CBSE Board English Core Syllabus for Class 11

CBSE Board Syllabus for Class 11 English Core

Class XI

A. Reading Unseen Passages (Two).
B. Writing 
C. Grammar 
D. Textual Questions
(i) Textbook 
(ii) Supplementary Reader 
E. Conversation Skills
(i) Listening 
(ii) Speaking 
F. (i) Reading Project 

Reading unseen Passages for Comprehension and Note-making .
This section will have three unseen passages followed by a variety of questions.  The questions will
include those on vocabulary such as word formation and inferring meaning for 05 marks.  The total
length of the three passages shall be around 1100 words.
The passages could be any of the following three types:
(a) Factual passages e.g. instructions, descriptions, reports.
(b) Discursive passages e.g. argumentative, persuasive or reflective
(c) Literary passages e.g. excerpts from biographies, novels, poems or essays of subjective type.

Formative and Summative Assessment to be followed in all skills.
Q1 and Q2 will be two unseen texts - one from prose and the other from poetry. The total length of
these two texts will be around 600 words.
Each of these extracts will be for 6 marks- five marks for local, global and inferential comprehension in
the form of Multiple Choice Questions and one mark for vocabulary.
Q3 will have a prose passage of about 500 words and it will be used for note making (05 marks) and
testing vocabulary 


4. One out of two short writing tasks based on personal response to
a verbal stimulus in the form a narrative or a story.
(100-150 words) 
5. One out of two compositions based on a visual and/or verbal input
(in about 150-200 words).  The output may be descriptive,
reflective or argumentative in nature such as an article for
publication in a newspaper or a school magazine, a speech or a
report either from a 3rd person point of view or as recounting of an
experience/incident in the writer's life.
6. Writing One out of two letters based on given input.  Letter types
include (a) letter to the editor (giving suggestions or opinions on
an issue of public interest) or (b) letter to the school or colleges
authorities, regarding admissions, school issues, requirements /
suitability of courses etc. 


Different grammatical structures in meaningful contexts will be
Unseen No of words Testing Areas Marks allotted
1. Prose around 600 5 MCQ type questions to test 
local, global and inferential
comprehension and 1 MCQ
on vocabulary on each of the
2. Poetry given passages/extracts/poems. 
3. Prose around 500 Note-making in an
appropriate format 
Vocabulary (MCQ) 
tested. Item types will include gap-filling, sentence-reordering,
dialogue-completion and sentence-transformation.  The grammar
syllabus includes determiners, tenses, clauses, modals and voice.
These grammar areas will be tested using the following test types:
7. Error Correction 
8. Editing Task 
9. Reordering of sentences 


10. One out of two extracts based on poetry from the text to test .
comprehension & appreciation using four multiple choice questions.
11. Five out of six short answer questions on the lessons from poetry,
prose and plays (at least 2 questions will be from poetry, 1 from play
and the remaining from prose).  
12. One out of two long answer type questions based on the prose text 
to test global comprehension and extrapolation beyond the set text /
and across two texts (Expected word limit would be about 100-125 words)
Supplementary Reader 
13. One out of two long answer type questions based on Supplementary 
Reader to test comprehension of theme, character and incidents.
(Upto 100 words)
14. Two out of three short answer questions on Supplementary 
Reader (upto 30 words)
Prescribed Books
1. Hornbill - Text book published by NCERT, New Delhi.
2. Snapshots - Supplementary Reader published by NCERT, New Delhi.

Conversation Skills 

Conversation Skills will be tested both as part of Formative & Summative Assessment. Out of the 10
marks allotted for Conversation, 05 marks may be used for testing listening and 05 marks for testing
speaking.  The Conversation Skills Assessment Scale may be used for evaluation.
The examiner will read aloud either a passage on a relevant theme or a short story.  The passage may
be factual or discursive.  The length of the passage should be around 350 words.  The examinees are
expected to complete the listening comprehension tasks given in a separate sheet while listening to the
teacher. The tasks set may be gap-filling, multiple choice, true or false or short answer questions.
There may be ten different questions for half a mark each.
Speaking shall be tested either through narration using a sequence of pictures or through description of
a picture of people or places.  It may also require speaking on a given topic involving a personal
experience.Description of a picture (can be pictures of people or places)

Conversation Skills Assessment Scale
The learner:
1. Has general ability to understand words
and phrases in a familiar context but
cannot follow connected speech;
2. Has ability to follow short connected
utterances in a familiar context;
3. Has ability to understand explicitly stated
information in both familiar and unfamiliar
4. Understands a range of longer spoken
texts with reasonable accuracy, and is
able to draw inferences;
5. Shows ability to interpret complex
discourse in terms of points of view;
adapts listening strategies to suit
The learner:
1. shows ability to use only isolated words
and phrases but cannot operate on
connected speech level;
2. in familiar situations, uses only short
connected utterances with limited
3. shows ability to use more complex
utterances with some fluency in longer
discourse; still makes some errors which
impede communication;
4. organises and presents thoughts in a
reasonably logical and fluent manner in
unfamiliar situations; makes errors which
do not interfere with communication;

Reading any text should be done with the purpose of:-
1. reading silently at varying speeds depending on the purpose of reading:
2. adopting different strategies for different types of texts, both literary and non-literary:
3. recognising the organisation of a text:
4. identifying the main points of a text;
5. understanding relations between different parts of a text through lexical and grammatical cohesion
6. anticipating and predicting what will come next.
7. deducing the meaning of unfamiliar lexical items in a given context:
8. consulting a dictionary to obtain information on the meaning and use of lexical items:
9. analysing, interpreting, inferring (and evaluating) the ideas in the text:
10. selecting and extracting from text information required for a specific purpose.
11. retrieving and synthesising information from a range of reference material using study skills such
as skimming and scanning:
12. interpreting texts by relating them to other material on the same theme (and to their own experience
and knowledge): and
13. reading extensively on their own for pleasure.
A good reader is most often an independent learner and consequently an independent thinker capable
of taking his/her own decisions in life rationally. Such a learner will most assuredly also be capable of
critical thinking.
Reading a book should lead to creative and individual response to the author's ideas presented in the
book in the form of:-
• short review
• dramatisation of the story
• commentary on the characters
• critical evaluation of the plot, story line and characters
• comparing and contrasting the characters within the story and with other characters in stories by
the same author or by the other authors
• extrapolating about the story's ending or life of characters after  the story ends
• defending characters' actions in the story.
• making an audio story out of the novel/text to be read out to younger children.
• Interacting with the author
• Holding a literature fest where various characters interact with each other
• Acting like authors/poets/dramatists, to defend their works and characters.
• Symposiums and seminars for introducing a book, an author, or a theme
• Finding similar text in other languages, native or otherwise and looking at differences and
• Creating graphic novels out of novels/short stories read
• Dramatising incidents from a novel or a story
• Creating their own stories
1. A Reading Project of 10 marks has been introduced in class XI.
2. Schools may use books of their own choice.
3. Schools can vary the level but at least one book per term is to be read by every child.
Teachers may opt for:-
• One book;
• Books by one author; or
• Books of one genre; to be read by the whole class.
The Project should lead to independent learning/ reading skills and hence the chosen book/selection
should not be taught in class, but may be introduced through activities and be left for the students to
read at their own pace. Teachers may, however, choose to assess a child's progress or success in
reading the book by asking for verbal or written progress reports, looking at the diary entries of 54
students, engaging in a discussion about the book, giving a short quiz or a worksheet about the book/
short story. The mode of intermittent assessment may be decided by the teacher as she/he sees fit.
These may be used for Formative Assessment (F1, F2, F3 and F4) only. Various modes of assessment
such as conducting Reviews, Discussions, Open Houses, Exchanges, Interact with the Author, writing
script for plays can be considered.