In its latest two-year syllabus for classes IX and X, 2014 (w.e.f. 2012-13 for class IX and 2013-14 for class X) the CBSE has included a new section on Long Reading Text.
In this section for Class X, the following works have been recommended by CBSE:
1. The Diary of a Young Girl—Anne Frank
2. The Story of My Life—Helen Keller
The school has a choice of using any one.
Both these works with unabridged text are now available in strict alignment with the guidelines given by the CBSE.
Helen Adams Keller (1880 - 1968) was an American author, activist and lecturer. She was the first deaf and blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree.
Helen was not blind and deaf from birth. An illness at the age of nineteen months deprived her of the senses of sight and hearing. Though Helen devised several signs to convey her needs, the need to communicate grew stronger. Her sense of isolation and frustration led to frequent outbursts of ill-temper and bad behaviour.
When Helen was almost seven, the Kellers were advised to appoint a teacher for the blind for their child. This teacher was Anne Sullivan. At this time the little girl had no concept of language. For Helen to use language, she had to first understand what it meant. When the breakthrough occurred, Helen was overjoyed. She finally had the means to express her feelings, ideas and thoughts. Helen's impatience to learn was matched by Anne's dedication to her student.
Over the next seventeen years Helen sought to educate herself and attain a B.A. degree. At the same time she learned the various methods of communication accessible to the blind and the deaf including speech and lip reading. In all her efforts she was untiringly assisted by Anne Sullivan.
Helen's autobiography, The Story of My Life, was published when she was 22 years of age. She published several more books and articles. She became an ardent advocate for people with disabilities, campaigned for women suffrage, labour rights and socialism. She travelled extensively and gave lectures wherever she went. Her courage and conviction won her respect, admiration and friends everywhere.
Keller devoted much of her life to raising funds for the American Foundation for the Blind. In 1964, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, one of the United States' two highest civilian honours. In 1965 she was elected to the National Women's Hall of Fame.
- JAM (in-text questions—unsolved) for better comprehension
- word meanings of unfamiliar and difficult words
- questions based on inference and interpretation