• Oral poetry refers to the verbal expression of feelings, ideas and thoughts using words arranged in their best possible order.
  • If sung, it is a song.

Features of Oral Poetry

Oral poetry has the following features:

  1. It is composed and delivered by word of mouth.
  2. Linguistic aspects such as tone and pitch are crucial in oral poetry in varying the meaning and the mood .
  3. There is often solo and chorus pattern especially in sung poetry.
  4. Accompanied with movement and dance.
  5. The performer dresses in costumes in some sung poetry.
  6. Musical instruments such as drums, horn can accompany the performance of poetry.
  7. Rhythm or beat. It is a regular repeated pattern of sounds. It can be slow, fast, moderate, monotonous, or disjointed.
  8. This refers to whether the song/poetry should be loud or soft. A lullaby should be sung softly while war song should be sung loudly as it engenders courage and aggression.

Features of Proverbs

  • Proverbs have features such as:
  1. They are brief.
  2. They contain wisdom.
  • Proverbs also have stylistic qualities.

Stylistic Qualities of Proverbs

Proverbs possess unique stylitic qualities like:

  • Mnemonic features such as alliteration, assonance and consonance.
  • Paradox

Let’s learn these from the example of proverbs :

  • Alliteration, example

Forgive and forget

  • Consonance, example,

Practice makes perfect.

  • Assonance, for example,

Upendapo, uendapo.
Where you like it, is where you must go.

This is a balance between two similar words, phrases, or clauses.


  1. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
  2. Easy come, easy go.


  • Ellipsis

Some words are omitted.

Unneeded words are left out in order for us to fill what is missing.


  1. Once bitten, twice shy.
  2. Penny wise, pound foolish.
  • Hyperbole

An idea is exaggerated in order to evoke strong feelings, or to create a strong impression.


The half is more than the whole.

  • Paradox

It is an apparently true statement that leads to, or intentionally expresses a contradiction or situation, which defies intuition.


  1. The longest way is the shortest way home.
  2. Absence make the heart grow fonder.
  • Personification , examples,
  1. Hunger is the best cook.
  2. Love is blind.





















Being a cyclical process, turn taking starts with one person speaking, and continues as the speaker gives control to the next individual. This is then offered to another person and then back to the original speaker. Orderly conversation has to take place.

A turn is a crucial element within turn taking. Each person takes turn within the conversation – either in person or on phone.

Achieving Smooth Turn Taking

It is achieved with:

  1. Using specific polite phrases, for example, those for,
  • Interrupting
  • Accepting the turn when offered it
  • Keeping your turn
  • Getting other people speaking, etc.
  1. Using gestures to indicate you have completed what you are saying or that you want to say something. You drop your arm when you have completed and raise it when you want to say something.
  2. Varying the intonation to show you have or have not finished speaking.
  3. Use noises like ‘uming’ and ‘ahing’ while thinking so as not to lose your turn.

Turn Taking Cues

There are various ways of signaling a finished turn. They might be indicated when the current speaker:

  1. Asks a question, for example, ‘ Did you want to add anything?’
  2. Trails off (his/her voice becomes weaker to the extent you may not hear his words)
  3. Indicates they are done speaking with a closing statement, for example, ‘That’s all I wanted to say.’or ’I think I have made my point.
  4. Uses marker words (those that allow the other a chance to speak), for example, ‘well…’ or ‘so…’
  5. Drops the pitch or volume of their voice at the end of their utterance. This is the use of falling intonation.
  6. Uses gestures to signal that another can contribute.

Violations in Turn-Taking

There are five well known turn-taking violations in a conversation. They are: interruptions, overlaps, grabbing the floor, hogging the floor, and silence. Do you know what they really are? If you don’t, read the explanations for the violations in that order.

  1. Inhibiting the speaker from finishing their sentences during their turn.
  2. Talking at the same time as the current speaker. This is interruptive overlap. However, cooperative overlap is encouraged as it shows you are interested in the message.
  3. Interrupting and then taking over the turn before being offered it.
  4. Taking over the floor and ignoring other people’s attempt to take the floor.
  5. Remaining without saying anything for quite some time.

The List of Turn-Taking Phrase

To interrupt;

  • Before I forget, …
  • I don’t like to interrupt, but ….
  • I wouldn’t usually interrupt, but …
  • I’m afraid I have to stop you there.
  • I will let you finish in a minute/second/moment ….
  • May I interrupt?

To accept the turn when offered it;

  • I won’t take long.
  • What I wanted to say was …

To stop other people from interrupting you during your turn use;

  • I have just one more point to make
  • I have nearly finished
  • Before you have your say …
  • I haven’t quite finished my point yet
  • I know you’re dying to jump in, but….

To offer the turn to another use;

  • …., right?
  • But that’s enough from me.
  • Can you give me your thoughts on …?
  • Does anyone want to say anything before I move on?
  • How about you?

To take the turn back after being interrupted;

  • As I was saying (before I was interrupted)
  • To get back on topic…
  • Carrying on from where we left on…

Note: The list is endless, and you can come up with other appropriate phrases.



  • English is a polite language. For this reason, it is advisable to indirectly contradict a person. It is rude to do it directly.
  • Although conversation is a two way street, interrupting a speaker is usually regarded as rude. However, at times you need to interrupt. When then can one interrupt?
  • You can only interrupt to:
  • Ask a question;
  • Make a correction;
  • Offer an opinion; and
  • Ask for clarification.

In this section, we shall learn how to interrupt and disagree politely.

Steps to Interrupting

It is important to take note of the following steps when interrupting a speaker during a conversation or during a discussion:

  1. Signal to the speaker that you have something to contribute by implementing the body language such as:
  • Making eye contact;
  • Slightly raising your hand;
  • Sitting forward on your seat;
  • Quietly clearing your throat; or
  • Coughing quietly.
  1. Wait patiently until the speaker pauses or incase of a lull in the conversation.
  2. Speak clearly using polite phrases. These phrases will be learnt later.
  3. Wait for the speaker to acknowledge your request to speak before you do so.
  4. After you have spoken, thank the speaker and allow them continue.
  5. Take a deep breath and calm yourself before interrupting when you feel angry or annoyed.
  6. Take care to use low tone of voice.


  1. Unnecessary interruptions.
  2. Finishing speaker’s sentences.
  3. Interrupting to correct the speaker unnecessarily.
  4. Speaking harshly or using disparaging comments.

Phrases used in Interruption

Below is the list of phrases which you can use to politely interrupt someone:

  • May I say something here?
  • I am sorry to interrupt, but …
  • Excuse me, may I add to that…?
  • Do you mind if I jump in here?
  • Before we move on to the next point, may I add …?
  • Sorry, I didn’t catch that, is it possible to repeat the last point?
  • I don’t mean to intrude ….
  • Sorry to butt in, but …
  • Would this be a good time to ….?
  • Excuse the interruption, but …
  • I hate to interrupt, but …
  • I know it is rude to interrupt, but …

How to Disagree Politely

The tips that follow will help you handle disagreements without annoying the other person in a discussion or discussion:

  1. Actively listen to the other person’s point of view. This helps in showing respect and understanding of the other person’s perspective.
  2. Stay calm even if you feel angry.
  3. Acknowledge the other person’s point of view before the buts.
  4. Disagree only with the person’s idea but not he person.
  5. Use polite phrases to respectfully disagree.
  6. Speak in a low tone.
  7. Give some credence to the other person’s point of view before challenging it. For example, say: It’s partly true that I bought this phone at a cheap price, but …

Disagreeing Politely Expressions

  • I agree up to a point, but …
  • I see your point, but …
  • That’s partly true, but …
  • I’m not so sure about that.
  • That’s not entirely true
  • I am sorry to disagree with you, but …
  • I’m afraid I have to disagree
  • I must take issue with you on that
  • It’s unjustifiable to say that..






  • This is the process of discussion between towo or more disputants, aimed at finding the solution to a common problem.
  • It is a method by which people settle their differences.
  • It is also the process by which a compromise or agreement is reached while avoiding arguiment.
  • There could be a difference between people with different aims or intentions, especially in business or politics. When this happens, they have to reach an agreement.
  • Negotiation skills will be helpful when:
  • Haggling over the price of something;
  • Negotiating with your employer e.g. for higher salary;
  • Negotiating for peace/ solving conflict;
  • Negotiating for better services; etc.

Stages Of Negotiation

  1. Preparation comes first. During this time, ensure all the pertinent facts of the situation is known in order to clarify your own position. It will help in avoiding wasting time unnecessarily.
  2. Discussion then follows. This is the time to ask questions, listen and make things easier to understand. At times, it is helpful to take notes to record all points put forward.
  3. Negotiate towards a win-win outcome. Each party has to be satisfied at the end of the process.
  4. Agreement comes after understanding both sides’ viewpoints and considering them.
  5. Implement the course of action. If for example, paying the amount, it has to be paid.

Points Every Negotiator Should Consider

  1. Ask questions, confirm and summarise. These three activities ensure that there is no confusion on what each party wants.
  2. Acknowledge each other’s point of view. Show that you have listened to and understood their perspective. Show appreciation of the other person’s point of view.
  3. Listen attentively to the other person.
  4. Respond to negative comments and complaints. Avoid confrontational language.
  5. Behave in a confident way, but don’t be rude. Make polite but firm requests.
  6. Give options/alternatives. You can both win if you recognise that you share a common ground.


You are planning to buy a new model car.

  • Write down three relevant facts you would want to know before going to buy the car.
  • State any three hints for the negotiators you would consider when haggling over the price of that car.




Listening is different from hearing. When you listen, you understand both the verbal and non verbal information.

Why should you listen? You listen:

  • To obtain information
  • To understand the message
  • For enjoyment
  • To learn

In this section, we shall learn the techniques of active listening.

Techniques of Paying Attention

In order to benefit from a talk as the listener, you should take note of the following key tips:

  1. keep an open mind. Listen without judging the speaker or mentally criticizing their message they pass. You just have to hold your criticism and withhold judgment.
  2. Familiarize yourself with the topic under discussion. Audience tend to listen more if they have idea of the topic being discussed. How then can one familiarize himself/ herself with the subject? They can do this by:
  • Reading from the books.
  • Reading from the internet.
  • Asking for ideas from those who know.
  1. Use the speaker responses to encourage the speaker to continue speaking. You will also get the information you need if you do so. Some of the speaker responses we use include:
  • Slightly nodding the head, but occasionally.
  • Smile occasionally.
  • Using small verbal comments like yes, uh huh, mmmh, I see, etc.
  • Reflecting back e.g. you said …
  1. Take notes on the important points. This can in itself be a distractor. You should therefore know when to and when not to take notes.
  2. Listen for the main ideas. These are the most important points the speaker wants to get across and are repeated several times.
  3. Wait for the speaker to pause before asking a clarifying question. Just hold back.
  4. Avoid distractions. Don’t let your mind wander or be distracted by other people’s activities. If the room is too cold or too hot get the solution to that situation if possible.
  5. Sit properly. Sit upright
  6. Make eye contact with the speaker. when you do this you will be able to understand the non verbal messages too.

Signs of Inactive Audience

You can easily tell whether  your audience listens or not. The inattentive listeners tend to posses the following characteristics:

  • Fidgeting
  • Doodling
  • Playing with their hair
  • Looking at a clock or watch
  • Picking their fingernails
  • Passing small pieces of paper to one another
  • Shifting from seat to seat
  • Yawning

Barriers to Effective Listening

There are many things that get in the way of listening and you should avoid these bad habits so as to become a more effective listener. These factors that inhibit active listening include;

  1. Lack of interest in the topic being discussed.
  2. Unfamiliarity with the topic under discussion.
  3. One might fear being asked a question and in the process fail to look at the speaker.
  4. In case of noise the listeners might not get what the speaker is saying.

Exercise 1

MwangiMwaniki, the author of one of the set text you study, is coming to your school to give a talk on the themes in his novel.

  • How would you prepare for this big day?
  • State what you would do to ensure you benefit from the talk during the presentation.













  • From the heading, an oral report is spoken, not written.
  • Being oral, it doesn’t mean writing is not involved. As part of preparation, you have to write notes on the topic or at least an outline of points.
  • When asked to present an oral report you get the opportunity to practice your speaking skills.
  • A spoken report has various elements including an introduction, body and conclusion.

Preparation for Oral Reports

You can prepare by:

  1. Researching on the topic. Get all the facts about what is known and unknown by your audience.
  2. Take notes on the facts about the topic. Choose your words appropriately in the process.
  3. Practice the report before presenting it. You may
  • Practice in front of a mirror.
  • Practice in front of friends or relatives.
  • Videotape your rehearsals.

More practice is required if it has to be memorized.

  1. Plan on how to dress and groom.
  2. Prepare the visual aids if you plan to use the them. Select the appropriate chart, picture, etc. that will make abstract ideas concrete.


  1. Stand up straight. Your upper body should be held straight, but not stiff. Do not fidget.
  2. Make eye contact in order to look surer of yourself and to ensure your audience listens better.
  3. Vary your tone appropriately and speak clearly.
  4. Use gestures to make your points well understood and to keep the audience interested.
  5. Pause at key points to let the point sick.
  6. Speak loud enough for everyone to hear you.
  7. If you have visual aids use them appropriately.


You have seen thieves robbing your neighbor’s house. During this time you have your phone that you have used to capture one of the two robbers. The next day you are called at the police station to report on what occurred.

  • State any three ways you would prepare to deliver this oral report.
  • What three details would you include in your report?
  • How would you deliver the report to ensure the information is understood?





How to Make Notes

The following tips will come in handy when making notes:

  1. Read the material carefully and thoroughly.
  2. Underline the key sentences as you read. This will help in forming the title.
  3. Make a rough note of the main points in a logical sequence.
  4. Write the final notes.

You should have in mind that a note:

  1. Should be short and to the point.
  2. Contain all the important and relevant information.
  3. Should have information systematically divided and subdivided.
  4. Should have a short title. Avoid long sentences as titles.
  5. Must be written in points only.

Notes Template

TITLE …………………….

  • ………………………………………….
  • …………………………………………
  • ………………………………………..
  • ………………………………………..










  • Reading for study is a detailed reading that requires the reading speed to be slowed down.
  • You may have to fracture a single idea or concept in a sentence at a time, and you may need to go back over the text several times.
  • Some sections of material may require that you understand every sentence and that you know how each sentence, and sometimes each equation, relates to the next..
  • You could also try the following when reading for study:
  • Mark the text as you go. Highlight key concepts, and try to sort out which information will be critical to the lesson and assignment questions on which you will be working.
  • Use visual images.
  • When you try to visualize as you read a material you will understand what you read more.
  • If there are diagrams or illustrations in your study materials, learn to use them to complement the text.
  • When there is no diagram to illustrate a process or idea, make your own. Your own diagram will stick in your mind long after the descriptive words are forgotten.
  • Note new terms. Trying memorizing and finding their meanings.

SQ3R – Reading/Study System

  • SQ3R is a reading comprehension technique named for its five steps: survey, question, read, recite/recall, and review.
  • Follow the steps below to learn how to gather as much information as possible from the text requirements from any class.

1)     SURVEY

  • Read the title to help your mind prepare to receive the subject matter at hand.
  • Read the introduction and/or summary..
  • Observe each boldface heading and subheading. This helps systematize your mind before you begin to read and build a structure for the thoughts and details to come.
  • Check for any graphics, for example, charts, maps, diagrams, which are meant to make a point. Don’t ignore them.
  • Notice reading aids like italics, bold face print, chapter objective, and end-of -chapter questions are all included to help you sort, comprehend, and remember.


  • This is where you assist your mind to engage and concentrate
  • Turn the boldface heading for each section into as many questions as you think will be answered in that section. The better the questions, the better your comprehension is likely to be. You may always add further questions as you proceed. When your mind is actively searching for answers to questions it becomes engaged in learning.

3)     READ

Read one section at a time with your questions in mind and look for the answers. Recognize when you need to make up some new questions.

4)     RECITE

  • After each part, stop and recall your questions and see if you can answer them from memory.
  • If you are unable to remember, look back at the text again , but don’t move to the next section until you can recite the answers from the previous one.

5)     REVIEW

Once you’ve finished the entire chapter using the preceding steps, go back over the questions you create for every heading. See if you can still answer them. If not, look back and refresh your memory and then continue.


















  • Critical reading is an investigative activity.
  • The reader rereads a text to identify patterns of elements such as information, values, assumptions, and language usage throughout the discussion.
  • The above elements are tied together in an interpretation, a claim of an underlying meaning of the text as a whole.

Why Critical Reading?

We critically read so as to:

  •  recognize an author’s purpose
  •  understand tone and persuasive elements
  •  recognize bias


  • In Interpretive reading, you read a selection of passages from a book, poem, or other piece of literature that have a similar theme.
  • One of the objectives is to read with feeling and energy, bringing out the emotion written into the passage. You begin with an intro and intersperse transitions and end with a conclusion.
  • Read the poem below from America and about an American woman. After it is the interpretation.



Mother to Son by Langston Hughes

Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me hasn’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor —

But all the time
I’ve been a-climbing’ on,
And reaching’ landings,
And turning’ corners,
And sometimes going’ in the dark
Where there hasn’t been no light.

So boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps
‘Cause you find it’s kinder hard.
Don’t you fall now —
For I’se still going’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.


There are no one escapes in life without challenges that bring sadness and suffering. The woman was obviously poor and not as well educated.  Suffering and perseverance appear to know no boundaries of race or class.

Ø  Now try interpreting the message in the poem that follow.

SEE IT THROUGH by Edgar Guest

When you’re up against a trouble,
Meet it squarely, face to face;
Lift your chin and set your shoulders,
Plant your feet and take a brace.
When it’s vain to try to dodge it,
Do the best that you can do;
You may fail, but you may conquer,
See it through!

Black may be the clouds about you
And your future may seem grim,
But don’t let your nerve desert you;
Keep yourself in fighting trim.
If the worst is bound to happen,
Spite of all that you can do,
Running from it will not save you,
See it through!

Even hope may seem but futile,
When with troubles you’re beset,
But remember you are facing
Just what other men have met.
You may fail, but fall still fighting;
Don’t give up, whate’er you do;
Eyes front, head high to the finish.
See it through!










  • Attitude is the author’s personal feelings about a subject.
  • Tone refers to how the author, narrator or speaker feels or conveys information about the subject
  • Tone is the use of stylistic devices to reveal that personal feeling.

Whether it is for the analysis of literature or historical essays, recognition of tone and its associated words is vital for effective understanding of the text.

Tone is the key to understanding the author’s attitude and developing the intended mood. All students respond to the tone of the text, whether they realize it or not.

Tone/Attitude Words

They can be categorized as:

  • Positive
  • Negative
  • Neutral
  • Ironic



  • amiable
  • brave
  • calm
  • cheery
  • complimentary
  • confident
  • considerate
  • consoling
  • diplomatic
  • ecstatic
  • elated
  • elevated
  • encouraging
  • enthusiastic
  • grand
  • helpful
  • joyful
  • kind
  • learned
  • loving
  • optimistic
  • passionate
  • soothing




  • aggravated
  • agitated
  • angry
  • apprehensive
  • bitter
  • brash
  • caustic
  • disgusted
  • flippant
  • foreboding
  • furious
  • gloomy
  • grave
  • hopeless
  • indignant
  • inflammatory
  • insolent
  • insulting
  • irritated
  • malicious
  • melancholy
  • morose
  • mournful
  • obnoxious
  • quarrelsome
  • resigned
  • sad
  • sardonic
  • surly
  • testy
  • threatening
  • wrathful




  • authoritative
  • candid
  • clinical
  • conventional
  • didactic
  • factual
  • formal
  • forthright
  • informative
  • instructive
  • objective
  • restrained
  • sincere
  • standard
  • typical
  • usual




  • caustic
  • condescending
  • contemptuous
  • droll
  • facetious
  • indifferently
  • insolent
  • irreverent
  • patronizing
  • petty
  • whimsical
  • wry


Sample Passage

“Fifteen years ago I came here with Lily,” he thought. “We sat somewhere over there by a lake and I begged her to marry me all through the hot afternoon. How the dragonfly kept circling round us: how clearly I see the dragonfly and her shoe with the square silver buckle at the toe. All the time I spoke I saw her shoe and when it moved impatiently I knew without looking up what she was going to say: the whole of her seemed to be in her shoe. And my love, my desire, were in the dragonfly; for some reason I thought that if it settled there, on that leaf, she would say ‘Yes’ at once. But the dragonfly went round and round: it never settled anywhere — of course not, happily not, or I shouldn’t be walking here with Eleanor and the children.”

The speaker’s attitude may be described as nostalgic. The speaker looks at the past, remembering an afternoon when he “begged” a woman to accept his marriage proposal. He has nostalgic –feeling pleasure and longing for something in the past.



  •   Facts are statements that can be checked or proved.
  •  Opinions are statements that cannot be proved.  They tell what someone thinks or feels.
  •  Opinions often contain clue words such as think, feel, believe, and seem.  Other common clue words are always, never, all, none, most, least, greatest, best, and worst.
  • A fact is something that is true.
  • An opinion tells how a person feels about something.
  •  Facts can be proven.  Opinions cannot.   

Are the following statements opinions or facts?

  1. Giraffe is the tallest animal.
  2. Uhuru Kenyatta is the best president ever.
  3. We use pens to write.












  • Oral poetry refers to the verbal expression of feelings, ideas and thoughts using words arranged in their best possible order.
  • If sung, it is a song.

Features of Oral Poetry

Oral poetry has the following features:

  • It is composed and delivered by word of mouth.
  • Linguistic aspects such as tone and pitch are crucial in oral poetry in varying the meaning and the mood .
  • There is often solo and chorus pattern especially in sung poetry.
  • Accompanied with movement and dance.
  • The performer dresses in costumes in some sung poetry.
  • Musical instruments such as drums, horn can accompany the performance of poetry.
  • Rhythm or beat. It is a regular repeated pattern of sounds. It can be slow, fast, moderate, monotonous, or disjointed.
  • This refers to whether the song/poetry should be loud or soft. A lullaby should be sung softly while war song should be sung loudly as it engenders courage and aggression.

Classification of Oral Poetry

For purposes of study, oral poetry can be classified based on criteria that follow:

  1. The performer of the poetry, for example, children’s songs
  2. The theme, examples
  • Love poetry
  • Play songs
  • War songs
  • Initiation songs
  1. Context of performance, examples
  • Dirges
  • Wedding songs
  • War poetry
  1. Function, examples,
  • Praise songs/poetry
  • Teasing songs
  • lullabies
  • they are sung by a nanny, sibling, aunty, order to:
  1. Send the baby to sleep.
  2. Calm the crying baby.
  3. Give promise to the crying baby. The promise can be that one of the parents is coming back.
  • They are normally sung softly so as to lull the baby.
  • If you have to clap, or hum, or whistle to the rhythm, do it softly and slowly.
  • In the case where a child cries, rock the baby as you sing.
  • You can also gently tap the back of the baby.
  • They are normally short.
  • They are also repetitive.
  • Read the song below and then attempt the questions that follow.

Sleep baby sleep

Sleep baby sleep

Your father tends the sheep

Your mother shakes the dreamland tree.

  1. Identify two features of lullabies in the above song.
  2. Give the main reason for singing the above song.
  • How would you do the following as you sing the song:
  1. Clap to the rhythm of the song.
  2. Rock the baby as you sing.
  • children songs
  • They are sung by children during their playtime.
  • Also referred to as play songs.

Features of Children Songs

  1. Repetition is used. A word, sentence, and even a whole stanza can be repeated.
  2. They are often short.

Functions of Children’s  Songs

  1. They help in developing children’s language skills as they listen to familiar words in the songs.
  2. Help develop children’s listen skills, thus concentrate.
  3. Encourage creativity in children. At times you find children adding words that were not initially mentioned in the original versions of the songs.
  4. Some teaching counting of numbers.
  • Now read the song below. You can practice singing it.

In and out the bamboo forest

In and out the bamboo forest

In and out the bamboo forest

You are my partner.

Beat a beat on my shoulder

Beat a beat on my shoulder

Beat a beat on my shoulder

You are my partner.



  • Teasing Songs
  • Sung to make fun of someone.
  • Religious Poetry
  • Sung and performed during religious occasions.
  • Sung mostly at places considered holy grounds.
  • Sung softly and slowly.
  • Love Poetry/Songs
  • They are based on romance.
  • Sung by one to the loved one.
  • They are sung softly and slowly as they should present romantic elements.
  • They are sung to:
  1. Express romance.
  2. Mend the damaged relationship between lovers.


  • Cradle Songs/Poetry
  • Performed to mark the birth of a child.
  • In most cases, a child is wished a successful life in future.
  • Mostly performed by women and girls.
  • During this time, a child or child’s mother is presented with gifts.
  • War Poetry
  • Performed by warriors during war.
  • Sung loudly to show bravery.
  • During the singing, weapons are held in the hands of the performers.


  • Hunting Songs
  • Hunters perform hunting songs.
  • Sung on the way to and from hunting trip.
  • Hunting tools carried in the process.
  • Just like war songs, they are sung loudly.
  • They are on the way to hunt to encourage themselves on the possibility of killing fatter and enough animals.
  • Also to pass time on their way.


  • Satirical Poetry
  • One’s folly is criticized in this song.
  • They are meant to help the wicked in some areas to change.
  • Epics/Heroic Poetry
  • They are elaborate and talk about the lives of heroes known to the community.
  • The heroic deeds of the heroes are mentioned.
  • Dirges
  • Also referred to as funeral songs or funeral poems.
  • They are sung after learning about the death of someone.
  • Can also be sung during the funeral ceremony.
  • Should also be sung softly to show the sadness that result from losing someone’s beloved one.
  • In some cases, weapons are held during the performance.
  • There is the use of apostrophe. This is style of addressing an object or a death as if it is alive and can respond.
  • While women sing, men chant.
  • Panegyrics
  • In its specialized form panegyric is a type of oral poetry and one meant to praise someone.
  • The praise song can be sung by someone else or sung by one for self praises. Sometimes these are self-praises
  • Formalized praises are directed publicly to kings, chiefs, and leaders, composed and recited by members of a king’s official entourage.
  • One can be praised in case of:
  1. personal achievement in war ; or
  2. Achievement in hunting.

What else is praised in a Panegyric?

  1. In eastern and southern Africa cattle form a popular subject in praise poetry, and inanimate things like divining implements or even a train or bicycle are also praised.
  2. In West Africa, apparently unlike other areas, formal praises are addressed to supernatural beings.
  • Look at the panegyric below.

Ogun kills on the right and destroys on the right.
Ogun kills on the left and destroys on the left.
Ogun kills suddenly in the house and suddenly in the field.
Ogun kills the child with the iron with which it plays.

Ogun kills in silence.
Ogun kills the thief and the owner of the stolen goods.
Ogun-kills the owner of the slave—and the slave runs away.
Ogun kills the owner of thirty ’iwofa’ [pawns]—and his money, wealth and children disappear.
Ogun kills the owner of the house and paints the hearth with his blood.
Ogun is the death who pursues a child until it runs into the bush.
Ogun is the needle that pricks at both ends.
Ogun has water but he washes in blood.

Ogun do not fight me. I belong only to you.
The wife of Ogun is like a tim tim [decorated leather cushion].
She does not like two people to rest on her.

Ogun has many gowns. He gives them all to the beggars.
He gives one to the woodcock—the woodcock dyes it indigo.
He gives one to the coucal—the coucal dyes it in camwood.
He gives one to the cattle egret—the cattle egret leaves it white.

Ogun is not like pounded yam:
Do you think you can knead him in your hand
And eat of him until you are satisfied?
Ogun is not like maize gruel:
Do you think you can knead him in your hand
And eat of him until you are satisfied?
Ogun is not like something you can throw in your cap:
Do you think you can put on your cap and walk away with him?

Ogun scatters his enemies.
When the butterflies arrive at the place where the cheetah excretes,
They scatter in all directions.

The light shining on Ogun’s face is not easy to behold.
Ogun, let me not see the red of your eye.

Ogun sacrifices an elephant to his head.
Master of iron, head of warriors,
Ogun, great chief of robbers.
Ogun wears a bloody cap.
Ogun has four hundred wives and one thousand four hundred children.
Ogun, the fire that sweeps the forest.
Ogun’s laughter is no joke.
Ogun eats two hundred earthworms and does not vomit.
Ogun is a crazy orisha [deity] who still asks questions after 780 years.
Whether I can reply, or whether I cannot reply,
Ogun please don’t ask me anything.

The lion never allows anybody to play with his cub.
Ogun will never allow his child to be punished.

Ogun do not reject me!
Does the woman who spins ever reject a spindle?
Does the woman who dyes ever reject a cloth?
Does the eye that sees ever reject a sight?
Ogun, do not reject me! [Ogun needs his worshippers]. (Gbadamosi and Beier 1959: 21–2)

, like the personal recitations of the Hima noble class of Ankole in which a man celebrates his military achievements, building his poem on a sequence of praise names:

I Who Am Praised thus held out in battle among foreigners along with The Overthrower;
I Who Ravish Spear In Each Hand stood resplendent in my cotton cloth;
I Who Am Quick was drawn from afar by lust for the fight … (Morris 1964: 42)

5Praises of kings are the most formal and public of all, ranging from the relatively simple Ganda praise of the powerful nineteenth-century king Mutesa cited by the Chadwicks:

Thy feet are hammers,
Son of the forest [a comparison with a lion]
Great is the fear of thee;
Great is thy wrath;
Great is thy peace;
Great is thy power

Look not with too friendly eyes upon the world,
Pass your hand over your face in meditation,
Not from the heat of the sun.
The bull elephant is wise and lives long.

Stylistic Devices in Oral Poetry/Songs

  • Here, we shall discuss two areas of performance:
  1. The context of performance. Key here are:
  • Where the song is performed.
  • The occasion when the song is performed.
  • Target audience.
  • The performer of the poetry.
  1. What the performer is doing as he/she performs the song.
  • The singer/performer can do the following as he/she performs the song/oral poetry:
  1. Use facial expressions to depict the emotion in the poem or song.
  2. Vary the tone to show the enotion in the poem. Also to show the speed of events.
  3. Use gestures to reinforce the what is being said.
  4. Accompanying instruments and costume.

Stylistic Devices in Oral Poetry

An oral poetry can have textual poetic techniques like:

  1. Satire
  2. Irony
  3. Sarcasm
  4. Figures of speech such as imagery, symbolism, etc.
  5. Humour
  6. Suspense
  7. Allusion
  8. Mnemonic features such as rhyme, assonance, alliteration, consonance, etc,


  • A proverb is a brief statement full of hidden meaning and which expresses wisdom and truth.
  • The term adage, or wise saying, is sometimes used to mean the same thing as a proverb.
  • It is one of the short forms of oral literature. Other short forms are tongue twisters, riddles, and puns.

Classification of Proverbs

  • There are three approaches to classifying proverbs.
  • Proverbs are classified according to:
  • The theme
  • Alphabetical letters
  • Function served.
  • Styles used
  • According to the Theme

Thematically, proverbs can be classified as:

  1. Proverbs on fate
  2. Proverbs on authority
  • Proverbs on greed
  1. Proverbs on love
  2. Proverbs on marriage
  3. Proverbs on co-operation
  • Proverbs on arrogance
  • Proverbs on communal life, etc.
  • According to the Alphabetical Letters

Alphabetically, proverbs can be categorized as:

  1. “A” proverbs if the first words begin with letter “A”.
  2. “B” proverbs
  • “K” proverbs, etc.
  • According to the Function served by the Proverb

Functionally, proverbs can be classified as:

  1. Cautionary proverbs, which warn against what is undesirable.
  2. Normative proverbs, which reinforce what the community considers acceptable and desirable.
  • Summative proverbs. They summarize issues and even narratives.
  • According to Styles Used

Stylistically, classify proverbs as:

  1. Alliterative proverbs
  2. Onomatopoeic proverbs
  • Repetitive proverbs
  1. Epigrammatic proverbs if they are longer, and consist of two parts.

Proverb Classified

Wajua tamu yaua sumu umenipiani?

You know that sweetness kills, why have you given me poison?

Classifying the Proverb

Alphabetically Stylistically  Thematically Functionally
“W” ProverbInterrogativeloveNormative



Features of Proverbs

  • Proverbs have features such as:
  1. They are brief.
  2. They contain wisdom.
  • Proverbs also have stylistic qualities.

Stylistic Qualities of Proverbs

Proverbs possess unique stylitic qualities like:

  • Mnemonic features such as alliteration, assonance and consonance.
  • Paradox

Let’s learn these from the example of proverbs :

  • Alliteration, example

Forgive and forget

  • Consonance, example,

Practice makes perfect.

  • Assonance, for example,

Upendapo, uendapo.
Where you like it, is where you must go.

This is a balance between two similar words, phrases, or clauses.


  • Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
  1. Easy come, easy go.


  • Ellipsis

Some words are omitted.

Unneeded words are left out in order for us to fill what is missing.


  • Once bitten, twice shy.
  1. Penny wise, pound foolish.
  • Hyperbole

An idea is exaggerated in order to evoke strong feelings, or to create a strong impression.


The half is more than the whole.

  • Paradox

It is an apparently true statement that leads to, or intentionally expresses a contradiction or situation, which defies intuition.


  • The longest way is the shortest way home.
  1. Absence make the heart grow fonder.
  • Personification , examples,
  • Hunger is the best cook.
  1. Love is blind.

Functions of Proverbs

Proverbs play the following roles:

  1. Normative functions. Proverbs:
  2. Congratulate
  3. Give suggestions
  • Warn
  1. Advise
  2. Request, etc
  3. Aesthetic functions. When we use proverbs in speech, we make it more appealing.
  4. Convey wisdom.
  5. Summarize experiences.


The following are Swahili proverbs. Classify them according to the criteria learnt earlier.

Adui mpende, kumchukia ni kumchukia ndugu yako.
Love [your] enemy, your hating is like having your own brother.

Adui mpende leo, yawezekana mkawa rafiki kesho. 
Love an enemy today; it is possible that you might become friends tomorrow.

Aliyekunyoa shungi kakupunguzia kuchana.
The one who cut your curls took away your need of combing.

Nampenda mtu pindi anipendapo.
I love someone when that person loves me.

Asio adui si mtu.
A person who has no enemies is not a human being.

 Asiyekuridhi mridhi.
Please the one who does not please you.

Aliyekuridhi nawe umridhi.
The one who agrees with you, agree with that person.

Chako kikioza hakikunukii.
Even if your sore is putrefied, you don’t smell the bad odor.
You don’t see your own bad behavior or that of your family and if you see it you don’t hate is as other people do.

Mkono wenye uchafu husafishwa, haukatwi. 
A dirty hand is cleaned, not cut.

 Chozi la akupendaye hutoka kwenye chongo.
The tears of one who loves you will come even from a bad eye.

 Chuki humchoma anayeihifadhi. 
Hate burns its preserver.
Do not nurse hatred, it will hurt you.

Dawa ya meno ni meno.
The remedy for teeth is teeth.
Tit for tat; a tooth for a tooth

Sumu ya neno ni neno.
The poison of a word is

Dawa ya moto ni moto.
The cure against fire is fire.
Fight fire with fire.

 Fitina ikidhihiri ubaya hukithiri. 
When the quarrel gets in the open, evil will grow.

Hasikii la mwadhini wala la mtia maji msikitini. 
So and So does not listen to the muezzin nor to the one who puts water [for the ritual ablutions] in the mosque.
Heri moyo mkubwa kuliko akili kubwa.
A big heart is better than a big brain.

Heshima ni moyo.
Respect is of the heart.

Humpendaje mtu kwa kwambiwa penda?
How is one to love a person by being told [to] love someone.

 Huwezi kurudisha mahaba na maisha.

You cannot bring back love or life.
Understood: Once they have gone.

 Inyeshapo mvua, aliye ndani hajali.
When it rains, the one inside does not worry.

Ikiwa unawapenda watoto wa wengine, utawapenda wako zaidi.
If you love other people’s children, you will love your own even more.

Kipendacho moyo ni dawa.
What the heart desires is like medicine to it.

Mkono wako ukichafuka, huukati. 
If your hand gets soiled, you do not cut it off.

Wema hauwezi kuepuka meno ya kusudi.
Goodness cannot escape the teeth of envy.

 Ya kale hayapo.
The ancient things are with us no longer.
Let bygones be bygones.

 Ya mahaba ndio maradhi upeo.
The intoxication of love is the worst disease.










  • A riddle is a short saying intended to make one to use his wits in discovering the hidden meaning.
  • Familiar objects or situations are referred to in a figurative terms for us to figure out what is meant.

Classification of Riddles

Riddles are classified according to the criteria below:

  1. Simplicity or complexity of the riddle
  2. Objects mentioned in the riddle
  3. Style and structure of the riddle
  • Simplicity or Complexity
  • A simple riddle is brief and straightforward.
  • A riddle is complex when it is long and is presented in a series of puzzles.
  • According to Objects Mentioned
  • A riddle can be classified according to the object referred to in that riddle.
  • A riddle can therefore be classified as:
  • Riddle on people
  • Riddle on waste product, e.g. human waste
  • Riddles on cultural objects
  • Natural phenomena, like rocks
  • Domestic animals
  • Plants
  • Birds
  • Parts of the body
  • And others
  • Style and Structure
  • A style is also crucial in classifying riddles.
  • According to the style and structure, riddles can be classified as:
  • Declarative riddles are presented as direct descriptions.
  • Epigrammatic riddles, which are presented as series of puzzles.
  • Idiophonic riddles use idiophones.
  • Interrogative riddles are posed as questions.

Characteristics of Riddles

  1. They are short and brief.
  2. Use personification.
  3. Use of metaphor.
  4. Use of idiophones.
  5. Use of onomatopoeic words.
  6. Use repetition

Riddling Process

  • There are two parties involved: the audience (respondents) and the challenger(or the riddler).
  • There are basically four stages of a riddling process, but at times six.
  • The parts of the riddling process are:
  • The riddler challenges the audience. The challenge differs from community to community. Some phrases used here include: riddle riddle!, I have a riddle! Etc.
  • The respondents accept the challenge. The invitations include: riddle come! Throw it! Etc.
  • The riddler then poses the riddle.
  • The guess or guesses. The audience tries to come up with the solution. If they are unable, then the next part follows.
  • The challenger asks for a prize. The prize can be a town or city, or any other thing. The challenger accepts the prize.
  • Then the solution is given by the challenger.

Functions of Riddles

  1. They entertain. Entertainment arises from the objects they refer to.
  2. They educate. Language is taught. The environment is also understood better.
  3. They teach values.
  4. Help develop the ability to think faster.
  5. Logical reasoning of participants are improved.
Sample Maasai Riddles




Kidung’ ang’ata bkira aare nimiking’amaro?
The two of us cross the wilderness without talking to each other.
Iyie oloip lino
You and your shadow.
Edung’ ng’utunyi olosinko erumisho enebanji?
Your mother walks across the village with something issuing out (of her body)?
Enkeju enkerai
The leg of a baby
(you’ll often see a baby’s leg protruding from the cloth sling or swaddle with which mothers tie their young children to their back)
Anaa ipi nabaa o nabaa nimintieu atakedo enkashe e kikoris enkoriong?
Why are you so brave yet you cannot sit on the back of the heifer from Kilgoris?
Because it is a spear. (there may have been some blacksmiths who lived at Kilgoris in the old days, so the spear may have been made and brought from there).
Mugie ai naten ilasho?
My brown one with speedy calves?
Enkawuo o mbaa
The bow and arrows
Ting’iria maaishaki?
Will you observe while I put it all inside you?
Olalem opiki enchashur
The sword that is being put into the sheath
(an obvious sexual pun)
Anaa ipi nabaa o nabaa nimitonie enetonie entito nayok?
Why are you so brave yet you cannot sit at the place where the little black girl sits?
Because it is the fire
(the little black girl is the pot which has turned black with soot)
Anaa keidurraki neini nanyokie?
They moved homes and the red one was born?
The fire
(the Maasai often burn up the old village when they move)
Tamanai teidia alo oldoinyio matamanu tena nimikitumo aikata
Go round one side of the mountain while I go round the other side, but we shall never meet.
The ears
(ears do not move)
Or nememanyi, ore pee emanyi neishiri?
There is a bare place where no one ever settles, and if one did so, there would be crying. What is it?
The eye
Olkiteng’ lai otii erishata oolmang’ati?
I have an ox that lives in the midst of enemies?
The tongue
Anaa iten nabaa o nabaa niminepu kapironto etagore?
Why are you such a fast runner yet you cannot catch up with the Kavirondo (Luo) when he is annoyed?
Because he is the fly
Anaa aidorrop enkanashe ino nemeeta olng’anayioi oing’ataa?
Why is your sister so very short yet there is no fruit that is beyond her reach?
A bird






















A pun is a form of word play that suggests several meanings, by either exploiting the multiple meanings of a word, or substituting a word for another similar sounding word, the result of which is humorous.

A pun is also known as paronomasia.

There are two main types of puns:

  • Homophonic puns

This is where a word is substituted for another similar sounding word or word pronounced almost in the same way . For example,

Fishermen are reel men.

Explanation: There is a twist on the word ‘reel’ which is originally supposed to be spelt ‘real’.

Can you now explain the pun in the following homophonic puns?

  1. What do sea monsters eat for lunch? Fish and ships.
  2. I am on a seafood diet. Every time I see food, I eat it.
  3. Did you about the Italian chef with terminal illness? He past away.
  4. Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.
  5. What tea do hockey players drink? Penalttea
  6. What do ghosts serve for dessert? I scream.
  7. What did the tree sya to the autumn? Leaf me alone.
  8. What did the boy cat say to the girl cat on valentine’s day? You’re purr-fect for me.
  9. What day does an Easter egg hate the most? Fry-days.
  10. Why did the scientist install a knocker on his door? He wanted to win the No-bell prize!


  • Homographic puns

Homographic pun is formed by using a word that has multiple meanings. You might not tell what exactly what the speaker means.

For example;

Rose is the flower of my life.

Explanation: The word ‘Rose’ is a female name. it could be the person the speaker loves.

It  is also a type of flower.

The other examples are;

  1. My math teacher called me average. How mean!
  2. What do prisoners use to call each other? Cell phones.
  3. No matter how much you push the envelope, it’ll remain stationery.
  4. Have you ever tried to eat a clock? It’s very time consuming.
  5. A waist is a terrible thing to mind.
  6. I am reading a book about anti-gravity. It’s impossible to put down.
  7. What part of football ground is never the same? The changing room.
  8. I want to tell you a chemistry joke but I know I will not get a reaction.
  9. Why did the bee get married? Because he found his honey.
  10. Did you hear about the guy who got hit in the head with a can of soda? He was lucky it was a soft drink.

Features of Puns

Puns are characterized by;

  1. They are short.
  2. They are humorous.

Functions of Puns

They serve functions such as:

  • Teaching pronunciation. For example, homophones.
  • Enhancing creativity. One has to think in order to form their puns.
  • When said one wonders what the speaker intends, the audience will laugh.


Explain the pun in:

  • I used to be a banker but I lost interest.
  • A bicycle can’t stand on its own because it is two-tired.
  • I don’t trust these stairs because they are always up to something.
  • Santa’s helpers are known as subordinate clauses.
  • The man who drank battery acid got charged.









  • A phrase or a sentence which is hard to speak fast because of alliteration or a sequence of nearly similar sounds is the tongue twister.
  • It is worth noting that there is usually the use of mnemonic feature (sound devices or sound patterns) in the tongue twisters.
  • Let us read the following tongue twisters fast.
  • She sells sea shells on the sea shore.
  • Any noise annoys an oyster but noisy noise annoys an oyster more.
  • Kindly kittens knitting mittens keep kazooing in the king’s kitchen.

Sound Patterns in Tongue Twisters

  1. Read the tongue twister below fast.

She saw a fish on the seashore and I am sure the fish she saw on the sea shore was a saw-fish.

In the words: she, shore and sure, there is the repetition of the consonant sound /ᶴ/ at the beginning of the words. This is alliteration.

Alliteration is the repetition of the initial consonant sound in the nearby words.

Can you identify any other instance of alliteration in the above tongue twister?

  1. Read this other tongue twister and take note of the highlighted letters.

A skunk sat on a stump and thank the stump stunk, but the stump thank the skunk stunk.

The sound pattern here is consonance.

Consonance is the repetition of the inner consonant sound in the nearby words. An inner sound is that which comes after the first.

There is another instance of consonance. Can you illustrate it?

  1. Repetition
  • In most tongue twisters, there is repetition of words or phrases. In (1) above, the words ‘saw’, ‘fish’, etc. have been repeated.
  • Now pick out the words and phrases repeated in these tongue twisters.
  • If you tell Tom to tell a tongue twister, his tongue will be twisted as tongue twister twists tongues.
  • The sixth sick Sheik’s sixth sheep’s sick.
  1. Assonance

Let’s look at:

How much wood could a wood chopper chop, if a wood chopper could chop wood?

There is repetition of the /u:/ in the words; wood,could. This is assonance.

Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds in the nearby words.

Features of Tongue Twisters

A tongue twister will have the following features:

  • it is short and brief.
  • It is alliterative.

Functions of Tongue Twisters

  1. They entertain. When one confuses the pronunciation of sounds, the audience will laugh.
  2. They teach pronunciation. We can, for example, learn the pronunciation of the sounds /f/ and /v/, /s/ and /ᶴ/ etc.
  3. Enhance creativity.

Exercise 1

With illustrations, identify the sound patterns in:

  • It’s not the cough that carries you off, it’s the coffin they carry you off in!
  • If two witches were watching two watches, which witch would watch which watch?
  • If a black bug bleeds black blood, what colour of blood does a blue bug bleed?
  • I wish to wash my Irish watch.

Exercise 2

Read the item below and then answer questions after it:

We surely shall see the sun shine soon.

  • Identify the genre.
  • Which two sounds has the item been used to teach?
















The noun functions in a sentence are:

  • It can be the subject of a verb. Examples,
  • My niece chairs the meetings.

“My niece” is the subject of the verb “chairs”.

  • The deer ate all my flowers.
  • The students are doing assignment.
  • Jane is washing my clothes.
  • It can be the direct object of a verb. Examples,
  • I will buy bread.

“Bread” is the direct object of the verb”buy”.

  • I like you.
  • The dog bit the postman.
  • It can be an Indirect object of a verb, for example,
  • He called me Helen.

“me” is the indirect object.

  • Timothy bought Kamjesh













  • We use interrogative pronouns to ask questions.
  • An interrogative pronoun represents that thing we don’t know and that is why we ask question about it.
  • There are four main interrogative pronouns:
  • Who
  • Whom
  • What
  • Which
  • It worth noting that the possessive “whose” can also be used as an interrogative pronoun – commonly known as an interrogative possessive pronoun.
  • “who”, “whom”, and “whose” are used to represent a human being.
  • “What” represents a thing , but sometimes, a person.

Interrogative Pronouns and Case

  • An interrogative pronoun can either be in the subjective case or in the objective case.
  • When the pronoun is in the subjective case we use the forms,
  1. Who
  2. What
  • Which

Who came last?

Domnic came last.

Which pleases you?

Horror movie pleases me?

The nouns represented by such pronouns are the subjects in the response.

  • “What” and “which” can also be in the objective case. Consider:
  1. What have you seen?

I have seen a new towel.

“A new towel” is the object of the verb “seen”. “What” that is representing it in the first sentence is also the object.

  1. Which did you see first?

I saw the black car first.

  • “Whom” is the correct form when the pronoun is the object of the verb. For example,
  1. Whom did you meet?

I met Abraham.

“Whom” represents “Abraham”, which is the object of the verb “meet”

  1. Whom do you like?




  • A relative pronoun introduces a relative clause.
  • A relative pronoun relates to the word it modifies. For example,

The man who died last night is my neighbour.

In this example, the relative pronoun “who” relates to the noun “man” which it modifies.

It also introduces the relative clause “who died last night”

  • There are five main relative pronouns. They are:
  • Who
  • Whom
  • Whose
  • Which
  • That
  • Who (subject) and whom (object) are used for people.
  • Whose is for possession.
  • Which is for things. That is also for things.


Examples in Sentences

  1. The car, which the terrorists used, exploded.
  2. The driver whom I called yesterday will be here soon.
  • Patients whose relatives are wealthy pay extra.
  1. The car that left she drives is new.
  2. The doctor whose phone is switched off has left.
  3. The teacher, who is tall, is my class teacher.
  • My cousin, whose car has been washed, is an engineer.
  • Whose can be used with things. Of which can be a substitute. For example,

The security officer is looking for the phone whose owner is complaining.

The security officer is looking for the phone of which the owner is complaining.


Fill in the correct relative pronoun.

  1. I am talking to the boy _____________ bike is missing.
  2. The lady, ______________ Jonathan married, is seeking my guidance.
  3. Joel, ______________ is the new school principal, has bought a secondhand car.
  4. The truck __________ carried the garbage was white.
  5. This is the girl ____________ comes from Moyale.
  6. The teacher, _____________ every student likes, is really kind.
  7. We often visit our uncle in Garbatula ______________ is in Isiolo.
  8. The car, ______________ driver is a young man, is from Kitui.
  9. What did you do with the money ____________ your mother gave you?
  10. The children, ________________ shouted in the street, are not from Mwingi.
  11. Look at the donkeys _________________ are grazing in the field.
  12. Thank you for sending me the letter ________________ was very interesting.
  13. I am the girl _________ George dated for years.
  14. That is Peter, the priest __________ has just been ordained bishop.
  15. I put my pencils in my bag, ___________ is on the chair.



























  • A participle with one or more objects or modifiers forms a participle phrase. The sentence below illustrates this.

The cat eating meat and fish belongs to me.

In the sentence, underlined phrase is the participle phrase.

The participle in this phrase is “eating

Meat and fish are the objects.

  • A participle phrase modifies nouns. In the examples below, the participle phrases are underlined while the words modified are in boldface.
  1. Washed with soap and water, the skirt looked bright.
  2. The house, painted yellow and white, appeared new.
  • Participle phrases function as adjectives in a sentence.
  • A participle phrase is used to combine sentences two or more sentences, or to shorten them. For example,
  • The teacher sat in his office. He sent the secretary to call Jonathan.

Sitting in his office, the principal sent the secretary to call Jonathan.

  • I forgot my pen at home. I borrowed a pen from Elianto.

Having forgotten my pen at home, I borrowed one from Elianto.

  • The author is being interviewed. The author is a Caribbean.

The author being interviewed is a Caribbean.

  • Have you read this novel? It was written by Margaret Ogola.

Have you read this poem written by Margaret Ogola?

  • I am a vegetarian. I don’t eat meat.

Being a vegetarian, I don’t eat meat.


Combine the pair of sentences using a participle phrase. The first one has been done for you.

  • The students worked around the clock. They completed the project.

Working around the clock, the students completed the project.

  • The student was frustrated by lack of progress. The student dropped out of school.
  • The dog was wounded. The dog stumbled through the muddy field.
  • The man threw out the television. The television was broken.
  • Martha was listening to loud music. Martha could not hear her parent calling.
  • The man was sitting in the library. He was reading a newspaper.
  • She walked home. She met an old friend.
  • The dog wagged its tail. It bit the thief.
  • The technician was working in the lab. He cut his finger.
  • Njoroge was relaxing on his chair. Njoroge fell asleep.
  • The man was disappointed. He stomped his foot and left angrily.


  • A gerund is a noun formed by adding “-ing” to a base form of a verb. For example,




Swimming etc

  • A gerund can be used as the subject or the complement of a sentence. For example,
  • Learning is important. “Learning” is the subject.
  • The most important thing is learning. “Learning” here is the complement.



































  • Adjectives end in various suffixes. These suffixes include:
  1. –able or –ible, for example,


  • Achievable
  • Capable
  • Illegible
  • Incredible
  • Remarkable
  • Understandable, etc


  1. –al, for example,


  • Functional
  • Internal
  • Influential
  • Logical
  • Beneficial
  • Mathematical
  • Chemical
  • Physical, etc


  1. –ic, for example,


  • Manic
  • Terrific
  • Historic
  • Cubic
  • Rustic
  • Artistic, etc


  1. –ful, for example,


  • Careful
  • Hopeful
  • Helpful
  • Bashful
  • Beautiful
  • Grateful
  • Harmful, etc


  1. –less , for example,


  • Harmless
  • Fearless
  • Careless
  • Jobless
  • Ruthless
  • Breathless
  • Groundless
  • Restless, etc


  1. –ive , for example,


  • Dismissive
  • Attractive
  • Submissive
  • Persuasive
  • Inventive
  • Intuitive, etc


  1. –ous , for example,


  • Dangerous
  • Disastrous
  • Fabulous
  • Gorgeous
  • Mysterious
  • Courageous
  • Adventurous, etc










Fill in the correct form of word in brackets to complete the sentence.

  1. They live in a ________________ town. (beauty)
  2. She is wearing a ___________ shirt today. (sleeve)
  3. Gloria and the driver are ____________ individuals. (talk)
  4. The doll has ____________ arms. (move)
  5. We had to be _______________ not to be seen. (care)
  6. The woman went to a ___________ restaurant. (fashion)
  7. She is a very _____________ woman. (attract)
  8. That is a ______________ issue. (content)
  9. Do you remember ___________ visit in Kenya? (pope)
  10. how she landed the job remains _____________ . (question)































Adjectives perform the following functions in sentences:

  1. They modify noun phrases.
  2. They function as subject complements.
  • They also function as object complements.
  1. Function as appositives.

Adjectives as noun, Pronoun,Noun Phrase Modifiers

An adjective can describe a noun, pronoun, or a noun phrase. For example,

  1. My niece brought yellow
  2. The tiny cat ate all the meat.
  • The students picked someone stupid to lead them.
  1. The cook served us bland African salad.

Adjectives as Subject Complements

  • A subject complement is a word, phrase, or a clause that follows a linking verb (copular verb like is, are, appears, etc), and describes the subject.
  • Adjective phrases that function as subject complements are also known as predicate adjectives.
  • The underlined words are the adjectives describing the subjects in boldface:
  1. The bread tastes
  2. She is tall.
  • My coat is black.

Adjectives as Object Complements

  • An object complement is a word, phrase, or a clause that directly follows and modifies the direct object.
  • In the sentences that follow, the direct objects have been underlined, while the adjectives are in boldface.
  1. The carpenter painted the table red.
  2. Catholics consider saints holy.
  • You make them sad.

Adjectives as Appositives

  • An appositive is a word, phrase, or a clause that supports another word, phrase, or clause by describing that word, phrase, or clause.
  • In the sentences that follow, appositives have been italicized.
  1. The boy, hungry and exhausted, passed out.
  2. Aware of our approach, the terrorist flee.
  • The lady, rich and kind, cleared my bill.

Can you tell what they modify? They modify “the boy”, “the terrorist”, and “the lady”, respectively.

























  • There are three normal positions for adverbs in a sentence:
  1. Initial position – before the subject
  2. Mid position – between the subject and the verb
  3. End position – after the verb
  • Notice that different types of adverbs favour different positions.

Initial Position

Adverbs that favour this position are:

  1. Adverbs of time, when contrasting with a previous reference of time, for example,

The pastor arrived early today, but tomorrow he will be late.

“Tomorrow” precedes the subject “he”

  1. Comment and viewpoint adverbs like officially, luckily, presumably, etc.

Officially, Mr. Brown is the new school security guard.


Mid Position

Some adverbs used in this position are:

  • Focusing adverbs like just, even
  • Adverbs of indefinite frequency like often, never, always, etc
  • Adverbs of certainty, for example, obviously, probably, etc
  • Adverbs of degree such as clearly

Examples in Sentences

  1. Jane has just been to Kericho.
  2. I am obviously the tallest girl here.
  • I am almost


End Position

  • Adverbs of time and those of definite frequency favour this position. They are like every month, last year, etc. for example
  1. I watched the game last week.
  2. They travel to Nairobi often.
  • Adverbs of manner such as quickly, well, etc, also favour this position.
  1. She drove the car
  2. The athlete ran fast.


Exercise 1

Rewrite the complete sentence using the adverb in brackets in its correct position.

  1. Charles must travel. (also)
  2. She was kidding. (only)
  3. Did you do the assignment? (both)
  4. The priest sees movies. (hardly)
  5. He talks to them. (carefully)
  6. The bag was hidden. (under the bed)
  7. They left the school. (yesterday)
  8. Samantha fell off the bike. (almost)
  9. Her teacher will reward her hard work. (probably)
  10. Daniel is getting transferred this month. (definitely)

Exercise 2

The sentences below are jumbled up. Arrange the words to make correct sentences.

  1. Haven’t lately him talked to I
  2. I’ll him soon see
  3. She help asked immediately for
  4. You where now are?
  5. Loudly barks the dog
  6. She secretly him met
  7. Out sneaked house of they quietly out
  8. Won hasn’t my lately club
  9. Carefully plays piano the brother my
  10. Speaks well English Njeri











  • Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives,, or other adverbs.
  • Adverbs often tell how, when, where, why, or under what conditions things happen.

Adverb Endings

  • Most adverbs end in “-ly”. They are formed by adding –ly to an adjective. For example,
  1. Softly
  2. Quickly
  • Slowly
  1. Gradually
  2. Electronically
  3. Carefully
  • Horribly etc


  • In comparative and superlative forms, some adverbs change their endings. For example
  • Run faster if you if you don’t want to be late.
  • The student who runs fastest will be the one to receive the award.
  • There are those adverbs that end in –wards, for example,
  • Towards
  • Homewards
  • Downwards
  • Backwards etc
  • There are adverbs that end in –wise, for example,
  • Likewise
  • Otherwise
  • Clockwise
  • Lengthwise etc
  • There are those that end in –where, for example,
  • Nowhere
  • Everywhere
  • Somewhere, etc

Examples in Sentences

  1. I am going nowhere.
  2. He drove







Complete the following sentences using the correct forms of words in brackets.

  1. She laughed _______________ . (happy)
  2. Jane is always _____________ dressed. (smart)
  3. There is ___________ no water left in the basin. (near)
  4. The cow could ____________ walk after the bus knocked it. (hard)
  5. We are going for break ___________ . (short)
  6. I ran _________ . (quick)
  7. The wind is blowing __________ . (east)
  8. That was the _______________ done performance I have seen I seen in years. (skill)
  9. Edith did the assignment ___________ . (easy)
  10. Can you turn __________ ? (clock)
  11. Helen spoke about her teacher ____________ . (dramatic)
  12. His temperature went up ________ . (fast)


















Prepositions as Adjectives

Prepositional phrases modify the nouns. For example,

  1. Give me the pencil next to the book.

The prepositional phrase “next to the book” modifies the noun “pencil”. We know which pencil that is needed.

  1. Park the car behind the house

Prepositions as Adverbs

A prepositional phrase modifies a verb. For example,

  1. The cheetah runs after the antelope.
  2. The team won without their captain.

Prepositions as Nominals

  1. The church is before the hospital.
  2. The school is adjacent the supermarket.














  • Inversion in a sentence happens when the subject-verb order is reversed.
  • When the order is reversed, the verb comes before the subject.
  • To achieve inversion, we use:
  • Time adverbials, like
  • Never
  • Never before
  • Rarely
  • Scarcely (barely, hadly) …when/before
  • No sooner ….than

For example

  1. Hardly had I begun to speak when she interrupted me.
  2. No sooner had I arrived than they started to cry.
  • After exclamations with here and there, for example,
  • Here comes the teacher!
  • There goes the woman.
  • After adverbial expressions beginning with only and not only
  • Only after I met her did I realise I knew her.
  • Only when the bus stopped did he calm down.
  • To ask questions, for example,

Did you see her?

  • After so, neither, nor
  • Daniel has never been to China, neither do I.


More Examples in Sentences

  • Not until you grow up will you be allowed in here.
  • Under no circumstance can you smoke here.
  • Little does she realise how beautiful she is.










  • This is the replacement of a word, or group of words in a sentence in order to aviod repetion.
  • To do this, we use the fillers or proforms.

Proforms used in Substitution

There are different words and phrases used in substitution:

  • Neither
  • Less
  • Some
  • Many
  • Both
  • Little
  • So
  • Do
  • One
  • Ones etc

Examples in Sentences

  1. I don’t like it, neither does Dorcas.
  2. Salim has been to Eldoret, so have I.













  • A sentence connector links ideas from one sentence to the next.
  • Sentence connectors give paragraphs coherence.
  • The sentence connectors are used to:
  1. Sequence ideas. The connectors used here are:
  • Firstly, thirdly, etc
  • In addition/ additionally
  • Furthermore
  • Also
  • Afterwards
  • Presently/at present
  • Next, last, finally, etc
  1. Contrast ideas, for example,
  • However
  • On the contrary
  • In(by) comparison
  • In contrast
  • On the other hand, etc
  1. State results, for example,
  • As a consequence
  • As a result
  • Therefore
  • Thus
  • Hence
  • Consequently
  1. Compare ideas, for example,
  • Likewise
  • Similarly
  • Also
  1. Give order of importance, for example,
  • Most significantly
  • More/most importantly
  • Above all
  • Primarily
  • Essentially
  1. Give reason, for example,
  • The cause of
  • The reason for



Examples in Sentences

  1. My brother works eight hours a day. However, he doesn’t earn much money.
  2. This hotel has the best décor. Moreover, their chefs are lively.
  • The student failed to do the assignment. As a result, the teacher punished him.
  1. The public refused to pay for the entry fee. Consequently, the show was cancelled.
  2. The house had seven rooms, each with a bathroom. Additionally, there was a large swimming pool.



Fill in the blanks with appropriate sentence connectors. Choose the connector from the ones given.



On the contrary









  1. There are no red biros left. __________________ , there are black ones.
  2. The white car has carried many passengers. _______________ , the white car has carried many passengers.
  3. Clean the room first. _____________ , you can go out to play.
  4. Let us work hard. _____________ we may receive bad grades.
  5. I worked in Narok for ten years. _____________ , I work at home.
  6. She loves John. ___________ , John loves someone else.
  7. He has been looking for her. ________________ , he found her at the restaurant.
  8. The final exams are coming soon. ____________ , it would be advisable to start revising.





  1. Whose
  2. Whom
  3. Who
  4. That/which
  5. Who
  6. Whom
  7. Which
  8. Whose
  9. Which/That
  10. Who
  11. which
  12. Which
  13. Whom
  14. Who


  1. Which




  1. beautiful
  2. sleeveless
  3. talkative
  4. movable/immovable
  5. careful
  6. fashionable
  7. attractive
  8. contentious
  9. papal
  10. questionable




Exercise 1

  1. Charles must also travel.
  2. She was only kidding.
  3. Did you both do the assignment?
  4. The priest hardly sees movies.
  5. He talks to them carefully.
  6. The bag was hidden under the bed.
  7. They left the school yesterday.
  8. Samantha almost fell off the bike.
  9. Her teacher will probably reward her hard work.
  10. Daniel is definitely getting transferred this month.


Exercise 2

  • Haven’t lately him talked to

I haven’t talked to him lately.

  • I’ll him soon see

I’ll see him soon.

  • She help asked immediately for

She asked for help immediately.

  • You where now are?

Where are you now?

  • Loudly barks the dog

The dog barks loudly.

  • She secretly him met

She met him secretly.

  • Out sneaked house of they quietly out

They sneaked out of the house quietly.

  • Won hasn’t my lately club

My club hasn’t won lately.

  • Carefully plays piano the brother my

My brother plays the piano carefully.

  • Speaks well English Njeri

Njeri speaks English well.




  1. Happily
  2. Smartly
  3. Nearly
  4. Hardly
  5. Shortly
  6. Quick
  7. Eastwards
  8. Least skillfully
  9. Easily
  10. Clockwise
  11. Dramatically
  12. Faster



  • However
  • Likewise/similarly
  • Afterwards
  • Otherwise
  • Presently
  • On the contrary
  • Eventually
  • Therefore




  • Recipes
  • A recipe is a set of steps that lead to a delicious food.
  • It is a set of directions that describes how to prepare a culinary dish.
  • With the recipe, one is unlikely to be involved in culinary disaster.
  • The common terms used in a recipe are:


  • Bake
  • Baste
  • Blend
  • Beat
  • Boil
  • Braise
  • Brine
  • Chop
  • Crush
  • Dip
  • Dissolve
  • Drawn
  • Pound
  • Mix
  • Stir
  • Spread

Format of a Recipe

  1. Title your recipe. For example,

Fried Chicken Recipe

  • Ingredient List. It is advisable to list the ingredients in the order of their use. This helps the reader to keep track of the ingredients that have been used. Give the quantity of each ingredient. Examples:

4 whole chicken breasts

½ cup bread crumbs

  • How the meal is prepared is listed here. The steps should be easier to understand and follow. The steps are usually numbered.
  • List how many people to be served and what to serve with. For example,

Serve with …… or

Top with …..

  • Preparation time




Sample Recipe




1 cup of white rice

2 cups of water

½ teaspoon salt

I tablespoon oil


Preparation Time: 20 minutes


1.      Rinse the rice in a strainer.

2.      Bring the water to a boil.

3.      Add the rice to boiled water.

4.      Stir in the rice, salt and oil and bring it back to a gentle simmer.

5.      Start checking the rice around 18 minutes.

6.      Turn off the heat when the rice is tender.

7.      Remove the lid and fluff the rice.



1.      Serve when hot.

2.      Serve with fried meat.






  • E-Mails
  • Short for electronic
  • They are messages sent via a computer connected to internet.
  • Emails must be short and precise.

Email Address

  • An email address is what identifies an electronic post office box on a network where email can be sent.
  • Usually, there is no capitalization or spacing between the characters.


Component of Email Address

  • All email addresses have three parts:
  • Username;
  • @ symbol; and
  • The domain
  • Username is the unique name that you select. It can be your real name or nickname. Example: sumudawa
  • @ symbol separates the username from the domain. When you insert this symbol, your email program recognizes the character and sends the email to the domain name that follows it.
  • Domain is broken into parts: the mail server and the top-level domain.

The mail server is the server hosting the email account. There are such mail servers as yahoo, hotmail and gmail.

Examples of top-level domains include: com, net, org, edu, etc

Example of email address: [email protected]

Email Format

Email consists of:

  1. “FROM” Field. Write your email address.
  2. Date .
  • “TO” Field. The recipient’s address is written here.
  1. “Cc” Field. Add the email address of other people whose copy of the message should reach.
  2. Subject. Write short but accurate subject header.
  3. Attachments. Include the document that should be attached if required.
  • Salutation. Use proper salutation beginning with ‘dear’, etc.
  • Message body. Get your point across without rambling.
  1. Leave-taking. Depending on your level of intimacy with the recipient, you can use phrases and words like:
  • Yours sincerely,
  • Yours faithfully,
  • Yours cordially,
  • Best,
  • Your loving daughter/son/mum/dad/sister/brother,
  • Respectfully,
  • Your student, etc
  1. Signing. Write your full name.

Sample Email

FROM: [email protected]

DATE:  13th June, 2015

TO: [email protected]

Cc: [email protected]; [email protected]

SUBJECT: Chemistry/Physics Teaching Position


Dear Sir/Madam:

I am writing this email in response to your advertisement listed in The Standard Newspaper on 11th June 2016 for the vacancy of teaching Chemistry and Physics that has arisen with your school.


I am a degree holder from Kilgoris University. I have taught for three years now. While teaching at Ungwana Secondary school, I developed my teaching skills.


I have a strong communication and interpersonal skills, and have the ability to make students understand my two subjects properly. I can help students with their decision making.


I desire to be part of the teaching team at Naikuma School where I could nourish the minds of young students. I will be highly obliged if you could go through my curriculum vitae attached herewith.


Yours faithfully,

Shuruti K. Hassan





















  • FAX
  • Fax is short for facsimile.
  • Also known as telefax or telecopying.
  • It is the telephonic transmission of scanned printed material usually to a telephone number which is connected to a printer.

How it Works

To transmit the material, the process to follow include:

  • Scanning of the original material using a fax machine(telecopier).
  • Telecopier processes the content and converts it into a bitmap.
  • The content is then transmitted through the telephone system to the receiver .
  • The receiving telecopier interpretes the message and reconstruct it.

How to Write Notes and Fax Cover Sheet

  • Add a letter head to the top of the fax cover sheet. It can either be for a company or an individual. The letter head can include the name of the company or individual’s name, address, telephone number, fax number and email address.
  • Write “TO” followed by a colon some lines down. Fill in the name of the person who should receive the fax.
  • Write “COMPANY” and fill in the name of the company where you are sending the fax.
  • Write “FROM” and the colon on the next line. List the sender’s name.
  • List the date.
  • Write the recipient’s fax number.
  • Write “NUMBER OF PAGES”. Enter this number including the cover page to help the recipient make sure no page is missing.
  • Write “RE” followed by a colon. Enter the subject of what you are writing under notes.
  • Write “NOTES” and then a colon. Enter additional information here. Write the message.
  • An institution can design a facsimile Transmittal Sheet depending on their taste. Below is an example of a facsimile transmittal sheet.










TO: ……………………………………………………………………….. FROM: ……………………………………………………………………..

COMPANY: ………………………………………………………….. DATE: ……………………………………………………..

FAX NUMBER: ……………………………………………………. PAGE TOTAL INCLUDING COVER: …………………………….

PHONE NUMBER: ………………………………………………


RE: _______________________________________________________________


















  • To give instructions is to let others know how to do something or reach somewhere.
  • Instructions when written, can take the form of letters, notes, e-mails, and many others. Be careful on which to use and which will work well with your recipient.
  • We give instructions to family and friends:
  • To help us do something in our absence.
  • On how to use a newly bought garget.
  • On how to prepare some meals.
  • On how to how to write their exams.
  • On how to be successful individuals. Etc.

What to Do

When writing instructions:

  • Use simple words. Save the verbatim words.
  • Use imperative form of sentences.
  • Give one instruction at a time. Numbered.

Here, we have a sample of note with instruction



Dear Kish,


I have left for work. I will not come back as usually. After you wake up help do the following:

·        Clean your bedroom.

·        Wash the utensils.

·        Mow the lawn.

·        Cook your lunch.

·        Go out and play after doing all the above.

·        Get back to the house before 6.

·        Close the gate until I come back.

I hope you will not forget any of the above. When mum comes back she will bring you the fruits you asked for.


Your loving mum,




Your cousin has bought a mobile phone but she doesn’t know how to type text message and send it. In a letter, give her instructions that will help her do that with ease.


  • Sent to explore possibilities in employment, admission to college, etc when you are interested in working or learning, etc for a particular institution, but you do not know if an opening or vacancy exists.
  • A letter of inquiry is when you are approaching an organization/company/institution speculatively. This means you are making an approach without their having advertised or announced a vacancy.

How to Write a Letter of Inquiry

The steps that follow will help you write a good letter of inquiry:

  1. Resolve to follow all the rules for business letter writing. Begin with your address, then the date, followed by the addressee’s address, moving on to the greeting(salutation) , and lastly, in regard to(written “RE:”)
  2. Write about four paragraphs. The paragraphs can be divided into:
  • First Paragraph
  • Introduce yourself and concisely explain why you are writing.
  • Tell the recipient how you heard of the organization.
  • Let the recipient, if need be, know the result you will receive or received, and the school or college you are attending or attended.
  • Second Paragraph
  • Describe your interest in the organization.
  • Make it clear why you think you think you are qualified, for example for the job, or admission to the college, etc.
  • Third Paragraph
  • Talk about yourself. Highlight your relevant experience, achievements, and qualifications.
  • Include two or three skills that relate to the positions within.
  • Fourth Paragraph
  • Thank the recipient for their time.
  • Include your phone number or email address.
  • Note that you have included your CV. If admission to college, you may mention that you have included your academic certificate or any document.
  1. Close your letter.
  • Write yours faithfully, if you do not know the name of the person.
  • Yours sincerely. If you know the person’s name, end the letter this way.
  • Add your signature. Sign your name.




Sample Letter of Enquiry



P.O. BOX 333 – 22020



14TH MAY, 2016




P.O. BOX 3456 – 12340



Dear Sir/Madam:




I am a 2014 form four leaver from Kanye Miracle School. I received grade B- at KCSE. I am writing to express my interest in joining your college in September incase there is an intake. I have always heard a lot about your college. Last week, I saw the picture of your college in the newspaper and that attracted me more.


I am now thinking only about Josem College. It has become part of my dream and I would love to study my course there. I know the course I would like to pursue is one of the numerous courses offered there. I would like to study Journalism. I received grade B+ IN English and Kiswahili and I hope that is enough to qualify me for the course of my childhood dreams.


While in high school, I used to be a member of journalism club. It is I who could write all the news to be read on Fridays by fellow club members. I was also involved in broadcasting during the parents’ day and through that my confidence was boosted. I no longer suffer from anxiety when speaking before a large group.


Thank you for your time you have you have taken to consider this letter of inquiry. Would you please contact me on 07000000 when there will be next intake? Attached are my documents.


Yours Faithfully,


Salome Mtakatifu







  • Written to request a company/firm/institution to provide complete information regarding a product/service/course, etc.
  • One expresses their interest towards the course/product, etc in this letter.
  • The following points will help in writing an effective letter of request:
  • Clearly state the reason of seeking detailed information.
  • Use formal tone when writing.
  • Be polite.
  • Recheck for misspellings.

Sample Letter of Request


Nyamirogi Secondary School,

P.O. Box 111—40020,



24th April, 2015


The Principal,

Nyamoro College,

P.O. Box 222 – 34200,



Dear Mr. Bacuna:




I am a parent of one of the students who received admission letters from your college. He is very much interested in joining the college.


We have read your admission letter and are very much interested in getting admission in your college. I  need, however, the answers to the following questions before I could join the college:

·        Is fee paid in installment or paid at once?

·        Can accommodation be offered in college?

·        Other than the courses offered, are there non academic ones like driving?

I would be glad to receive the answers to these questions. Could you please contact me on [email protected] or 0797878787?


Yours Faithfully,


Dennis Mnyweso





  • A review of a novel, play, short story or even a poem is written to give the reader a concise summary of its content. This includes relevant description of the topic as well as its overall message.


How to Write A Book Review

The steps below are normally followed when reviewing a book (say a novel):

  • Describe what the novel is about in a couple of sentences. No spoilers should be given here.
  • Discuss what in particular you liked about the book. Your thoughts and feelings about the novel are the main focus when doing this. The questions suggested below when answered will help you to a great extent:
  • Who was your favourite character? Why?
  • Did the characters feel real to you?
  • Did the story keep you guessing what to happen next, and next?
  • Which part of the book was your favourite? Why?
  • Did the novel make you laugh, smile, or cry?
  • Mention what you disliked about the novel. Discuss why you think it didn’t work for you. Some questions to help you are:
  • Was the ending frustrating?
  • Was the story scary for your feeling?
  • Summarize some of your thoughts on the novel, suggesting the type of reader you would recommend the novel for. For example would you recommend it for young readers, fans of crime, high school students, etc.
  • At times, you can rate the novel, for example a mark out of ten, etc.



Sample Book Review Template


Book Review

Picture of the book here






The novel is about a baby girl who is the source of the river. She becomes the first born girl in a family full of boys. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..





























  • Exposition is explanatory communication, whether in speech or writing.
  • An expository essay is an organized piece of prose which explains a specific topic or set of ideas to a defined audience.
  • Expository essays provide information and analysis.

Elements of Expository Essays

  • A clear thesis or controlling idea that establishes and sustains your focus.
  • An opening paragraph that introduces the thesis.
  • Body paragraphs (4 0r 5) that use specific evidence to illustrate your informative or analytic points.
  • Smooth transitions that connect the ideas of adjoining paragraphs in specific, interesting ways.
  • A conclusion that emphasizes your central idea without being repetitive.
















  • It is a research instrument containing several questions and other prompts for the purpose of gathering information from the respondents.
  • The questions are aimed at collecting facts or opinions about something.

Outline and Format of the Questionnaire

Introduction·        Title of the study

·        Purpose of the study

·        Duration of the survey

·        Guarantee of confidentiality

·        Brief information about the organization

·        If any, incentive Information


Demographic Data·        Respondent’s name(could be optional)

·        Age, gender, religion, marital status, etc.

Questions·        Closed-ended questions answerable by Yes/No first. This is for faster response rate.

·        Questions arranged from general to specific.

·        Sensitive questions at the end.

·        Group related questions together.

·        Always number questions.

·        The instructions on how questions are answered placed before the questions.

·        Response questions placed vertically except for tabulated options.

End·        Expression of gratitude to the respondent for attempting questions e.g. “Thank You”

·        Information on knowing the outcome of the survey.


Sample Questionnaire


                                                  THE ALL TIME HOTEL

                           (email: [email protected], P.O. Box 43 – Nairobi Kenya)


      I.          INTRODUCTION

Dear Esteemed Customer,

We are dedicated to improving the customer satisfaction. Through answering questions in this questionnaire survey, we will be able to analyse the data that will help us enhance our services and meeting your needs.

Your response will only be used for survey purposes and your confidentiality is highly guaranteed.

After you answer all the questions, you will be presented meals of your taste as a token of our good will. We thank you in advance for your time.

    II.          QUESTIONS



Please indicate your level of agreement or disagreement with each of these statements regarding our hotel. TICK in the box of your answer.

1.      How many times do you visit The All Time Hotel per month?


2.      Do you visit The All Time Hotel with Family or Friends?

 Yes  No


3.      For question (3) answer with:


  Strongly Agree

Neutrally agree


Strongly Disagree


(a)   The hotel is accessibly located.    


(b)   Hotel hours are convenient for my dining needs.


(c)    Advertised meals are in stock.


(d)   A good selection of meals was available.


(e)    The meals sold are an equal value for the money.


(f)    Meals sold here are of the highest quality.


(g)   The hotel has the lowest prices in the estate.


(h)   The  hotel atmosphere and décor are appealing.




(optional): ______________________________________________________

Age:  ________________________

Gender: ______________________

Number of Family Members: (Tick appropriate)

 More than 10

Phone (optional): ____________________________________

  IV.          Thank you for sharing your feelings and thoughts with The All Time. Enjoy dining at the best Hotel in town!


  • This is a written overview of a person’s experience as well as their qualifications.
  • It brings out a person’s life accomplishments, especially those related to academic realm.
  • Try to present all the relevant information that you can.
  • The CV need to reflect your abilities within your discipline.

Sample Curriculum Vitae



Personal Details

Date of Birth: 8th April, 1989

Sex: Male

Nationality: Kenyan

Religion: Christian

Marital Status: Married

ID Number: 28724770

Address: 924-40400 Suna-Migori

Email: [email protected]

Phone Number: 0716602808 or 0764602808

Languages: English and Kiswahili

Personal Profile

A highly motivated, enthusiastic and dedicated teacher of English who has been praised for hard work and perseverance. Committed to creating classroom atmosphere that stimulates and encourage learners. Has the passion to work under minimum or no supervision at all.

Educational Background

2011-2013Utumishi UniversityBachelors of Education (First class honors)
2005-2008Kafira Secondary School


KCSE {52 Points(C+)}
1996-2004Kafira Primary School


KCPE(304 Marks)


Work Experience

September 2015-December 2015Joy  Girls’ Secondary1.      Guiding candidate class in revision.

2.      Offering guidance and counseling to my class.

3.      Coaching students in soccer.


June 2015-August 2015Kisimani Secondary School1.      Chairing guidance and counseling meetings.

2.      Coaching students in soccer and volleyball.

3.      In charge of discipline.

4.      Chairing languages department’s meetings.

January 2014-June 2015Right There Muslim Girls’1.      Guiding and counseling students.

2.      Training the students both in the classroom and in the field.

3.      Preparing programmes for various activites held at the school.

4.      Heading languages department.




2014-2015Right There Muslim Girls’1.      Appointed head of departments: Languages and Games.

2.      Appointed member of the disciplinary committee.

3.      Patron of clubs(Debate and Journalism)

4.      Class teacher.


 Right There Muslim Girls’KCSE 2014:

·        ENGLISH MEAN SCORE: 5.667 up from 3.5.

·        HISTORY MEAN SCORE: 7.6

2015Kisimani Secondary School·        Head of both Games and Languages Departments.

·        Form 2 class teacher.

·        Acting as Deputy Principla.

2015Joy Girls’ Secondary·        Assistant Head of Department, Games.

·        Class teacher

2015 Written manuscripts in areas such as:

·        Grammar in English.

·        Oral Skills in English.



·        Strong personal skills.

·        Problem solving skills.

Hobbies and Interests

·        Reading novels, journals and plays.

·        Playing soccer and volleyball.

·        Writing manuscripts.


Mr. Mfupi MbilikimoHead of English DepartmentJoy Girls’ Secondary0711223344
Mr. Issa AbdikadirDeputy PrincipalRight There  Muslim Girls’0722334455
Mr. Kimoke  M.English DepartmentUtumishi University0733445566



























  • Speech delivery requires adequate preparation. Writing itself is part of that preparation.
  • To write a good speech:
  • Select a topic that you enjoy talking about.
  • Compose your specific purpose statement.
  • Compose your Thesis statement or central idea. This is the most important part of your speech.
  • writing your thesis statement is a four step process:
  • choose your topic
  • Determine your general purpose. For example, to persuade, entertain, educate, etc.
  • Write your specific purpose statement. This is what the speaker wants to accomplish.
  • Tie it all together by composing a clear concise thesis statement.

Sample Speech


“The principal, deputy principal, teachers, and my fellow students, good morning? I am grateful for being offered this rare chance to address this large crowd. Thank you for this great opportunity. Today I want to particularly address form fours who are only 3 months away from reaping the hard work.

Dear candidates, where are you going to be in three months? What will you be doing from the time you wake up to day fall each day? What will you achieve when KCSE Results are announced? In other words, what is your target? Some of you might be thinking that three months is a lot of time to first waste and only revise with one week left. They might be thinking it is too early to revise. Let me assure you that it is high time you decide on doubling your effort.

In fact, with my one year experience since I left this school, I can suggest you two alternatives. Either you think about your future after form four – now! – or you leave this a frustrated individual, and regret later in life. Not encouraging at all to depend completely on your parents.  I like the proverb: You reap what you sow. Remember no one reaps beans when he plants potato. Only if you work hard that work of your hands will handsomely be rewarded.


According to my deepest conviction, happy person is the person who always brings his own sunshine, wherever he goes and whatever the weather. Hope to see these sparks in you in you next year March when the results will be announced. Thanking for you listening to me.  ”








  • To paraphrase simply means “put in your own words.”
  • It is one’s own interpretation of essential information and ideas expressed by someone else, presented in a new form.
  • It is a more detailed restatement than a summary, which focuses concisely on a single main idea.

Steps to Effective Paraphrasing

  1. Reread the original passage until you understand its full meaning.
  2. Set the original aside, and write your paraphrase on a note book.
  3. Jot down a few words below your paraphrase to remind you later how you imagine using this material.
  4. Check your version with the original to make sure that yours  accurately expresses all the essential information in a new form.
  5. Use quotation marks to identify any unique term or phraseology you have borrowed exactly from the source.


















Kim Kardashian

Born: 21 October 1980

Birthplace: Los Angeles, California

Best known as: The alpha-sister star of Keeping Up With the Kardashians

Kimberly Kardashian is a Los Angeles socialite, businesswoman and first among equals on the long-running reality TV show Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Kim Kardashian first came to wide public attention through her friendship with socialite Paris Hilton; Kim is the daughter of attorney Robert Kardashian (1944-2003), who became famous in 1994 when his friend and client O.J. Simpson was arrested and tried for murder. Kim Kardashian became one of Paris Hilton’s party pals and then in 2007 boosted her profile by taking legal action to prevent the distribution of a naughty home video she had made with then-boyfriend Ray J (born William Ray Norwood, Jr., the brother of singer Brandy). The tape was widely distributed on the Internet, despite (or because of) Kardashian’s attempts to quash it, and she was launched into Hilton-like celebrity. That led to the 2007 launch of the TV reality show Keeping Up With the Kardashians, which starred Kim and her sisters Kourtney and Khloe and made their extended family synonymous with celebrity for its own sake. Kim appeared on Dancing With the Stars (2008) and made various appearances on other TV shows. She and her sisters opened a chain of dress boutiques called Dash, and together they published a memoir, Kardashian Konfidential, in 2010. Married at one time to music producer Damon Thomas (2000-04), Kim Kardashian was later romantically linked to a number of male celebrities, including Jessica Simpson‘s ex-husband Nick Lachey and Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush. She married NBA basketball player Kris Humphries in August of 2011, but filed for divorce 72 days later, citing “irreconcilable differences.” (The divorce became final on June 3, 2013.) She became pregnant by the rapper Kanye West in 2012; their daughter, named North West, was born on 15 June 2013. Kardashian and West were married in Florence, Italy on 24 May 2014, and their second child, a son named Saint, was born on 5 December 2015. Kim Kardashian published a 352-page book of selfies, titled Selfish, in 2015.


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