Question 3 the apology would be inappropriate if you

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Question 3 The apology would be inappropriate if you had merely arrived two minutes late for an appointment with a good friend. How would you apologise in that instance? Give your actual words. Answer: Sorry I’m late (anything appropriate). It is also quite possible that the answer to the first question could be mocking or sarcastic. No context is given and the learner could conceivably argue that no-one apologises in such a servile way. The learner would then be justified in responding to 259
the second question by saying that the situation was one in which the other person was exaggerating the seriousness of something trivial and the speaker wanted to indicate this by giving a sarcastic reply. The teacher would have to give credit for acceptable answers. The advantages of open-ended questions are that learners cannot guess the correct answers and that their productive skills are tested (what they are able to do with the language). Journal entry 11f Devise similar exercises containing open-ended questions and write them in your journal. 11.8.1.2 Related items Learners are given two columns and have to link the items in column A with those in column B. Column B usually has more entries than column A (about 50% more) to ensure that learners do not guess the answers. This method can be used to test vocabulary (column A contains the word and column B the description) or can be used to test their knowledge of a particular register and style. Table 11.10 An example of related items Column A: Expression Column B: When to use 1 I am sorry, but I do not ... 2 You may with pleasure ... 3 Well done ... 4 I am appalled ... 5 If it is not too much trouble ... 6 I would appreciate it if ... A To express disappointment B To ask a favour C To ask permission D To thank someone E To give advice F To disagree with someone G To congratulate H To scold I To give permission This exercise may be changed by giving possible answers (in column B) to the utterances in column A. 260
11.8.1.3 The cloze technique At first glance, cloze-technique exercises seem to only require learners to fill the gaps. Kilfoil and Van der Walt (1997:301), however, define a cloze-technique exercise as follows: ... a test format to measure proficiency. In other words, it is a way of setting a test that assesses underlying language ability rather than individual structures. The term derives from the concept closure in psychology and relates to the human tendency to fill or close a gap to complete an unfinished pattern meaningfully. Experience of language leads a person to develop certain expectations about what comes next in a text. The redundancy of language in any context gives clues to meaning. Although a cloze test does not test language usage in natural situations, it indirectly tests the learners’ underlying skills. This type of test can be used to assess listening, reading comprehension and language use.

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