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English Studies Lesson Note for JSS2 (First Term) 2024

English Studies lesson note for JSS2 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 Studies.

English Studies lesson note for JSS2  First Term has been provided in detail here on

English Studies Lesson Note for JSS2 (First Term) [year] 1

For prospective school owners, teachers, and assistant teachers, English Studies lesson note is defined as a guideline that defines the contents and structure of English Studies as a subject offered at SS level. The lesson note for English Studies 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 Studies 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 Studies Lesson note for JSS2 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 JSS2 English Studies 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 JSS2 English Studies 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 Studies-approved lesson note for all topics and sub-topics in English Studies as a subject offered in JSS2.

Please note that English Studies lesson note for JSS2 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.

JSS2 English Studies Lesson Note (First Term) 2024


Week 1


Oral Skills: Vowel Sounds

Grammar: Nouns

Oral Skills: Vowel Sounds

The central vowel /ә/

This short sound is very common, It only occurs in unstressed syllables (ones said with almost no force). 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 /ә/:

an eggthe booka glass of water
at schoolat homePoor but happy

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

He mixed the eggs together and poured them into the oil.

Vowel sounds present a considerable challenge to non-native speakers. Spoken English has an unusually high number of vowel sounds – from 5 written vowels (a, e, i, o, u) we produce 19 vowel sounds

Types of Vowel Sounds

A vowel sound is made by shaping the air as it leaves the mouth. There are four types of vowel in English:

      • Short monothongs (2, 3, 4, 7, 10, 12 in the diagram)
      • Long monothongs (1, 6, 8, 9, 11 in the diagram)
      • Diphthongs (13 – 19 in the diagram)
      • Weak vowels (1, 2, 5 , 9 in the diagram)

Grammar: Nouns

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

There are four kinds of nouns:

  1. Common Nouns
  2. Proper Nouns
  3. Concrete Nouns
  4. Abstract Nouns
  5. Common Nouns

common noun names a class of similar things (chair, box), and not an individual member of a specified group of people or things. We do not capitalize the first letter of a common noun unless it is the first word in a sentence.

Common nouns are names of people, things, animals and places, etc.


  • People– aunt, boy, butcher, carpenter, cousin, father, girl, lady, man, mother, tailor, woman
  • Things– bicycle, book, car, computer, dress, hammer, key, pencil,  ship, table, vase, wallet
  • Animals– armadillo, baboon, bee, caterpillar, cow, dog, eagle, fish, monkey, pig, snake, turkey
  • Places– airport, beach, bullring, cemetery, church, country, hospital, library, mall, park, restaurant, zoo
  1. Proper Nouns

proper noun is a special name of a person, place, organization, etc. We spell a proper noun with a capital letter. Proper nouns also refer to times or to dates in the calendar.

We can use plurals for proper nouns in exceptional cases.

  • There are three Johnsin my class.

We can also use thean, or a for a proper noun in special circumstances.

  • This is no longer the London I used to live in.

Proper nouns are names of people, places, organization, etc.


  • People– Joke Thompson, Barack Obama
  • Places–  Jump Street,  Museum of Modern Art, Sahara Desert
  • Things– Financial Times, Eiffel Tower
  • Organization– International Labour Organization, Red Cross, United Nations
  • Animals– King Kong, Lassie
  • Times and dates– Sunday, April
  1. Proper Nouns

One of the problem with proper nouns is to know whether or not you should use the (definite article) with them. Here are some guidelines:

Without THE – 

  • Names of people (with or without title) – Paul, Chief Mrs Busola, Dr Sunday, Bobola
  • geographical features such as continents, countries, states, regions, cities, islands, mountains, lakes – Nigeria, Oregun, Everest, London
  • Days of the week, months, festivals – Thursday, Easter, April
  • Schools, colleges, universities – Government college Ketu, Universiy of Abuja

With THE –

  • Groups of mountains or islands – the Himalayas
  • Seas and Oceans – the Atlantic Ocean
  • Descriptive titles – a) one in which only common nouns are used – the School of Agriculture. b) one that has a common noun preceding the particular name  the University of Lagos
  1. Nouns: Concrete Noun

concrete noun is something we see or touch. It is the opposite of an abstract noun. There are countable concrete nouns and uncountable concrete nouns

Countable and Uncountable

  1. Common nouns are either Countable or Uncountable. Can you remember the rules for using each type? (Countable, but not uncountable nouns, (i) can be used in the plural as well as the singular, (ii) can be preceded  by the indefinite article a(n). In the following list of common nouns, which ones are examples of which type?

road, wood, village, question, cupboard, electricity, newspaper, fuel, windscreen, box, blame, information, appointment.

  1. Uncountable nouns often name a substance or abstract quality which cannot easily be separated into different parts. If we want to speak of a part of it, we need to use a Unit word (which is itself countable), followed by of, followed by the uncountable noun.  For example: a cup of water, ten litres of kerosene, a bit of luck, a flash of lightning. Note that cigarette is countable, not uncountable, so it is wrong to say He was smoking a stick of cigarette; just say He was smoking a cigarette.


Certain nouns are sometimes countable, sometimes uncountable; and there is some difference in meaning. For example, man when uncountable means human beings in general; when countable it means the male of the human species. Give a list of countable and uncountable nouns you know.

  1. Abstract Nouns

An abstract noun is a quality or something that we can only think of rather than as something that we can see or touch, e.g. beauty, courage, friendship, intelligence, truth. We can form abstract nouns from common nouns (child – childhood); from verbs (know – knowledge); and from adjectives (happy – happiness).

 Collective Nouns

Collective Nouns are words to represent a group of people, animals, or things.  A collective noun is a name used for a number of people, animals or things that we group together and speak of as a whole

Common collective nouns

  • An army of ants
  • A flock of birds
  • A flock of sheep
  • A herd of deer
  • A gang of thieves
  • A pack of thieves
  • A panel of experts
  • A forest of trees
  • A galaxy of stars
  • A pack of cards

Collective nouns are are nouns that in the singular refer to a collection of items: e.g. furniture, cutlery, equipment, alphabet, vocabulary e.t.c The first three of these should never be used in the plural.

The last two can be used in plural only if we are considering different languages. Use one of these words to fill the gaps below

  1. They have filled their new house with some very nice ____
  2. English and arabic are languages that use different ____
  3. We can not eat our food because we have no ____
  4. Our company’s biggest problem is out of date ____
  5. The English ____contains 26 letters

A collective noun can take a singular or a plural verb.

The following nouns can be singular or plural. Viewed as a single unit, the noun takes a singular verb; regarded as a group of separate members or parts, it becomes a plural noun used with a plural verb.


  • The new government hashelped my community.
  • The Government aredetermined to keep inflation in check.

A collective noun treated as singular uses a singular possessive pronoun; a plural collective noun takes a plural possessive pronoun.


  • Our team has wonits first trophy. (The singular possessive pronoun isits. The singular possessive pronoun its agrees with the singular collective noun team.)
  • Our team are deciding on the strategy fortheir next game. (Plural possessive pronoun: their)

Nouns: Singular and Plural

More words belong to the noun class than to any other class. This is because they are the names of people or things in our world.

  1. Nouns are either Proper (the names of particular people or things) or Common (the general names of people or things). In the following list of nouns, which belong to each group?

James, mind, leaves, Okri, engine, Benue

Proper nouns are easy to identify because they begin with a capital letter.

  1. Nouns have different Singular and Plural forms. Usually, -s or -es is added for the plural, but there are some irregular forms. In the following exercise, fill the gaps by giving the plural  form of the nouns in brackets:
  2. The _____ (child) carried their ____ (plate) to the _____ (table)
  3. ____ (Woman) generally have smaller  ____ (foot) than ____ (man)
  4. ____ (Goose) resemble ____ (duck) in appearance, but are bigger
  5. Many _____ (criterion) can be used to define success in life
  6. Some nouns are plural only e.g. trousers, scissors, barracks, cattle. Some have the same form for both singular and plural, e.g. species, series. Quarter usually means ‘one-fourth’, but quarter means ‘living area’. People can be singular or plural meaning ‘ethnic group’, ‘nation’, but in the plural it can also mean ‘persons’. Funds just means ‘money’, but fund means ‘money set aside for a special purpose’.

There are nouns that are always plural and take a plural verb:

Jeans, knickers, pants, pyjamas, shorts, tights, trousers, and underpants

Pincers, pliers, scissors, shears, tongs

Clogs, sandals, slippers, and sneakers

Glasses (spectacles), binoculars


  • These trousersare not mine.
  • Pliers area handy tool.
  • My garden shears trimthe hedge very well.
  • My glasses areused only for reading.

“A pair of” can be used with the above plural nouns and take a singular verb.

  • This pairof purple trousers does not match your yellow jacket.
  • These knives do notcut well. A new pair of stainless steel scissors iswhat I need.

Other nouns that are always plural:

  • Clothes: My clothes needto be washed but I don’t have the time.
  • Earnings: Earningsin the agricultural sector have increased by 5% in the fourth quarter.
  • Cattle: Cattle arereared for their meat or milk.
  • Police: Police arecharging him with the murder of the princess.
  • People: Peoplein general are not very approachable. (Peoples when used in the plural (i.e. with ‘–s’) refers to peoples from more than one race or nation, e.g. the peoples of Asia)
  • Football team: Liverpool area very successful football team. (ButLiverpool is a great city.)

Nouns which are plural in form but take a singular verb

The following plural nouns are used with a singular verb as they are treated as singular:

Athletics, economics, gymnastics, linguistics, mathematics, mechanics, news, numismatics, measles, mumps, physics, politics and pyrotechnics

  • Economics: Economics wasmy favourite subject at school.
  • News – The good news isthat we have all been invited.
  • Diseases such as mumps, measles, etc: An infectious illness, mumps wascommon among children.

Measurements and amounts that are considered as a single unit:

  • One hundred years isa century.
  • Ten kilometres isa long distance.
  • Twenty dollars isnot enough to buy a good shirt.
  • Seven daysin prison is all he got for shoplifting.

Skill Focus – Students’ Problems with School work
Students often complain about problems with school work. For example, look at the three problems Ali, Olu and Ada have below. Do you have any of these problems too?

Some books aren’t so easy to read, and I find it quite hard to understand some of them.

I find there’s too much reading to do. I can’t keep up with it all.

I find that it’s quite difficult to remember what we have read.

Maybe we have all of these problems to some extent! Let’s look to each in turn:

Ali’s problem: Understanding
Many people confuse understanding a passage with understanding all the words in a passage. This is not always necessary. You can often understand the most important points without understanding every single word.
What should you do if you come across a new word, and you aren’t sure what it means? Here are five tips:

  • try to infer the meaning of the word from the way it is used
  • then without wasting any more time, carry on reading. The word’s meaning may become clear as you read on
  • if necessary, come back to it later
  • if you think that the word is unimportant, ignore it
  • if you think it is important, jot it down on a piece of paper, and look it up later.

For example, look at the word ‘infer’ underlined above. Does this sentence mean

  1. you should ignore strange words?
  2. you should look them up in a dictionary at once?
  3. you should try to guess the meaning?

This brings us at one more important point: get into the habit of talking about your studies with your friends. You will be surprised how talking about your work helps to increase your understanding of it!

Olu’s Problem: Time
If yu are short of time for reading and studying, there may be two answers:

  • Maybe you are not spending your study time efficiently – see below
  • Maybe you have not organised your life to make time for important things like studying, relaxing, meeting you friends, and so on.

You need to keep a balance between the different important activities in your life. Spending too much time on any one thing, and not enough on others, is not good for anyone. To make sure you have a good balanced approach in life, you will find it helps to draw up a personal time table.

Ada’s Problem: Remembering

Good ways of remembering what we study include:

  • Reading actively.
  • Don’t just try to memorise information – understand and think about it. Identify important information, and underline it in pencil. Make short notes of the most important points in a reading text.
  • Talking about your studies: Explaining something you have learnt to someone who does not know about it can be a big help. As you explain it, you have to  order your thoughts, and you arrive at new insights yourself too.
  • Revising: Once you have made notes, that is not the end of the matter, however. It is important to read them through from time to time – and not only just before an examination. It pays to refresh your memory several times.
  • Make sure that if you copy someone else’s writing, you can read it.

Making notes

Make short notes on this Skills focus box. If you like, begin as follows:

How to study

  1. Understanding:


  1. How many types of vowels are there in English language?———-
    (A. Three B. Two C. Five D. Four)
  2. Mention and explain the types of vowels that you know.
  3. List and explain the four types of nouns that you know.
  4. Explain the major difference between singular and plural nouns.

Week 2


Language Structure

Literature: Fiction and Non-fiction

Vocabulary: Word Families

Language Structure

  1. The Parts of Speech

Do you remember the parts of speech – the different classes we group words into? Here are some of them. Match them with their correct definitions:

A pronoun is a naming word
A prepositiona describing word
A verb isa word that can be used in place of a noun
A noun isrelates a noun to other words
An adjective isa doing word

Other classes are conjunctions (and, but, or, that), which link phrases together; and auxiliaries (may, will, can, should, etc). ‘Auxiliary’ means ‘helping’ and auxiliaries are really verbs which stand directly before other verbs and so ‘help’ them.

Other classes of words are articles (a, an, the) and quantifiers – words like some, many, all, which  show the quantity oe amount of something.

  1. Types of Sentence

A statement can be a statement, a question, an order, or instruction, or an exclamation. Find two of each from this list:

  1. Rain is vital for farmers
  2. Where did the old woman come from?
  3. What heavy rain!
  4. Do you believe in rainmakers?
  5. The old widow was very kind
  6. How I wish it would rain soon!
  7. Don’t believe everything you read.
  8. Look at that dark cloud!
  9. Sentence Structure

Most sentences types must have have a subject and a verb

For example: Our team won
Sometimes the verb has an auxiliary before it:
Our team is winning
(Here, ‘ is’, which comes from the verb ‘be’, is an auxiliary.)

Often the verb is followed by an object:

Our team won the match
Our team  is winning the match.

Sometimes the verb includes a negative form. These different types of statement are set out in Table 1:

SubjectDogs+ Verbbark
SubjectCattle+ VerbEat+ ObjectGrass
SubjectMy brother+ AuxiliaryHas+ Verbpassed+ ObjectThe exam
SubjectMy brother+ AuxiliaryHas/+ NegativeNot+ Verbpassed+ ObjectThe exam
  1. Types of Subject

The subject of a sentence can be of any of the following:

  • a common noun (with or without article, quantifiers, adjectives)
  • a proper noun
  • a pronoun

Make up sentences from the following table, and say what type of subject appears in each one:

SegunHas left school
WaterHave died
TheyWas stolen
AminaSells almost everything
All the goatsIs necessary for life
Our shopCan speak French

Another type of subject is the -ing form of a verb, e.g reading, playing, hawking.

Here are some sentence examples:

Reading improves the mind
Playing daughts is popular in Nigeria
Hawking in the streets is not good for school children

  1. Types of Object

An object can be a proper noun, a pronoun, a common noun, and a oun with other words attached to it.

Find the different types of object in the table:

 Segun metBola
They boughtA car
I didn’t knowHim
He woreThe most beautiful agbada they had ever seen

An object can also be a -ing word, or to + infinitive. These objects usually follow verbs like enjoy, like, avoid, finish, keep on, etc

TheyEnjoyPlaying football
TheyKept onDancing
ILikeTo dance

Make up some more similar sentences

  1. Transitive and Intransitive Verbs

We have to use an object after some verbs. For example, these verbs must be followed by an object:

beat, enjoy, hit, need, contain

So we can say:
The Super Eagles beat Argentina
but not: The Super Eagles beat.

We call this kind of verb a transitive verb

Some verbs never take an object. For example:arrive, come, ache, do, sit down, sleep, rain

So we can say:
They arrived a ten
but not: They arrived the station at ten

We call this kind of verb an intransitive verb

A few verbs can be used transitively or intransitively. These include:

begin, drop, hurt, ring, open, win

So we can say:
They Super Eagles won
or: The Super Eagles won the match

  1. Intransitive verbs + complement

Some intransitive verbs are followed by a word or phrase – but we do not call it an object.
For example:
My name is Segun
My brother became a policeman

Here we have the verb is (one of the forms of be followed by a noun (Segun) and the verb became followed by a noun phrase (a policeman).

We call such a noun or noun phrase the complement of the verb. This is because it is needed to complete the sentence. (It would not make sense to say My brother became).

  1. Expressing Negation

The most common way nof expressing negation is by using the word not. The simplest sentences using not are with the verb to be. 

Kenya is in West Africa
→Kenya is not in West Africa

That was an interesting story
→That was not an interesting story

It often rains in June
→It does not often rain in June

The chief welcomed the old woman
→The chieft did not welcome the old woman

As you can see, with the Present Simple and the Past Simple Tenses, we use the present (do, does) or past (did) form of the verb do to help us. This is another example of an auxiliary verb.

Notice that in speech, we usually use short forms:

Kenya is not in West Africa
→Kenya isn’t in West Africa.

When there is already a helping verb, we do not need to use do:

I have met Lucy Mokolade
→I have not met Lucy Mokolade

Lucy could marry Moses
→ Lucy could not marry Moses


Turn these sentences into the negative in the same way, using either the long form or short form:

  1. I have been to Kenya
  2. Anthony has asked Lucy to marry him
  3. Lucy has agreed to his proposal
  4. She had known he was going to ask her
  5. She had decided to give him an immediate answer
  6. The woman could save Simbi
  7. You can find Simbi on a map

Now practise conversations like these, first with your teacher, and then in pairs. Notice how we use any in question forms, and in negative answers:

WOMAN: Do you have any stew?
WIDOW: No, I haven’t  any stew, but I have some porridge.

There are several other ways of expressing negation. These words all have a negative meaning:

hardly (hardly ever)
scarcely (scarcely ever)
seldom (not often)
rarely (almost never)

They are used without not.


In pairs, change each of the following sentences in three different ways, using the words in italics. For example:

John smokes. (not, never, hardly ever)
John doesn’t smoke
John never smokes
John hardly ever smokes.

  1. Mary reads books (not, never, hardly ever)
  2. Ibrahim watches TV (not, never, scarcely ever)
  3. Emeka comes to football practice (rarely, seldom, never)
  4. Bunmi goes to choir practice (rarely, hardly ever, scarcely  ever)
  5. The woman visited the town (seldom, never, hardly ever)

Literature: Fiction versus Non-fiction

Fiction versus Non-fiction

Texts are commonly classified as fiction or nonfiction. The distinction addresses whether a text discusses the world of the imagination (fiction) or the real world (nonfiction).

Fiction: poems, stories, plays, novels

Nonfiction: newspaper stories, editorials, personal accounts, journal articles, textbooks, legal documents

Fiction is commonly divided into three areas according to the general appearance of the text:

  • stories and novels: prose–that is, the usual paragraph structure–forming chapters
  • poetry: lines of varying length, forming stanzas
  • plays: spoken lines and stage directions, arranged in scenes and acts

Other than for documentaries, movies are fiction because they present a “made up” story. Movie reviews, on the other hand, are nonfiction, because they discuss something real—namely movies.

Note that newspaper articles are nonfiction—even when fabricated. The test is not whether the assertions are true. Nonfiction can make false assertions, and often does. The question is whether the assertions claim to describe reality, no matter how speculative the discussion may be. Claims of alien abduction are classified as nonfiction, while “what if” scenarios of history are, by their very nature, fiction.

The distinction between fiction and nonfiction has been blurred in recent years. Novelists (writers of fiction) have based stories on real life events and characters (nonfiction), and historians (writers of nonfiction) have incorporated imagined dialogue (fiction) to suggest the thoughts of historical figures

Non-fiction: The Argument And The Meaning

Non-fiction is fairly direct.  The author of a work of nonfiction has specific information or ideas to convey. Authors of nonfiction generally come out and say what they have on their minds.

Non-fiction (as noted elsewhere , as well as below) is characterized by a claim of truth. Nonfiction can include a wide range of subjective forms of discussion:

  • assertions of personal preferences or belief,
  • appeals more to trust, faith, or personal values than scientific evidence or logical proof,
  • subjective analysis of otherwise objective data,
  • conclusions asserted with varying degrees of certainty.

Critical readers will recognize these subjective elements in seemingly objective presentations.

We read nonfiction for knowledge, new ideas, or to understand someone’s perspective on, or analysis of, the world. We analyze works of nonfiction to recognize how choices of content and language shape the reader’s perceptions and encourage the reader’s acceptance.

Fiction: The Story And The Moral

Fiction is subjective and evocative.  It is “made up,” and indirect in its communication.  A work of fiction may evoke:

  • the thrill of imagining impossible or unavailable experiences
  • intrigue with playing out “what if” or” if only” scenarios
  • feelings and perceptions of another historical period, or simply observations on the human condition

We thus read fiction not to gain new information so much as to experience the ideas and feelings a story inspires within us.

Readers have different expectations from fiction and nonfiction. Proof is a major issue with nonfiction; emotional involvement is a major issue with fiction. We expect a story (fiction) to grab us, an essay (nonfiction) to convince us. We will suspend belief when reading a romance novel or science fiction, but demand reason and evidence from non-fiction.

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For passing time or sheer enjoyment, of course, simply reading the story can be satisfaction and reward enough. We do not have to analyze everything we read. The point is to be able to interpret when we want to—or have to.

Both fiction and nonfiction can be subjected to analysis and interpretation. These two forms of expression are, however, examined somewhat differently. One analyzes a non-fiction text

  • to discover underlying themes and perspectives, as well as
  • to realize how choices of content and language shape the reader’s perception and encourage the reader’s acceptance.

Analyzing Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, for instance, we can recognize not only remarks on the dedication of a cemetery, but comparisons between images of the living and dead, between what has been done and what must be done.

We analyze fictional works for recurring themes that reflect on the broader human experience. People do not really tell nursery rhymes so that children will know about a girl named Cinderella or about pigs who built houses. The stories have deeper, unstated meanings: virtue rewarded (Cinderella) or the folly of a lack of industry (The Three Little Pigs). We respond to both the story and an underlying message.

On the surface, Melville’s Moby Dick , for instance, might be seen as an adventure story about a man hunting a whale. On closer analysis and interpretation, the novel might be seen as a depiction of man’s battle to subdue nature or of a battle between good and evil. Since fiction is indirect, fiction can require a significant degree of analysis and interpretation if one is to get beyond simply following the story.

Fiction is Subjective

Fiction is, by definition, subjective. A novel, story, drama, or poem is the expression of an author’s imagination. The characters and situations are “made up.” Readers expect fiction to reflect the real world; they do not expect it to portray the real world. And yet fiction can seem very real without being factual. Poems can capture feelings or images to perfection. Events depicted in movies such as Schindler’s List Amistad , or Titanic can appear just as they might have in real life.

Fiction can be true, however, only in the sense that the actions or behaviors “ring true” with what we know of the world. The sentiment may be real, but the characters and incidents are the fruits of the author’s imagination. And author and directors—as in the movies referred to above—often use “dramatic license” to distort history for dramatic effect.

Vocabulary: Word Families

Word Families : In the Hospital

Write out the following passage, choosing the best words from the box to go in the blanks.

Thermometer      samples     stethoscopeAntibiotics    pulse    patientsPressure      examine   temperatureAches        ward        nurse

On his first full day in the hospital, Emeka was woken early. He was in a (1) ___ with nine other people, but he didn’t feel like talking to any of his fellow (2)___.
He was given breakfast, and then a (3)___ arrived. ‘Good morning!’ she said. ‘Let’s take your (4)___, shall we?
She took out a (5)___ and put in his mouth. Then she held Emeka’s wrist in order to check  his (6)___.
‘Now I want to check your blood (7)___,’ she said, fixing some equipment to Emeka’s arm.

Shortly afterwards the doctor arrived to (8) ___ him. He wore a white coat, and carried a (9)___ round his neck. ‘Everything all right?’ he asked. ‘Yes thanks,’ said Emeka. ‘But my arm(10)___ rather a lot.’ ‘Hmmm. We’d better give you some (11)__,’ said the doctor. ‘Two pills every four hours should do the trick. Oh, and let’s have some blood and urine (12) ___, nurse. We might as well check everything out while he’s with us in the hospital.’

Medical Conditions

The state of being pregnant is called ‘pregnancy’. Pregnancy is not of course a disease – but here are some medical conditions that are diseases or illnesses of one kind or another. As you can see, the letters are all mixed up.

  3. SIAD


  3. AIDS


  1. A typical sentence has a —————? (A. Subject and verb B.Punctuation marks C. Words and numbers D. Illustrations and objects)
  2. In a sentence each, describe the major functions of each of the parts of speech.
  3. In a typical sentence, the following are types of subject except—————? (A. Common name B.Proper noun C. Verbal noun D. None of the above)
  4. Explain with examples the difference[s] between fiction and non-fiction.


Week 3


Revision of Consonants – l, r, w, j

Part of Speech: Pronoun

Revision of Consonants – l, r, w, j.

Most Nigerian languages have both /l/ and /r/, but some do not  and some Nigerian speakers confuse the /l/ and /r/ sounds in English. Here is some practice in pronouncing them.

The /l/ sound

To pronounce the /l/ sound, the very tip of the tongue touches the area behind your teeth, where this area begins to move upwards. Air passes on either side of the tongue. Listen and repeat:

The lorry was full of plants

The /l/ sound  is always spelled with the letter ‘l’ or ‘ll’. Listen and repeat:


Note, however, that the letter ‘l’ is silent in many words. Say the following, making sure not to introduce any /l/ sound:


The /r/ sound

To pronounce the /r/ sound, you bring the tip of your tongue near to the fleshy region behind your teeth, but without touching it. Then you quickly draw the tip of the tongue backwards, and air passes out. So while for /l/ the tip of the tongue touches that fleshy region, for /r/ it does not. Listen and repeat:

Around the rugged rocks the ragged rascal ran.

The /r/ sound is always spelled with the letter ‘r’ or ‘rr’. Sometimes ‘r’ follows ‘w’ and sometimes it comes before ‘h’; these letters are silent. Listen and repeat:


The letter ‘r’ is often present after a vowel, but then it is generally silent. Say the following:

car  lord  sure   fear  herd  fire

However, if a vowel sound follows (which may come at the beginning of a new word), the ‘r’ is sounded as /r/. Say the following:

a pair of shoes
for ever and ever
an hour of decision
the fire alarm

Listening Practice


Now read out these sentences

  1. Can you lend me your red leather box?
  2. Broken glass is scattered on the green grass
  3. The lawyer is loyal to the royal family
  4. The problem is probably insoluble

The /w/ sound

This is not a difficult sound. It occurs in all Nigerian languages. The lips are closely rounded.
A weary housewife

The /w/ sound is usually spelt ‘w’ but also as ‘u’ after ‘q’ and in some other words. Listen and repeat:

WonderfulQuickSuite (Like sweet)

The word choir is pronounced as if written ‘quire’.
The letter ‘w’ is silent in the following words: write, wrong, two, answer, sword.

The /j/ sound

Like /h/ and /w/, this sound occurs only before a vowel, at the beginning of a syllable. It is not a difficult sound.
A young Yoruba

The /j/ sound is often spelt ‘y’, sometimes ‘i’; ‘u’ often has /j/ before  it. Listen , and repeat:

YIBefore u

The /j/ sound is also usually heard before ‘ew’. Say these words:
new  knew  few  stew  dew

However, do not try to put a /j/ when ‘ew’ follows ‘l’  or ‘r’. Say these words without any /j/ sound:
grew  blew  brew  screw  drew  threw

From this you can see that ‘blue’ and ‘blew’ are pronounced in just the same way.

Parts of Speech: Pronoun

A pronoun is a word we use to take the place of a noun, which can be a person, place or thing. We use it (pronoun) to avoid repeating a noun that had already been mentioned. A word (one of the traditional parts of speech) that takes the place of a noun, noun phrase, or noun clause. A pronoun can function as a subject, object, or complement in a sentence. Unlike nouns, pronouns rarely allow modification.

We can write or say, “Bobs has a bicycle. Bobs rides his bicycle every day.” But there’s a better way of putting it using pronouns: Bobs has a bicycle. He rides it every day. The words he and it are pronouns used to replace the nouns Bobs and bicycle.

Examples of pronoun are Iyouhesheitwetheyanyoneeveryone,himselfmyselfnobodyyourselfwho.

Other examples include thisthatallanyeachnonesomethatwhat,which, etc. These pronouns can also be determiners, so how can we tell whether they are pronouns or determiners. It all depends on how they are used. As pronouns, they are used independently, that is without a noun following them.

  • Thisis a green apple. (This is a pronoun as it occurs independently.)
  • Thisapple is green. (This comes after the noun apple, so it is not a pronoun.)

Here, this is a determiner. A determiner modifies a noun, which a pronoun does not do.

  • Some of the goats were rather skinny. (Pronoun)
  • Some goats were rather skinny. (Determiner).

Types of Pronouns

  1. Personal Pronouns
  2. Relative Pronouns
  3. Possessive Pronouns
  4. Demonstrative Pronouns
  5. Indefinite Pronouns


Personal Pronouns

Personal pronouns take the place of nouns that refer to people, but not all personal pronouns refer to people. The third person pronoun it refers to animals and things.

Subject pronounsPossessive pronouns
Object pronounsPossessive pronouns


Personal pronouns have number, person, and gender. The Personal Pronoun must be of the same numbergender, and person as the noun for which it represents.


The pronoun must agree with the noun it represents in number.

  • Singular: Theboy is playing with his ball. He has a blue ball.
  • Plural: The boysare playing with their balls. They have balls of different sizes.


  • First personhate eating rice.
  • Second personYoushould not have done it.
  • Third personIt is a rare species of fish.


The pronoun must agree with the noun it represents in gender.

  • Masculine: Jill has a He comes across as a bit of a bore to her.
  • Feminine: Jeff’s sisterloves to eat pizza. She eats it almost every day.
  • Neuter: We have an old kitchen tableIthas a broken leg.

Relative Pronouns

A relative pronoun comes at the beginning of a relative clause. A relative clause is a subordinate clause that tells us more about the noun in the main clause. The relative clause comes immediately after the noun. Relative pronouns are thatwhichwhowhom, whose, whatever, whichever, whoeverwhomever, etc. That and which refer to animals and things. Thatmay also refer to people. We use the relative pronouns who and whom for people, and whose for people and things.

  • I know the dog that ate my bone.

In the above sentence, the relative pronoun is that and it introduces the relative clause (in bold). ‘I know the dog’ is the main clause. The relative clause that ate my bone tells us something about the noun dog.

Possessive Pronouns

The possessive pronouns are the possessive forms of personal pronouns. We use the personal pronouns in the possessive case to express possession. A possessive pronoun is able to stand on its own as subject, object, etc.A pronoun that can take the place of a noun phrase to show ownership (as in “This phone is mine“).

Possessive pronouns

Possessive pronouns examples:

  • This puppy isThat kitten is yours.
  • I think the puppy that wandered into our house is theirs.
  • Your bicycle is much bigger than ours.

The weak possessives (also called possessive determiners) function as adjectives in front of nouns. The weak possessives are my, your, his, her, its, our, and their.

In contrast, the strong (or absolute) possessive pronouns stand on their own: mine, yours, his, hers, its, ours, and theirs. A possessive pronoun never takes an apostrophe.

Examples: We were both work-study kids with University jobs. Hers was in the library; mine was in the cafeteria, Mine is a long and sad tale.

Demonstrative Pronouns

The four common demonstrative pronouns are thisthatthesethose. We use them to indicate the person, thing or place referred to, with this used to refer to someone or something nearer (that is, nearer to the person speaking) while thatrefers to the farther one. If there is more than one person, thing or place referred to, we use these, which is the plural of thisThose is the plural ofthat.

A demonstrative pronoun is no longer a demonstrative pronoun if it comes before a noun that it modifies; it becomes a determiner. If it stands on its own without modifying or describing any person, place or thing, it is a demonstrative pronoun.


PronounThis is the same story I heard from him before.
DeterminerThis story is the same story I heard from him before.

PronounThat is not a bird; it is a kite.
DeterminerThat bird looks like a kite.

Interrogative Pronouns

Interrogative pronouns are used in asking questions. There are five of them, all of which begin with wh-: whowhomwhosewhichwhatWho is used for people while which and what are used for things. These pronouns do not have gender.

The following sentences show interrogative pronouns being used to ask questions:


Using who:

  • Whoate the bread?
  • Who is at the door?

Using whom:

  • Whomdo you live with?
  • Whomdo you wish to speak to?

Using what:

  • What is your best colour?
  • Whatare you going to eat?

Using which:

  • Whichof these colours do you like?
  • Whichdo you think is better?

Using whose:

  • Whoseis that Toyota?
  • Whoseare those children?

Indefinite Pronouns

Indefinite pronouns refer to people or things in general, that is they do not specify a particular person or thing. Such pronouns include all, another,anybodyanyone, anythingbotheacheithereverybodyeveryone,everythingfewlittlenobodyno onenonenothingoneotherseveral,somesomebodysomeonesomething. Indefinite pronouns can be singular or plural in a sentence. Those that end in –body and –one are always used as singular. Indefinite pronouns that are always plural include bothfewmany,others and several. Other indefinite pronouns, depending on how they are used, can be used as singular or plural: allanymoremostnone, andsome.

Indefinite pronouns that refer to people are anybodyanyoneeverybody,nobodyone, somebody, etc. These pronouns ending in –body and –one are always singular.


  • Everybody iswaiting to hear the good news.
  • Nobody wantsto listen to my ghost stories.
  • One has to know when to keep quiet and listen.
  • Somebody hasdropped his wallet.


  1. The correct way to pronounce the /L/ sound is to let the tip of the tong roll over the lower lip. True or false?——————- (A. True B. False)
  2. When the letter “r” is present after a vowel, it is generally————? (A. Silent B. Loud c=C. Invisible D. Conspicuous)
  3. What is a pronoun?
  4. Mention and explain the five types of pronoun you know.



Week 4


Literature: Fiction versus Non-Fiction (cont’d)


Literature: Fiction versus Non-Fiction (cont’d)

Fiction is Evocative: Images and Symbols

Fiction conveys meaning indirectly (other than, of course, through morals at the ends of fables). The specifics are not significant. We draw meaning from the types of actions. This principle lies behind the fact that television crime series follow essentially the same plot line, week after week. It does not matter whether a crime victim is a socialite, a prostitute, a drug dealer, or politician, whether the crime is murder, extortion, or robbery. The message that the police always catch the criminal remains the same.

Fiction evokes ideas and feelings indirectly by triggering emotional responses and mental pictures. Fiction commonly communicates through images and symbols. Color is often symbolic, as with the red passion of the Scarlet Letter in the novel of that title. Sunlight often conveys truth or reason. In Willa Cather’s short story “Death Comes to the Archbishop” the development of the Bishop’s garden is a metaphor for the expansion of Catholicism in the New World. And then there is the politically incorrect use of white and black for good and bad, as in old Western movies.

Readers must be open to associations and reflection that are creative in their understanding and interpretation. They must recognize a richness of figurative language and concomitant element of ambiguity. The more evocative a text, the more the reader must do the work of finding meaning within the text.

Interpretation: A Personal Understanding

The meaning of fictional works is more personal than that of non-fiction texts. With non-fiction texts, we assume any two readers will come away with pretty much the same understanding of what the text states. While we may not agree with someone else’s interpretation, we should be able to follow their analysis.

With fiction, the meaning is dependent on the perceptions, imaginations, and feelings of the reader. In both cases, however, we demand that an interpretation be based on evidence on the page. And in both cases, part of understanding is understanding one’s own interests, values, and desires and how they affect what one looks for and how one thinks about what one finds.

Analyzing and Interpreting Fiction: Perspectives

The discussion of non-fictional texts is focused on the analysis of choices of content , language , and structure . The same focus is useful for the analysis of fiction–with some adjustments. The discussion examines

  • the general perspective on each of the three major genres: novels (stories), drama, and poetry
  • the application of the notions of content, language, and structure for each genre

Fiction, we saw above, is mostly about telling stories and expressing feelings. The content of fiction may take the form of the events of a story, especially in novels and short stories, spoken remarks, especially in drama, or images and symbols, especially in poetry. All three elements appear to varying degrees in all forms of fiction.


Music and drumming have rhythm, and so does most poetry. Read this poem aloud several times. Can you feel the rhythm of the lines?

A Sudden Storm

The wind howls, the trees sway,
The loose housetop sheets clatter and
The open window shuts with a bang
And the sky makes night of day.

Helter skelter the parents run,
Pressed with a thousand minor cares.
‘Hey, you there! Pack the house-wares
And where on earth’s my son?

Home skip the little children:
‘Where have you been, you naughty boy?’
The child feels nothing but joy,
‘For he loves the approach of the rain.

The streets clear, the houses fill,
The noise gathers as children shout
To rival the raging wind without,
And nought that can move is still.

A bright flash! a lighted plain:
‘Then from the once-blue heavens,
Together with a noise that deafens,
Steadily pours the rain.

Pius Olegbe

A Storm

Describe a storm that you once experienced. Try to use words that appeal to your senses – sight, hearing, touch, smell, taste. For example, if you like use some of the vocabulary and ideas in the poem above. But of course, you should bring in some of your ideas too.

If you like, you may use the following plan:

Paragraph 1: Just before the storm
Paragraph 2: During the storm
Paragraph 3: After the storm

Or perhaps you may want to write several paragraphs on the topic During the storm.

Here is a possible beginning:
As the dark clouds gathered, the whole valley seemed to grow darker. 
Calling to my brother, I …..

Discuss these questions about the poem A sudden storm

  1. Pick out the words that rhyme. Can you find any near-rhymes
    Note: (imperfect (or near): a rhyme between a stressed and an unstressed syllable. (wingcaring). Also referred to as half, slant, approximate, off, and oblique, this rhymes the final consonants but not the vowels or initial consonants. Examples are bent and rant, quick and back.).
  2. The poet tries to give the reader an idea of
    a. quietness
    b. chaos
    c. excitement
    d. pleasure
    e. fear

Which of these best describes the poet’s point of view?

  1. Notice how the poet appeals to our senses. He uses words to help us to see and hear things in our minds as we read. Here are some examples

The wind howls
Is this better than saying the wind blew? Normally, only babies or animals howl.

The trees sway
Is it better than saying the trees move? Usually dancers or perhaps people who have had too much to drink, sway.

Home skip the little children
Is skip better than go here? Why? Note that children skip when they are happy

Now find words to help you hear the nose of the storm and the things it causes.

Make a note of any other new words and infer their meanings.

  1. People react to to same thing in different ways. Do the children and adult react to the storm in same way?
  2. How do you react to this poem?
  3. Write a poem of your own with same subject. Just about four or five lines.


Good handwriting is an important writing skill, and students should not neglect it. Bad handwriting causes our readers to stop and puzzle over what we have written. If they can’t understand what we have written, we have not passed any message across.
Good handwriting is also attractive to look at. Most of us take care of our personal appearance – so why should we not also care about our handwriting?
So begin now to pay more attention to your handwriting. Everybody has his or her own handwriting style but certain principles must be observed. One is to distinguish between the upper case(capital) letters and lower case (small) letters. Most of the time, we use lower case letters. So answer this question: when do we use upper case letters?

Now study the following examples of some letters:



  • An upper case letter should occupy all (or nearly all) the space between the two lines.
  • A lower case letter sometimes has a ‘tail’ (e.g. p, g, j) which extends below the bottom line.
  • Some lower case letters extend to the top line,  but there is always a difference in shape between an upper case and a lower case letter.

Practice the following in your best handwriting:

Ogwoma, the widow, had been forced by her parents
to marry Anike because they needed the money from
her bride-wealth to cure their son who was very sick.


  1. Differentiate between fiction and non-fiction.
  2. What do you understand by the statement “fiction is evocative”?
  3. In the poem “A Sudden Storm”, the poet describes the contrasting feelings of weariness and joy invoked by an impending rainfall. Who is described as being weary and  who is described as joyful? Explain.
  4. Why is good handwriting said to be an important writing skill?

Week 5


Grammar: Verbs

Writing skill: Paragraphs

Grammar: Verbs

verb is a word or more than one word that is used to express an action or a state of being. A verb is an action or a doing word. Every sentence must have a verb. This makes the verb the most important word as far as the construction of a sentence is concerned. In a sentence, a verb connects the subject to the object. There are two different objects: direct object and indirect object.

A verb can be just a word.

  • She boughta cake.
  • They atesome food.

A verb can be more than one word.

  • He is runninga race.
  • You have brokenmy glass.

A verb connects the subject to the object.

  • Lola ridesa bicycle. (Subject: Lola / Object: bicycle)
  • Someone has eatenmy chicken. (Subject: someone / Object: chicken)

A verb may not have an object.

  • The sun shines.
  • It is raining.

Types of Verbs

  • Transitive and Intransitive
  • Linking Verbs
  • Regular and Irregular verbs

A verb that has a direct object to complete the sentence is a transitive verb. A verb that does not need an object to make its meaning clear is an intransitive verb.

The transitive verb

A transitive verb must have an object. Without an object, it does not convey a clear meaning.

  • Example: He drove.

The question inevitably arises: What did he drive? No one in the world knows the answer to this question as there is no direct object to tell us what he drove. The meaning becomes clear when an object is added: He drove a car. Now everyone of us knows what he drove.

  • The subject(he) performs the action: drove. The object of the action verb drove is car.

A transitive verb may take an indirect object. An indirect object is something or someone to whom or for whom the action is carried out.

  • He bought hera cake. = He bought a cake for her.
  • She is reading grandpathe newspaper. = She is reading the news to grandpa.

In the first sentence, the indirect object is her as it is for her that the cake was bought. In the second sentence, the indirect object is grandpa as it is to him that the news was read. The indirect object usually comes before the direct object as shown in above two sentences.

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The intransitive verb

An intransitive verb does not have an object. Without an object, the meaning is not affected.

  • Example: Babies cry. / The dogis barking. / Tolani is coming

All the verbs (cry, is barking, is coming) are intransitive as they do not need an object to make the meaning clear.

  • Example: The villagers caught a bat yesterday, but it escaped this morning.

The verb caught is transitive as it has the direct object bat. The other verb escaped is intransitive since it is not followed by an object.

Linking Verbs

Linking verbs also called copulative verbs (or copulas) do not tell us what the subject does, but what the subject is. A linking verb links the subject to the complement, which states something about the subject. The complement can be a word, phrase, or clause. The most common linking verbs are the various forms of the auxiliary verb be (amisarewas, were). Linking verbs do not take a direct object, and any verb that expresses an action is not a linking verb.

Characteristics of a linking verb

A linking verb is not an action word.

  • He looked at me. (It tells us what he did; lookedis an action verb)
  • She looked as ifshe was going to cry. (It doesn’t tell us what she did, only how she appeared to be; looked is a linking verb.)

A linking tells us what state the subject is in, what the subject is, etc.

  • He was (It tells us the state –angry– the subject was in.)
  • She isa trader. (It tells us she is a trader)

A linking verb is often followed by an adjective, but not a direct object.

  • She feels (Feelis not an action verb because it is followed by an adjective.)
  • Hefeels the cool breeze of the ocean. (Feel is an action verb.)

pronoun following a linking verb should be in the subjective, not objective.

  • It was hethey were looking for. (He is a subjective pronoun.)
  • Not: It was himthey were looking for. (Him is an objective pronoun.)
  • Correct: They were looking for him. (Himis an object.)

Using adverbs instead of adjectives with linking verbs

Adverbs modify action verbs, not linking verbs. Using adverbs instead of adjectives with linking verbs will result in incorrect sentences, as shown here. Some common linking verbs are appear, become, feelgrowlook,seem, smellsoundtaste.


    • Bisiappears calm. (Not: Bisi appears calmly.)
    • He became anxiousabout his first interview (Not: He became anxiously about his first interview.)
    • She feels sad. (Not: She feels sadly.)

Regular and Irregular Verbs

The main verbs are classified as regular verbs and irregular verbs. They can be identified by how their past tense and past participle are formed.

Regular verbs

The past tense and past participle of regular verbs end in –d or –ed.

  • Present tense – touch, kill, pass, rub, stop
  • Past tense – touched, killed, passed, rubbed, stopped
  • Past participle – touched, killed, passed, rubbed, stopped

Irregular verbs

The past tense and past participle of irregular verbs do not follow the above pattern of grammar. They do not end in –d or –ed.

Where only the past tense and past participle are the same

  • Present tense – carry, die, fit, jump, show, try, shout
  • Past tense – carried, died, fitted, jumped, showed, tried, shouted
  • Past participle – carried, died, fitted, jumped, showed, tried, shouted

Where all three forms are the same

  • Present tense – cost, cut, hurt, put, read, shut
  • Past tense – cost, cut, hurt, put, read, shut
  • Past participle – cost, cut, hurt, put, read, shut

Where all three forms are different

  • Present tense – begin, choose, do, go, lie, see, sing
  • Past tense – began, chose, did, went, lay, saw, sang,
  • Past participle – begun, chosen, done, gone, lain, seen, sung

Where the past and participle forms can be regular and irregular

  • Present tense – burn, dream, learn, spell, spill
  • Past tense – burned/burnt, dreamed/dreamt, learned/learnt, spelled/spelt, spilled/spilt
  • Past participle – burned/burnt, dreamed/dreamt, learned/learnt, spelled/spelt, spilled/spilt

Writing: Paragraphs

  1. The Ofala Festival
    The Ofala festival is celebrated
    in Aguleri in October to mark the end of
    the harvest season. It is also an occasion
    for the local rulers to parade before the
    people. The Festival which is four
    hundred years old, lasts for four days

On the evening before the first day……

  1. The Kamti Festival
    The Kamti Festival lasts for about a
    month. Unfortunately, I missed it last
    year. Games and displays are held in the
    afternoon. The Festival normally starts in
    Kadi, where the so-called ‘wisest man’
    lives. Kadi is the spiritual centre of Ngamo.

The Kamti Festival is celebrated to mark

You can see the opening paragraphs of two descriptions above – one is Ofala Festival and the other is Kamti Festival. In each case, you will see the opening paragraph and the first line of the second paragraph. Decide which of them is better arranged.

In the first example, the writer has clearly  planned to set out the information in an orderly way. In the other example, the writer seems to have written down the information in any order as he remembers it.
Whenever you want to write something fairly long, plan it in note form in advance, so that each paragraph has a topic, or main idea. If you do this, you will find that you will write much better and your reader will find it easier to read.

Writing Practice

Nigeria is very rich in cultural events such as mentioned above. Write a description of a local festival you know about, or took part in recently.

Follow these stages:

  1. Preparation – Think what you might about. Better still, talk about the subject with a friend, or with the class.
  2. Planning – Show your plan to your teacher before you start. If you wish, discuss it with a partner.
  3. Rough Draft – Don’t expect to get it right first time. Most professional writers write several drafts.
  4. Final Draft
  5. Check – Careless errors lose marks!

The notes below may help you, but you may make changes if you wish.

A Local Festival

Paragraph 1: Introduction
When, and where, is the festival celebrated. What are its purposes? How long does it last?

Paragraph 2: Preparing for the festival
What preparations are carried out? When? Who makes the preparations?

Paragraph 3: The start of the festival
When, and how does it start?

Paragraph 4: The festival
Who takes part? What do they do? Who watches? What do the spectators do?

Paragraphs 5 and 6:
You decide what to write, if anything. In a description of this kind, it is quite a good idea to include a brief account of an interesting incident that occurred during the festival.

Structuring Paragraphs

Paragraph 1IntroductionThe first paragraph of Nancy’s diary gives us some idea of what  the whole passage is going to be about
Paragraph 2What Nancy did before the masquerades beganThis paragraph tells us what she did first
Paragraph 3The arrival of the masqueradersThis paragraph gives us a feeling of excitement, and wonder what is going to happen
Paragraph 4Description of the masqueradersThis paragraph tells us what they looked like and how Nancy felt about them
Paragraph 5The rulesThis paragraph tells us how people should behave when the masqueraders pass. It also tells us what might happen if someone breaks the rules!

Skill Focus: Writing a Diary

Why not get into the habit of keeping  a diary from time to time? It will help you to practise your writing skills – practice makes perfect! It will also be great fun when you are older to be able to read about what happened in the past.

Things you can put in your diary include:

  • Unusual things that happened in the course of a day – they may be happy or sad.
  • The way you felt about the events that occurred
  • Amusing or memorable things that people said
  • Comments on books you have just read
  • Anything else you think you would like to remember in a year or so’s time.

Please note that diaries are always very personal, and there is no need for you to show your diary to anyone if you do not wish to. Of course, you should never read another person’s diary without their permission.


  1. Briefly explain what you understand by a verb.
  2. What are the three types of verbs you know?
  3. A linking verb performs what major function in a sentence?
  4. Differentiate between regular and irregular verbs.
  5. List some of the experiences that you can record in your diary.

Week 6


Language Structure: Requests

Skill Focus: How to organise a debate

Literature: Non-Verbal Aspects Of Language

Language Structure: Requests

  1. Making Requests

Very often we use language to request something from other people – for example, when we want to borrow something. The table below shows some common ways of making requests.

SituationRequestCommon responses
Very informal, common within classmatesCan I borrow your pen?Sure. Here you are!Sorry not at the moment
More polite and hesitant. The speaker is not sure if permission will be grantedCould I borrow your pen?Certainly. Help yourself.
I’m afraid not. I’m using it.
More formal, polite and respectfulMay I borrow your eraser?With pleasure Of course
I am afraid you can’t
This is the least common and the most respectfulMight I borrow your pen?By all means.
I’d rather you didn’t.
Certainly not!

There are no definite rules about the responses – but those at the bottom of the table tend to be more formal than those at the top. In general, it is considered polite, when refusing, to give some kind of plausible reason – usually ‘I’m using it at the moment.’

  1. Requests and Responses: Role Play

Role play is not just something we do when acting out plays. It is also a useful language-learning activity. When you role-play, it is important not just to say the words, but to act them – to say them as you would in real life.

Examples of role-play:

A: Could I borrow your ruler please?
B: Certainly. Here you are!
A: Thanks a lot

A: Excuse me, Sir. Might I borrow your dictionary?
B: I’m afraid not. I’m using it at the moment.
A: Oh! Never mind

  1. Other requests

Here are some ways of making requests listed, from the least formal to the most formal:

Will you/Can you pass the salt, please?

Could you pass the salt, please?

Would you pass the salt, please?

Would you mind passing the salt, please?

  1. Eliciting Requests

Sometimes we want to find out what someone wants. Here, we always use would. Read and act conversations like the following:

A: Would you like a soft drink?
B: Thank you. I’d love one

A: What would you like to drink?
B: I’d like something soft, please.


Identifying the main topics

Read paragraph 1 of Traditional medicine in the paragraph below

Paragraph 1
Traditional medicine – witch craft?
In the past, many educated people regards
traditional medicine as superstition. It was
considered that it had no basis in modern
medical science. Herbal medicines were thought
to be either useless, or even actually harmful.
Practitioners of traditional medicine were called
witch-doctors, or quacks, and western-trained
doctors usually saw them as a possible threat to
the well-being of their parents.

  1. In paragraph 1, the topic is
  2. herbal medicine
    b. past attitudes to traditional medicine
    c. superstition
    d. doctors
    e. illness
  3. Which is the topic sentence – 1,2, or 4? Notice how the support sentences explain, or develop, the ideas in the topic sentence.

Paragraph 2
However, this situation is gradually changing.
While it is recognised that there are frauds –
quacks- among traditional medicine men, it is
now being increasingly accepted that traditional
medicine has an important role to play in
modern African society. Modern research into
traditional methods has shown that they can
sometimes achieve amazing results. For
example, traditional medicine has sometimes
been extraordinarily successful in solving
problems of female infertility. As a result of such
research, there is a growing interest among
progressive African countries in examining the
part that traditional medicine can play within a
modern health service.

  1. The topic of paragraph 2 is
  2. the problem of pseudo-doctors
    b. the changing situation
    c. the problem of female infertility
    d. new research
    e. African society
  3. Which is the topic sentence 1, 3, or 4.

Paragraph 3

We all accept the value of research.Everyone accepts that research maybe valuable.However,I thinkIt is my own view
thatThe sooner genuine medicine men are officially recognized the better.It would be misguided to encourage traditional medicine men for the time being
At present,there is a great shortage of medical workers in the country.there are too many traditional fraudulent practitioners in this country.Many people
suffer a great deal because ofthe absence of medical facilities.traditional malpractices.For example, the following
Incident, whichhappened recentlyoccurred not long agoshows how traditional medicine
can be undoubtedly very valuable.can cause great harm.

Possible Plan:

Paragraph 4: What happened before the visit to the medicine man
Paragraph 5: What happened during the visit
Paragraph 6: What happened after it.

Notice that your purpose in describing the incident was to provide some evidence to support your argument.

Paragraph 7: Conclusion

Of courseit is not possible to reach a definite conclusionit would be unwise to draw a conclusive inferencefrom this
kind of incident. However, in view of this kind of case,it is not surprising thatit is little wonder thatSo many
of our peopledoctorsshouldcontinue to rely onhave grave misgivings about traditional medicine men.
The soonermodernmore moderndoctors learn to co-operate withdoctors are trained to replacetraditional medicine
men the better. Only when this is done cantraditional remediesthe superstitious reliance
play their part side by side with modern medicine.on traditional remedies be eradicated.

Skill Focus

How to organise a Debate

Why not organise a debate on this motion? ‘This house thinks that traditional medicine encourages superstition.’
A debate is a formal discussion of a controversial issue at a meeting specially convened for the purpose. A debate has to have rules, otherwise it turns into a shouting match!

Here is a common way of organising a debate:

  1. The chairperson(or moderator) sits at the front with the four main speakers – the proposerand seconder, and the opposer and seconder, and the side of him or her, as in the diagram below. The numbers indicate the order in which they speak.

1 – Proposer          2- Opposer
3 – Seconder         4 – Seconder

  1. The chairperson callsfor order, opens the meeting, welcomes special guests (if any), and reads out the motion. He or she then calls on the proposer of the motion to speak.
  2. The chairperson then calls on the opposer to speak.
  3. The seconders for and against the motion are then called on to speak, in that order.
  4. The debate is then thrownopento the house. Speakers from the floor of the house are invited to speak for or against the motion.
  5. The chairperson then calls on the opposer to sum uphis case.
  6. The chairperson then calls on the proposer to sum up
  7. The voteis then taken by a show of hands. Two tellersmay be invited to assist in counting the votes for and against the motion, and any abstentions.

Literature: Non-Verbal Aspects Of Language

Non-Verbal Aspects Of Language

Spoken language is based on a face-to-face encounter. One person directly addresses another or others. (The electronic media, such as radio and television are, of course, exceptions, but even there we can envision someone at a microphone imagining an audience to whom they direct their remarks.)

Within the face-to-face encounter of speech, communication is not limited to words. Speakers use a wide variety of extra-verbal devices, from emphasis and dramatic pauses to changes in tone or tempo. Speakers also use a broad range of non-verbal clues. They “talk” with their eyes and their bodies. They use hand gestures and facial expressions to convey ideas. And speakers respond to similar cues from their listeners—the nods and grunts that say, in effect, “I hear you,” or the quizzical looks that say, “I don’t understand.”

As we learn a language, we also learn the non-verbal conventions of that language—the meaning of a shrug, a pout, or a smile. Speech thus often includes not only a face-to-face meeting, but also a meeting of the minds. “Conversation,” Steven Pinker notes, “requires cooperation”.

Listeners assume speakers are conveying information relevant to what they already know and what they want to know. That allows them to hear between the lines in order to pin down the meanings of vague and ambiguous words and to fill in the unsaid logical steps.

The Speaker and listener are aware of each other’s knowledge, interests, and biases. They can interpret remarks within the common social setting in which they find themselves. This mutual understanding, being “on the same page” as it were, is frequently absent with written communication. Information an author would like to assume the reader knows must be included with a text. Writers must make their biases explicit to assure full understanding by the critical reader, and readers, unable to read body language, must subject texts to close scrutiny to “read” attitudes or biases underlying a text.

Using Language In A Social Context

Speech is a tool of social communication. We understand spoken remarks within the context of an exchange of ideas between rational and emotional beings in a social situation. We become aware not only of what one says, but what one does by uttering such a remark, and the effect they might bring about by such a remark.

Remarks may serve as expressions of feelings or ideas.

Don’t give it another thought.

This is more than a command of not thinking about something. It is a promise meaning “I’ll take care of it.”

People not only state ideas, they can also threaten, inquire, and dare. They can be ironic or sarcastic.

Can you pass the ketchup?

This remark may have the form of a question, but functions as a request. If someone says

I can’t find the ketchup.

they are probably not just announcing their inability to locate a condiment. They are asking for help.

Language can be used to request, persuade, convince, scare, promise, insult, order, and, as above, elicit action. Remarks often convey ideas that extend beyond their literal meaning. Listeners must infer unstated meaning. If someone says

The government once classified ketchup as a vegetable in the school lunch program.

they are probably not simply providing a lesson about the school lunch program. They are offering an example of bureaucratic stupidity.

We assume common rules for the use of language, and infer meaning accordingly. Thus if someone says:

The robber appeared to have a beard.

we assume that they are not sure, not that they are commenting on the mechanics of sight.

Listeners infer meaning within the context of social roles and settings. The meaning of an utterance can thus vary with the occasion, the relationship of speaker and listener (or writer and reader) or the listener’s expectations of the speaker’s purpose.

Do you have the time to help me?

This question carries different meaning when uttered by an employer or an employee. When uttered by an employer, the remark is a strong request for assistance; one would not generally answer “no.” When spoken by an employee, it is more a respectful request for help.

An assertion that there is racism in the United States Army takes on different meaning and significance if asserted by a black soldier (an allegation), a white General (an admission), an Army Task Force report (official recognition), or a Moslem priest in Iran (a condemnation). The same comments takes on different significance when asserted in a bar, a Senate hearing room, or an elementary school classroom.

When learning to speak, we learn degrees of courtesy and “turn-yielding” cues that function somewhat like “over” in a walkie-talkie conversation. We learn social communication strategies—such as how to appeal to someone’s vanity (Anyone who buys this cream can look better in days!), or how to imply a fact (Do you still beat your wife?). The late Lord Denning, often referred to either as the best known or the most colorful English judge of the 20 century, observed:

When a diplomat says yes, he means perhaps. When he says perhaps, he means no. When he says no, he is not a diplomat. When a lady says no, she means perhaps. When she says perhaps, she means yes. But when she says yes, she is no lady

While this may be an obviously sexist and politically incorrect statement, the remark nonetheless demonstrates ways in which language is a complex social tool for communication.

What We Say, Do, and Mean

In the examples above we can distinguish between what is said, what is done, and what is meant.

I left my watch home.

This remark says that I left my watch home. By making that statement, I do something: I describe where my watch is, or that I am without it. Finally, the meaning conveyed (or inferred) is that I don’t know what time it is.

  • says: that I left me watch home
  • does: describes where my watch is
  • means: I want to know the time


  1. In just a few sentences, describe how to best organise a debate.
  2. In face-to-face communication, speakers use a wide variety of extra-verbal cues such as ——- and ————? (A. Emphasis and dramatic pauses B. Silence and Uncoordinated body movement C. Kicking and slapping the listener for attention D. Screaming or shouting)
  3. Speech is a tool of social communication. Explain.

Week 7


Intonation & Stress

Language Structure: The Passive Voice

Part of Speech: Adjective


Falling Tune

The  WH- questions all use the falling tune. In these examples, the stresses syllables are printed in capitals:

WHEN will you be ↓LEAVing?
I’ll be LEAVing at  ↓EIGHT.

As you see, the voice goes down on the last stressed syllable.

The rising tune in yes/no questions

Rising tune is used when asking yes/no questions. With this type of question, the voice gradually goes down until the last stressed syllable, when it goes sharply up. For example:

Did they

Of course, the answer to this question, like any other ordinary statement, uses the falling tune.

Listen and repeat:

Did they enJOY the FILM?
YES, very MUCH.

Have you reTURNED his BOOK?
NO, I HAVEn’t.

Are you GOing HOME?
YES, we ARE.

Is he any GOOD at FOOTball?
YES, but he’s BETTer at BOXing!

Are they enJOYing the DANCE?
NO, they AREn’t.

Spoken English: More on Stress

Three-syllable words

In words of three syllables, the main stress usually falls on the first syllable or the second syllable, sometimes on the third. Say the following, giving the stress to the syllable shown in capital letters:

First syllable stressed


Second syllable stressed


Third syllable stressed


More on stress in sentences

Can you remember which parts of speech are stressed?

Auxiliary verbs are among the words that are usually NOT stressed. For example:
I have ALWAYS LIVED in the RURal ARea.

As you can see, have, an auxiliary verb in this sentence, is not stressed.

But sometimes such verbs ARE stressed:

  • when they come at the beginning of a question.
  • when they come at the end of a statement

An example of each comes in this dialogue:

A: DOES your BROther LIKE STAYing in Kano?
B: ↓YES, he ↓DOES.

Notice also that B uses falling tune for yes and does.

In pairs, practise saying the following  dialogues. This time, stressed syllables are underlined.

  1.   A: Were both your parents born in Lagos?
    B: Yes, they were.
  2.   A: Would you like to go outside Nigeria?
    B: Yes, I would.
  3.    A: I hear that Abuja is a very expensive place.
    B: That’s right. It is.

Language Structure: The Passive Voice

Very often when we use English verb, we use them in the passive ‘voice’ (or we can say that we use their passive forms). Here is an everyday example:

Our assignments have all been marked.

Here, something has happened to the assignments – they have all been marked.  They have not done anything! And we do  not know who marked them! If we want to say who marked them, namely the teacher, we use not a passive sentence but an active sentence:

The teacher has marked all our assignments.

You should already be quite comfortable with using active sentences.

So, generally, we use the passive voice action done, not about the person doing it. This is very clear in the first example above.

To form the passive voice, we use

  • a tense or form of the verb be (am, is, are, was, were, is, being, have been, etc); PLUS
  • the past participle of a verb (marked, eaten, found, built )

Sometimes we can use the passive when we want to avoid getting into trouble! Listen to this story:

One day, a boy called Tricky Micky
threw a ball to a friend inside the
classroom, and broke a window. At
that moment the teacher walked in.

Describing Processes (1)

We often us the passive when we describe processes, because we are interested in the processes themselves, not in the people performing them. For example:
Coal is mined in the Udi hills.
Diamonds are found in Sierra Leone

Describing Processes (2)

In most of the examples so far, we have used the present tense of the passive (with is, are). But sometimes we describe processes in the past tense of the passive ( was, were). For example,
The liquid was heated

This is likely to be someone’s report of an experiment carried out in the chemistry lab. The experiment may in fact have been carried out by someone called Seidu. Using the active voice we might say:

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Seidu heated the liquid.

But the passive voice is entirely correct when we do not find it necessary to mention Seidu.


  1. Make these two sentences passive, omitting the names of the persons performing the actions:

Remi recorded the temperature
Patience measured the plant

  1. Complete these two descriptions of experiments using the verbs in brackets
  • The liquid was cooled. (filtered/measured/boiled/measured again/then poured away)
  • The plants were dug up. (measured/put into a bag/taken to the lab/replanted/watered)
  1. Copy out the following paragraph, choosing the correct form from those in brackets:

A stone (was/were) suspended
from a spring balance, and its
weight (was/were) recorded.
Then the stone (was/were)
immersed in water. It (was/were)
then weighed again, and the two
readings (was/were) compared.
It (was/were) found that the
stone weighed more when it was

Part of Speech: Adjective

Adjectives are words that describe, modify or complement nouns (people, places, things, or animals) or pronouns. They describe the noun by telling us its size, shape, age, colour, etc. Adjectives usually come before the noun or pronoun, or sometimes they can come after it.


The black car
The green shirt
A blue hat

Adjectives coming before nouns are attributive adjectives

  • Everyone knows a lion has a loud 
  • My old car is bad.
  • Today, we have blue 

The words in bold loudold and blue are adjectives, and they come before the nouns roarcar and sky. The adjectives describe the type of roar, age of the car and colour of the sky.

Adjectives coming after nouns are predicative adjectives

  • That piece of meat was quite large.
  • One of my tables is round.
  • The sky looks very black.

The words in bold largeround and black are adjectives, and they come after the nouns statuetable and sky. Without the adjectives, we wouldn’t know the size of the statue, the shape of the table, and the colour of the sky.

The above adjectives largeround and black are predicative adjectives, and the verbs (was, is, looks) connecting them to their respective subjects (statue, table, sky) are linking verbs.

An adjective can take up any position in a sentence, preferably close to the noun that it describes. More than one adjective can appear in a sentence, and we can make the two or more adjectives describe the same noun. The adjectives are in bold in the following sentences.

  • The little girl is angry with her father.
  • The warm air is thick with dust.
  • His big house must be expensive to maintain.

The different kinds of adjectives are discussed in detail in under their respective sections:

Descriptive adjective or adjective of quality

Descriptive adjectives are the most numerous of the different types of adjectives. These adjectives describe nouns that refer to action, state, or quality (careless, toxic, excited, sad, black, white, big, small, long, fat, English, Mediterranean, three-cornered).

  • toxic chemicals
  • greenvegetables
  • roundtable
  • big cow
  • tall tree
  • coldweather
  • truestory
  • Englishlanguage
  • Mediterranean

Adjective of quantity

An adjective of quantity tells us the number (how many) or amount (how much) of a noun.

  • He bought twenty
  • I don’t have much
  • There is so much wine for the guests.
  • This long, thin millipede has many

Demonstrative adjective

A demonstrative adjective (thisthatthesethose) shows the noun it modifies is singular or plural and whether the position of the noun is near or far from the person who is speaking or writing. A demonstrative adjective also points out a fact about the noun.

  • Thisred kite is mine and those three yellow; ones are yours.
  • This cute baby is his brother.That cute baby is his sister.
  • Thesetwo fat cows have tails, but that thin cow doesn’t have a tail.

Possessive adjective

A possessive adjective expresses possession of a noun by someone or something. Possessive adjectives are the same as possessive pronouns. All the possessive adjectives are listed in the following table:

Possessive adjectives/pronouns

Forms of Adjectives

When we compare two or more nouns, we make use of comparative adjectives and superlative adjectives. We use the following three forms of comparison when we compare two or more nouns.

The absolute form

We use the absolute degree to describe a noun or to compare two equal things or persons.


  • His head is big.
  • His head is as big asmy head.
  • His wife-to-be is very charming.
  • His ex-girlfriend is not as charming ashis wife-to-be.

The comparative form

When comparing two nouns, we use a comparative form of adjective to describe how one person or thing is when compared to another person or thing. In making such a comparison, we have to use the word than to show that one noun is bigger, longer, taller, etc. than the other one.


  • A hen’s egg is bigger thana pigeon’s egg.
  • Our fingers are longer thanour toes.
  • This basketball player is taller thanthat footballer.
  • She says her pet hen walks faster thanher pet duck.
  • His head is bigger thanmy head.

The superlative form

When comparing three or more nouns, we use a superlative form of adjective. We use the word the when using the superlative adjective to compare.


  • My great grandfather is the oldestone in the family.
  • She has the prettiestface in the whole university.
  • Bozo is the funniestclown in the circus.
  • His head is the biggest of the three brothers.


  1. In English language, a question that begins with WHis said to have the —–? (A. Rising tone B. Even tone C. Falling tone D. Monosyllabic tone)
  2. What do you understand by a three-syllabic word?
  3. Which of these words have a stressed second syllable? ————- (A. Education B. Develop C. Afternoon D. Family)
  4. Explain the three forms of adjective.

Week 8


Language Structure

Reading Skills: Surveying, Skimming and Scanning.

Language Structure

  1. Talking about Possibility

Read this dialogue:

Driver:           Don’t touch him! He may be suffering from an infectious disease!
Passenger 1:  In that case we may be stuck here for hours!
Passenger 2:  Or we might end up in the hospital!

The driver was not sure what was wrong with the man. He thought it was possible that the man might be suffering from a contagious disease. The passengers thought that they might end up in trouble , so they ran off.

When we talk about things that are possible we often use the modal verbs may or might. The two words mean almost the same thing, though might often indicates something less possible than may.

Look at this sentence:

Ali: When I leave school I shall get a job.

Ali seems very certain about what he’s going to do when he leaves school. Most people are not so sure as Ali! For example, look at what Joseph says:

Joseph: When I leave school I may get a job. I’m not sure yet. I might go to the university instead.

Notice that the voice goes down on sure, then up again on the word yet.

Table 1



When I leave school, I may

join the army, 


But I’m not ↑ sure, ↓ yet

go to university,
get a job,
get married,
go abroad,
move to Abuja,
  1. Future Possibilities

Ask and answer these questions.

  1. What do you think you might do when you leave school?
  2. What do you think you might do when you are 16 if you pass all your exams?
  3. Where do you think you might be in the next 5 years?
  4. Do you think you might travel overseas?
  5. Present Possibilities

So far we have been talking about the future. We can also talk about possibilities in the present. Practise these dialogues:

Mary:   Where’s Caleb? He’s not here today.
Grace:   He may be ill.
Mary:    Or the bus may be late
Grace:   In that case, he may be coming later

Sule:    Where’s Uche?
Bill:       He said he is ill.
Sule:      In that case, he may be too ill to come
Bill:       Let’s go and see him.

Jeff:      We’re short of a player for today’s match
Henry:  I think James may be available. Let’s ask him
Jeff:       I’m not so sure. He said he might be going to Lagos today.
Henry:   Well, he may be back in time. I’ll go and see.

  1. Reporting Commands and Instructions 

Read this Dialogue:

Teacher:  Stop talking, everyone, and pay attention!
Maduka:  (who did not hear what the teacher said) Hey, Emeka did you –
Emeka:     Sssh! He told us to stop talking!

Here, Emeka is reporting what the teacher said. His statement consisted of:

The subject:                  He
The reporting verb:   told
The object:                     us
An infinitive phrase: to stop talking

Table 2




The doctor

The article
















not to

stretch the patient out flat
loosen all tight clothing
move the patient nearer the window
throw cold water unto the patient’s face
open all the windows
slap the patient’s face
apply artificial respiration if necessary
receive the patient by putting a match to his feet
keep our heads
lose our heads

Table 3

Verb+(pro)noun+ to+ infinitive







not to







advisedMary/ Audu
askedMr Ojo
orderedthe boy
paidthe driver
  • Make true sentences from Table 2 above.
  • There are many different reporting verbs as shown in Table 3. Look at the table and make up 6 similar sentences
  1. Indirect Speech: Punctuation

With direct speech, we use inverted commas.

For example:
‘Park your car at the side of the road’,  ordered the policeman.

When we report this in indirect speech, we do  not use inverted commas:
The policeman told us to park our car at the side of the road.
Write out the following speech in indirect format:

  1. ‘Take the second turning on the left,’ he told them.
  2. ‘Go along the corridor and wait outside Room 12,’ the clerk instructed Ali.
  3. ‘You’d better see a specialist,’ advised the doctor. (Use me, and leave outbetter.)

Reading Skills: Surveying, Skimming and Scanning.

Surveying, skimming and scanning texts can dramatically reduce the time wasted on researching. You will also need to read texts thoroughly for detail. Some of the texts you will read are likely to be complex and it is common that you will need to reread articles to fully understand them

SURVEYING: Surveying the text means looking at the table of contents, at chapter headings, at summaries or abstracts to get a broad, overview of content and purpose.
Purpose – to get broad, overall picture of essentials in article, chapter, or book.

How do you do it?
1) read title
2) read abstract or first paragraph
3) read all headings, italicized words, graphs and tables
4) read last paragraph and/or
5) read summary

How will surveying help me?
1) facilitates reading–increases subsequent reading speed
2) improves comprehension
3) gives you ideas about whether to skip material, skim, read, study–helps you to be selective

SKIMMING: Skimming is looking quickly through a text to gain a general impression of what it is about. Skimming means looking over a text quickly, looking for key words, headings, tables, images and illustrations, to get the gist of the content. This will help you to decide whether you should read further and how useful the document will be to your project.
Purpose – concentrates your attention on the essentials of a paragraph or series of paragraphs

How do you do it?
1) read first sentence of paragraph
2) read last sentence of paragraph
3) read key words in between

Two skimming patterns:
a) for formal style typical of most text books (with long involved sentences and long paragraphs: read using 3 steps outlined above)
b) for informal style (shorter sentences and paragraphs) read using first two steps only

How will skimming help me?
1) after surveying article, you may feel it doesn’t merit reading, but is too important to discard
2) use to review material (previously studied) just before a test
3) will help you get through material faster

SCANNING: Scanning means looking quickly through the text to find a specific piece of information. If you only need a specific piece of information, scan the text to find it. Don’t read the whole text in detail.
Purpose – to help you find one specific bit of information within a relatively large body of information

How do you do it?
1)  visualise the words/phrases first
2) visualise things to be spotted – get clear mental picture of the words
3) use all available clues– Look at capital letters, hyphens, italics, synonyms, key words and items in bold
4) use paragraph topical clues, such as words in boldface or italics
5) use systematic

Scanning patterns
a) run eyes rapidly down middle of column using a zig-zag motion
b) use wider side-by-side movement for solid pages of print

How can scanning help me?
1) uncovers relevant information
2) accelerates reading speed and flexibility (can scan ten times your present reading rate)
3) two situations where scanning is helpful:
a) you know material has information you want, but can’t remember specifically what it is or where it is in the chapter
b) you are looking for something unknown – you won’t know exactly until you find it (i.e., processing large amounts of information as part of your job)

Scanning is useful if you know the article has the information you want but can’t remember where.

Researching and reading tips
– Make notes in your own words not necessarily with the words of the passage
– Write down questions. What do you want to find out?
– Identify key points
– Create a mind map or lists on on what you have learned
– Question the author’s position on the topic


Folktale: Features 


Characters are flat, simple, and straightforward. They are typically either completely good or entirely evil and easy to identify.

The hero and heroine are usually young.

The heroine is usually fair, kind, charitable, and caring.

The hero is usually honorable, courageous, unselfish, and caring.

Both usually have special abilities or powers. The hero or heroine is often isolated and is usually cast out into the open world or is apparently without any human friends. Evil, on the other hand, seems overwhelming. Therefore, the hero/heroine must be aided by supernatural forces, such as a magical object or an enchanted creature, to fight against evil forces

The characters are usually stereotypical, for example, wicked stepmothers, weak-willed fathers, jealous siblings, faithful friends. Physical appearance often readily defines the characters, but disguises are common.

Motivation in folktale characters tends to be singular; that is, the characters are motivated by one overriding desire such as greed, love, fear, hatred, and jealousy.


Place is described easily and briefly (humble cottage, magic kingdom) that fits the typical geography of the culture or it is not mentioned but assumed.

Most folktale settings remove the tale from the real world, taking us to a time and place where animals talk, witches and wizards roam, and magic spells are commonplace

Time is in the past (usually long-ago) imbedded within the history of the culture. The settings are usually unimportant and described and referred to in vague terms (e.g., “Long ago in a land far away…” and “Once upon a time in a dark forest…”)

Time is fantasy time (Once upon a time sets the stage and They lived happily ever after closes the tale.) any time or any place, timeless or placeless, or long long ago.


Very simple, though interesting.

Thought provoking to didactic.

Is full of action and follows specific and simple patterns. The plot starts right out with fast moving action that grabs the listeners’ interest and keeps it. Conflicts are usually resolved with great deeds or acts of human kindness related to good and bad/evil.

The action tends to be formulaic. A journey is common (and is usually symbolic of the protagonist’s journey to self-discovery). Repetitious patterns are found, suggesting the ritual nature of folktales and perhaps to aid the storyteller in memorization; for example, events often occur in sets of three sometimes (e.g., three pigs, three bears, three sisters, three wishes),


Usually universal truths, lessons, and values related to people, their actions, and/or material goods that is valued by the group that creates the folktale.

Often the tales tell what happens to those who do not obey the group’s traditions.

Problems of young adults


Fear of leaving home

Fear of not having children

Fear of not being loved or giving love

Reflect basic values and concerns of different cultures

Good and evil

Right and wrong

Justice and injustice

Happiness, kindness, friendship, loyalty

Love and loyalty

Discuss basic values of people
Common folktale themes include the following


The struggle to achieve autonomy or to break away from parents (“Beauty and the Beast”)

The undertaking of a rite of passage (“Rapunzel”)

The discovery of loneliness on a journey to maturity (“Hansel and Gretel”)

The anxiety over the failure to meet a parent’s expectations (“Jack and the Beanstalk”)

The anxiety over one’s displacement by another – the “new arrival” (“Cinderella”)


Descriptions are quick and to the point with little description and detail.

Plausability story is possible but not probable.

A promise father promises to send one daughter, if set free; promises first son, if spin gold;

Number three father has three daughters and three sons, and three weeks to return

Magic Supernatural beings Objects (mirror, beans, golden objects) Spells, Enchantments,

Magical transformations, Character transformed by a spell and only the love or loyalty of another character can break the spell Ugly person casts a spell on … Spell is broken and turns into a …

Run away from home Gingerbread Boy – English, The Bun – Russian, The Pancake –

Norwegian Cumulative Henny Penny, sequence of events or characters that accumulate.

Repeat phrases, develop logic and sequential thinking (for preoperational children), and understanding for more sophisticated literature. The House that Jack Built, The Old Lady that Swallowed a Fly.

Folktale motifs (i.e., recurring thematic elements) are quite prevalent; they may have served as mnemonic devices when the tales were still passed on orally. Examples of common motifs include journeys through dark forests, enchanted transformations, magical cures or other spells, encounters with helpful animals or mysterious creatures, foolish bargains, impossible tasks, clever deceptions, and so on.

Extraordinary animals, monster, or other animated things. Three Little Pigs, Shrek

Explain a natural phenomena or custom. How Rabbit Stole Fire, Why Mosquitoes Buzz in people’s Ears, Tikki Tikki Temkbo.


Good versus bad/evil

Reflection of human strengths, frailities, weaknesses, or imperfections.

Reader is led to new insights and/or understandings.


When we talk about things that are possible to happen, we often use———? (A. Modal verbs B.Infinitive verbs C. Phrasal verb D. Auxiliary verb)

When is it most appropriate to use the inverted commas in a sentence? (A. When reporting a direct speech B. When reporting an indirect speech C. When trying to make a sentence look fanciful D. When writing a good speech)

Briefly explain the following reading skills- surveying, skimming and scanning.

Week 9


Spoken English: The /i/ and /i:/ sounds


Spoken English: The /i/ and /i:/ sounds

We are going to revise the two sounds above.
Listen to these two lists of words and repeat:

/i:/                  /i/


Many learners of English need to distinguish between these sounds properly. The problem lies with the /i/ sound of the words in column 2. Many Nigerian languages do not have this sound. So let us compare the two sounds. the /i:/ of the words in column 1 is generally quite long and your tongue muscles are very tense or strained as you say it. In contrast, the /i/ of the column 2 words is usually short. Your tongue is brought near the top of your mouth, but your tongue muscles are quite lax as you say it; there is no tension in them. When you say /i/, your mouth is slightly more open than when you say /i:/.

Spelling: /i:/

The /i:/ sound is usually spelled as ‘ee’ or ‘ea’ but in some other ways als. Read the following:

need, meet, chief, police, green, please, piece, machine, meat, these, believe, deceive.

Spelling: /i/

The following words all contain the /i/ sound, which is usually spelled ‘i’. Say them:

is, quick, little, did, which, bitter, this, with, politics, fit, give, Philip

When a word is spelled with ‘i …e’ the sound of ‘i’ is usually /ai/, but the following words should be said with /i/.

river, driven, favourite, genuine, promise.

There are some unusual spellings of /i/, which we find in some very common words. Say the following:

busy, business, minute, women, pretty

This sound is very often found in unstressed syllables where the spelling is ‘-ed’, ‘- ied’, ‘-et’, ‘-age’, ‘-ess’, ‘-ies’, ‘-ing’, and ‘-y’. Say the following:

wanted, carries, market, manage, useless, ended, ladies, bucket, going, quickly, village, married

Part of Speech: Adverb


An adverb is a part of a speech which can be added to a verb to modify its meaning.  An adverb is also a word or group of words that describes either the verb, or the whole sentence. 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. An adverb which is made up of several words is called adverbial phrase.

Positions of Adverbs

An adverb that modifies an adjective (“quite sad”) or another adverb (“very carelessly”) appears immediately in front of the word it modifies. An adverb that modifies a verb is generally more flexible: it may appear before or after the verb it modifies (“softly sang” or “sang softly“), or it may appear at the beginning of the sentence (“Softly she sang to the baby”). The position of the adverb may have an effect on the meaning of the sentence.

Function of Adverbs

Temporal Adverb – An adverb (such as soon or tomorrow) that describes when the action of a verb is carried out. It is also called a time adverb. An adverb phrase that answers the question “when?” is called a temporal adverb. e.g I always thought that the river was deep, but now I see that deep down it’s shallow.

Types of Adverbs

Although there are thousands of adverbs, each adverb can usually be grouped in one of the following groupings, headings and categories.

  1. Adverbs of Manner: These describe the way or manner an action is performed. Adverbs of manner usually end in ly. 

For example:
The people waited impatiently

Adverb like this answer the question HOW?

For example:
How did the clerk shout?
He shouted angrily

Examples: nervously, politely, patiently, clearly, badly, accurately, carefully, hungrily, quickly, slowly, noisily, beautifully, softly, well, thirstily, obstinately, suspiciously, helpfully.
Note: Well is the adverb form of good


Choose from the adverb examples above

  1. Dieng waited ___in the queue
  2. The letter-writer eyed Tolu __.
  3. The fat woman ___ left the post office
  4. The children ___ waited for their supper
  5. Greg ___ offered his identity card
  6. The clerk ___ refused to accept it
  7. My sister dresses ___.

The words we have been practising are all adverbs of manner. Sometimes we can use an adverb phrase:

Dare replied with a quavering voice
The patient breathed in short gasps

Sometimes we have to use a phrase. Watch out for the words friendly and cowardly. They look like adverbs because they end in –ly. But they are adjectives not adverbs.

The cowardly soldiers ran away
The friendly man gave him a lift

To use these adjectives as adverbs, we have to turn them into phrases:

CowardlyIn a cowardly manner
FriendlyIn a friendly way

Adverbs normally come at the end of a sentence. But they also sometimes come at the beginning or between a subject and the verb:

The policeman slowly opened the door – Adverb between subject and verb
Slowly, the policeman opened the door – Adverb at the beginning
The policeman opened the door slowly- Adverb at the end

  1. Adverbs of Time and Place

Adverbs of time and place answer the questions WHEN? and WHERE?

When did she arrive? – She arrived yesterday (time)
Where did he go to? – He went to chrch (place)
When will you eat lunch? – In an hour (time)
Where is my shoe? – Under the bed (place)

When all these three types of adverb appear in a sentence, they always go in this manner:

She arrivedsafelyin Josat two


  1. Explain the main difference between the /1:/ and the /i/ sounds
  2. What is an adverb and what are some of the major functions it plays in a sentence?
  3. In sentences, an adverb that modifies an adjective should appear where?——- (A. Immediately in front of the word it modifies B. After the word it modifies C. Together with the word it modifies D. Without the word it modifies)
  4. List and explain the various  types of adverbs in English language.

Hope you got what you visited this page for? The above is the lesson note for English Studies for JSS2 class. However, you can download the free PDF file for record purposes.

If you have any questions as regards English Studies lesson note For JSS2 class, kindly send them to us via the comment section below and we shall respond accordingly as usual.





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