Saturday, May 2, 2009

CAE and the Open Cloze

What is a cloze? For a detailed description of the cloze technique, check out Brigham Young University's English site

In the Cambridge exams, the second part of Paper 3 (Use of English) is the 'open cloze.' It contains written material with gaps. The student must fill them in with his/her own words, and it is quite challenging.

Today, while reviewing adjective clauses, I told students to tell me the difference between the restrictive and non-restrictive form. They rolled their eyes, and I could see them thinking to themselves - oh no! more terminology! However, with illustrations using some examples from the Blue Azar grammar book ('The children, who wanted to play soccer, ran to the park.' and 'The children who wanted to play soccer ran to the park.'), they began to see the difference. The main point was to let them know that "Mr. Cambridge" loves to trick students into choosing the wrong word, in this case, 'that' instead of 'which' or 'who.' That is, if you have a restrictive adjective clause containing essential information identifying the noun, there are no commas around the relative clause and you can use 'which' or 'that' with a thing or 'who' or 'that' with a person. On the other hand, if the adjective clause following the noun is a non-restrictive form, you must use 'who' or 'which', and not 'that.' Isn't the Use of English 'Open Cloze' fun?

Here's an example of a self-created 'cloze' about history. The paragraph comes from an article in 'The Atlantic' (Dec. 2008) by James Fallows entitled, 'Be Nice to the Countries that Lend You Money':

'Gao, _____ I mentioned in my article, would fit no American's preexisting idea _____ a Communist Chinese official. He speaks accented ______ fully colloquial _____ very high-speed English. He has _____ law degree ______ Duke, _______ he earned _____ the 1980s after working _____ a lawyer ______ professor in China, _____ he was _____ associate _____ Richard Nixon's former Wall Street law firm. ______ office, _____ one of ______ more tasteful new glass-walled high-rises _____ Beijing, itself seems less Chinese ______ internationally 'fusion'-minded in _____ aesthetic ______ furnishings. '

The solution is below in the previous post (since the order of my posts on my blog page is most recent first, I have put the solution in an earlier post so that you can scroll DOWN rather than UP for the answers).

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