English (Core) – CBSE Board Syllabus

English (Core) – CBSE Board Syllabus.


Students are expected to have acquired a reasonable degree of language proficiency in English by the time they come to class XI, and the course will aim, essentially, at promoting the higher-order language skills.

For a large number of students, the higher secondary stage will be a preparation for the university, where a fairly high degree of proficiency in English may be required. But for another large group, the higher secondary stage may be a preparation for entry into the world of work. The Core Course should cater to both groups by promoting the language skills required for academic study as well as the language skills required for the workplace.

The general objectives at this stage are:

  • to listen to and comprehend live as well as recorded oral presentations on a variety of topics,
  • to develop greater confidence and proficiency in the use of language skills necessary for social and academic purposes.
  • to participate in group discussions/interviews, making short oral presentations on given topics.
  • to perceive the overall meaning and organisation of the text (i.e., the relationships of the different “chunks” in the text to each other).
  • to identify the central/main point and supporting details, etc.
  • to build communicative competence in various registers of English.
  • to promote advanced language skills with an aim to develop the skills of reasoning, drawing inferences, etc. through meaningful activities.
  • to translate texts from mother tongue (s) into english and vice versa.
  • to develop ability and knowledge required in order to engage in independent ~ reflection and enquiry.
  • to develop the capacity to appreciate literary use of English and also use English creatively and imaginatively.

At the end of this stage learners will be able to do the following:

  • read and comprehend extended texts ( prescribed and non-prescribed) in the following genres: fiction, science fiction, drama, poetry, biography, autobiography, travel and sports literature, etc.
  • text-based writing (i.e., writing in response to questions or tasks based on prescribed or unseen texts)
  • understand and respond to lectures, speeches, etc.
  • write expository/argumentative essays of 250-500 words, explaining or developing a topic, arguing a case, etc.
  • write formal/informal letters and applications for different purposes.
  • write items related to the workplace (minutes, memoranda, notices, summaries reports; filling up of forms, preparing CVs, e-mail messages, etc.).
  • taking/making notes from reference materials, recorded talks etc.

Language Items

The Core Course should draw upon the language items suggested for classes IX-X and delve deeper into their usage and functions. Particular attention may, however, be given to the following areas of grammar:

  • the uses of different tense forms for different kinds of narration (e.g. media commentaries, reports, programmes, etc.).
  • the use of passive forms in scientific and innovative writings.
  • converting one kind of sentence/clause into a different kind of structure as well as other items to exemplify stylistic variations in different discourses.
  • modal auxiliaries – uses based on semantic considerations.

Methods and Techniques

The techniques used for teaching should promote habits of self-learning and reduce dependence on the teacher. In general, we recommend a multi-skill, learner-centred, activity based approach, of which there can be many variations. The core classroom activity is likely to be that of silent reading of prescribed/selected texts for comprehension, which can lead to other forms of language learning activities such as role play, dramatization, group discussion, writing, etc. although many such activities could be carried out without the preliminary use of textual material. It is important that students be trained to read independently and intelligently, interacting actively with texts, with the use of reference materials (dictionaries, thesauruses, etc.) where necessary. Some pre-reading activity will generally be required, and the course books should suggest suitable activities, leaving teachers free to devise other activities when desired. So also, the reading of texts should be followed by post reading activities. It is important to remember that every text can generate different readings. Students should be encouraged to interpret texts in different ways.

Group and pair activities can be resorted to when desired, but many useful language activities can be carried out individually.

In general, teachers should encourage students to interact actively with texts and with each other. Oral activity (group discussion, etc.) should be encouraged.


Class. 12th std CBSE Syllabus
One Paper           3 Hours                 Marks: 100

english core 1



Class. 12th Std CBSE Syllabus

Reading Comprehension – [20]

Reading unseen Passages and Note making

There will be two unseen passages.

The total length of the two passages will be between 1000 – 1200 words. The passage will include two of the following:

(a) Factual Passages e.g. instructions, descriptions, reports.

(b) Discursive passage involving opinion e.g. argumentative, persuasive or interpretative text.

(c) Literary passage e.g. extract from fiction, drama, poetry, essay or biography

Summary – SECTION A 

Class. 12th Std CBSE Syllabus

english core 3


1: A longer passage will be given to test reading comprehension. The passage can be literary, factual or discursive. There will be vocabulary testing for three marks. [12]

2: A shorter passage of 400 – 500 words will be given for note making and abstraction. [08]


Class. 12th Std CBSE Syllabus

Advanced Writing Skills . [30]

3. One out of two short compositions of not more than 50 words each e.g. advertisement and notices, designing or drafting posters, writing formal and informal invitations and replies. [04]

4. A report or a factual description based on verbal input provided(one out of two) (100-125 words). [10]

5. Writing one out of two letters based on verbal input.

Letter types include: [10]

(a) business or official letters (for making enquiries, registering complaints, asking for and giving information, placing orders and sending replies)

(b) letters to the editor (giving suggestions on an issue)

(c) application for a job

d. letter to the principal or school authorities regarding admissions schools issues requirement or suitability of courses etc.

6. One out of two compositions based on visual and/or verbal input (150-200 words). Output may be descriptive or argumentative in nature such as an article, or a speech. [10]


Class. 12th Std CBSE Syllabus

Text Books

Literary Texts (Prescribed books Flamingo and Vistas) – [25]

7. One out of two extracts based on poetry from the text to test comprehension and appreciation. [03]

8. Two out of three short questions from the poetry to test local and global comprehension of text. [04]

9. Six out of seven short answer questions based on the lessons from both Flamingo and Vistas). [12]

10. One out two long answer type questions based on the texts to test global comprehension and extrapolation beyond the set texts. (125 -150 words) [06]


Class. 12th Std CBSE Syllabus

The following have been deleted from the text:

Long Reading Text – Novel – [15]

With a view to in still the habit of reading among the students, CBSE introduces compulsory reading of Long Reading Text/Novel in the English Core Course and will be evaluated in both Formative and Summative Assessments.

There will be two long answer questions on the theme, plot, character and incidents from the prescribed novel. Schools can choose any one of the two novels.

Name of the Text BookName of the lessons deleted
Flamingo1. Poets and Pancakes
2. The Interview
3. A Road Ride Stand (Poetry)
Vistas4. The Third Level
5. Journey to the End of the Earth

The novels are:

Lord of the Flies (unabridged 1954)           William Golding


Hound of Baskervilles (unabridged 1902)      Arther Conan Doyle

12: Long Answer Question (Approximately 150 Words)[08]

13: Long Answer Question (Approximately 150 Words) [07]


Class. 12th Std CBSE Syllabus

Conversational Skills – [10]

Testing of Conversational Skills will be done by CBSE.

HSC Syllabus – CBSE Board

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