The Mother Tongue Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Bill Bryson
This set of Lesson Plans consists of approximately 115 pages of tests, essay questions, lessons, and other teaching materials.
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Chomsky think are innate in children?

2. Languages around the world contain common ______________________.

3. According to the author, regional accents ___________.

4. What is onomatopoeia?

5. The author tends to think that English is special because of ___________________________.

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the result of attempting to draw demarcations of accents throughout the U.S.?

2. Why is learning the English language considered a large industry in the world?

3. What is the frustration of attempting to organize information about English in North America?

4. How does the author account for the changing pronunciation of English over time?

5. What does the author say is the reason some English words are created?

6. What seems to be a long-term benefit of a phonetic system as opposed to a pictograph system?

7. What is so interesting about the way human speech has spread around the world?

8. Explain what the author means by the creation of language areas.

9. In what way does the author think varieties of English are influenced by social reasons?

10. Explain the theories that languages are based in sound.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Regions of America become well known for their speech and language quirks. For example, the people in Baltimore, Maryland, are famous for slurring their speech. Name at least three other examples of geographically distinct language stylings.

Essay Topic 2

Who was Venerable Bede? What notable book did he write? What is the impact of his work on the English language?

Essay Topic 3

Explain noted linguist Noam Chomsky's argument that children have inherent "ground rules" that help them learn their language. What other theories exist to explain how children learn to speak?

(see the answer keys)

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