Reading comprehension

Read the text and answer the questions:

Traditionally, many linguists stressed the importance of mastering grammar structures first while teaching English. In recent years, the majority of educators have become more aware of the fallacy of this approach and other approaches promoting vocabulary development have gained popularity. It has been found out without vocabulary to put on top of the grammar system, the learners can actually say very little despite being able to manipulate complex grammatical structures in exercise drills. It is obvious that to learn English, one needs to learn many words. Native speakers have a vocabulary of about 20,000 words but foreign learners of English need far fewer. They need only about 5,000 words to be quite competent in speaking and listening. The reason for this seemingly small number is the nature of words and the frequency with which they appear in a language. It seems clear that frequent words should be among the first words to learn because they will be met most of ten and will be needed in speech or writing.

Questions:

1. According to the passage, it is true that while learning English, one.

A) cannot achieve competency in language skills just through mastering grammar structures
B) needs to be taught at least 20,000 words to communicate with foreigners easily
C) must learn grammar structures right away
D) must focus on practicing as many grammar structures as possible according to contemporary language teaching approaches
E) should first try to develop his understanding of written texts


2. According to the passage, when the approaches to English language teaching are taken into consideration.

A) the best method is the one which focuses on developing the learners’ speaking and listening skills first
B) each method has its own strong and weak points
C) the ones emphasizing the importance of developing learners’ vocabulary first have already become outdated
D) recent approaches haven’t proved to be effective in language teaching so far
E) most educators are not in favor of the traditional approach having dominated the language teaching field once anymore


3. It is stated in the passage that.

A) a great number of educators today believe that mastering grammar points is more important than learning words while studying a foreign language
B) grammar drills are effective in teaching the most frequently encountered English words
C) an approach based on mastering grammar structures first to teach English is at most unlikely to find supporters today
D) the learners of English are required to learn all grammar structures perfectly in order to make themselves understood by foreigners
E) the number of English words which must be learned to communicate with a foreigner exceeds 20,000

Answers:

  1. A
  2. E
  3. C

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