Read aloud the following sentences:

  1. Everybody likes Saturday Nights
  2. Actions speak louder than words
  3. A bird in the hand is worth two in the Bush
  4. Honesty is the best policy
  5. Neither a borrower nor a lender be

Rising Intonation

Wh – questions are sentences beginning with words like Who, What, When, Where, Why and How? They cannot be answered with Yes or No. ‘Yes/No’ questions are questions like the following. In each case, the voice goes up on the last stressed syllable – and the answers fall, as in exercise 1

Listen and repeat:

  1. Did you see the match last ↑ SATurday?
    Yes, I ↓ DID. No, I ↓ DIDn’t.
  2. Have you ever used a com↑PUTer?
    Yes, I ↓ HAVE. No, I ↓ HAVEn’t.
  3. Are you interested in ↑ HIStory?
    Yes, I ↓ AM. No, I’m ↓ NOT.
  4. Grammar – Adverbials of Frequency


An adverb is a part of a speech which can be added to a verb to modify its meaning. Usually, an adverb tells you when, where, how, in what manner, or to what extent an action is performed. Many adverbs end in ly particularly those that are used to express how an action is performed. Although many adverbs end in ly, some others do not. Example fast, never, well, most, least, more, less, now, for and there.

Adverb modifies verb by giving us the following information.

  1. How the action occurs
  2. Where the action occurs
  3. How many times action occur
  4. At which time the action occurs
  5. Intensity of action

There are two kinds of Adverbs of Frequency:

  1. Definite; for example:
    – once/twice/three or several times a day/week/month/year etc
    – hourly/daily/weekly etc
    – every day/week/ every morning/ every three months
    These usually come at the end of a sentence. But where would you place the adverbial once a month in this sentence and why?
    We visit our son who’s at Nsukka University
  2. Indefinite
    These adverbials give general answers to the question How often…? The most common are
    – always, invariably
    – almost/nearly always
    – generally, normally, regularly, usually
    – frequently, often
    – almost never, rarely, hardly ever, seldom never, not ever

Write a paragraph about your friend, like this one:

My friend Obi often plays football. He usually practises once a week. He also goes for a run once a week during the holidays – but he seldom does so during term time. He says he’s always far too busy  doing his homework!

  1. Critical Reading

This may involve

  • thinking about issues raised in the text
  • thinking about the way the text is written – and whether it succeeds in communicating with the reader; and if so, how.

Taiwo was looking for a pen friend overseas and decided to reply Eddie’s ad. You can see his reply below. Read it quickly and then answer the following questions

  1. Where does Taiwo live?
  2. How many brothers and sisters does he have?
  3. Are Taiwo and Kehinde identical twins?
  4. Where does his brother work?
  5. What is his brother’s job?
  6. Where does his father work?
  7. What are Taiwo’s hobbies?
  8. What are his favourite subjects?
  9. Give two examples of what he does in his spare time
  10. Do you think Eddie would be pleased to receive this letter?

P.O. Box 96,
Ondo State,

4th May 20_

Dear Eddie,

I saw your ad in the paper, and I very much hope we can be friends. This is just a short letter to start off with.
My name is Taiwo, Taiwo Adenuga. In English, the name ‘Taiwo’ means ‘the one who came first’. I was called this because I was the first of twins. My twin sister’s name is Kehinde, which means ‘the one who came afterwards’. Most of our names mean something in Nigeria. I wonder where you got your name.

As you would expect, Kehinde and I look similar. But our complexions are slightly different: I am dark brown while Kehinde is light brown, almost tan in colour. But of course our hair is jet black.

I am the third of four children in the family. My older brother works in computers in Lagos, but my older sister is still at college. My father works in a bank and my mother is a teacher. My father originally came from Ibadan, but I was born here in Akure.

My favourite subjects at school are science, English and games. I hate history and maths. My hobbies include music (I sing in a choir), reading and ecology. I belong to a group that goes tree planting every so often – we are trying to rescue an area near from soil erosion.

I very much look forward to hearing from you. You say you are interested in music. I wonder what kind. You also say that you enjoy cycling. Does that mean you cycle round London?

Write soon!

Yours Sincerely,


  1. Literature – Prose (Cont’d)

Features of Prose

The elements of prose are: character, plot, setting, theme, and style. Of these five elements, character is the who, plot is the what, setting is the where and when, theme is the why, and style is the how of a story.

A character is any person, personal, identity, or entity whose existence originates from a fictional work or performance.

A plot, or story line, is the rendering and ordering of the events and actions of a story, particularly towards the achievement of some particular artistic or emotional effect.

Setting is the time and location in which a story takes place.

Theme is the broad idea, message, or lesson of a story.

Style includes the multitude of choices fiction writers make, consciously or subconsciously, as they create a story. They encompass the big-picture, strategic choices such as point of view and narrator, but they also include the nitty-gritty, tactical choices of grammar, punctuation, word usage, sentence and paragraph length and structure, tone, the use of imagery, chapter selection, titles, and on and on. In the process of writing a story, these choices meld to become the writer’s voice, his or her own unique style.


  • Mention features of a prose
  • Composition – Write a story on the topic – All that glitters is not Gold


Week 4


  • Consonants /Ӡ/ and /dӠ/
  • Reading Skills
  1. Consonants /Ӡ/ and /dӠ/


To make this sound, the tip and front of the tongue is placed near the mouth. The sound is voiced. Say the words below. Notice how they are spelt


Note: Although sure and sugar are spelt with an su, they are pronounced differently.


To make this sound, place the front of the tongue against the front part of the mouth. Then you suddenly let the air through. The sound is voiced and you use a little less breath. The /dӠ/ sound is easy if you remember that it is like combining /d/ and /Ӡ/. Say these words containing /dӠ/ sound and notice the spelling.


Identify the consonant sounds – /Ӡ/ and /dӠ/ in each of the following

  1. leisure
  2. religion
  3. decision
  4. hugely
  5. ledger
  6. Faster Reading Skills

It is important to develop the skill known as speed reading. To improve your reading speed, we recommend the following:

  • Don’t read a text ‘word-by-word’: Read the words in their natural grammatical or sense groups. For example: The brave woman /ordered the men/to attack at once.
  • Don’t point to the words with your finger.
  • Don’t worry about individual words you don’t understand – just get the gist, or general idea of the meaning, of a text. The strange words will often then ‘explain themselves’ by the way they are used.

We recommend that you read a text very quickly first, to get an overview of what it is about. You can then read it more slowly in detail later if required.

Faster reading often requires two sub-skills:

scanning – for particular items of information (e.g. you scan a dictionary looking for a particular word)

skimming – for gist (a general idea of the meaning)

Reading Strategies

Previewing: Learning about a text before really reading it.

This simple strategy includes seeing what you can learn from the headnotes or other introductory material, skimming to get an overview of the content and organization.

Contextualizing: Placing a text in its historical, biographical, and cultural contexts.

Your understanding of the words on the page and their significance is informed by what you have come to know and value from living in a particular time and place.

Ask Questions: Asking questions about the content.

As students, you ca ask your teachers questions about your reading. These questions are designed to help you understand a reading and respond to it more fully, and often this technique works.

Outlining and summarizing: Identifying the main ideas and restating them in your own words.

Outlining and summarizing are especially helpful strategies for understanding the content and structure of a reading selection. Whereas outlining reveals the basic structure of the text, summarizing synopsizes a selection’s main argument in brief.

Evaluating an argument: Testing the logic of a text as well as its credibility and emotional impact.

All writers make assertions that they want you to accept as true. As a critical reader, you should not accept anything on face value but to recognize every assertion as an argument that must be carefully evaluated. An argument has two essential parts: a claim and support.

Reading to Learn

Reading is an essential part of language instruction at every level because it supports learning in multiple ways.

  • Reading to learn the language: Reading material is language input. By giving students a variety of materials to read, instructors provide multiple opportunities for students to absorb vocabulary, grammar, sentence structure, and discourse structure as they occur in authentic contexts. Students thus gain a more complete picture of the ways in which the elements of the language work together to convey meaning.
  • Reading for content information: Students’ purpose for reading in their native language is often to obtain information about a subject they are studying, and this purpose can be useful in the language learning classroom as well. Reading for content information in the language classroom gives students both authentic reading material and an authentic purpose for reading.
  • Reading for cultural knowledge and awareness: Reading everyday materials that are designed for native speakers can give students insight into the lifestyles and worldviews of the people whose language they are studying. When students have access to newspapers, magazines, and Web sites, they are exposed to culture in all its variety, and monolithic cultural stereotypes begin to break down.

When reading to learn, students need to follow four basic steps:

  1. Figure out the purpose for reading. Activate background knowledge of the topic in order to predict or anticipate content and identify appropriate reading strategies.
  2. Attend to the parts of the text that are relevant to the identified purpose and ignore the rest. This selectivity enables students to focus on specific items in the input and reduces the amount of information they have to hold in short-term memory.
  3. Select strategies that are appropriate to the reading task and use them flexibly and interactively. Students’ comprehension improves and their confidence increases when they use top-down and bottom-up skills simultaneously to construct meaning.
  4. Check comprehension while reading and when the reading task is completed. Monitoring comprehension helps students detect inconsistencies and comprehension failures, helping them learn to use alternate strategies.


Mention four Reading strategies


Week 5


  • Speech Work: Contrast Consonants
  • Composition: Letter Writing
  • Grammar – Modal Forms
  1. Contrast Consonants

The /p/ sound

To make the /p/ sound, press your lips close together and then suddenly open them, letting out the air forcefully. The sound is unvoiced – that means it comes from your mouth not your throat. Practise the following words:

Stress on first syllableStress on second syllable

Try this jingle:

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled pepper

A peck of pickle pepper Peter Piper picked

If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled pepper,

Where’s the peck of pickled pepper Peter Piper picked?

The /f/ sound

To make the /f/ sound, which is also unvoiced, press the lower lip firmly against the upper front teeth, before expelling air.

Practice the following words:

Stress on first syllableStress on second syllable

Try this jingle:

It’s folly to fight with fisticuffs, Just have them fought with other toughs!

The /ð/ sound

To make this sound, the tip of the tongue sticks out just in front of the front teeth. The sound is voiced means the sound comes from your throat not your mouth, with the vocal chords behind your Adam’s apple vibrating.

Practise saying these words:

mother, father, brother, loathe, clothes

The /d/ sound

To make the voiced /d/ sound, place the front of your tongue against the top of the mouth, and then let the air out suddenly.

Practise saying these words:

Eddie, advert, indigo, dark, red, reading

The /z/ sound

This sound is made in exactly the same way as the /s/ sound, except that it is voiced. You place the middle of your tongue against the top of the mouth.

Notice that this sound is often spelt with the letter z. However, s can also represent this sound, especially at the end of a word.

Practise saying these words:

amazing, sisters, brothers, twins, music

  1. Composition: Letter Writing

It is useful to distinguish between the three types of letter:

  1. Formal (Official or Business)
  2. Semi-formal (Personal, but the writers are not to on very close terms)
  3. Informal (very personal; the writers are very well known to each other)

One of the most important differences between these three kinds of writing is the style of language you use. Discuss these examples:

  1. Grammar

Formal: I shall be going to Jos next month

Semi-Formal: I’ll be going to Jos next month

Informal: I’m off to Jos next month

  1. Idioms

Formal: Idioms are best avoided in formal letters. ‘I fully agree with your proposal.’

Semi-Formal: ‘What a great idea!’

Informal: ‘Cool!’ Your use of informal idioms very much depends on whom you are writing to. What is ‘cool’ for a classmate may be unsuitable for an older relative.

  1. Vocabulary

Formal: How appointment was terminated

Semi-Formal: He was fired

Informal: He got the sack

  1. Layout

Formal Letters: These have to be laid out properly.

Semi-Formal Letters: These should be laid out in the same way as the letters between Eddie and Taiwo.


The letters between Taiwo and Eddi are semi-formal letters. Find some examples of language use which are appropriate in a semi-formal letter but inappropriate in a formal letter.

Taiwo’s Letter

ad (line 1) ad or advert are both acceptable  informal versions of the word advertisement

my brother works in computers (line 10) it is an idiomatic way of saying ‘My brother works in the field of computers’.

every so often (line 15) is an idiomatic way of saying ‘occasionally or from time to time’

Eddie’s Letter

Thanks a lot (line 1) Informal English. The points about informal letters is that you can write them in a very much the same way as you might speak to a friend.

full of it (line 8) an idiom meaning ‘talking enthusiastically about it’

great (lines 1 and 18) as you can see, this is one of Eddie’s favourite adjectives. Again this is to be avoided in more formal contexts.

  1. How to Write a Semi-formal Letter

In the examinations you have to take, marks are awarded for:

Content – what you say

Expression – the way you say it

Organisation – the way your organise your material (especially with regard to paragraphing)

Mechanical accuracy – Marks are lost through inaccurate use of language!

Note these points about Mary’s Letter

  1. The address and date

Notice the position and layout of the address. Here are some examples of the way dates should be written:
1st February, 2007  2nd May, 2006  3rd July, 2009

  1. The salutation

We usually start letters with Dear….
Note that in more affectionate forms: My dear Lizzy, the word dear does not start with capital letter (Compare Dear Elizabeth)

  1. The body of the letter

The letter is laid out in well-organised paragraphs. There is an identation at the beginning of each paragraph. Remember, marks are awarded for sensible paragraphing.

  1. The style of the letter

The language of the letter is semi-formal: it is very like ordinary speech, but a little more grammatical. The semi-formal features of the letter include the following. Can you find some examples in the letter?

  • Informal expressions like don’t panic, etc
  • Contracted forms likeI’m and here’s.
  • The use of dashes and Exclamation marks.
  1. Ending the letter

The last paragraph of a letter should ’round it off’ in a suitable way, and send greetings. The usual way of signing off is with the phrase Yours sincerely and your signature.

  1. The signature

With semi-formal letter and informal letter, you just write your given name. You do not print your full name under the signature in sem-formal or informal letters – they know who you are!

Mary’s Letter


Summary of Letter Writing

Letters are marked according to the following criteria:

Content – Appropriacy and length: how far does the letter answer the question?

Organisation and Layout – Is the material properly organised in suitable paragraphs?

Expression – Marks are awarded for suitable register, including the level of formality, clarity and variety of sentence structure.

Mechanical accuracy – Grammar, punctuation and spelling mistakes are penalized.

The feature of each letter is summarised below

Formal Letter

  1. Your address

Top right hand corner, properly punctuated with full stops and commas

  1. Addressee

The name (where known), position and address of the addressee, ranged left, again, full punctuated

  1. Date

Below your address, you may follow this style: 1st March, 2010 or 1 March 2010.

  1. Salutation

Dear Mr/Mrs (name), if known. If the name and gender of the person are not known, begin with Dear Sir or Madam.

  1. Subject of the Letter

This goes beneath the salutation and should be underlined.

  1. Body of the letter

Paragraphs should be indented. The style should be appropriate for formal letters.

  1. Complimentary Close

This goes at the bottom of the letter. Yours faithfully is always acceptable. If the name of the person you are writing to is personally known to you, Yours Sincerely may be appropriate. Always write your name clearly beneath your signature.

Semi-Formal Letter

  1. Your address

Top right hand corner, properly punctuated with full stops and commas

  1. Addressee

Do NOT include the name, position and address of the addressee

  1. Date

Below your address, you may follow either style as of formal letters

  1. Salutation

Depending on the relationship, any of the following might be appropriate: Dear Mr/Dr/Mrs (name), Dear (first name)

  1. Subject of the letter


  1. Body of the letter

Paragraphs should be indented. The style should be appropriate for semi-formal letters.

  1. Complimentary Close

This goes at the bottom of the letter. Yours sincerely is always acceptable, followed by your name.

Informal Letter

  1. Your address

Top right hand corner, properly punctuated with full stops and commas

  1. Addressee

Do NOT include the name, position and address of the addressee

  1. Date

Below your address, you may follow either style as of formal letters

  1. Salutation

Depending on the circumstances and relationship,  Dear (first name/nickname) is appropriate

  1. Subject of the letter


  1. Body of the letter

Paragraphs should be indented. The style should be appropriate: use colloquial language, abbreviations, jokes etc

  1. Complimentary Close

This goes at the bottom of the letter. Yours sincerely is always acceptable, followed by your name or nickname. Variations are possible for very close relationships e.g. Your friend, Your sister, Lots of love, etc.

  1. Grammar – Modal Forms

Grammar: Modal Forms of Verbs

Modal verbs are used as helping verbs: they go with other verbs to change the meaning in some way. Modal verbs are one kind of auxiliary verb. They add information about probability, ability, permission and obligation. The modal verbs and the primary verbs (be, do and have) are called auxiliary verbs. The difference between these two groups of verbs is that we can use modal verbs as auxiliary verbs only. In other words, we cannot use modal verbs on their own, as they are not complete by themselves. We have to use them with other verbs, which must be in the simple present tense. A modal verb (also modalmodal auxiliary verbmodal auxiliary) is a type of auxiliary verb that is used to indicate modality – that is, likelihood, ability, permission, and obligation. Examples include the English verbs can/could, may/might, must, will/would, and shall/should.

Modal verbs do not change their forms when used with other verbs such as to show number. They have no –s form for the third person singular, no –ing form or past participle form.

Example: I can go. She can go. They can go

The modal verb can  expresses the idea of ability.
Edna can ride a bicycle

The modal verbs will/will not (won’t) can be used to express future occurrences –
The bus will come soon, I am sure.
I won’t be long

We can also use modal verbs to express the idea of willingness (or unwillingness)
E.g. When offering Tola a lift, Ray could have said, ‘ if you want to go to the market, I’ll give you a lift on my bike’.

Using the Modal verb would


We use will to express the future tensewillingnessrequestprobability,order and habitual action


  • We will be at the birthday party tomorrow. (Future)
  • will volunteer as an educator in the peer group mentoring program. (Willingness)
  • Willyou take my dog out for a walk? (Request)
  • She willbe very angry if you take part of her meat. (Probability/Expectation)
  • Willyou not talk to me while I am watching television! (Order/command)


We use would to express a conditionadvicerequestintention and opinion.

  • I think you would command more respect if you talk less. (Conditional)
  • wouldn’tattempt to eat that food if I were you. (Advice)
  • Wouldyou like me to give you a lift? (Request/offer)
  • Before he left her, he wouldalways tell her he would never leave her. (Intention)
  • His behavior is not what she wouldexpect from a gentleman. (Opinion)

Would and will are frequently confused. We use would when talking about the past:
He said he would mend my bike

We also use would instead of will when there is uncertainty:
That boy would do anything for money!

Practise the following dialogue –

Tina: That boy is so greedy that he would do anything for money

Jeff: Yes. He said he would mend Ray’s puncture

Tina: I wouldn’t trust him to mend my bicycle

Jeff: Oh, I would. He’s quite good at that sort of thing

Tina: Well, I wouldn’t let him near mine!

We often use would when we are offering and replying to invitations and suggestions of various kinds.
Bola: Would you like a cup of tea?
May: Thanks, I’d love one.
Taylor: No thanks, No just at the moment.

Femi: Would you like to go to the cinema this evening
Juliet: Thanks. I would love to.


Read this dialogue between Odili and Edna.

Odili: (1) ___ you like a lift to the hospital?
a. Do
b. Will
c. Shall
d. Would
e. Don’t
Edna: That’s very kind of you, but I (2)___ need a lift right now
a. don’t
b. won’t
c. would
d. wouldn’t
e. shall

Odili: Are you sure? I can take you (3)___.
a. readily
b. reluctantly
c. enthusiastically
d. willingly
e. unwillingly

Edna: Really? I (4)___ want to put you to any trouble
a. would
b. wouldn’t
c. shan’t
d. won’t
e. will not

Odili: No trouble at all. This way please!

Edna: Where is your car?

Odili: Car? No, I haven’t got a car. I’ve got a bicycle.

Edna: A bicycle??? I (5) ___ go on a bicycle!
a. will
b. won’t
c. wouldn’t
d. would not
e. would

Odili: Why not? It’s quite safe

Edna: No, thank you, I (6) ___ rather walk
a. will
b. do
c. shall
d. won’t
e. would

Using Can and Could


We use can to express abilitypossibilitypermission and request.

  • The dog canran faster than the cat can. (Ability)
  • You can get into trouble for stealing. (Possibility)
  • CanI walk on the Lawn? (Permission)
  • Canyou not sing at all? I can’t stand it. (Request)


We use could to express requestpossibilityabilitypermission and suggestion.

  • Could you feed my dog, please? (Polite request – a more polite form of can)
  • You had better not stand under the tree. You could be bitten by a snake. (Possibility)
  • My brother couldspeak six languages including French. (Ability)
  • CouldI bring my dog along? (Permission)
  • You couldwarn him to leave you alone, or you could report to the police. (Suggestion)

Using may and might


We use may to express possibilitypermission, and wish.

  • A gas leakage mayhave caused the explosion. (Possibility)
  • MayI have another place of noodles? (Permission)
  • May you live long. (Wish)


We use might to express possibilitypermissionsuggestion, and annoyance.

  • mighthave stepped on the banana skin and fallen if I had not noticed it. (Possibility)
  • Might I ask why you two are not speaking to each other? (Permission)
  • You might like to have a look at my two new books. (Suggestion)
  • You mightat least try to look like you were enjoying the soup. (Annoyance)


  • State the 3 types of letter with features of each








Week 6


  • Grammar – Adjectives and Adverbs using Modal Verbs
  • Composition – A semi-formal letter
  • Literature – Drama
  • Skill Focus: How to write a summary
  1. Grammar – Adjectives and Adverbs using Modal Verbs

Modal Verbs are used as helping verbs: they go with other verbs to change the meaning in some way. For example, the modal verb can expresses the idea of ability:

Edna can ride a motorcycle

We can use modal verbs to express the idea of willingness and unwillingness. For example,
When offering Edna a lift, Odili could have said, ‘If you want to go to the hospital, I’ll give you a lift on my bike.

Notice this kind of sentence, the main clause uses the modal; the if  clause uses the present simple tense, even though it refers to the future.

Read the dialogue below between two students in pairs

A: Your bicycle has a puncture
B: Really! Oh dear. I don’t know how to mend it

A: I’ll do it for you if you pay me
B: How much?

A: I’ll do it for 300 naira
B: Too much! I won’t pay that much!

A: If you give me 300 naira, I’ll oil and clean it too
B: Okay!

Using the Modal Verb would

Would and will  are frequently confused. We use would when talking about the past

He said he would mend my bicycle

We also use would  instead of will  when there is uncertainty

That boy would  do anything for money!

We often use would  when we are offering and replying to invitations and suggestions of various kinds. In pairs, practise dialogues like these three  below. In each case, if you say ‘No’, add a plausible excuse

A: Would you like a cup of tea?
B: Thanks, I’d love one!
C: No thanks, not just at the moment

Using Adverbs

What is difference between the the statements below

  1. Edna agreed to come with me
  2. Edna reluctantly agreed to come with me
  3. Edna enthusiastically agreed to come with me

As you can see, the adverbs reluctantly and enthusiastically  help to make the meaning of the verb agreed clearer.

Degrees of willingness or unwillingness can be shown by using adverbs like those below:

eagerly, willingly, readily, enthusiastically, reluctantly, unwillingly

Use the adverbs in these six sentences (more than one answer is possible)

  1. Moremi _____ agreed to find out the secrets  of the forest people
  2. She _____ allowed herself to be captured
  3. The enemy warriors _____ led her before their king
  4. He _____ made her his wife
  5. Odili ____ offered to give Edna a gift
  6. Edna ____ agreed

We constantly have to use modal verbs or modal auxiliaries in English. They include such important little words as may and must. Can you identify a modal verb in a sentence? Make sure that you can properly form phrases that begin with a modal. The vital point is that a modal is followed by an infinitive form of an ordinary verb; and there are many different infinitive forms. With the modal may and the ordinary verb write as our example, we find these phrases:

may write

may be writing

may have written

may have been writing

may be written

may have been written

Use of Modal Verbs

Idea ExpressedModal(s) usedExamples
AbilityCan (could)I can drive. I told him I could drive
Permission· May (might)

· Can (could)

· You may come in now

· You can finish the meat

· He said I could finish the meat

· Could I have a look at that book? (very polite)

Obligation· Must

· Should/ought to

· They must pay for the damage(whether they like it or not)

· They ought to pay for the damage

Prediction (of future events willingness)· Will/shall (would/should)

· Will (would)

· That building will soon collapse

· He said the building would soon collapse

· I will show you the way

· Would you pass me the salt, please?

Degrees of PossibilityMust-may-might/could-can’t· It must be raining (very certain)

· It may be raining ( less certain)

· It can’t be raining (impossible)

Modals and Politeness

Some of the modals are very important for making polite requests or when offering somebody something.

Can I look at your newspaper?

May I look at your newspaper?

Could I look at your newspaper?

All of these are more polite than saying: ‘Give me your newspaper’, which in fact sounds very rude. Can I…? is less polite than Could I…?while May I…? is very formal.

Another very polite form is:

Would you mind lending me your newspaper?

We also use Would you…?when making an offer, e.g.: Would you like something something eat?

This is more polite than ‘Have something to eat’

Another polite form is Shall I…? It is used when you are absolutely certain that someone would like you to do something.

For example, a son may say to his father:

Shall I put the generator on?


In pairs, practise making polite requests based on these situations.

  • carrying a heavy bag;
  • explaining a maths problem;
  • lending a mobile phone;
  • going to the post-office;
  • going through an assignment.

Other modal verbs

There are a few more more modal or modal-like verbs that you need to know and use

  1. Have to (have/has/had to): This is very much like must, and expresses a strong obligation or necessity.

He has to pay for the damage, whether he likes it or not

  1. Be to (am/are/is/was/were to): This expresses a future arrangement

e.g. Abel is to have another injection next week

  1. Be (am/are/is/was/were): This is a very common way of referring to the future

e.g. Abel is going to have another injection next week

This meaning is slightly different from the last example – Abel intends to have the injection; It’s not just that the doctor has told him to come for it.

  1. Need (to): This shows that some need or necessity is felt to be present (needn’t means its absence). Need can be followed by to and then behaves like an ordinary verb: needn’t is never followed by to.

Study these examples:

  1. ‘Need I go to the market today?’ asked Cecilia. ‘I went there only yesterday.'(We could also say: ‘Do I need to go…?’)
  2. ‘You must do this exercise again, ’said the teacher, ‘but you needn’t bring it to me – I will assume you’ve done it.’
  3. ‘You needn’t have washed the car, Joseph – Cletus did it only yesterday.’
  4. Dare (to): This means ‘have the courage to …’ and is more common in the negative:

He didn’t dare to argue.
He hardly dared to argue.

In the negative, dare can be used without to following it

  1. Composition – Features of Semi Formal Letter

There are occasions when you will need to write someone a semi-formal letter.Usually, this will be a letter that you need to write to someone older than yourself but usually on a private of family matter.

A Semi-formal letter is type of that is sent to someone you know, but do not share cordial relationship with. A Semi-formal letter is also used in non-formal relationship, but which requires polite and respectful approach (e.g. a school teacher, school principal, etc.). Semi-formal letter is in-between Formal and Informal letter. Meaning, it is written in more polite tone compared to Informal letter.

Features of Semi-Formal Letter

  1. Address (Top Right):Write the return address (your own address) followed by the date at the right hand side.
  2. Salutation:“Dear Mrs Lucy” is perfect, If you do not know the name of the recipient, you may write the position as in “Dear Sir” or “Dear Madam”
  3. Introduction:The introductory sentence should not be too formal or informal. For example:

I thoroughly enjoyed the meeting we had on the 1st of April about the position of an account officer in your company. I was impressed in the industriousness I observed in your workers and I am confident I will fit in.

  1. Body:Think about the body of your letter. Devote about four clear, direct and specific paragraphs to the body, and present only one main idea per paragraph.
  2. Write the appropriate closing: Closings range from more formal to less formal: “Respectfully yours,” “Yours very truly,” “Yours truly,” “Sincerely yours,” “Sincerely,” “Yours sincerely,” “Cordially,” “Best regards” “Warmest regards” “Best wishes” and “Best.”
  3. Follow the complimentary close with your signature and your name.


Sample of Semi-Formal Letter

  1. Literature: Drama

In literature, the word drama defines a genre, or style of writing. Drama is a unique literary form because they are designed to be acted out on a stage before an audience. The word ‘drama’ comes from the Greek word ‘dran’ meaning to act or to do. As “literature in action,” drama brings a story to life before our eyes. Drama is a play that can be performed for theatre, radio or even television. These plays are usually written out as a script, or a written version of a play that is read by the actors but not the audience. Drama is a mode of fictional representation through dialogue and performance. It is one of the literary genres, which is an imitation of some action. Drama is also a type of a play written for theaters, televisions, radios and films. In simple words, a drama is a composition in verse or prose presenting a story in pantomime or dialogue, containing conflict of characters, particularly the ones who perform in front of audience on the stage.

Types of Drama

Let us consider a few popular types of drama:

  • Comedy – Comedies are lighter in tone than ordinary writers, and provide a happy conclusion. The intention of dramatists in comedies is to make their audience laugh.  Hence, they use quaint circumstances, unusual characters and witty remarks. Comedy is a play written in a kindly or humorous, perhaps bitter or satiric vein, in which the problems or difficulties of the characters are resolved satisfactorily, if not for all characters, at least from the point of view of the audience. Low characters as opposed to noble; characters not always changed by the action of the play; based upon observation of life. Comedy and tragedy are concerned more with character, whereas farce and melodrama are concerned more with plot.
  • Tragedy – Tragic dramas use darker themes such as disaster, pain and death. Protagonists often have a tragic flaw—a characteristic that leads them to their downfall. Tragedy is a play written in a serious, sometimes impressive or elevated style, in which things go wrong and cannot be set right except at great cost or sacrifice. Aristotle said that tragedy should purge our emotions by evoking pity and fear (or compassion and awe) in us, the spectators.The tragic pattern:
    a theme of fatal passion (excluding love) as a primary motive2. an outstanding personality as center of conflict (classical tragedy demanded a “noble” character)3. a vital weakness within the hero’s character (his tragic flaw which precipitates the tragedy)4. the conflict within the hero is the source of tragedy. However, since Nietzsche, the tragic flaw is often found to be in the universe itself, or in man’s relationship to it, rather than in the hero himself.
  • Farce – Generally, a farce is a nonsensical genre of drama, which often overacts or engages slapstick humor. Farce is a comedy in which story, character, and especially situations are exaggerated to the point of improbability; the situation begins with a highly improbable premise, but when that is accepted everything that follows is completely logical. Fast moving; uses such theatrical devices as duplications, reversals, repetitions, surprises, disguises, chance encounters, often many doors and closets.
  • Melodrama – Melodrama is an exaggerated drama, which is sensational and appeals directly to the senses of audience. Just like the farce, the characters are of single dimension and simple, or may be stereotyped.
  • Musical Drama– In musical drama, the dramatists not only tell their story through acting and dialogue, nevertheless through dance as well as music. Often the story may be comedic, though it may also involve serious subjects.
  • Other kinds of plays 
    Classical tragic-comedy; noble characters but happy ending. 2. Classical comic-tragedy; low characters but ends badly 3. Satire 4. Vaudeville 5. Mime 6. Propaganda plays (or didactic drama)

Elements of Drama

  1. Characters

Characters are the people in the play’s plot. Most plays have a round, major characters and flat, minor characters. The main characters are more important to a work and usually have a bigger part to play.

Examples of Characters in a drama


JIM BONO, Troy’s friend

ROSE, Troy’s wife

LYONS, Troy’s oldest son by previous marriage

GABRIEL, Troy’s brother

CORY, Troy and Rose’s son

RAYNELL, Troy’s daughter

  1. Skill Focus: How to write a summary

When you skim read text successfully, you get the gist very swiftly, but when you are asked to write a summary, you need to be much more careful. A summary is a short statement of what someone has said or written about a subject. It should contain only the main points. Non-essential or irrelevant information should be omitted.

The diagram indicates steps you should go through to write a summary:



  • Write a Letter to your Teacher stating why you were absent in school
  • State the types of drama




Week 7


  • Speech work: /s/, /∫/ and /t∫/
  • Grammar: Adverbs of Place and Manner
  • Literature: Characters in a Drama
  1. Speech work: /s/, /∫/ and /t∫/

The /s/ sound

To make this sound, you press the front of the tongue very close to the roof of the mouth. The sound is unvoiced. Here are some words containing the sound:


Practise the following words

Stress on 1st syllableStress on second syllable

The /∫/ sound

To make this sound, the tip and front of the tongue are placed near the front of the mouth. When you say this sound, the sound comes from your mouth not your throat. English speakers use this sound when they ask for silence: Hush!


The /t∫/ sound

To make this sound, you place the front of the tongue against the front part of the mouth. Then you suddenly let the air through. The sound is unvoiced.


Practise these words

Stress on 1st syllableStress on second syllable

Consonant Contrast

  1. Adverbs of Place and Manner

An adverb is a part of a speech which can be added to a verb to modify its meaning. Usually, an adverb tells you when, where, how, in what manner, or to what extent an action is performed. Many adverbs end in ly particularly those that are used to express how an action is performed. Although many adverbs end in ly, some others do not. Example fast, never, well, most, least, more, less, now, for and there.

Adverb modifies verb by giving us the following information.

  1. How the action occurs
  2. Where the action occurs
  3. How many times action occur
  4. At which time the action occurs
  5. Intensity of action

Types of Adverbials – Manner and Place (for the purpose of this lesson, emphasis is on manner and place)

Adverbs of Manner: An adverb of manner tells us how something is done or happens, it describes the way and manner and action is performed These adverbs tell us that in which manner the action occurs or how the action occurs or occurred or will occur. Most adverbs of manner end in –ly such as badlyhappilysadlyslowlyquickly, and others that include wellhardfast.


She sings loudly

The old man walks slowly

The people waited impatiently

Adverbs of Time: These adverbs tell us about the time of action. We use it at the beginning or at the end of a sentence. We use it as a form of emphasis when we place it at the beginning. e.g. now, then, soon, tomorrow, yesterday, today, tonight, again, early, yesterday


He fell down yesterday

Tomorrow I will go to the market

Adverbs of Place: Adverb of place tells us about the place of action or where action occurs/occurred/will occur. We use it after the verb, object or at the end of a sentence e.g. here, there, near, somewhere, outside, ahead, on the top, at some place.

Stop there!!!

Let us go outside

Adverbs of Degree: An adverb of degree tells us the level or extent that something is done or happens. Words of adverb of degree are almost, much, nearly, quite, really, so, too, very.


He nearly lost his life in the accident

We are almost at the Zoo

  1. Literature: Characters in a Drama

Elements of Drama

  1. Characters

Characters are the people in the play’s plot. Most plays have a round, major characters and flat, minor characters. The main characters are more important to a work and usually have a bigger part to play.

Examples of Characters in a drama


JIM BONO, Troy’s friend

ROSE, Troy’s wife

LYONS, Troy’s oldest son by previous marriage

GABRIEL, Troy’s brother

CORY, Troy and Rose’s son

RAYNELL, Troy’s daughter

Let’s take a look at the different characters.

Protagonist: The main character, usually the one who sets the action in motion.

Example: Hamlet is the protagonist in the play ‘Hamlet’.

Antagonist: The character that stands as rival to the protagonist is called the antagonist. He is the villain.

Example: Claudius is the major antagonist in the play ‘Hamlet’ as he contrasts sharply with the main character in the play.

Foil: A character whose traits contrast with those of another character. Writers use foil to emphasize differences between two characters. For example, a handsome but dull character might be a foil for one who is unattractive but dynamic. By using foil, authors call attention to the strengths or weaknesses of a main character.

Example: In Hamlet, the passionate and quick to action Laertes is a foil for the reflective Hamlet.

Confidant: A character that lends an ear and gives his input to usually the protagonist is a confidant. This type of character is most commonly a closest friend or trusted servant of the main character, who serves as a device for revealing the mind and intention of the main character. The confidant’s inputs are revealed only to the audience and not to the other characters in the play.

Example: In Hamlet, Horatio is the confidant.

Stock characters: A stereotypical character who is not developed as an individual but as a collection of traits and mannerisms supposedly shared by all members of a group. These characters are easily recognized by audience due to their recurrent appearance and familiar roles.

Example: A comic, a servant, a fool, a coward, a crooked stepmother, and wicked witch.

Each character is distinct from the other and must have their own peculiar personality, background, and beliefs. The mannerisms and use of language too may differ. The way the characters in the play are treated by the playwright is important to the outworking of the play.

  1. Dialogue

The words uttered by characters in a play forms a dialogue. The dialogue reveals the plot and characters of the play. What is spoken must be suitable to the situation and the role of the character.

Things that are said on stage may take on greater worth or typical qualities than the same things said in everyday speech. Good dramatic speech involves a proper construction of words spoken in the appropriate context.

Good dialogue sheds light on the character speaking and the one spoken about, and aids in the furtherance of the plot.

Dialogue may take various forms:-

  • An exchange between two or more characters.

Titinius – These tidings will well comfort Cassius.

Messala – Where did you leave him?

Titinus – All disconsolate, With Pindarus his bondman, on this hill.

Messala – Is not that he lies upon the ground?

  • Soliloquy –A character that is typically alone on stage delivers a long speech which is called a soliloquy. Emotions and innermost thoughts of the character are revealed in a soliloquy.

[They exit. ANTONY remains.]



O, pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth,

That I am meek and gentle with these butchers!

Thou art the ruins of the noblest man

That ever lived in the tide of times.

  • Aside –This is spoken by a character to another character or to the audience but is not heard by the other characters on stage. Asides reveal what a character is thinking or feeling.


Good friends, go in and taste some wine with me,

And we (like friends) will straightway go together.

Brutus (aside) .

That every like is not the same, O Caesar,

The heart of Brutus earns to think upon.  [Exeunt.]

  1. Plot

The plot include events that occur in a story sequentially. Normally the introduction of the characters in the beginning of the play gives the audience an idea about what the plot maybe. This information will enlighten the audience as to why characters behave the way they do and an incident maybe expected to surface that will create a problem for the main characters.

As the action heightens, the characters encounter the problem and find themselves in trouble. The conflict in a plot may vary but nevertheless it forms the basis for the plot. The conflict leads the characters from one incident to another unfolding the plot and increasing the suspense and excitement of the reader or viewer.

The turning point of the plot is called the climax when the outcome of the conflict takes place. The climax takes several forms. It may be a revelation of information or it may be a decision or an action. It is the point where suspense no longer exists.

The plot is crucial for the success of a play.

  1. Setting

The setting and time in a play tell us where the story happened and the time it occurred.

The setting is very important because what usually happens in the play is influenced by it. Visual components of a setting maybe limited to a painted tree, a bridge, or a hut, or it could be more elaborate. Shifts in time and space are often indicated by the actors through their speech and movements.

In setting, the lighting plays an important role for it shows an illusion of time. Lighting also may be used to focus on an action or stress the importance of an event.

Costumes and props too are involved in setting. Costumes are used to portray a character’s profession, status, ethnicity, age and so on.

Props are items used by actors on stage to create an atmosphere of the play.  These can be simple writing materials, chairs and tables, flowers, thrones, blood-soaked clothes, blankets, and beds and so on.

The effect created by the setting creates the mood for a theatrical spectacle.

  1. Stage directions

An audience is prompted to react by the movements or positions of the actors in a play. It can build up tension, trigger laughter, or shift the focus of the audience to a different part of the stage.

To achieve this purpose, the writer communicates to the actors, director, and the rest of the crew in the play by means of stage directions.


He does this by means of short phrases, usually printed in italics and enclosed in parentheses or brackets. These directions describe the appearance and actions of characters as well as the sets, costumes, props, sound effects, and lighting effects.

Stage directions may also include the characters’ body language, facial expressions, and even the tone of voice. Comments or remarks about the surroundings and when a character enters or exits are also made in stage directions. Thus stage directions help us understand the feelings of the character and the mood of the story.

For movies and teleplays, camera instructions are provided.


HUCK. [Picks up a hard little sphere.] What’s this?

JIM. Must a been in there a long time to coat it over so.

[JIM cuts open the sphere and hands HUCK a coin.]

HUCK. It’s gold.

JIM. What sort of writing is that on it?

HUCK. Spanish…I think. This is a Spanish d’bloon, Jim, it’s priate gold!

Why I reckon this fish could be a hundred years old. Do you reckon so, Jim?

JIM. [Nodding.] He go along on the bottom. Eat the little ones. Get older and older and bigger and bigger. He here before people come maybe. Before this was a country. When there was nothing here but that big river…

[He grabs HUCK’s arm.]

  1. Theme

The theme actually tells what the play means. Rather stating what happens in the story, the theme deals with the main idea within the story. Theme has been described as the soul of the drama. The theme can either be clearly stated through dialogue or action or can be inferred from the entire performance. We shall conclude plot and theme in drama should compliment each other and should be synchronized to give a complete output.

General themes are:

  1. conflict–between two individuals
  2. conflict between man and a supernatural power

iii. conflict between the man and himself


Choose from the list of Adverbs to complete the following sentences

patiently, suspiciously, obstinately, beautifully, helpfully, angrily, softly, noisily, hungrily, well, thirstily, badly

  1. Deniran waited ___ in the queue
  2. The fat woman left the post office ____ when she didn’t receive her package
  3. My sister dresses _____
  4. The children ____ waited for their supper
  5. Gorgui _____ offered his identify card to be checked by the Police



Week 8


  • Consonant Contrast
  • Grammar – Idiomatic Expressions
  • Skill Focus: Writing an Outline
  • Literature: Poetry
  1. Consonant Contrast /∫/ and /t∫/
  1. Idiomatic Expressions

An idiom is a commonly used expression whose meaning does not relate to the literal meaning of its words. A group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words. An idiom’s figurative meaning is different from the literal meaning. There are thousands of idioms, and they occur frequently in all languages.

Examples of Idiomatic Expressions

  1. She is pullingmyleg – To pull someone’s leg means to trick them by telling them something untrue.

Literal meaning is physical pulling of the leg is quite different from the figurative expression.

  1. Wow! It’s raining cats and dogsout there – It is raining heavily.

Literal meaning is instead of water from the rain we have cats and dogs which isn’t possible.

  1. That shoe costs an arm and a leg. – an arm and a leg means something is very expensive
  2. Every cloud has a silver lining– Be optimistic, even difficult times will lead to better days.
  3. Oh no! You spilled the beans!– to spill the beans means to let out a secret.


Find the meanings of these idioms

  1. Tolu let the cat out of the bag
  2. I warned you not to put all your eggs in one basket
  3. I perceive there is a method to his madness
  4. Hmmmm!!! Speak of the devil
  5. Mr Mashana has kicked the bucket
  6. Skill Focus: Writing an Outline

Writing an outline – notes – has two purposes

  1. to make notes on a text
  2. to make notes in preparation for writing an essay

When studying, it is important to be able to jot down the main points  of a text and the main supporting details.

The first sentence of a paragraph is usually the topic sentence. Also note that, this can sometimes be written in past tense. And as these are notes, you are allowed to use abbreviations such as revs for ‘revolutions’ and E.g for ‘For example’.

Writing an essay

When preparing for an essay on a factual subject, such as computers, it is very helpful to sort out your ideas in a similar way – by writing an outline. Let us take an example:

Choosing a Topic: The first problem you have to face is choosing a subject. Usually you are given a choice. Here are three essay subjects for you to choose from:

  1. The uses of computers
  2. The uses of cellphones
  3. Transport today

Our advice: Choose a topic that you know something about. If possible, choose a topic that most other students will not choose.

Doing an Outline: Let’s suppose the topic you chose is c – Transport Today.
You could start making notes of initial ideas in the much same way you made notes on the reading text. One idea might be to start like this:

Transport Today

  1. Transport in the past:
  2. It is ………
  3. It usually …. (NB – Keep this short)
  4. Examples are: ……
  5. Modern Transport:
  6. Private
  7. Examples are: bicycle, car  …….
  8. advantages and disadvantages
  9. Public
  10. Examples are: train, bus, airplane, tricycle
  11. advantages and disadvantages
  12. Conclusion

Now plan and write your own essay which should not be longer than 400 words. Write a rough draft first, then re-write, correcting any errors and making improvements where necessary.

Assessment – Write in not more than 400 words about your FAVOURITE SUBJECT

  1. Literature: Poetry

What is Poetry?

Poetry is an art form in which human language is used for its aesthetic qualities in addition to, or instead of, its notional and semantic content. It consists largely of oral or literary works in which language is used in a manner that is felt by its user and audience to differ from ordinary prose.

Poetry is a form of literature that uses aesthetic and rhythmic qualities of language—such as phonaesthetics, sound symbolism, and metre—to evoke meanings in addition to, or in place of, the prosaic ostensible meaning.

It may use condensed or compressed form to convey emotion or ideas to the reader’s or listener’s mind or ear; it may also use devices such as assonance and repetition to achieve musical or incantatory effects. Poems frequently rely for their effect on imagery, word association, and the musical qualities of the language used. The interactive layering of all these effects to generate meaning is what marks poetry.

Because of its nature of emphasising linguistic form rather than using language purely for its content, poetry is notoriously difficult to translate from one language into another: a possible exception to this might be the Hebrew Psalms, where the beauty is found more in the balance of ideas than in specific vocabulary. In most poetry, it is the connotations and the “baggage” that words carry (the weight of words) that are most important. These shades and nuances of meaning can be difficult to interpret and can cause different readers to “hear” a particular piece of poetry differently. While there are reasonable interpretations, there can never be a definitive interpretation.

Types of Poetry

Poetry can be divided into several genres, or categories.

Narrative poetry is poetry that tells a story. Just like a literary narrative, there’s a plot or some sort of action taking place. One popular type of narrative poetry is epic poetry. An epic poem is a long narrative poem that usually follows the life and adventures of a hero. The ancient Greeks loved their epic poetry and produced great works that we are still fascinated by today, such as Homer’s “Iliad” and “Odyssey.”

Dramatic poetry If you’ve ever read a play by William Shakespeare, you’re reading dramatic poetry. Basically, dramatic poetry is written with the intention of being performed. Any drama written in verse which is meant to be spoken, usually to tell a story or portray a situation. The majority of dramatic poetry is written in blank verse. Other forms of dramatic poetry include, dramatic monologues, rhyme verse and closet drama. Important dramatic works include those by Shakespeare, Ben Jonson and Christopher Marlow

Lyric poetry is the type of poetry that comes to mind for most people when they think of what a poem is. Lyric poetry doesn’t necessarily tell a story, have a plot, or follow a logical progression. Lyric poetry is also an emotional writing focusing on thought and emotion – can consist of a song-like quality. Subdivisions include elegy, ode and sonnet. Lyric poetry does not attempt to tell a story. It’s more about using elements like rhyme and rhythm to create an overall effect or feeling. A good way to remember this is to think of lyrics in music, because at times, lyric poetry is set to music.

Nature of Poetry

Poetry can be differentiated most of the time from prose, which is language meant to convey meaning in a more expansive and less condensed way, frequently using more complete logical or narrative structures than poetry does. This does not necessarily imply that poetry is illogical, but rather that poetry is often created from the need to escape the logical, as well as expressing feelings and other expressions in a tight, condensed manner. English Romantic poet John Keats termed this escape from logic Negative Capability. A further complication is that prose poetry combines the characteristics of poetry with the superficial appearance of prose, such as in Robert Frost’s poem, “Home Burial.” Other forms include narrative poetry and dramatic poetry, both of which are used to tell stories and so resemble novels and plays. However, both these forms of poetry use the specific features of verse composition to make these stories more memorable or to enhance them in some way.

What is generally accepted as “great” poetry is debatable in many cases. “Great” poetry usually follows the characteristics listed above, but it is also set apart by its complexity and sophistication. “Great” poetry generally captures images vividly and in an original, refreshing way, while weaving together an intricate combination of elements like theme tension, complex emotion, and profound reflective thought. For examples of what is considered “great” poetry, visit the Pulitzer prize and Nobel prize sections for poetry.

The Language of Poetry

Rhyme: Rhymes make a poem more musical.

Example –

The woods are lovely, dark and deep
But I have something to keep

Images: A poem is a series of word pictures. We se them with our imaginations not with our eyes

Theme: The main topic or issue of the poetry.

Tone: When you talk to someone, you can change the meaning of what you’re saying by changing your tone. Poetry has a tone and this is the tone of the voice of the writer or orator.

Mood: The main emotion of the story or poem is called mood.

Atmosphere: The atmosphere of the poetry is linked to the settings of the poetry.

Sound in poetry

Perhaps the most vital element of sound in poetry is rhythm. Often the rhythm of each line is arranged in a particular meter. Different types of meter played key roles in Classical, Early European, Eastern and Modern poetry. In the case of free verse, the rhythm of lines is often organized into looser units of cadence.

Poetry in English and other modern European languages often uses rhyme. Rhyme at the end of lines is the basis of a number of common poetic forms, such as ballads, sonnets and rhyming couplets. However, the use of rhyme is not universal. Much modern poetry, for example, avoids traditional rhyme schemes. Furthermore, Classical Greek and Latin poetry did not use rhyme. In fact, rhyme did not enter European poetry at all until the High Middle Ages, when it was adopted from the Arabic language. The Arabs have always used rhymes extensively, most notably in their long, rhyming qasidas. Some classical poetry forms, such as Venpa of the Tamil language, had rigid grammars (to the point that they could be expressed as a context-free grammar), which ensured a rhythm.

Alliteration played a key role in structuring early Germanic and English forms of poetry (called alliterative verse), akin to the role of rhyme in later European poetry. The alliterative patterns of early Germanic poetry and the rhyme schemes of Modern European poetry alike both include meter as a key part of their structure, which determines when the listener expects instances of rhyme or alliteration to occur. In this sense, both alliteration and rhyme, when used in poetic structures, help to emphasise and define a rhythmic pattern. By contrast, the chief device of Biblical poetry in ancient Hebrew was parallelism, a rhetorical structure in which successive lines reflected each other in grammatical structure, sound structure, notional content, or all three; a verse form that lent itself to antiphonal or call- and-response performance.

Poetry and form

Compared with prose, poetry depends less on the linguistic units of sentences and paragraphs, and more on units of organisation that are purely poetic. The typical structural elements are the line, couplet, strophe, stanza, and verse paragraph.

Lines may be self-contained units of sense, as in the well-known lines from William Shakespeare’s Hamlet:

To be, or not to be: that is the question.

Alternatively a line may end in mid-phrase or sentence:

Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer

this linguistic unit is completed in the next line,

The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.

This technique is called enjambment, and is used to create a sense of expectation in the reader and/or to add a dynamic to the movement of the verse.

Poetry and rhetoric

Rhetorical devices such as simile and metaphor are frequently used in poetry. Indeed, Aristotle wrote in his Poetics that “the greatest thing by far is to be a master of metaphor”. However, particularly since the rise of Modernism, some poets have opted for reduced use of these devices, preferring rather to attempt the direct presentation of things and experiences. Other 20th-century poets, however, particularly the surrealists, have pushed rhetorical devices to their limits, making frequent use of catachresis.


  1. Why is it important to first write an outline when writing an essay?
  2. What is poetry?
  3. Briefly discuss the different types of poetry you know.

Week: 9


Grammar: Adverbs of Cause and Reason

Speech work: The consonant sound /w/ and /j/

Composition: Argumentative Essay

  1. Adverbs of Cause and Reason

A clause is a group of words containing a verb. Adverb clauses of reason answer the question WHY?

Adverbs of Reason: These adverbs answer the question ‘why’. Examples are: therefore, hence, thus, consequently etc.


He did not work hard, therefore, he failed.
Consequently he refused to come.

Adverbs of Certainty: Adverbs of certainty express how certain we feel about an action or event. Adverbs of certainty go before the main verb unless the main verb is ‘to be’, in which case the adverb of certainty goes after. Certainly, definitely, probably, undoubtedly, surely


He definitely left the house this morning.

She is certainly a smart young lady


  1. Structure of Drama

Ancient Greek drama contained structural divisions and these gradually evolved to a five part structure in drama. By the 16th century, Five Act plays were the order of the day with any number of scenes in each act.

A traditional play thus came to be a Five Act Play. What was the structure followed here?

  • Exposition or introduction
  • Rising Action
  • Climax
  • Falling Action
  • Denouement or conclusion


Exposition: This is the introduction of the play which provides important background information about the characters, setting, and the conflict they face or are about to face. It may reveal an incident in a character’s past that has a bearing on the plot. The exposition leads the audience to follow through the rest of the story.

Rising action: This is the second characteristic in the structure of a drama. The plot moves forward with further twists and complications in the conflict and many sub-plots. The actions lead the audience toward high intensity, anticipation, and suspense.

Climax: The highest point of dramatic intensity and the most intense moment in the plot is the climax. The questions and mysteries are unraveled at this point. It is a turning point in the play for the protagonist where things from then on will either turn out better or worse for him depending on the kind of play it is.

Falling Action: This is the part where conflicts are more or less resolved and the play moves on to its end.

Denouement: This is the conclusion of the play where everything is better off than when it started, as in a comedy, or things are worse than when the play began, as in the case of a tragedy. Conflicts are resolved. Motives are clear. Final details are straightened up.

Let us examine Shakespeare’s ‘The Merchant of Venice’ and look at the characteristics that determine the structure of the play.

In the exposition or the introduction what do we learn?

We are introduced to the plot. Here we see at least two conflicts:

1) Between Shylock and Antonio (Scenes I and III)

2) Portia’s Marriage (Scene II)

These events give us an insight to the purpose of the events.

We are introduced to the main characters of the play in the exposition. Some of them are,

  • Antonio
  • Bassanio
  • Gratiano
  • Shylock
  • Portia
  • Nerissa

There are two settings we are introduced to

1) Belmont’s sitting a very fancy and fairy ‘tailish’ place ideal for a comedy.

2) Venice that represents real life with traders and merchants ideal setting for a tragedy.

Rising Action: There are many obstacles that a protagonist must face when reaching his goal. In this play, we see that Antonio’s ships which are the only means by which he can pay Shylock’s debt, is reported lost in the sea.

Climax: This is a turning point in the play where changes may take place for better or worse. In this play, Portia comes to Antonio’s rescue to plead in his behalf by disguising herself as a man of law.

Falling Action: Shylock is given orders to give up all his possessions and convert to be a Christian. Portia and Nerissa convince their husbands to hand over their rings.

Denouement: The conclusion of the play shows that everything is in harmony. All return to Belmont and the couples are reconciled.

Examples of Drama from Literature

Example 1


Much Ado About Nothing is the most frequently performed Shakespearian comedy. The play is romantically funny in that love between Hero and Claudio is laughable, as they never even get a single chance to communicate on-stage until they get married. Their relationship lacks development and depth. They end up merely as caricatures, exemplifying what people face in life when their relationships are internally weak. Love between Benedick and Beatrice is amusing, as initially their communications are very sparky, and they hate each other. However, they all of sudden make up, and start loving each other.

An Outline for Play Analysis

Name of play

Date of play

The author and his social milieu

Type of theatre for which the play was written

Genre: tragedy, comedy, drama, farce, melodrama

Author’s purpose

Theme: major theme

minor themes

Breakdown of play by acts and scenes

Plot development




Protagonist: character analysis


fatal flaw or comic weakness

character evolvement


Other characters: their function in relation to protagonist

their function within structure of play

Plot: main action


Other production requirements

Exposition demanded by the text: lighting

Initiating incident costumes

Obstacles or conflicts music

Crisis dance

Climax sound effects

Resolution or denouement important props

Use of dramatic devices: irony, foreshadowing, suspense, surprises

Language: realistic, heroic, archaic, poetic, incantatory, or ghast

Setting: period of style

scene changes or changes within single set as play progresses


essential scenic elements



Define drama as a genre of literature.

Briefly discuss the types of drama you know.

What are the elements of drama? 



What is an Argumentative Essay?

Argument essays seek to state a position on an issue and give several reasons, supported by evidence, for agreeing with that position.

Argument essay topics can be found everywhere. Check the headlines of a newspaper, or just listen in to a conversation at your local Starbucks. Chances are, you will hear someone trying to persuade another person to believe in their claim about:

What caused this?

How important is it?

What should we do about it?

                       5 Types of Argument Claims

  1. Fact: Is it true or not?
  2. Definition: What does it really mean?
  3. Value: How important is it?
  4. Cause and Effect: What is the cause? What are the effects?
  5. Policy: What should we do about it?

How to Write Your Thesis

Question/Answer format: To make your topic idea into a thesis you need to turn the topic idea into a question first. Examples:

Does divorce cause serious problems for the children? (fact)

What is “domestic violence?” (definition)

What are the causes of divorce? (cause)

How important is it for couples to avoid divorce? (value)

What can you do to make your marriage divorce-proof?


Answer: Your question often can be the title of your paper, or it can be the last line of the introduction. Your answer to this question is your thesis.

Refute Objections: You might want to put an introductory phrase in the first part of your thesis to show that you are refuting other ideas about the answer.

Example: While some people think there is no way to divorce-proof 9your marriage, studies have shown that there are fewer divorces when people carefully prepare for that commitment.

Roadmap: An additional way to make a strong thesis is to do a “Roadmap” which tells in just a few words the three or more main points you will cover.

Example: While some people think there is no way to divorce-proof your marriage, studies have shown that there are fewer divorces when people carefully prepare for that commitment by taking  time to get to know the other person before becoming engaged, spending time with one another’s family and friends, talking about hot-button issues like finances, and getting extensive premarital counseling.

Introduction and Conclusion: Introduction Ideas Conclusion Ideas Use a true storyWhat will happen if your solution is adopted or people accept your argument?Scenario: imaginary story which illustrates the problem

Revise the scenario showing what will happen if the audience adopts your ideas.

Startling quotation, fact or statistic. Use a real-life example of how your idea works. Explain the problem. Tell the audience what they need to think, do, feel or believe.Describe vividly Appeal to the audience emotions, character, or reason.Frame story or flashback Finish the frame story.Argumentative essays are fairly straightforward in their organization. In your paper, you will need to do the following

  1. Interest the audience the situation and make them think it is worth learning more about.
  2. Explain the controversy or problem clearly.
  3. Explain the sides of the debate.
  4. Tell them your side.
  5. Convince them that your side is the best one to take.
  6. Refute any objections they may be thinking about as they read.
  7. Urge the audience to adopt our point of view to do, think or believe something.
  8. Introduction: Explain the subject, the controversy, and end with your thesis. Here are some tips:

Use the title to present your point of view. Often the title can be a question.

Think about your audience—what aspects of this issue would most interest or convince them?

Make sure you have a clear thesis which answers the question. The thesis should tell your position and is usually the last sentence of your introduction.

III. Body: Explains the reasons your audience should agree with your thesis. Your body needs to also refute objections or other points of view.

  1. Reasons and support:  Usually, you will have three or more reasons why the audience should accept your position. These will be your topic sentences. Support each of these reasons with argument, examples, statistics, authorities or anecdotes To make your reasons seem plausible, connect them back to your position by using “if…then” reasoning
  2. Anticipate opposing positions and objections

What objections will your readers have? Answer them with argument or evidence.

What other positions do people take on this subject? What is your reason for rejecting these positions?

Conclusion: Make a final point which tells the reader what to think or do.

Why should the audience  adopt your point of view?

You might use the anticipating objections in the conclusion.

Hope you got what you visited this page for? The above is the lesson note for English Language for JSS3 class. However, you can download the free PDF file for record purposes.

If you have any questions as regards English Language lesson note For JSS3 class, kindly send them to us via the comment section below and we shall respond accordingly as usual.




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