IELTS Academic Reading: Cambridge 9, Test 3: Reading Passage 1; Attitudes to language; with best solutions and detailed explanations

IELTS Academic Reading: Cambridge 9, Test 3: Reading Passage 1; Attitudes to language; with best solutions and detailed explanations

This IELTS Reading post focuses on all the solutions for IELTS Cambridge 9 Test 3 Reading Passage 1 which is entitled ‘Attitudes to language . This is a post for candidates who have major problems in finding Reading Answers. This post can guide you the best to comprehend each Reading answer without facing much difficulty. Tracing IELTS Reading answers is a slow process and I sincerely hope this post can assist you in your IELTS Reading preparation.

IELTS Academic Reading: Cambridge 9, Test 3: Reading Passage 1; Attitudes to language; with best solutions and detailed explanations

IELTS Cambridge 9 Test 3: AC Reading Module

Reading Passage 1:

The headline of the passage: Attitudes to language

Questions 1-8: (TRUE, FALSE, NOT GIVEN)

In this type of question, candidates are asked to find out whether:

The statement in the question agrees with the information in the passage – TRUE

The statement in the question contradicts with the information in the passage – FALSE

If there is no information on this  – NOT GIVEN

[For this type of question, you can divide each statement into three independent pieces and make your way through with the answer.]

Question 1: There are understandable reasons why arguments occur about language.

Keywords for the question: understandable reasons, arguments occur, language,

Let’s have a look at the first paragraph. In lines 2-4 the writer says, “Language belongs to everyone, so most people feel they have a right to hold an opinion about it. And when opinions differ, emotions can run high. Arguments can start . . .. . . .”.

The lines suggest that there are logics in favour of arguments about language.

So, the answer is: YES

Question 2: People feel more strongly about language education than about small difference in language usage.

Keywords for the question: more strongly, language education, small difference, language usage,

The last lines of paragraph no. 1 give us the answer. Here, the writer says, “Arguments can start as easily over minor points of usage as over major policies of linguistic education.”

The lines suggest that people feel as strong about minor points (small differences) as they feel about linguistic education (language education). The feelings are equal for both.

So, the answer is: NO

Question 3:  Our assessment of a person’s intelligence is affected by the way he or she uses language.

Keywords for the question: assessment, person’s intelligence, affected, uses language,    

In lines 2-4 of paragraph no. 2, the writer says, “.. .. . . linguistic factors influence how we judge personality, intelligence, social status, educational standards, job aptitude, and many other areas of identity and social survival.”

Here, our assessment of a person’s intelligence = how we judge intelligence, affect = influence,

So, the answer is: YES          

Question 4:  Prescriptive grammar books cost a lot of money to buy in the 18th   century.

Keywords for the question: prescriptive grammar books, cost a lot, 18th century,

We find the mention of 18th century in paragraph no. 4 and 5. However, we do not find the mention of grammar books being costly in 18th century.

So, the answer is: NOT GIVEN       

Question 5: Prescriptivism still exists today.

Keywords for the question: prescriptivism, exists, today,   

The answer can be found by studying two paragraphs. First, in paragraph no. 4, the writer talks about what is prescriptivism. “All the main languages have been studied prescriptively, especially in the 18 century approach to the writing of grammars and dictionaries…. . .. . Some usages are “prescribed”, to be learnt and followed accurately;. …. .  .”

Then in the beginning of paragraph no. 5, the author says, ““These attitudes are still with us…”. So, the writer says that prescriptivism still exists.

So, the answer is: YES          

Question 6:  According to descriptivists, it is pointless to try to stop language change.

Keywords for the question: pointless, stop language change,     

Take a look at lines 4-6 of paragraph no. 5, “… .. . it is the task of the grammarian to describe, not prescribe – to record the facts of linguistic diversity, and not to attempt the impossible tasks of evaluating language variation or halting language change.”

Here, attempt the impossible task means it is pointless to try, halting means stop.

So, the answer is: YES          

Question 7: Descriptivism only appeared after the 18th century.

Keywords for the question: Descriptivism, after, 18th century,

In paragraph 5, the writer states, “This approach is summarised in the statement that it is the task of the grammarian to describe, not prescribe – to record the facts of linguistic diversity, and not to attempt the impossible tasks of evaluating language variation or halting language change. In the second half of the 18th century, we already find advocates of this view, such as Joseph Priestley, whose Rudiments of English Grammar (1761) insists that “the custom of speaking is the original and only just standard of any language”.”

So, these lines suggest that descriptivism appeared first in the 18th century.

So, the answer is: NO            

Question 8:  Both descriptivists and prescriptivists have been misrepresented.

Keywords for the question: descriptivists, prescriptivists, misrepresented,  

Take a look at the last paragraph where the author says, “In our own time, the opposition between descriptivists and prescriptivists has often become extreme, with both sides painting unreal pictures of the other.”

Here, misrepresented = painting unreal pictures of the other,

So, the statement is true.

So, the answer is: YES          

Questions 9-12: (Summary completion with list of words given in the box)

(In this kind of questions candidates are given a summary for one, two or three paragraphs with some fill in the blanks questions. As these are fill in the blanks or gaps, there is a condition of writing letters which represent the words listed in a box. Candidates need to find out the related paragraphs by correctly studying the keywords form the questions. Then, they should follow the steps of finding answers for fill in the gaps.)

The title of the summary: The language debate

According to 9. …………………….. there is only one correct form of language. Linguists who take this approach to language place great importance on grammatical 10. ……………………. .Conversely, the view of 11. ……………….…., such as Joseph Priestly, is that grammar should be based on 12. …………………….…. .

List of words: A. descriptivists, B. language experts, C. popular speech, D. formal language, E. evaluation, F. rules, G. modern linguists, H. prescriptivists, I. change,

Question 9: According to __________, there is only one correct form of language.

Keywords for the question: only one, correct form, language,  

In the beginning of paragraph no. 3, the author mentions the view of prescriptivists, “. .. . . prescriptivism is the view that one variety of language has an inherently higher value than others, and that this ought to be imposed on the whole of the speech community.”

The lines suggest that people who believe in prescriptivism form the view that only one language is valued over all other languages and it has to be believed by everybody.

So, the answer is: H (prescriptivists)

Question 10: Linguists who take this approach to language place great importance on grammatical ___________.

Keywords for the question: place, great importance, grammatical,

Take a look closely at paragraph no. 4. Here, the writer says, “… . .. All the main languages have been studied prescriptively, especially in the 18th century approach to the writings of grammars and dictionaries….. . .  . .. .The authoritarian nature of the approach is best characterised by its reliance on ‘rules’ of grammar.”

Here, this approach means the approach of the prescriptivists, place great importance means reliance on,

So, the answer is: F (rules)

Question 11 & 12: Conversely, the view of 11. ____________, such as Joseph Priestley, is that grammar should be based on 12. _____________.

Keywords for the question: view, Joseph Priestly, grammar should be, based on,   

We can see the mention of the view of Joseph Priestly in paragraph no. 5. So, let’s take a look at this paragraph.

In paragraph no. 5, the writer says, “Nevertheless, there is an alternative point of view that is concerned less with standards than the facts of linguistic usage. This approach is summarised in the statement that it is the task of the grammarian to describe, not prescribe – to record the facts of linguistic diversity, and not to attempt the impossible tasks of evaluating language variation or halting language change. In the second half of the 18th century, we already find advocates of this view, such as Joseph Priestley, whose Rudiments of English Grammar (1761) insists that ‘the custom of speaking is the original and only just standard of any language’.”

Here, nevertheless = conversely, to describe, not prescribe, = the view of descriptivists, original and just standard = should be based on,

The custom of speaking means the way people should speak or most popular way of speaking / popular speech,

So, the answers are:

  1. A (descriptivists)
  2. C (popular speech)

Question 13: Multiple choice questions

[This type of question asks you to choose a suitable answer from the options using the knowledge you gained from the passage. Generally, this question is found as the last question so you should not worry much about it. Finding all the answers for previous questions gives you a good idea about the title.]

What is the writer’s purpose in Reading passage 1?

a. to argue in favour of a particular approach to writing dictionaries and grammar books.

b. to present a historical account of differing views of language.

c. to describe the differences between spoken and written language.

d. to show how a certain view of language has been discredited

Keywords for the question: writer’s purpose,  

The passage details about different views and approaches towards language and how they occurred and changed over the course of time. Firstly, we find the view of prescriptivists and then the other view of descriptivism.

Take a look at the last paragraph also. The last paragraph can be considered as the summary of what has been told in the previous paragraphs. Here, the writer says that we can see in present time the conflicting views between prescriptivists and descriptivists which have been a conflict between radical liberalism and elitist conservatism.

So, we can understand that the writer’s purpose in this passage is to present a historical account of differing views of language.

So, the answer is: B (to present a historical account of differing views of language.)

Click here for solutions to Cambridge 9 Test 3 Reading Passage 2

Click here for solutions to Cambridge 9 Test 3 Reading Passage 3

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