2024 WAEC Syllabus for English Language – PDF

Here is this year 2024/2025 WAEC syllabus for English Language questions and answers, English Language WAEC Syllabus, Free live WAEC English Language Syllabus 2024. Please note that this syllabus is for both internal and external candidates

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2024 WAEC Syllabus for English Language – PDF

WAEC Syllabus for English Language 2024

English Language Preamble: This examination aims to assess candidates' fundamental skills in communicating in English through both speech and writing. It evaluates their ability to understand and produce English in various forms, including reading, comprehension, summary, vocabulary, lexis and structure, listening comprehension, and recognition of different aspects of spoken English.

Aims and Objectives

The syllabus aims to gauge the extent to which the teaching syllabuses' aims have been achieved in candidates' secondary school education. It seeks to examine candidates' abilities to:

  • Use correct English
  • Write appropriately for specific audiences and situations
  • Organize material logically in coherent paragraphs
  • Control sentence structures accurately
  • Demonstrate variety in sentence patterns
  • Adhere to grammar rules
  • Spell and punctuate correctly
  • Comprehend written and spoken English
  • Recognize implied meanings, tones, and attitudes
  • Pronounce English words acceptably
  • Identify the physical characteristics of English sounds and corresponding letters
  • Summarize relevant information from provided passages

Scheme Of Examination:

There will be three papers – Papers 1, 2, and 3, all of which must be taken. Papers 1 and 2 constitute a composite paper to be completed in one sitting.

  • PAPER 1: Consists of eighty multiple-choice questions to be answered within 1 hour for 40 marks.
  • PAPER 2: Comprises five essay topics and passages to assess comprehension and summary skills. Candidates must write an essay on one topic and respond to all questions on the comprehension and summary passages within 2 hours, carrying 100 marks.
  • PAPER 3: Contains sixty multiple-choice items on Test of Orals for candidates in Nigeria and Liberia, and Listening Comprehension Test for candidates in the Gambia and Sierra Leone. All questions must be answered in 45 minutes for 30 marks.

Detailed English Language Syllabus

PAPER 1: (For candidates in The Gambia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Liberia only)

  • LEXIS: Focuses on general vocabulary across various fields of human activity, idiomatic expressions, structural elements of English, and figurative usage.
  • STRUCTURE: Covers patterns of word-form changes, sentence construction, and the use of structural words like conjunctions and prepositions.

PAPER 1: (For candidates in Ghana only)

  • LEXIS: Similar to the above, with additional emphasis on vocabulary related to specific fields of human activity.
  • STRUCTURE: Covers the same aspects as in the previous paper.

In both papers, questions will be designed to test candidates' understanding and application of vocabulary and structural elements rather than mere dictionary definitions. The assessment will focus on the ability to comprehend and use lexical items effectively in context, along with recognizing figurative language usage.


Structure encompasses various aspects of language organization, including:

(i) Word-form Changes: This involves understanding how words change to indicate number, tense, degree, etc.

(ii) Sentence Construction: Candidates should grasp the patterns by which different categories of words combine to form groups and sentences. This includes understanding sentence structures and formations.

(iii) Use of Structural Words: This section focuses on the correct usage of structural elements such as conjunctions, determiners, prepositions, etc.


Literature questions will cover three main genres: Drama, Prose, and Poetry. Candidates will need to study one prescribed text each for Prose and Drama. The objective questions will include:

  • 10 questions on Drama
  • 10 questions on Prose
  • 10 questions on Poetry

PAPER 2: (For all candidates)

This paper consists of three sections: A, B, and C.


Candidates choose one question from five options and write an essay. The topics will require various forms of writing such as letters, speeches, narrations, descriptions, arguments, reports, articles, expositions, and creative writing. Marks are awarded based on content, organization, expression, and mechanical accuracy, with a minimum length of 450 words.


Candidates answer questions based on a passage provided. The questions assess understanding, inference, grammatical structures, literary terms, and expression. The passage, written in modern English, is chosen from diverse sources.

SECTION C: SUMMARY (30 marks):

Candidates summarize a prose passage of about 500 words, demonstrating their ability to extract relevant information, summarize points concisely, and present aspects of the passage effectively.

PAPER 3: ORAL ENGLISH (30 marks):

This paper tests candidates' knowledge of Oral English. For candidates in Ghana, The Gambia, and Sierra Leone, it includes a listening comprehension test covering various aspects of English pronunciation and understanding. Candidates in Nigeria and Liberia take a test of oral, which assesses their speaking skills.

Listening Comprehension Test (For candidates in Ghana, The Gambia, and Sierra Leone):

This test comprises sixty multiple-choice objective questions covering various aspects of English pronunciation and understanding, including consonants, vowels, stress patterns, intonation, dialogues, and narratives.

  • Section 1: Tests word-final voiced-voiceless consonants in isolated words, with other features like consonant clusters possibly included.
  • Section 2: Focuses on vowel quality in isolated words.
  • Section 3: Tests vowel quality and consonant contrasts in isolated words.
  • Section 4: This section varies in different years, testing vowel and consonant contrasts in sentence contexts, isolated words, or through rhymes.
  • Section 5: Evaluates understanding of rhymes.
  • Section 6: Assesses comprehension of emphatic stress.
  • Section 7: Tests comprehension of the content of longer dialogues and narratives.

NOTE: CD players are used for administering this Listening Comprehension Test.

This comprehensive examination format aims to assess candidates' proficiency in English language skills, including writing, reading comprehension, summary writing, and oral English, ensuring a thorough evaluation of their abilities in communication.

Features to be tested:


    • Single Consonants: Candidates should recognize and produce significant sound contrasts in English consonants, including initial, medial, and final positions. Examples:
      • they - day, ship - chip, fan - van
    • Consonant Clusters: Candidates should produce and recognize consonant clusters occurring initially and finally in syllables. Examples:
      • play - pray, sting - string, scheme - scream
  2. VOWELS:

    • Pure Vowels, Diphthongs, and Triphthongs: Candidates should recognize and produce significant sound contrasts in English vowels. Examples:
      • seat - sit, pet - pat - part - pate, hat - heart - height - hate - hut
  3. STRESS:

    • Word Stress: Candidates should contrast stressed and unstressed syllables in words and recognize changes in stress in different word derivations. Examples:
      • 'increase (noun) vs. in'crease (verb), 'import' vs. im'port'
    • Sentence Stress: Candidates should understand sentence stress patterns in English and the regular intervals at which stress occurs. They should know which parts of speech are typically stressed in sentences. Examples:
      • He 'went to the town and 'bought some 'oranges.
      • I 'told him to 'go to the 'station to 'ask when the train would 'leave.

These features are essential for testing candidates' pronunciation, recognition, and understanding of English sounds and stress patterns.

Features to be tested:

  1. Emphatic Stress:

    • Candidates should understand the use of emphatic stress, particularly to indicate contrast. Emphatic stress often involves a change in pitch within the intonational pattern. Examples:
      • He 'borrowed 'my newspaper. (i.e., not hers)
      • 'He borrowed my newspaper. (i.e., he did not steal it)
      • He borrowed my 'newspaper. (i.e., not my book)
      • 'He borrowed my newspaper. (i.e., not someone else's)
  2. Intonation:

    • Candidates should be aware of the different intonation patterns in English and how they relate to grammar and speaker attitudes. There are falling and rising intonation patterns, each with various functions. Examples:
      • Falling Pattern:
        • They ar'ri'ved to'day. (Statement)
        • 'Where did he 'go? (WH question)
        • 'Come 'here! (Command)
      • Rising Pattern:
        • Did he 'see the 'principal? (Yes/No question)
        • When the 'train arrived. (Incomplete)
        • They arrived to'day? (Question)
  3. Test of Orals (For candidates in Nigeria and Liberia):

    • The test will be multiple-choice and cover various aspects of oral English, including:
      • Vowels: Pure vowels and diphthongs
      • Consonants and clusters
      • Rhymes
      • Word stress/Syllable Structure
      • Emphatic Stress/Intonation Patterns
      • Phonetic Symbols

These features are crucial for testing candidates' ability to understand and produce English speech accurately, including pronunciation, stress, and intonation.

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