Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Course Outline for CXC English B





Creativity comes from trust. Trust your instincts. And never hope more than you WORK. ~ Rita Mae Brown

Welcome to CSEC English Literature. My name is Ms. F. Atkins and I will be your facilitator in the learning of this subject. As your teacher I am expected to:
  1. assist the student to reach his/her full potential in the subject area
  2. provide honest feedback on progress in class
  3. facilitate student learning through quality leadership and stimulating exercises

 As a student you will be expected to:
  1. Attend classes on time
  2. Complete ALL assignments and projects
  3. Be respectful to Teacher and peers
  4. Participate in class  

My email address is wolmersatkins@gmail.com for any queries regarding ENGLISH LITURATURE ONLY. All other queries and comments should be directed to the school’s front desk.

Students will explore receptively and expressively three major literary genres, DRAMA, POETRY and PROSE FICTION. English Literature provides students with opportunities to explore and respond critically to specific literary texts as they examine and understand the author’s technique.


  1. To develop and sharpen analytical skills
  2. Literature lends itself to creativity
  3. The study of literature will help you to move from one realm to the next--- From the literal to the symbolic and figurative
  4. Literature lends itself to expression
  5. To turn things inside out, draw inferences and make conclusions
  6. The study of literature helps you to look beyond the periphery
  7. In reality no one can be single minded. This is limiting to the creativity and dynamism of the human element. Studying LITERATURE demolishes this limitation.
  8. All in all the study of literature broadens the perspective of the individual.
  9. To be LESS boring and MORE explorative
  10. Literature is just plain FUN!!!


ü  A World of Poetry for CSEC                   edited by: Mark McWatt & Hazel Simmons
ü  A World of Prose for CSEC                     edited by: David Williams & Hazel
                                                                                         Simmons- McDonald
ü  A Mid summer Night’s Dream                 by: William Shakespeare
ü  Old Story Time                                        by: Trevor Rhone
ü  Wine of Astonishment                              by: Earl Lovelace
ü  Songs of Silence                                      by: Curdella Forbes (not covered in class)

PAPER 2- Written


Poems are a creative form of writing, meant to be read aloud and enjoyed rather than approached as a difficult puzzle to be solved.  When analyzing a poem pay attention to the following Elements:-

ü  Title
ü  Content
ü  Structure
ü  Literary Devices
ü  Rhythm
ü  Rhyme
ü  Mood
ü  Tone
ü  Diction/Language
ü  Imagery
ü  Theme
ü  Meaning

In addition, the Essay Structure and Technique for answering questions will be taught. For convenience, questions are broken down into sections (a, b, c). This is to be used ONLY AS A GUIDE in organizing your essay; DO NOT WRITE a, b or c before each section of your answer. Your answer should flow like an essay.  CSEC Poetry Questions usually require students to answer in essay format. Students should be able to:-

  1. Show Knowledge of the poem or poems
  2. Identify Literary Devices used by the poet and state their effectiveness to the theme or issue brought out, or to the overall presentation of the poem.
  3. Use personal knowledge or experiences to comment on or analyze the poem/s and its effectiveness.


Subject Matter
·         Who is speaking? (speaker)
·         In what situation? (occasion)
·         To whom? (addressee)
·         Privately or publicly
·         About what? (subject or theme)
·         What is said? (thesis)
·         Directly or indirectly?
·         What common human concerns do this touch on? (universality)

·         What does the sound pattern tell you?
·         Is the rhythm quick or slow?
·         Does the rhythm suit/reinforce the subject matter?
·         Is there a rhyme?
·         Does the rhyme contribute to your understanding/enjoyment of the poem?
·         Is there any interesting or appropriate use of alliteration or assonance?

  • Are the words simple? Or complex?
  • Sophisticated? Or naive?
  • Formal? Or conversational?
  • Smooth? Or rough?
  • Many-syllabled? Or monosyllabic?
  • How does the diction contribute to the meaning/ mood of the poem?

  • Is the imagery striking? Or ordinary?
  • Easily understood? Or obscure?
  • Is the principal appeal to the sense of sight? Hearing? Touch? Taste? Emotion?
  • Is the imagery functional? Or ornamental?
  • Is the imagery symbolic?
  • Is the symbolism natural? Conventional? Original?

Mood and Tone
  • How would you describe the mood of the poem?
  • Is the poem more thoughtful than emotional?
  • More emotional than thoughtful?
  • Are thought and emotion balanced in the poem?
  • Is the tone of the poem serious? Or light?
  • Is it ironic? Satirical? Sentimental?
  • Sincere? Flippant? Etc.

Are there any elements which appear unsuited to the rest of the poem?

Prescribed Poems for the 2012-2014 Examinations

ü  A Contemplation Upon Flowers – Henry King
ü  Once Upon a Time – Gabriel Okara
ü  Forgive My Guilt – Robert Coffin
ü  West Indies, U.S.A. – Stewart Brown
ü  Sonnet Composed Upon Westminster Bridge – William Wordsworth
ü  Orchids – Hazel Simmons-McDonald
ü  The Woman Speaks to the Man who has Employed her Son – Lorna Goodison
ü  It is the Constant Image of your Face – Dennis Brutus
ü  God’s Grandeur – Gerard Manley Hopkins
ü  A Stone’s Throw – Elma Mitchell
ü  Test Match Sabina Park – Stewart Brown
ü  Theme for English B – Langston Hughes
ü  Dreaming Black Boy – James Berry
ü  Epitaph – Dennis Scott
ü  Dulce et Decorum Est – Wilfred Owen
ü  This is the Dark Time, My Love – Martin Carter
ü  Ol’Higue – Mark McWatt
ü  ‘Le Loupgarou’ – Derek Walcott
ü  South – Kamau Braithwaite
ü  To an Athlete Dying Young – A.E. Housman

*McWatt, M., Simmons-McDonald, H (Ed) (2005). A World of Poetry for CXC Oxford Heinemann Educational Publishers (pp. 177-78)


Students will study 10 short prose narratives or short prose fiction. It is different from an anecdote which usually narrates a single incident in a simple, unelaborated way. It is also different from a novel in that it is much shorter and more concentrated. Short story writers usually have different literary aims from those of novelists or poets.

The short story is not as long as a novel or novella, it selects a small aspect of life or of a personality and builds on it. The setting is usually restricted to a small are, not spread over many places as with a novel. Short story writers attempt to achieve a close and direct link between their subjects and their readers. They try to do this in a swift and complete way. Words are therefore, used with care so that maximum power is gained from as few as possible.

For the exam, you will be required to be familiar with:
ü  Genre
ü  Elements
·         Plot
·         Character
·         Setting
·         Point of View
·         Theme
·         Style

ü  Main Points
ü  Themes/Issues

There are two types of questions associated with this section on the Examination paper. First:-
·         Ask you to consider two (2) specific stories from the collection and to discuss aspects such as content, theme, author’s techniques
·         Compare any two (2) stories from the collection and to discuss aspects such as content, theme, author’s techniques.

Students should be able to:-

  1. Show knowledge of the important parts of the story/ies, specific details, cause and effect.
  2. Think of each story as a whole and asks for your judgment on concepts, techniques, devices and their effectiveness. 
  3. Identify Literary Devices used by the author and state their effectiveness to the theme or issue brought out, or to the overall presentation of the story.


  • How are the events presented in the story?
  • How is the plot developed? Does the author use a linear (chronological) pattern?
  • Is flashback one of the techniques used?
  • Do any of the early events or incidents prepare the reader for later ones?
  • Do any events or incidents lead you to anticipate the outcome?
  • What is the nature of the conflict?
  • At what point does the story climax?
  • Does the climax bring about a change in character or situation?

  • What are the types of character/s present in the story? (flat, round, stereotype, stock)
  •  Are the characters believable?
  • How are the characters presented by the author?
  • What is the main character like?
  • Does the author present fully developed characters?
  • What are the conflicts that the main character faces?
  • Does this character change as a result of the events that he or she experiences in the story?
  • What is the nature of the change?
  • If there is no change, why not?

·         How important is the setting of the story?
·         Does the setting help to develop the plot? How does it do so?
·         What does the setting contribute to our understanding of the meaning of the story?
·         Does the setting have any influence on the characters?

Point of View
  • Does the point of view that is used help the author to expose the theme? If so, how?
  • To what extent is the narrator a reliable witness to events?
  • Would the choice of a different point of view change the story significantly?

  • What is the theme of the story?
  • Does the title provide a clue to what it is?
  • Is there only one theme or are there several themes?
  • Does the author suggest the theme through imagery?

·         Does the author use figurative language in telling this story, or is the language literal?
·         If figurative language is used, what is the effect?
·         Does the author use dialogue to advance the action of the story? If dialect is used what is the effect?
·         What examples of figurative language are most striking in the story?
·         Why are they striking?
·         How does figurative language contribute to the meaning and theme of the story?

Short Stories Prescribed for the 2012-2014 Examinations

ü  Blackout – Roger Mais
ü  Shabine – Hazel Simmons-McDonald
ü  Emma – Carolyn Cole
ü  The Man of the House – Frank O’Connor
ü  Septimus – John Wickham
ü  The Day the World Almost Came to an End – Pearl Crayton
ü  The Boy Who Loved Ice Cream – Olive Senior
ü  Berry – Langston Hughes
ü  Mom Luby and the Social Worker – Kristin Hunter
ü  To Da-duh, in Memoriam – Paule Marshall

* Williams, D., Simmons-McDonald, H (Ed) (2005). A World of Prose for CSEC Oxford Heinemann Educational Publishers (pp. 188-193)

3. NOVELS (Prose)

According to the current CSEC syllabus, for the English B examination, the re will be four questions, two on each of the two books prescribed. You will be required to write an essay based on thorough knowledge of one of the prescribed novels. You will not be required to compare the two texts, but you may be asked to make a comparison within a text.

Students are required to read at least ONE novel (The Wine of Astonishment). The following elements will be explored in relation to the novel under study:-

ü  Plot
ü  Background Knowledge
ü  Narrative Technique
ü  Structure
ü  Language and Style
ü  Setting
ü  Themes/Issues
ü  Characterization
ü  Narrative Point of view

Students should be able to:-

  1. Show knowledge of the Novel
  2. Identify Literary Devices used by the author and state their effectiveness to the theme or issue brought out, or to the overall presentation of the novel.
  3. Use personal knowledge or experiences to comment on or analyze the novel and its effectiveness.
The novel is possibly the most popular of all literary forms. This is probably so because, generally, novels are exciting, interesting and informative. The novel is longer than the short story, long enough to engage a plot or storyline that can be complex. Suspense can be built and held. A number of climaxes can keep the reader engrossed and anxious to know ‘where it will all end’.

Prescribed Novels

ü  Songs of Silence – Curdella Forbes
ü  The Wine of Astonishment – Earl Lovelace

Students are required to read at least ONE play. The following elements will be explored in relation to the plays under study:-

ü  Background Knowledge
ü  Script
ü  Performance (Plot and Structure)
ü  Stage Directions
ü  Asides and Soliloquies
ü  Characterization
ü  Issues and Theme
ü  Atmosphere
ü  Visual elements
ü  Types of plays

Students should be able to:-

  1. Show Knowledge of the Play
  2. Identify Literary Devices used by the poet and state their effectiveness to the theme or issue brought out, or to the overall presentation of the play.
  3. Use personal knowledge or experiences to comment on or analyze the play and its effectiveness.

Prescribed Plays/ Drama texts

ü  A Midsummer Night’s Dream – William Shakespeare
ü  Old Story Time – Trevor Rhone

PAPER 1- (Unseen) Comprehension type Questions

There is NO MULTPLE CHOICE in English B. Paper 1 is known as the Unseen Paper. This paper tests comprehension and the ability to say how a writer/poet achieves a given effect. The paper consists of 3 sections. On this paper you will be given extracts of a POEM, PROSE FICTION and DRAMA with questions that follow. You will be required to draw upon you comprehension skills to answer ALL the questions on this paper.

Skills required:
v  Analysis, that is, examining the writer’s use of language(eg. Imagery, rhythm, tone, mood, sound of words) and the ability to say how these function effectively in a piece of creative writing.
v  Attention to dramatic devices, such as stage direction and the use of sound and lighting effects
v  Awareness of the relationship between action and motive
v  Awareness of the interaction among characters.

It is important that you develop the vocabulary to express ideas about literature.
Your writing should:
v  Be convincing, clear and focused
v  Show that you are thinking about what you write, and
v  Be relevant to the questions being asked.


ü  HOMEWORK--- 20%

ü  CLASSWORK--- 20%

ü  PROJECT—10%


“Striving for success without hard work is like trying to harvest where you haven't planted.”
                                                                                                                                      ~ David Bly


  1. the poems you mentioned for the 2012-14 exam is not the ones contained in the syllabus for the period in question? Or have I mis-read the 2012 requirements? Syllabuses in Antigua & Barbuda are very hard to come by and/or are very expensive.

  2. Major correction. The opening statement should read 'the poems you mentioned for the 2012 - 14 exams ARE not the ones contained in the syllabus for the period in question.... (very sorry!)

  3. The poems in the poetry book are great..so far we've done 9..am a form 4 student and i dnt really understand test match at sabina park!!!Can i have a little help please!But the poems are awesome so far.I love english B!!!!!


  4. lookin foward in doin gr8 in examz :D

  5. Excellent. This is a Teacher who must get A Grades from all students.

    Well done!

  6. i hope i pass cxc!! contemplation upon flowers is my favourite

  7. i believe that the cxc is making the examination too BARE. The fullest beauty of the human endeavour to portray describe and capture feelings is not being given opportunity of expression when the exam is so minimalist.

    This is my opinion

  8. Am doing English lit but the thing is I haven't read all the things needed, am good at it so I will catch up fast, if I get good help,and trust me I need major help..

  9. i love english lit, am good at it although my teacher dont teach us good at all an i hope i pass!

  10. Thank u. For the points u have mention above.

  11. it is so difficlt but anyways MY GOD will help me and thanks 4 ur points. it helps

  12. i would say that english b is a very hard subject but i guess u have to keep your head on the goal and not the difficulties or easiness!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. Thank You for ur assistance

  14. english b is complicated but anyways may god be with me and help me in order for me to do wll...thanks for the help

  15. Great outline for students and teachers of English B.

  16. Gotta Say you're darn confident of what you're teaching and i like it.

  17. this information was so helpful. thanks

  18. am planning on taking this course by myself rather than going to class for it.... am just gonna pay for the subject and do the exam wen the time comes all help would eally be appreciated..... wish me luck

  19. i just feel this is too much but my teacher at wolmers is going to ensure i get it right. (shoutouts to ms moore)

  20. Private:
    I am glad I found this site! Great job. I thought that u would at least use a sample poem/story to illustrate the different elements in both subject matter. Is it possible for u to do a sample work? Eg. do a poem n show me the tone, mood, theme, topic, setting, etc n likewise a story. Thanks

  21. thank you.. i am st.lucia and we are doing the exact poems so you cleared that up

  22. thank u very much these really helped me alot. with christ in the vessel i can smile at the storm and god is all over my vessel. glod bless u. and im sitting that exam with him.

  23. vey helpful info thanks so much

  24. I love this site..... when will they have 2013?

    1. yea..... this is 2013...when will they have 2015

  25. hi I wrote cxc English b in 2012 can I still do it over in January 2014

  26. I an in science program but I want to do literature for cxc. I want to study on my own. Do I need classes? I am in fourth form now.

  27. Why are Caribbean teachers so bad minded and elitist? Most are mediocre and fearful of brilliant students who excel. They teach so HARD; they make things sound so hard! I guess it's the Willy Lynch syndrome deep rooted in their psyche; a bunch of Uncle Toms! My daughters are all excelling in the UK unlike when they were here in Antigua. Some music teachers are sooo condescending, one especially who taught at the AGHS...she only warmed up to so-and-so's children and snubbed the not-so-well-to-do 'cause in her times only those of so-called high pedigree could learn music.

  28. thinking about to do English b in cxc... but i really need the help:(

  29. This is actually more than what i have learnt. Here i'm seeing more in- depth analyzing and what as well as how to identify certain elements within the areas of English B....But i need serious help especially with questions....

  30. I have read this and I must say I have gained
    knowledge from what has been said. Thanks much.

  31. Thanks Very Much........It helped alot

  32. is anyone still associated with this site? we could somehow study together...

  33. I enjoy this site I'm so confident for English b 2014 mat June examination tomorrow

  34. I enjoy the site i am so interested in doing the classes online to help build myself and my reading skills to become a better person in the future.

  35. im soo soo confused with eng b...but i have i very gr8 teacher;;)......and ik im gonna do gud @ cxc:d....lol btw..ur points helped me understand d structure of the essays...still a little lost but i'll catch on:d...thank you again:*

  36. This information was very helpful to me, thanks so much I really appreciate it, you Are the best. I just hope I pass cxc

  37. Great...how do I understand poems??