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NABTEB Syllabus for English Language 2024/2025 SSCE

The National Business and Technical Examinations Board (NABTEB) provides a comprehensive syllabus for the English Language, aimed at equipping students with the necessary skills and knowledge for their Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE). The syllabus covers a wide range of topics, ensuring that students are well-prepared for the examination. Below is a detailed overview of the syllabus along with five frequently asked questions (FAQs).

Overview of the NABTEB English Language Syllabus

The NABTEB English Language syllabus is designed to assess students’ proficiency in English, focusing on their ability to communicate effectively, understand literary texts, and use the language for academic and everyday purposes. The syllabus is divided into several sections:

1. Comprehension and Summary

    • Understanding and interpreting various types of written texts.
    • Summarizing passages and identifying main ideas and supporting details.
    • Answering questions based on the passages.

2. Grammar and Usage

    • Parts of speech (nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, etc.)
    • Sentence structure and types.
    • Tenses, concord, and syntax.
    • Punctuation and capitalization.
    • Common errors and idiomatic expressions.

3. Vocabulary Development

    • Word formation (prefixes, suffixes, and root words).
    • Synonyms, antonyms, and homonyms.
    • Contextual meaning of words.
    • Phrasal verbs and idiomatic expressions.

4. Literature

    • Study of prose, poetry, and drama.
    • Analysis of themes, characters, and plots.
    • Literary devices and their effects.
    • Appreciation and criticism of literary works.

5. Oral English

    • Phonetics and phonology.
    • Stress and intonation patterns.
    • Pronunciation and enunciation.
    • Listening comprehension.

6. Writing

    • Essay writing (narrative, descriptive, expository, and argumentative).
    • Letter writing (formal and informal).
    • Speech writing.
    • Article and report writing.

Detailed Breakdown of Each Section

1. Comprehension and Summary

    • Comprehension: This involves reading passages and answering questions that test understanding. Passages may include narratives, descriptive pieces, and expository texts. Students are expected to draw inferences, identify main ideas, and understand the author’s purpose.
    • Summary: Students must read passages and condense the information into concise summaries, highlighting key points and main ideas without losing the essence of the original text.

2. Grammar and Usage

    • Parts of Speech: Understanding the role and function of different parts of speech in a sentence.
    • Sentence Structure: Constructing simple, compound, and complex sentences.
    • Tenses: Correct use of past, present, and future tenses.
    • Concord: Agreement between subjects and verbs.
    • Syntax: Correct arrangement of words and phrases to create well-formed sentences.
    • Punctuation and Capitalization: Proper use of punctuation marks and capitalization rules.
    • Common Errors: Identifying and correcting common grammatical errors.

3. Vocabulary Development

    • Word Formation: Understanding how new words are formed using prefixes, suffixes, and roots.
    • Synonyms and Antonyms: Learning words with similar and opposite meanings.
    • Homonyms: Words that sound alike but have different meanings and spellings.
    • Contextual Meaning: Using context clues to determine the meaning of unfamiliar words.
    • Phrasal Verbs: Understanding and using phrasal verbs appropriately.
    • Idiomatic Expressions: Recognizing and interpreting idiomatic expressions.

4. Literature

    • Prose: Study of novels and short stories, focusing on themes, characters, and narrative techniques.
    • Poetry: Analysis of poems, including themes, imagery, and poetic devices.
    • Drama: Understanding plays, including plot structure, characters, and dramatic techniques.
    • Literary Devices: Identifying and explaining the use of literary devices such as metaphors, similes, personification, etc.
    • Appreciation and Criticism: Evaluating and critiquing literary works.

5. Oral English

    • Phonetics and Phonology: Study of sounds in English, including vowels, consonants, and diphthongs.
    • Stress and Intonation: Recognizing and using stress and intonation patterns in spoken English.
    • Pronunciation: Correct articulation of words.
    • Listening Comprehension: Developing listening skills to understand spoken English.

6. Writing

    • Essay Writing: Crafting different types of essays with clear structure and coherent arguments.
    • Letter Writing: Writing formal and informal letters, including layout and tone.
    • Speech Writing: Preparing speeches for various occasions.
    • Article and Report Writing: Writing articles and reports with proper format and content.


What is the format of the NABTEB English Language examination?

    • The NABTEB English Language examination consists of multiple-choice questions, essay writing, and oral tests. The written part includes comprehension passages, grammar questions, vocabulary exercises, and literary analysis. The oral test assesses pronunciation, stress, and listening skills.

How can I prepare for the literature section of the syllabus?

    • To prepare for the literature section, students should read the prescribed texts thoroughly, analyze themes, characters, and plots, and practice answering questions on literary devices and appreciation. Summarizing and discussing the texts with peers or teachers can also enhance understanding.

What are the key areas to focus on in the grammar section?

    • Key areas include parts of speech, sentence structure, tenses, concord, punctuation, and common grammatical errors. Students should practice constructing correct sentences and identifying and correcting errors in given sentences.

How important is the oral English section, and how can I improve my skills?

    • The oral English section is crucial as it tests students’ pronunciation, stress, and listening skills. Improving skills can be achieved by practicing speaking with native speakers or fluent English speakers, listening to English audio materials, and engaging in exercises that focus on phonetics and phonology.

Are there specific books recommended for the NABTEB English Language syllabus?

    • Yes, NABTEB typically recommends specific textbooks and literary works for study. Students should refer to the official NABTEB syllabus and recommended reading list, which usually includes a variety of prose, poetry, and drama. Additionally, using supplementary grammar and vocabulary books can be beneficial.

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By adhering to this syllabus and utilizing the recommended resources, students can confidently prepare for the NABTEB SSCE English Language examination and achieve excellent results.

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