CSET 1: English Test Questions

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CSET 1: English Test Questions
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  1. Which of the following phonological awareness skills is considered easiest for young students to acquire?

    A. blending sounds together to form a spoken word (e.g., b+u+g=bug)
    B. identifying the initial sound in a word (e.g., k in kitty)
    C
    . recognizing that 2 words contain the same phoneme (e.g., cheese and lunch)
    D. identifying a word that does not belong in a  grp of spoken words (e.g., cake, cane, man)
    B. identifying the initial sound in a word (e.g., k in kitty)

    • The most basic skill in phonological awareness begins w/ children identifying simple phonemes, the easiest being initial hard consonants, such as b in boy. The other 3 choices (a, c, d) are more advanced skills.
  2. The study of how sounds, words, phrases, and sentences combine to convey meaning and context is?

    A. syntax
    B. morphology
    C. semantics
    D. phonology
    C. semantics

    • Semantics is the study of how sounds, words, phrases, and sentences combine to convey meaning and context. Syntax (a) is sentence structure. Morphology (b) is the study of word structure, of how sounds and syllables combine to produce meaning. Phonology (d) is the study of the way sounds functioning in a particular language.
  3. Which of the following represents the morphology of the word astronomy?

    A. as-tron-o-my
    B. astronomy comes from the Greek language
    C. astron=star(s)+nomos=law; therefore, astronomy=the law of stars
    D. science involving the observation and explanation of events occurring outside Earth and its atmosphere
    C. astron=star(s)+nomos=law; therefore, astronomy=the law of stars

    Morphology is the study of word structure (how word parts combine to form words) as in (c). Choice (a) refers to syllabification - how the word astronomy is divided into syllables. Choice (b) concerns the word's derivation: astronomy comes from the Greek language. Choice (d) cites the definition of astronomy.
  4. Which of the following statements is not a good pedagogical reason for a teacher to dictate grill and girl to her third-grade students?

    A. students will need to listen for subtle differences in sound
    B. dictation will encourage phonological awareness
    C. students will begin to understand the influence of vowel-like consonants - in this case - on a vowel  - in this case i
    D. students will better understand prescriptive grammar
    D. students will better understand prescriptive grammar

    Choices (a,b,c) are all appropriate pedagogical reasons to dictate close-sounding words. Choice (d) is incorrect because this particular dictation would reflect issues of structure linguistics, not prescriptive (or traditional) grammar.
  5. Some common vowel patterns are associated w/ more than one pronunciation (e.g., the -oo in wood and moon). Which of the following nonsense words illustrates a vowel pattern that is highly consistent in its pronunciation?

    A. strow
    B. klead
    C. wough
    D. nain
    D. nain

    The ai vowel pattern is associated w/ the "long a" sound in words such as rain, maid, and praise. Studies of sound-symbol correspondences in English have found very few exceptions to this rule (one being said). Choices (a,b,c) are associated w/ multiple pronunciations: the ow in strow is found in cow and slow; the ea in klead is found in bread and team; the ou in wough is found in ought, rough, doubt, and although.
  6. The languages of the world are similar to each other in all of the following ways except ?

    A. the rules of morphology (e.g. adding s to a singular noun to make it plural)
    B. the basic principle of phrase structure (e.g. subject-predicate order in a sentence)
    C. fact that the phonemes and morphemes of a language are arbitrary
    D. logical syntax
    A. the rules of morphology (e.g. adding s to a singular noun to make it plural)

    The rules of morphology change from language to language; for example, adding s to a singular noun to make it plural applies (as a general rule) to English, Spanish, and French, but not to German, Wolof, or Japanese. The remaining 3 choices (b,c,d) reflect truths for all languages.
  7. In which of the following sentences is the italicized word used correctly?

    A. Do you often complement your students?
    B. These shoes will certainly complement your new dress
    C. Fortunately, the newborn had the entire compliment of fingers and toes
    D. Stan is shy and Maria is outgoing; they compliment each other nicely.
    B. These shoes will certainly complement your new dress

    The homonyms complement and compliment are often confused. Choice (a) should read Do you often compliment your students? Choice B uses complement correctly, with its meaning "to make something complete or perfect." Choice (c) should read Fortunately, the newborn had the entire complement of fingers and toes, the word complement meaning "an entirely of something." Choice (d) should read Stan is shy and Maria is outgoing; they complement each other nicely.
  8. What kind of verbal is the word cooking in the sentence "I think cooking should be taught in elementary school"?

    A. gerund
    B. infinitive
    C. adverbial
    D. participle
    A. gerund

    A gerund is the -ing form of a verb when it comes as a noun, as it is in this question. An infinitive (b) is the "to" form a verb that can be used as a noun, as in Sheila loves to cook. As for (c), cooking cannot be an adverbial. A participle (d) can be part of a verb, as in Tina was cooking a meal or an adjective, as in He Forgot his cooking apron.
  9. Which of the following word identification strategies is typically easiest for young children to practice while reading?

    A. sounding out, by applying phonics knowledge
    B. using context clues of surrounding words
    C. recognizing sight words
    D. analyzing word structure
    A. sounding out, by applying phonics knowledge

    • "Sounding out" typically comes before understanding context (b), recognizing sight words (c) or the most complex skill, analyzing word structure (d). A young reader experiments w/ the phonics rules of his language (e.g., "bath" may at first be read as "buh-ahh-tuh-huh" -b as in boy; and at looks like at as in cat, until the reader recognizes - or is shown- that t+h goes together in our phonics system, as in blend that is similar to th in the or even closer to th in tooth).
  10. Which of the following sentences contains a relative clause?

    A. Chloe is a capable swimmer, but she couldn't beat her beset friend Sally in the relay
    B. The book that fell open was leather bound
    C. When I move from Sacramento, will you write me?
    D. After studying all night, Tim overslept and he missed his exam.
    B. The book that fell open was leather bound

    A clause is a group of words consisting of a subject and a predicate, the 2 main types being independent and dependent. An independent clause can stand alone as a viable simple sentence. A dependent clause cannot stand alone as a sentence - it "depends" on an independent clause. In the correct choice (b), "the book that fell open was leather bound," that fell open is a relative clause serving as a modifying clause or an adjective clause to book. The remaining choices contain no relative clauses. Choice (a) is a compound sentence; (c) is a complex interrogatory; and (d) is a compound complex sentence.
  11. The field of pragmatics considers the social, physical, and cultural contexts of languages. Which of the following is not an example of a pragmatic element of a culture?

    A. Italian speakers use expressive hand movements when talking
    B. Japanese speakers employ neutral or respect forms of their language when addressing strangers and elders
    C. Senegalese griots (oral historians) sign about a lineage of ancestors and their deeds
    D. English speakers can pronounce "read" as either [reed] or [red] 
    D. English speakers can pronounce "read" as either [reed] or [red] 

    Pragmatics is a systematic way of explaining language use in context. It seeks to explain aspects of meaning that cannot be found in the plain sense of words or structures, as explained by semantics. Choices (a,b,c) present social, physical, or cultural contexts for communication: Italian speakers use expressive hand movements when talking; Japanese speakers employ neutral or respect forms of their language when addressing strangers and elders; and Senegalese griots (oral historians) sing about a lineage of ancestors and their deeds. Choice (d) describes merely a pronunciation issue that is note related a cultural difference or language in a special context.
  12. Which of the following is the best example of Noam Chomsky's theory of Universal Grammar, as reflected in a child's linguistic error?

    A. Tommy ain't sharing
    B. Me want the puzzle
    C. My kitty is not never coming back
    D. I see three mans
    D. I see three mans

    Universal Grammar is a theory of linguistics proposing the existence of underlying principles of grammar shared by all languages. These underlying principles are said to be innate to all human beings. This theory does not attempt to claim that all human languages have the same grammar; rather, it proposes that there exists an underlying set of rules that helps children to acquire their particular language. In this question, the best example of a child's error using Universal Grammar is (d). The young speaker says mans instead of men because he or she has already (innately) absorbed and understood that, in English, plurals are usually formed by adding "-s" (r the "s" sound, as in "buses"). The speaker has not yet learned that the plural of man is men - an exception to the rule. The remaining 3 choices are grammatical mistakes, but they are not based on a universal rule. In (a), the speaker uses the colloquial or slang word "ain't." In (b), the speaker uses the objective pronoun me in lieu of the correct nominative pronoun l. In (c), the speaker uses a double negative.
  13. Prewriting strategies include all but which of the following?

    A. outlining
    B. webbing
    C. editing
    D. note-taking
    C. editing

    Editing is not a prewriting strategy - it follows drafting or writing and includes proofreading and revising. Prewriting is the initial creative stage of writing and may include techniques such as outlining (a), webbing (b), note-taking (d).
  14. 1_Our belief in the inherent worth and dignity of every person, the democratic process, a world community in peace, and respect for the interconnected web of life on this earth inspire us all to social action.
    2_As youth, we must be on the forefront of all movements for peace and justice.
    3_We are not just the future; we are the present!
    4_These are our lives, right now, that are affected by every policy and practice in this world.
    5_Therefore, we need to use our energy and power to change systems of oppression and injustice.

    Which of the following is the topic sentence of the above paragraph?


    A. Sentence 1
    B. Sentence 2
    C. Sentence 3
    D. Sentence 4
    B. Sentence 2

    In this passage, the second sentence, As youth, we must be on the forefront of all movements for peace and justice, is the topic sentence because it expresses the main thought from which all the other sentences in the paragraph emanate. The other 3 choices (a,c,d) are sentences that elaborate on the topic sentence.
  15. Which of the following presentation components would be most important to a poetry recitation?

    A. organization and volume
    B. pace and organization
    C. gesture and volume
    D. pace and enunciation
    D. pace and enunciation

    • Organization in (a, b) is not a presentation component, and in any case, would not be an issue in a poetry recitation. Gesture and volume (c), while necessary to consider, would not be the most important elements of a poetry recitation. Since poetry often engages wordplay, rhythm, meter, and/or rhyme for impact, pace and enunciation (d) are esp. crucial for a dramatic, clear, and effective poetry reading.
  16. 1_Schoolwork may be associated with non-school environments.
    2_What about the kitchen?
    3_The den?
    4_In fact, any room in which a student habitually studies becomes a learning space or a place associated with thinking.
    5_Some students need to engage in sports or other physical activity before they can work successfully; being sedentary seems to inspire others.
    6_Some need a less flexible schedule than others, while it is understood that a very few can sit and not rise until their task is completed.
    7_Some students work quickly and efficiently, while others cannot produce anything w/out much dust and heat.
    8_If asked what space is reserved for learning, many students would suggest the classroom, the lab, or the library.

    Which of the following changes listed below could best improve the logical organization of the above passage?


    A. Move Sentence 2 so that it follows Sentence 4
    B. Move Sentence 5 so that it follows Sentence 1
    C. Move Sentence 7 so that it follows Sentence 8
    D. Move Sentence 8 so that it follows Sentence 1
    D. Move Sentence 8 so that it follows Sentence 1

    The final sentence (d) needs to be moved to right before "what about the kitchen? The den?" because those questions are countering the statement that many students would suggest the classroom, the lab, or the library are the only spaces for learning. The other 3 choices would not make sense if they were moved according to the suggestions in (a,b,c).
  17. 1_Schoolwork may be associated with non-school environments.
    2_What about the kitchen?
    3_The den?
    4_In fact, any room in which a student habitually studies becomes a learning space or a place associated with thinking.
    5_Some students need to engage in sports or other physical activity before they can work successfully; being sedentary seems to inspire others.
    6_Some need a less flexible schedule than others, while it is understood that a very few can sit and not rise until their task is completed.
    7_Some students work quickly and efficiently, while others cannot produce anything w/out much dust and heat.
    8_If asked what space is reserved for learning, many students would suggest the classroom, the lab, or the library.

    Which of the following changes listed below could best improve the logical organization of the above passage?


    A. Some need a less flexible schedule than others, while a very few can sit and not rise until their task is completed.

    B. Some need a less flexible schedule than others, nevertheless, a very few can sit and not rise until their task is completed.
    y

    C. Some students have need a less flexible schedule than others, while a very few have need of sitting and not rising until their task is completed.

    D. Some need a less flexible schedule than others need, and a very few can sit and not rise until their task is completed.

    A. Some need a less flexible schedule than others, while a very few can sit and not rise until their task is completed.

    • The sentence as it stands in the passage, Some need a more flexible schedule than others, while it is understood that a very few can sit and not rise until their task is completed contains the awkward and wordy clause while it is understood that. Replacing that with the simple and elegant while (a) works well w/ the directness and rhythm of the passage. In (b) nevertheless doesn't make sense as a transition. Like the original, both (c, d) are awkward and wordy, adding unnecessary verbiage to the sentence.
  18. According to Krashen's Natural Language Approach, learning a 2nd language should include which of the following?

    A. a traditional, formal approach to the language
    B. attention to grammatical mistakes made by the student
    C. knowing all the grammar and syntax rules
    D. care not to overcorrect the student
    D. care not to overcorrect the student

    • According to Krashen, teaching to many formal rules before students have acquired enough of the language leads to hesitancy, insecurity, and resistance. the time to correct student mistakes is on a written assignment or in a formal speaking situation, and only after the student has acquired basic fluency in the language. Choice (d), not overcorrecting, supports Krashen's theory. The other choices include techniques contrary to the theory and are therefore incorrect.
  19. Which of the following is not correctly punctuated?

    A. Fight road grime by washing your car frequently, however, don't scrub off the protective wax
    B. Fight road grime by washing your car frequently, but don't scrub off the protective wax
    C. Fight road grime by washing your car frequently. However, don't scrub off the protective wax
    D.Fight road grime by washing your car frequently; however, don't scrub off the protective wax.
    A. Fight road grime by washing your car frequently, however, don't scrub off the protective wax

    • Choice (a) is called a run-on (or sometimes a comma splice) because it contains 2 independent clauses connected by only a comma (a run-on may also have no punctuation at all between the 2 or more independents). Choice (b) is punctuated correctly because the independent clauses are held together by a comma and the coordinating conjunction but. Choice (c) correctly offers the 2 independent clauses as separate sentences using periods. Choice (d) injects a semi-colon and the transition word however (a conjunctive adverb) w/ its attending comma. Remember when using semicolons that the 2 independent clauses must share a related or common idea.
  20. A teacher has many an varied objectives in the teaching of literacy to his students. Considering this, which of the following is least likely to be an objective?

    A. decoding of written words by reading
    B. developing appropriate assessment tools
    C. generating words using proper grammar and spelling
    D. learning to seek out and retrieve information
    B. developing appropriate assessment tools

    • All 3 of the statements in (a,c,d) correctly concern objectives the teacher of literacy has for his/her students. In the broadest sense, literacy encompasses listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. Moreover (b) is the only statement that concerns developing assessment tools by the teachers,for the teacher (a very crucial aspect of effective teaching).
  21. 1_The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is home to caribou, moose, musk oxen, wolves, foxes, grizzlies, polar bears, and migratory birds
    2_Leaders in the oil industry believe the refuge is the perfect site for the "environmentally sensitive exploration" of oil, in other words, drilling
    3_Environmentalists are wondering, "What will become of the wildlife?"
    4_I believe the cost to our environment of such destructive drilling is too high

    Which of the following sentences most strongly suggests that the above speech excerpt is persuasive in its intent?


    A. Sentence 1
    B. Sentence 2
    C. Sentence 3
    D. Sentence 4
    D. Sentence 4

    Most of the excerpt adopts an expository, neutral tone that might be found in a purely informational speech. However, Sentence 4(d),I believe the cost to our environment of such destructive drilling is too high, reveals that the author has a strong opinion and is trying to persuade the listener to adopt that opinion. The clause I believe signals an opinion. The meaning of the sentence plus the choice of the word destructive are also indicators of persuasive writing. The other choices (a,b,c) to do not reflect a persuasive tone.
  22. 1_The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is home to caribou, moose, musk oxen, wolves, foxes, grizzlies, polar bears, and migratory birds
    2_Leaders in the oil industry believe the refuge is the perfect site for the "environmentally sensitive exploration" of oil, in other words, drilling
    3_Environmentalists are wondering, "What will become of the wildlife?"
    4_I believe the cost to our environment of such destructive drilling is too high

    Which of the following research questions provides the most appropriate starting pointing for an objective investigation into the issues raised in this excerpt?


    A. Are there other endangered refuges in the US
    B. How do the opponents of oil exploration plan to organize protest
    C. How do the proponents of drilling propose to be environmentally sensitive in their exploration for oil?
    D. Why are environmental issues the business of oil lobbies?
    C. How do the proponents of drilling propose to be environmentally sensitive in their exploration for oil?

    In the passage, the author says the costs to our environment of such destructive drilling is too high. Presumably, the author will detail his/her objections to the exploration for oil and the environmental damage it may cause. A researcher who wants to conduct an objective investigation of this issues should also seek out and evaluate the arguments raised by those holding the opposite view - in this case, the oil industry. Choice (c) asks how the oil industry plans to explore for oil while remaining sensitive to the refuge's ecosystem, making it the correct choice. Choices (a,b,d) are interesting research questions, but they are outside the scope of the topic set down in the passage.
  23. What subject matter is most likely to be found in a parable?

    A. origins of the earth n human beings
    B. moral tale involving animals as characters
    C. history of culture
    D. importance of love
    B. moral tale involving animals as characters

    • Parables, fables, and allegories are all storytelling venues that present a moral tale, very often one involving animals as characters (b). The origins of the earth and human beings (a) are usually explored in the mythology of an ancient culture. The history of a culture (c) does not imply a moral lesson, as w/ a parable, fable, or allegory. The importance of love(d) may be one lesson learned from a particular parable, but is not the subject matter most likely to be found in a parable.
  24. Chicago
    Hog butcher for the World,
    Tool maker, stacker of wheat,
    Player w/ railroads n the nation's freight handler;
    Stormy, husky, brawling,
    City of the big shoulders.

    In this poem, Sandburg suggests that the source of Chicago's raw energy and optimism is?


    A. its vigorous laboring class
    B. muscular, male pair of shoulders
    C. nations' railroad system that connects it w/ other urban centers
    D. production of ,eat
    A. its vigorous laboring class

    • The excerpt opens Sandburg's poem "Chicago," which is a lively portrait of a flourishing urban center. The poem begins w/ (and maintains) a lot of energy, its initial images being of a butcher, tool maker, harvester, and freight handler - the laboring class (a). "Player w/ Railroads" and "Stormy, husky, brawling," suggests giants full of energy and optimism. Choice (b) is wrong because Sandburg is not being literal w/ the image of "big shoulders"; but, rather, the serve as a metaphor for Railroads (c) and meat production (d) are just two of the several types of hard labor Sandburg cites.
  25. Chicago
    Hog butcher for the World,
    Tool maker, stacker of wheat,
    Player w/ railroads n the nation's freight handler;
    Stormy, husky, brawling,
    City of the big shoulders.

    What literary device is Sandburg using when addressing the city of Chicago as an individual?


    A. allusion
    B. simile
    C. alliteration
    D. personification
    D. personification

    Recall that personification attributes human qualities to non-human animals or objects. Even in this brief excerpt, Sandburg personifies Chicago by calling it Butcher, Maker, Stacker, Player, and Handler and by using human characteristics such as husky, brawling and big shoulders. Choice (a) is incorrect because allusion is an indirect device; and Sandburg's images are very direct. A simile (b) is a figure of speech that expresses a resemblance between things of different kinds using like or as - words not found in the excerpt. Alliteration (c) is the repetition of the same sound and has nothing to do w/ addressing Chicago as an individual.
  26. The Muppets' "Monsterpiece Theater" mimics the PBS show "Masterpiece Theater." This type of work is called a(n)

    A. fantasy
    B. parody
    C. novella
    D. allegory
    B. parody

    The correct choice, parody, is a humorous form that imitates the style and conventions of a serious work. The giveaway, even if you don't know the Muppets, is the title: Monsterpiece Theater. A fantasy (a) is a genre that emphasizes fantastical events and often has archetypes for characters. A novella (c) is a short novel. An allegory (d) is a story based on an extended metaphor. Neither fantasy, allegory, nor novellas employ mimicry as a rule, so therefore are incorrect choices.

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