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Need Examples

  • 1.  Need Examples

    Posted 6 days ago
    Hi Everyone, I hope you are all doing well!

    I trying to find examples of test questions that can contain idiomatic expressions in their construction.  I do not need test question examples about idiomatic expressions, but test question examples that contain idiomatic expressions.

    One of the ways to improve test question construction is to refrain from including these types of expressions, but I am struggling to visualize this as I may not recognize these constructs as idiomatic expressions because I am native speaker of English.

    Any examples would be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you and take care,

    [Susan] [Rutledge]
    [Associate Professor of Secondary Education & Administrative Leadership]
    [M.Ed ESL program coordinator]]
    [California University of Pennsylvania, California, PA]

  • 2.  RE: Need Examples

    Posted 5 days ago
    Ms. Rutledge,

    One area that I've seen that is easily identifiable is the occurrence of phrasal verbs in test items. These constructions lie in a gray zone between surface meaning words and idiomatic expressions. For non-native speakers they can easily be just as confusing as larger idiomatic constructions (with the additional challenge of special syntax). These very common words often have meanings that are wildly divergent from the meanings of their constituent vocabulary.

    I hope you find that helpful.

    Joseph Benkert M.A. TESOL
    Professor of English
    Kyushu Otani Junior College
    Chikugo, Fukuoka, Japan

  • 3.  RE: Need Examples

    Posted 5 days ago
    This was my problem too - native speakers are sometimes so familiar with idioms that we don't recognize them when we use or encounter them, and that makes your question harder to answer. I am thinking about possible examples but I'm not sure if I understand exactly what you're looking for. I have a few templates in mind that might fit the bill. (Idioms are italicized).

    a) using idiomatic phrases in explaining expectations should be able to come up with at least three examples of [a type of event or theme]
    b) using idioms directly in the question
    ...why does x put up with y's behavior? (for instance in a literary or comprehension question)
    c) in instructions to students
    ...If you aren't sure of an answer, don't leave the question blank. Just give it your best shot.
    d) directly testing familiarity with an idiom as an element of comprehension
    ... What does it mean when the author says x and y "jumped the broom?"

    Is this use of idioms the kind of thing you're looking for? My sense is that the example in (d) is NOT what you want, and that you're wondering how idiomatic language might confuse a student who could answer the question if it was phrased in a more literal form.

    Carolyn Ostrander