Congratulations! You have now advance through your ESL coursework and are getting prepared to takethe feared, dreaded, and loathed Computerized Placement Test (CPT). For months, perhaps years, you have been climbing a Mt. Everest of grammar, vocabulary, reading, and other second language skills. Now, youare close to the summit of the mountain. Now is the time to really concentrate and study and bring all your honed skills to bear on the placement test and pass it with flying colors. That is why we produced this CPT
for you.Then, finally, you will be able to shout, “Eureka!”
NEVER A STUPID QUESTION
There comes a day of fear and trembling in the life of every teacher when the answers to students'questions do not come so easy.One semester, Maria, a Level 6, Spanish ESL student asked us at the Learning Resource WritingLab: "How can I turn this statement into a question: "It was a faulty wire that caused the fire”? Wehesitated for a moment, afraid that the answer would involve an unproductive session on Englishlinguistics. "Why do you want to know?" We asked."Because it was on the CPT (Computerized Placement Test) and I failed the test," she said. Thusobliged, we reluctantly went to the blackboard and began to write the sentences:Statement: "It was a faulty wire that caused the fire."Question : "Was it a faulty wire that caused the fire?"Immediately, we were bombarded by questions on this topic and other questions the studentsremembered, sometimes imperfectly, from the practice and actual CPT administered at Miami DadeCollege as the protocol for exiting the top-level, Level 6, of English as a Second Language writing."Can you start a question with 'Was'?" they chorused. Now, we were afraid to answer, but ventured forth anyway."Yes. You can. This sentence is a rare construction called a 'Cleft'."We visualized the grammar snowball gathering mass as it rolled down the hill. These studentslived and breathed English grammar. They were hard core experts. They did not accept just answers. Theywanted the reasons behind the answers."What's ‘Cleave’?" someone asked.