English Language Post UTME Syllabus

Official English Language Post UTME Syllabus 


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This is complete Post UTME Syllabus in English Language for candidates who are writing post utme exam this year in various universities. So, if you are preparing for post utme exam, it’s important that you follow this syllabus while you are reading. Try as much as possible to cover it with text books and post utme past questions.

(a). Introduction is Essay/ Composition

  1. Description of a composed text

(i) Unity of theme

(ii) Coherence

(iii) Cohesion

  1. Features of Composed text

(i) Focus

(ii) Organization

(iii) Support and elaboration

(iv) Style

(v) Conventions

  1. Writing a text

(i) Purpose of writing

(ii) Choosing a topic

(iii) Developing an outline

(iv) Paragraph development

(v) Identifying characteristics of target audience

  1. Types of Essay/Composition

(a) Narrative Essay

(i)  Form(s)

  • Relating personal or imaginative experience;
  • Giving a historical account of a person, place, event etc.,
  • Narrating a story to support a position

(proverb, philosophical view)

(ii) Features

Narration usually involves;

(i) Setting (place, time),

(ii) Characters (people, actors) (iii) Actions, (iv) Use of flashback, (v) Tense usage usually past tense.

(b) Descriptive Essay

(i) Form(s)

Painting in words of persons, objects, scenes, event etc.

(ii) Features

  • Emphasis more on showing rather than telling:
  • There is always one dominant impression
  • Selection of details to support dominant impression
  • Reliance on concrete sensory details to Support points.

(c) Expository Essay

(i) Form(s)

  • Presentation, explanation or expounding of ideas, theories, beliefs;
  • Presentation of a proposal on an issue, topic;
  • Presentation of an analysis of something, event, issue;
  • Presentation of commentary on an issue;
  • Writing of an editorial
  • Comparing and contrasting two things or event

(ii) Features

  • Support ideas ordered logically and linked clearly;
  • Use of a thesis (focus/controlling idea to establish control of content;
  • Ideas receive adequate support to make them clear;
  • Skilled use of language.

(d) Argumentative Essay

(i) Form(s)

  • Arguments on both sides of an issue (open)
  • Arguments on one side of an issue (closed)

(ii) Features

  • Logical presentation of ideas, viewpoints etc;
  • Providing sufficient information to support or rebut a position,
  • Careful selection of what to present;
  • Anticipating counter arguments;

Grammar I

  1. The Sentence: Definitions using various criteria semantic, structure and orthography, with many examples of sentence.
  2. Structural Classification of Sentence: simple sentence, complex sentence, compound sentence, compound complex sentence, multiple-complex sentence.
  3. Functional Classification of Sentence, namely: Statements, commands, questions and exclamations.
  4. Basic simple sentence and various sentence parts
  • Explication of basic simple sentences
  • Sentence part e.g., subject, verb, direct object, indirect object, and subject complement and object complement.
  1. Elements on the grammatical rank scale: sentence, clause, phrase/group, word and morpheme.
  2. Formation of non-simple sentences, i.e. variants of the basic simple sentence, formed through the process of movement, deletion and insertion. e.g. negative sentence, passive sentence, polar question, wh – question etc.
  3. Formation of Non-simple sentences combination of simple sentences or main clauses to form larger sentences e.g. compound sentence, complex sentence, compound complex sentence, multiple-sentence and multiple-complex sentence.
  4. Structural types of clauses
  • Noun clause
  • Adjectival clause
  • Adverbial clause

Word Formation, Collocation and The English Dictionary

  1. The nature of Language
  2. Vocabulary Development
  3. World formation Processes
  4. Clipping
  5. Blending
  6. Acronym
  7. Borrowing
  8. conversion

Word Types

  • Simple, complex, compounds
  1. Morphemes
  2. Lexical Morphemes
  3. Grammatical Morphemes
  4. Idioms


  1. Fixed
  2. Non-fixed

The Dictionary

  1. Types
  2. Functions
  3. Merits
  4. Demerits

The Study of Meaning in English

  1. What is Meaning
  • Not easily definable; a simple term
  • Ambiguous, vague, polysemous
  1. Types of Meaning
  2. Linguistic Meaning, Phonological, Orthographic, Morphological, Syntactic, Lexical
  3. Contextual Meaning

Verbal, Cultural, Situational, Stylistic:

  • Meaning defined by theme/subject matter
  • Meaning defined by tenor
  • Meaning defined by mode
  1. Concepts of Meaning

References, Sense, Componential Analysis,

Concept, Denotative and Connotative

Meaning, Cognitive, Interpersonal, Textual

Meaning, Ambiguity v. Vagueness,

Nominalism v. Realism.


  1. Common Error
  2. Introduction: Reasons for common errors in students’ writing
  3. Common Spelling Error
  • Wrong association of spelling with pronunciation.
  • Spelling mistakes attributable to poor pronunciation.
  • Words commonly mispelt
  • Unnecessary duplication of letters
  • Writing compound words as separate words
  • British and American spellings
  • Some spelling rules
  1. Errors in choice of Lexical Items
  • Words with similar sounds but different spellings and meanings
  • Words with same spellings but different meanings
  • Confusion in the use of verbs and nouns
  • Errors in the choice and ordering of adjectives
  • Errors in plural formation
  • Errors in the use of prepositions
  1. Common Errors in Grammar
  • Common errors in the use of nouns
  • Common errors in the use of verbs
  • Common errors in the use of adverbs and adjectives
  • Common errors in the use of pronouns
  • Common errors in the use of tense
  • Common of tenses in conditional sentence

The Concept of Nigeria English at the Levels of Phonology Lexis and Syntax.



  1. Essay/composition
  2. Report Writing
  3. The Narrative Report

(i)   Topic, audience, situation

(ii)   Features of narration

(iii) Emphasis on fact

(iv) Accuracy of information: persons, time, place

  1. The Project Report (based on empirical data)

(i)   Choosing a topic,

(ii)   Developing site of data collection;

(iii) Data collection

(iv) Data collection

(v) Data analysis

  1. Speech Writing
  • The topic, audience and situation
  • The contact: direct communication with audience
  1. Letter Writing


  • Formal letter, also called business letter (to business establishments, government, institution etc);
  • Informal letter, also called friendly or personal letter (to parents, relations, friends etc.
  • Features
  • Presentation, in case of a formal letter opening and closure, introduction and body of letter; use of language is formal.
  • Presentation, in case of informal letter introduction, body, conclusion and language not as in case of a formal letter.
  • Topics in narrative, descriptive and expository types of composition form the content bases for letter writing: can be narrative, descriptive or expository depending upon topic and purpose of writing.
  1. Comprehension and Summary
  2. Reading
  3. Efficient reading,
  4. Academic reading,
  5. Learner centred reading difficulties,
  6. Text-centred reading difficulties.
  7. Mental Processes during Reading
  8. Flexibility in reading,
  9. Determining reading speed,
  10. SO3R strategy
  11. Comprehension
  12. Identifying the main ideas,
  13. Topic Sentence,
  14. Identifying supportive details.
  15. Techniques Authors use to Develop Main Ideas
  16. Definition, b. Repetition, c. Examples and Illustrations, d. Justification.
  17. Summarization Skills
  18. Definition, b. Application
  19. Formation of Answers to Examination Question

Grammar II

  1. Revision of First Semester course (EGL 001).
  2. The English Verbal Group
  3. Tense, aspect and modality
  4. Concord in the English language
  5. The English nominal group
  6. The Adverbial Group
  7. Sentence Connection in English
  8. Revision

The Sound Pattern of English

  1. The Vocal Organs
  2. The Segmental Sounds: Consonants, Vowels
  3. The English Syllable
  4. Word and Sentence Stress
  5. Intonation in English

Punctuation In English

Use of capital letters, the full stop, the comma, the semi-colon, the colon, the inverted comma, the question mark, the dash and the hyphen.

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