These are language mannerisms and etiquette skills. Functional skills are practical and applicable skills on how one should behave in a creative, polite, and effective manner when using the English Language.

These are language mannerisms and etiquette skills. Functional skills are practical and applicable skills on how one should behave in a creative, polite, and effective manner when using the English Language.

These are skills in spellings, pronunciation, speaking, etiquette, listening, and dramatization.

Examined in Paper 101/1.


Polite Language.

The verbal utterances and physical actions demonstrated during socialization help a society positively initiate its members in using the correct language and maintain meaningful diction during communication. Well, socialized societies value the cardinal pointers of etiquette characterized by the following:

*If you are asking for permission or enquiring about something (Excuse me)

*Showing appreciation (Thank you)

*To show sympathy or when apologizing (I am sorry)

*Whenever we make a request or contribution (May I )

*Make a request or inquiry (Please)

*Referring to people (Sir/Madam, Mr./Mrs.)

*Requesting for the repeat of an utterance (Pardon me)


The examiner will ask the following common questions in this section:

Pick instances of etiquette in the above conversation

-Identify cases that do not reflect acceptable manners of communication


Job Interviews.

Interviews precede hiring decisions. An interview, therefore, is a formal conversation between an applicant and the potential employer.


Preparing for a job interview.

One should:

*Groom himself/herself decently.

*Dress officially, neatly and smartly.

*Arrange his/her documents and testimonials in order.

*Arrive on time.

*Have a listing of all the required documents

*Research adequately on the organization that has invited him/her for the interview.


Consider the following during an interview.

*Arrive early enough or in good time.

*Present the required documents and testimonials.

*Calm down as you wait for your turn.

*Sit upright and maintain meaningful eye contact.

*Be honest, frank, and confident when answering questions.

*Show your appreciation by thanking the panel after the interview.



A debate is a discussion on a topic or issue that involves two sides, one supporting the topic and the other opposing it.


Features of a good debate/topic.

A good topic should be:

*Easy to understand.

*Have global objectives and goals.

*Diverse, therefore, allow diverse opinions.


Preparing for the debate.

In preparing for the debate, one should:

*Research adequately on the advantages and disadvantages of the topic.

*Jot down the points on a piece of paper.

*Use the points to prepare their speech.

*Rehearse his/her points for confidence.

*Dress decently and neatly.


How to present oneself during the debate.

During the debate, one should:

*Greet the moderator and the audience.

*State his/her side of the argument.

*Maintain meaningful eye contact with the audience.

*Be audible enough.

*Employ the use of verbal and non-verbal cues in communication.

*Be courteous and use gender-balanced diction.


Characteristics of a good debater.

He or she should:

*Be Confident *Be Calm *Be Audible *Use debate jargon *Use polite and courteous language *Use verbal and non-verbal cues during the debate *Stick to the debate topic.


Group Discussions.

A group of people with the same ideas and objectives gather to find a solution to a problem. The chairperson is appointed to guide the discussion.


Participation during group discussions:

For a discussion to be successful, the chairperson should:

*Start by letting the members introduce themselves.

*Spell out the objectives and rules of the discussion.

*Promote the use of courteous language.

* Introduce the topic of discussion for everyone to comprehend.

*Give equal opportunities to members for contributions.

*Encourage members to observe turn-taking.

*Stick to the topic of discussion and move it forward.

*Conclude the discussion by summarizing the key points.

Negotiation Skills.

Negotiation is the process of settling disputes and differences between the parties involved.


Negotiating Effectively.

To negotiate effectively, one should:

*Start with introductions and greetings.

*Let both parties state their points of negotiation.

*Be patient and respect points of negotiation.

*Prepare for any outcome.

*Use wits and tactics for perfect bargaining power.


Importance of Negotiations.

Negotiations help in:

*Peaceful settling of disputes and misunderstandings.

*Enhancing fairness and mutual benefit.

*Building and enhancing relationships.

*Delivering of quality and fair solutions.

*Minimizing future conflicts between parties involved.


Oral Reports.

Oral reports refer to information delivered to listeners verbally on an occurrence e.g an oral report from a trip or activity. When giving oral reports one should:

*Give a short but accurate account of the happenings.

* Describe the characters involved.

*Give the actual date and time of the event/activity.

*State the location of the occurrence.

*State the objectives of the trip.

*Thank the sponsors and organizers.


The person giving the oral report should:

*Be audible *Project his/her voice *Use desirable intonation.

*Pause appropriately *Stress words correctly *Use the correct dialect.


Respecting Personal Space.

Personal space is the invisible border that surrounds us and our comfort level during an interaction, therefore, guarding one’s privacy.


Common Personal Space Intrusion.

*Hearing someone’s conversation while waiting in a line/ queue.

*Bridging physical proximity by being too close to someone.

*Reading someone’s confidential texts or emails.

*Loud music, people and machinery.

*Sneezing near people.

*A person talking too close in your face or shoulder.

*Someone talking while holding your hand or shoulder.


Why Do People Intrude One’s Personal Space?

*One could do it unconsciously and not personally.

*One could be having a bad day.

*Lack of etiquette or good manners.

*Curiosity and ignorance.



Places Difficult To Keep Personal Space.

*Trains *Elevators *Supermarkets *Schools


When Do We Need To Observe Personal Space?

*Queuing for services in banks, elevators, etc.

*Sharing public facilities like transport, lifts, urinals.

*Interaction with leaders and strangers.

*Waiting for your turn to be served in an office.

*Socializing with persons whose culture dictates so.


Importance of Respecting Personal Space.

*Makes one comfortable around people.

*Reduces suspicion e.g.pick-pocketing.

*Acts as a mark of respect for people and their cultures.

*Maintains order, therefore, enhancing efficiency.

*Bars misinterpretation of signals.


Bowing and Curtsying.

Bowing involves bending of the upper part of your body. Boys and men bow.

Curtsying refers to the gentle bending of your knee with one-foot in-front of the other. Girls and women curtsy.


When Do We Bow Or Curtsy?

*Introductions before respectable members of the society, men bow while shaking hands while girls and women curtsy before shaking hands.

*After a performance on the stage to thank the audience.

*After introducing oneself to an audience before the performance.

*Before entering institutions like the courtroom and parliament, it is mandatory for men to bow as women curtsy.

*Before entering certain places of worship or sacred places.

*During prayers, it is customary to bow one’s head.

*As a way of greetings in some cultures e.g Japanese which do not encourage shaking of hands.

*Before some games, for example, Karate or Judo.




Paul Nyamitta and Francis Odipo, 2020, K.C.S.E. English Paper One Demystified, Vintage Publications, Kisumu.


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