IELTS Academic Reading: Cambridge 4 Test 3 Reading passage 3; Obtaining Linguistic Data; with best solutions and best explanations

IELTS Academic Reading: Cambridge 4 Test 3 Reading passage 3; Obtaining Linguistic Data; with best solutions and best explanations

This Academic IELTS Reading post focuses on solutions to IELTS Cambridge 4 Reading Test 3 Reading Passage 3 titledObtaining Linguistic Data’. This is a targeted post for IELTS candidates who are facing major issues finding out and understanding Reading Answers in the AC module. This post can guide you the best to understand every Reading answer without much trouble. Finding out IELTS Reading answers is a steady process, and this post will assist you in this respect.

IELTS Cambridge 4 Test 3: AC Reading Module

Reading Passage 3: Questions 27-40

The headline of the passage: Obtaining Linguistic Data

Questions 27-31: Identifying information

[This question asks you to find information from the passage and write the number of the paragraph (A, B, C or D … .. ) in the answer sheet. Now, if the question is given in the very first part of the question set, I’d request you not to answer them. It’s mainly because this question will not follow any sequence, and so it will surely kill your time. Rather, you should answer all the other questions first. And just like List of Headings, only read the first two lines or last two lines of the expected paragraph initially. If you find the answers, you need not read the middle part. If you don’t find answers yet, you can skim the middle part of the paragraph. Keywords will be a useful matter here. Please, do not read the questions first.]

Question no. 27: the effect of recording on the way people talk

Keywords for the question: effect, recording, the way people talk,      

Paragraph D talks about the effect of recording. It starts with, “Today, researchers often tape-record informants. . ..”

Then in lines 8-10, the writer says, “ . .. . People talk abnormally when they know they are being recorded, .. . .”  

Here, People talk abnormally when they know they are being recorded = effect of recording on the way people talk,  

So, the answer is: D

Question no. 28: the importance of taking notes on body language

Keywords for the question: importance, taking notes, body language,  

In the first few lines of paragraph E, the writer says, “An audio tape recording does not solve all the linguist’s problems, however. Speech is often unclear and ambiguous. Where possible, therefore, the recording has to be supplemented by the observer’s written comments on the non-verbal behaviour of the participants, and about the context in general. .. .”

Here, written comments = taking notes, non-verbal behaviour of the participants = body language,

So, the answer is: E

Question no. 29: the fact that language is influenced by social situation

Keywords for the question: language, influenced by, social situation,   

In paragraph C, take a look at lines 10-14, “ . .. . The topic of conversation and the characteristics of the social setting (e.g. the level of formality) are also highly relevant, as are the personal qualities of the informants (e.g. their fluency and consistency). .. .”

Here, social setting = social situations, also highly relevant = language is influenced by. .. .,

So, the answer is: C

Question no. 30: how informants can be helped to be less self-conscious

Keywords for the question: how, informants, can be helped, be less self-conscious,

The last half part of paragraph D talks about helping informants to be less self-conscious. Here, the writer says in lines 14-21, “ . . .. Some recordings are made without the speakers being aware of the fact – a procedure that obtains very natural data, though ethical objections must be anticipated. Alternatively, attempts can be made to make the speaker forget about the recording, such as keeping the tape recorder out of sight, or using radio microphones. .. .”

Here, Some recordings are made without the speakers being aware of the fact & make the speaker forget about the recording = recordings taken by making informants less self-conscious,

So, the answer is: D

Question no. 31: various methods that can be used to generate specific data

Keywords for the question: various methods, can be used, generate specific data,   

Take a close look at paragraph F, where the writer talks about a number of methods that can be used to generate specific data.
“Linguists also make great use of structured sessions, in which they systematically ask their informants for utterances that describe certain actions, objects or behaviours. With a bilingual informant, or through use of an interpreter, it is possible to use translation techniques (‘How do you say table in your language?’). A large number of points can be covered in a short time, using interview worksheets and questionnaires. Often, the researcher wishes to obtain information about just a single variable, in which case a restricted set of questions may be used: a particular feature of pronunciation, for example, can be elicited by asking the informant to say a restricted set of words. There are also several direct methods of elicitation, such as asking informants to fill in the blanks in a substitution frame (e.g. I_see a car), or feeding them the wrong stimulus for correction (‘Is it possible to say / no can see?’).”

Here, structured sessions, translation techniques, interview worksheets and questionnaires, a restricted set of questions, several direct methods of elicitation, all these are various methods to obtain specific information.

So, the answer is: F

Questions 32-36: Completing table: NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS

[In this type of question candidates need to fill in the gaps in a table with NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS. Skimming and scanning, both reading skills are essential for this question-type.]

Question no. 32:

METHODS OF OBTAINING LINGUISTIC DATA ADVANTAGES DISADVANTAGES
32. ___________ as informant convenient method of enquiry not objective enough

Keywords for the question: as informant, convenient, method of enquiry, not objective enough,

In paragraph B, the author of the text says in lines 8-19, “ . .. . Often, when studying their mother tongue, linguists act as their own informants, judging the ambiguity, acceptability, or other properties of utterances against their own intuitions. The convenience of this approach makes it widely used, and it is considered the norm in the generative approach to linguistics. But a linguist’s personal judgements are often uncertain, or disagree with the judgements of other linguists, at which point recourse is needed to more objective methods of enquiry, using non-linguists as informants.”

However, The convenience of this approach = the method is convenient, needed to more objective methods of enquiry = method of enquiry not objective enough,

So, the answer is: (the) linguist acts/ linguists act

Question no. 33:

METHODS OF OBTAINING LINGUISTIC DATA ADVANTAGES DISADVANTAGES
non-linguist as informant necessary with

33. ____________ and child speech,

the number of factors to be considered

 Keywords for the question: non-linguist as informant, necessary with, child speech, number of factors, to be considered,    

The answer can be found at the end of paragraph B. Here, the author says, “ . .. . But a linguist’s personal judgements are often uncertain, or disagree with the judgements of other linguists, at which point recourse is needed to more objective methods of enquiry, using non-linguists as informants.

The latter procedure is unavoidable when working on foreign languages, or child speech.”

Here, unavoidable = necessary,   

So, the answer is: foreign languages

Question no. 34:

METHODS OF OBTAINING LINGUISTIC DATA ADVANTAGES DISADVANTAGES
recording an informant allows linguists’ claims to be checked 34. _________ of sound

Keywords for the question: research, agent technology, more costly, research, neural networks,      

Paragraph D talks about recording informants.

First, the author says in lines 1-3, “Today, researchers often tape-record informants. This enables the linguist’s claims about the language to be checked, .. . .”

Then, have a look at lines 7-9, “. . . . People talk abnormally when they know they are being recorded, and sound quality can be poor. . .. .”

So, the answer is: (the) (poor) quality

Questions no. 35 & 36:

METHODS OF OBTAINING LINGUISTIC DATA ADVANTAGES DISADVANTAGES
videoing an informant allows speakers’

35. ___________ to be observed

36. _________ might miss

certain things

 

Keywords for the questions: videoing, informant, allows speakers’, to be observed, might miss, certain things,   

Both the answers can be found in paragraph E. Here, in lines 1-14, the author says, “An audio tape recording does not solve all the linguist’s problems, however. Speech is often unclear and ambiguous. Where possible, therefore, the recording has to be supplemented by the observer’s written comments on the non-verbal behaviour of the participants, and about the context in general, A facial expression, for example, can dramatically alter the meaning of what is said. Video recordings avoid these problems to a large extent, but even they have limitations (the camera cannot be everywhere), and transcriptions always benefit from any additional commentary provided by an observer.”

Here, participants = speakers, even they have limitations & cannot be everywhere = might miss certain things,

So, the lines suggest that videoing solve the problems of observing the speakers’ non-verbal behaviour but camera / video recording have the chance to miss certain things as it cannot be everywhere. 

So, the answers are:

  1. non-verbal behaviour / behavior / facial expression(s)
  2. (video) camera / (video) recording

Questions 37-40: Summary completion: NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS

[In this kind of questions candidates are given a summary for one, two, or three paragraphs with some fill in the blanks questions. Candidates need to find out the related paragraphs by correctly studying the keywords from the questions. Then, they should follow the steps of finding answers to fill in the gaps.]

Question no. 37: A linguist can use a corpus to comment objectively on ___________.

Keywords for the question: a linguist, can use, corpus, comment objectively on,

To find the answer to this question, let’s go to paragraph G. Here, the writer says in the first few lines, “A representative sample of language, compiled for the purpose of linguistic analysis, is known as a corpus. A corpus enables the linguist to make unbiased statements about frequency of usage, .. . .”

Here, A corpus enables the linguist to = A linguist can use a corpus to, make unbiased statements = comment objectively,

So, the answer is: usage frequency/ frequency of usage

Question no. 38: Some corpora include a wide range of language while others are used to focus on a ___________.

Keywords for the question: some corpora, include, wide range of language, while others, used to focus on,       

Again, in paragraph G, in lines 7-12, the writer says, “ . . .. Some corpora attempt to cover the language as a whole, taking extracts from many kinds of text; others are extremely selective, providing a collection of material that deals only withparticular linguistic feature. .. .” 

Here, extracts from many kinds of text = a wide range of language, deals only with = focus on,

So, the answer is: particular linguistic feature

Question no. 39: The length of time the process takes will affect the __________ of the corpus.

Keywords for the question: length of time, process takes, will affect, of the corpus,        

Again, take a look at lines 12-17 in paragraph G, the author says, “ . .. .  The size of the corpus depends on practical factors, such as the time available to collect, process and store the data: it can take up to several hours to provide an accurate transcription of a few minutes of speech. 

Here, the time available to collect, process and store the data = The length of time the process takes,

So, the answer is: size

Question no. 40: No corpus can ever cover the whole language and so linguists often find themselves relying on the additional information that can be gained from the _________ of those who speak the language concerned.

Keywords for the question: no corpus, can ever cover, whole language, so, linguists, often find themselves, relying on, additional information, can be gained from, those who speak, the language concerned,        

The answer can be found in paragraph G, in the last few lines, “ . . ..  .. An important principle is that all corpora, whatever their size, are inevitably limited in their coverage, and always need to be supplemented by data derived from the intuitions of native speakers of the language, through either introspection or experimentation.”

Here, all corpora, whatever their size, are inevitably limited in their coverage = No corpus can ever cover the whole language, always need to be supplemented by data = relying on the additional information, native speakers of the language = those who speak the language concerned,

So, the answer is: intuitions  

Click here for solutions to Cambridge 4 Test 3 Reading Passage 1

Click here for solutions to Cambridge 4 Test 3 Reading Passage 2

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