Thursday, 23 August 2012

Onam Examination Question Analysis

It is for the first time we have a common question paper for the state for the terminal examinations. It is helpful for the teachers and learners to have a clear idea about the pattern of question paper that SCERT wanted to frame.

Now let us discuss the questions and their relevance

In Class 10 question paper the most confusing question is the last one. Analysis of the sentence pattern!

Many of us are aware that the pattern mentioned in the question paper is the functional labeling of words/phrases used in the sentence. But confusion still exists when many teachers and students mix up the phrase structure with the functional labeling.

To be more clear let us look at the two types of patterns/labeling

1. Phrase structure
 We know that a sentence consists of many Phrases (a single word also is called a phrase here ) namely Noun Phrase (NP) Verb Phrase (VP) Adjectival Phrase(AdjP) Adverbial Phrase (AdvP) Prepositional Phrase (PP) etc.

eg. Indians love Cricket (NP +VP) --> Indians + love Cricket
Here in the NP we have only a Noun (NP) ie Indians
In the VP we have again a VP ie 'love' and another NP ie Cricket 
This means the VP---> V+NP

2. Functional labeling
Let us analyse the same sentence to see what is the function of each of these Phrase in the sentence

The first NP Indians  functions as the Subject of the sentence.
Then we have another VP love which functions as the Verb . Again we have another NP cricket  which functions as the object  in the sentence.

Now we know that mixing up two types of pattern will end in chaos.

That means, when analysing  pattern of the sentence Indians love cricket we can eitherWe can say the phrase structure of the sentence is NP+VP . If you want to go to the next level of phrase structure you can also say
Sentence --> NP+VP
VP ---> V+NP

or We can say that the Phrases in the sentence Indians love cricket
functions as Subject +Verb + Object

Now let us analyse other sentences in the question paper.

1. They like Sachin and other players
    a. Phrase Structure = NP +VP (VP=V+NP+NP)
    b. Functional Labeling Subject + Verb + Object (+object)

2. Sachin is not playing in the current Srilankan series
     a. Phrase Structure = NP +VP+PP
     b. Functional Labeling = Subject + Verb +Adverbial

3. Indians give Sachin great respect
     a. Phrase Structure = NP +VP (VP=V+NP+NP)
     b. Functional Labeling Subject + Verb + indirect Object + Direct object

Some other questions that need discussion are given below

  1. Letter of apology
    Many teachers are confused about the form to be used in this letter. Formal/official or informal?
In my viewpoint, the form is less important here. Even then, an informal letter will do because it is a letter of apology. What has such a letter to do with officiality? Moreover, in all discourses we aim at testing the language proficiency of our learners.

  1. Preparing a paragraph
    This question is also an instance of dispute among teachers and learners. It is based on the extended reading passage. The SCERT guidelines state that upto 15 percentage of the questions can be expected from the extended reading portions. That may be why this question paper contains 12 marks from the Extended Reading portions.
About this question : the main dispute is whether to sequence the points in the proper order first and then to write in a paragraph. Here also my question is why to repeat the same process of writing the same stuff in sequencing first and then in writing another paragraph.....?

After all, the objective of this question is
  • to test whether the learner has comprehended the idea of the reading passage
  • to make him/her write a cohesive paragraph using proper linkers 

    Therefore simply writing the sequenced sentences into a paragraph will not be enough here. (Let the learners add , if they know and wish, more details). The proper use of linkers to connect the ideas is a must. The paragraph should be systematically organised.

     31.  a. Arent you? / dont you?
    Here too to be precise the answer is Arent you? look at the reply of 
    course I am.
    b. in / through

    which is more accurate express through or express in columns?