This post is part of a series relating to the Minimum Standards for Grammar and Punctuation in the NAPLAN tests. For the first post in this series, click here.
At Year 7 level, the students are expected to be able to:
- identify the phrase required to complete a sentence
Where to start? The example test of course.
Answering the above questions correctly requires the student to apply a range of skills including: choosing the correct preposition, identifying the correct verb form; and, making sure the subject and verb agree. These last two (identifying the correct form of the verb and subject-verb agreement) have been covered in previous posts. Prepositions are covered below.
Prepositions are tough. They account for a large number of the common grammatical errors used by both native and non-native English speakers because there are no real rules that govern their use.
Academic English Online suggests the following strategies:
- read a lot to internalise the correct associations,
- use a dictionary with example sentences to find common associations; and,
- memorise lists of words.
Note that: all of these strategies need to predate sitting down to the test (no, students are not allowed a dictionary in the test) so if you hear students misusing prepositions or read a mistake in their work, make sure you pass on this advice and then follow up with them to see if they need any further help.
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