Board Question Paper October 2008 English

Section - A
(Reading Skill, Grammar, Vocabulary, Note-Making and Summary)
Q. 1 (A) Read the following extract and answer the questions given below: (11)
Every Morning, we would try to gauge father's mood from the movement of his eyes or the few words he spoke. If his voice didn't have a rough edge, we would breath and move around a bit freely. On the other hand, when his throat produced grunts and rumbles, we knew we had had it for the day. The most difficult situation was when he was silent. Unable to read him, we would be on the horns of a dilemma. Was it fine to go for a football match? Or, would that invite a fine of two slaps, if not three penalty kicks?
My father's moods were like Chennai's climate - hot, hotter, hottest. Yet, like millions of Madrasis who have not only survived their city's climate but have also grown to love it, we came to love our father the way he was.
He kept us on a tight leash with his stern countenance, fearing that we would go astray if given an liberties. Discipline was his motto, perhaps inherited from his own English professors. For that, I am grateful to him.
At the end of the day, he exudes a quiet smile of satisfaction at having reared a brood of worthy citizens, if not exactly highly 'valuable' ones. Freed now from the burden of bringing up children, my father has dispensed with his rigid, cold fa├žade.
  1. When could children move freely? (1)
  2. What were father's moods compared to? (1)
  3. Why did father keep the children on a tight leash? (1)
  4. What was the most difficult situation for the children? Why was it so? (2)
  5. On what different occasions does your father get angry with you? Why? (2)
  6. Rewrite the following sentences in the ways instructed:
    1. We would try to gauge father's mood from the movement of his eyes.
(Use 'used to') (1)
    1. I am grateful to him. (Add a question tag.) (1)
    2. He exudes a quiet smile of satisfaction.
(Use Present Perfect Continuous Tense.) (1)
(7) Find the words from the extract which mean: (i) appearance (ii) strict (1)
(B) Do as directed: (4)
(1) Insert the appropriate articles wherever necessary and rewrite the sentence.
He saw star shooting down towards Earth. (1)
(2) He sailed across the sea and landed on the shore.
(Point out what the underlined preposition suggest- time/ place/ movement.) (1)
(3) "Who are you and what are you doing here?" she asked him. "I am a painter and I'm drawing pictures on my pitcher, he said. (Change it into indirect speech.) (2)
Q. 2 (A) Read the following extract and answer the questions given below: (11)
More ominously, the assessment team warns that the ability of Earth's ecosystem to sustain future generations can no longer be taken for granted.
Having heard all this should our visiting ET give up all hope for the posterity of humankind and leave? No just yet, for the report also tells - if anyone's listening, that is - of how disaster can be averted and sets out coherent strategies for the protection of species and habitats. It offers tools for managing the environment, particularly in poor countries, and identifies the changes in institutions and policies that will be needed if we are to deal with the root causes of environmental degradation. Significantly, it fills a global knowledge gap. As Kofi Annan, secretary-general of the U.N., a major fund provider, puts it, only by understanding the environment and how it works, can we make the necessary decisions to protect it! We are told the assessment is recognized by world leaders and governments as a mechanism to meet part of the needs of several international environmental treaties. These individuals and institutions have not only pledged to reduce the loss of biological diversity by 2010 but also vowed to achieve such development goals by 2025. It's probably the last chance we get for doing so. If we don't seize it, it's curtains for us earthlings.
  1. What was Kofi Annan? (1)
  2. What is the warning from the assessment team? (1)
  3. What should be the pledge of the individuals for? (1)
  4. How should we ensure the posterity of humankind? (2)
  5. Why, according to you, is tree-plantation necessary? (2)
  6. Rewrite the following sentences in the ways necessary:
    1. If we don't seize it, it's curtains for us earthlings. (Use 'Unless.') (1)
    2. We can make the necessary decisions to protect it.
(Rewrite it using the modal auxiliary showing compulsion.) (1)
(iii) It offers tools for managing the environment.
(Use the infinitive form of the underlined part.) (1)
(7) Give the meanings of: (i) averted (ii) coherent (1)
(B) Note-making: (4)
Read the following extract and draw a tree-diagram on the 'Types of Tomatoes.'
In most greenhouses you will find tomatoes growing on. It is surprising that we have an irrepressible urge to grow them. They are classified into two types: Growth type and Fruit type. There are two varieties in growth type - Cardon and Bush. Cardon is the single stemmed plant which requires support using a cane or string. It grows 6 ft or more. Where height is a problem, grow a Bush type. It grows to 1-3 ft high but its growth is rather untidy. The fruit type varieties are - Hybrid, Beefsteak and Cherry. The Hybrid variety has two important advantages - they are generally heavier yielding and also have a high degree of disease resistance. The Beefsteak variety produces the large and meaty tomatoes - which are very popular in the U.S. They are excellent for sandwiches but not for frying. The Cherry or bite-sized tomato is much smaller but the flavour is outstanding.
Q. 3 (A) Read the following extract and answer the questions given below: (11)
Most of the water in the soil is rain water and theoretically it should be as pure as distilled water. Fortunately, however, this is usually not the case, for plants need not only water to live, but also minerals - vital salts which are liberated during the decomposition of rock and soil. This decomposition is a continuous process and proceeds fastest at high temperatures. When there is plant of rain, most of the salts produced by decomposition are washed away into streams and rivers, and a proper mineral balance is maintained.
The salt concentration in the ocean is also high, and very few land plants (except mangrove trees, which have certain special adaptations) grow in sea water. Most plants which grow on beaches, such as the coconut palm, actually live on fresh water, paradoxical though this may seem. The seashore may be more live on salt water than any other plant. In fact, their roots do not reach sea water, but only go down to the fresh water which, being lighter than the salt, floats on too of it. Thus, when it rains on the sandy tropical beaches, the rain water raises the water table in the sand, forcing the salt water downward and outward.
(1) How is the process of decomposition of rock and soil? (1)
(2) What do plants need? (1)
(3) How is said concentration in the ocean? (1)
(4) How is a proper mineral balance maintained? (2)
(5) Why, according to you, is water essential for living things? (2)
(6) Rewrite the following sentences in the ways instructed:
(i) This decomposition is a continuous process.
(Make it exclamatory.) (1)
(ii) Very few land plants grow in sea water.
(Make it negative without changing its meaning.) (1)
(iii) The rain water raises the water table in the sand.
(Frame a 'Wh'-question to get the underlined part as its answer.) (1)
(7) Give the antonyms of: (i) high (ii) proper (1)
(B) Summary: (4)
Write a brief summary of the above extract and suggest a suitable title.
Section - B: Poetry
Q. 4 Read the following lines of the poem and answer the questions given below: (8)
Words and sounds "Me don't want them tall buildings,
gushing out of the See, that small house there"
woman's mouth All faces turned that way
"That's what I want."
the woman with the hat
"Friday evening, leaving home,
she found eager ears and reaching Monday morning to work,
eyes alert Los Angeles to New York
in the Greyhound many times,
from Chicago to Iowa many many times!"
  1. What does the woman like to have? (1)
  2. What does a 'small house' symbolize as against 'tall buildings'? (2)
  3. What according to you, are the demerits of the modern busy life? (2)
  4. Name and explain the figure of speech in the following expression:
'She found eager ears and eyes alert.' (1)
  1. Which lines highlight the fast, busy and globalised life in America? (2)
Section - C: Rapid Reading and Composition
Q. 5 (A) Read the following extract and answer the questions given below: (4)
The representatives had already gathered for another emergency meeting as Dr. Singh rushed in.
"Dr. Singh! Congratulations! Thanks to you, we will get PIONEER - 10 BACK INTACT. Had we not listened to you we would have destroyed such a historic space- craft. We are not discussing how to bring it back to the Earth. The occasion deserves to be celebrated." The chairman would have gone on further but he found that Dr. Singh wished to speak.
"Sir! I am grateful that you listened to me earlier. I will be even more so if you listen to me bow. For it is imperative, before we receive that space-craft on our fold to check that it is indeed harmless and set by friends," Dr. Singh added.
"But we did take a lot of pictures as you suggested! Still if you so feel, we can take a few more. Gupta is still in the neighbourhood of the space-craft." The chairman was again interrupted by Dr. Singh.
"No Sir, new tests are needed. Since time is running out I have taken the liberty of dispatching Takeno from SS-6 on a new mission. He is going to use electron beams for taking pictures."
"But what will we learn by this method? We have already used electromagnetic waves which are much more sensitive ………." Objected one representative.
"There is a world of difference between the two techniques. With our new tests we will soon know whether the space craft is PIONEER- 10 or …….."
  1. What event, according to the chairman, was to be celebrated? (1)
  2. On what new mission was Takeno dispatched to? (1)
  3. Why did Dr. Singh insist on checking the space-craft before receiving it back to the Earth? (2)
  1. Composition: (4)
Imagine you are Dr. Singh and rewrite the above story extract. You may begin - "I rushed in to attend the emergency meeting……"
Section - D: Written Skills
Q. 6 (A) Letter Writing - Write any ONE of the following letters: (4)
(1) Write a letter to your uncle expressing your gratitude to him for sending you a birthday gift. Also write to him how the gift is useful to you.
(2) You wish to ban the use of plastic carry-bags which is a serious danger to the environment. Write a letter to the Editor of a newspaper about it. Suggest suitable steps to overcome the problem.
(B) Write on any ONE of the following items as direct: (4)
(1) Prepare an appeal for seeking help for the flood-affected people of Konkan. Mention the type of help you need and the ways of sending that help. Use attractive slogans and illustrations.
(2) Your college arranged 'The Blood Donation Camp.' A well-known doctor in your area presided over the functior. Many students voluntarily donated blood. You are the students representative. Write a report on this event.
(C) Read the following tabular data and prepare a short paragraph regarding 'Overcoming Fatigue': (4)
Overcoming Fatigue
Physical Fatigue
Mental Fatigue
  • Proper rest
  • A hot bath
  • A well-balanced diet
  • Regular exercise
  • Increase endurance
  • Complete relaxation
  • Listening to music
  • Pursuing a hobby
  • Change in work
  • Have a snack
  • Watch or play games
Prepare a paragraph to be used for the counter-view section on the following topic - 'Companies enforce a dress code for employees.'
You can take help of the following points included in the view-section.
"Dress Codes Aren't All Bad"
View- Section
● The company wants to represent its own image for its clients.
● People make judgements about others based on their dress and appearance.
● The dress code can create the sense of collective responsibility.
● It can help to create democratic work atmosphere.
● There remains no sense of discrimination.
Q. 7 Essay: (7)
Write an essay on any ONE of the following in about 250 words:
  1. Mobiles a boon or curse?
  2. My Idea of an Ideal Village or Town.
  3. A visit to a Historical Place.