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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > Grammar Quiz – with a twist    

Grammar Quiz – with a twist



almaz
United Kingdom

Grammar Quiz – with a twist
 
A short grammar quiz from Macmillan Dictionary – but perhaps not quite what you might have expected.
 
 
Have fun,
 
Alex 

11 Jan 2016      



cunliffe
United Kingdom

It ´s incredibly dull and no, not quite what I expected. Just an attempt by Macmillan to sell their wares. Is that ´the twist´?;-)

11 Jan 2016     



almaz
United Kingdom

No.

11 Jan 2016     



alien boy
Japan

Hmm, I thought the twist was that they are emphasising descriptive grammar over prescriptive grammar, using corpus to support the viewpoint that English (like any other language) changes over time. The idea that ´rules of grammar´ are immutable and must be adhered to in English is presented as being an unreal reflection of how the language is actually used. It strikes me as being a linguist´s perspective much more so than a stereotypical ESL/EFL teacher´s perspective.

 
Thanks for sharing the link! 

11 Jan 2016     



almaz
United Kingdom

You´ve more or less hit the nail on the head, AB, although I should add that there are several twists, particularly for those people who are used to the standard online "grammar" quiz. For a start, there´s no score ( so there´s none of that awful "I´m a grammar genius – I scored 20 out of 20!" crowing). Additionally, it´s actually about grammar, not spelling and punctuation (which are often subsumed under the "grammar" heading). What´s more important is that it is based – as you observed – on corpus data, and just as importantly, it raises the question of the extent to which ongoing studies and research by linguists (theoretical as well as applied) inform, or should inform, current English language teaching.
 
As far as I´m concerned personally, I swear by several corpus-based grammars. For advanced students and teachers, I´d go for The Longman Student Grammar of Spoken and Written English, for example. But my all-time favourite for English learners and teachers (for the lack of anything better at the moment) has got to be An A–Z of English Grammar & Usage by Geoffrey Leech, Benita Cruikshank and Roz Ivanic. 

In the immortal words of Flann O´Brien: I will probably have more to say on this in a day or two 

12 Jan 2016     



ueslteacher
Ukraine

Loved the quiz, thanks for posting:)

12 Jan 2016     



cunliffe
United Kingdom

 
Try this then; much more complex and thought-provoking. It does give you a comment on your performance, but we can try and live with that. Interestingly, I couldn ´t begin to predict what my rating would be because many questions were multi-faceted. 
Enjoy!
Lynne 

12 Jan 2016     



ueslteacher
Ukraine

I got the enlightened Grammarian, Lynne:)

12 Jan 2016     



alien boy
Japan

Hahaha! Me too!

 

"Tradition is the illusion of permanence." 
 
Thanks Lynne, that was a good chuckle, too. 

12 Jan 2016     



alien boy
Japan

Thanks for the recommendations on the corpus-based grammars, Alex. I ´ll check them out later.

 

Cheers,
AB 

12 Jan 2016     



almaz
United Kingdom

My pleasure, AB. The ones I cited are just the ones I have at home (along with a few more traditional ones, of course). I´m sure it won´t be too difficult to find others.
 
Coincidentally, I recently used the exact same Woody Allen quote (about "tradition") too in an online discussion about the "recency illusion" (the unshakeable, but mistaken, belief that an expression, word or grammatical construction that you´ve only recently noticed is of recent origin: applies often to people who claim "tradition" as authority but are too lazy, stupid or blinkered to check).
 
Alex 

13 Jan 2016     

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