E T S Praxis Series

Middle School English Language Arts (0049)

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  1. The correct answer is B. The statements on which the question is based constitute a definition of a fable. While all of the choices are types of narrative, only a fable fits the full description.

  2. The correct answer is B. The syntax of line 5 of the poem is inverted. Read as "the poorest [people] may take this traverse [i.e., this travel; this route]," the sense becomes plainer, as does the sense of line 6: "without oppress [oppression or burden] of toll [i.e., payment]." What remains is to determine that "this traverse" refers to taking "us lands away" (line 2). It is a book (line 1) or "page of prancing poetry" (lines 3–4) that can do that.

  3. The correct answer is D. The comparison in line 1 of a book to a ship ("a frigate") and in lines 2–3 of poetry to swift horses ("coursers") makes it clear that books and reading are described in terms of modes of transportation. That interpretation is reinforced by the metaphor of a chariot bearing a human soul (lines 7–8).

  4. The correct answer is C. The description of poetry as "prancing" in line 4 calls to mind the rhythm of poetry and reinforces the image of spirited, galloping horses (coursers) in line 3.

  5. The correct answer is A. By suggesting that atoms are like letters, the author of the passage has used an analogy; that is, the author has characterized one thing by reference to another thing that functions in a similar way.

  6. The correct answer is C. The passage presents factual information and a brief description of the plot of The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane.

  7. The correct answer is A. During guided reading, students are placed into small groups according to their individual reading levels. The teacher observes as students read and provides them with the opportunity to use various reading strategies. The ultimate goal of guided reading is to enable students to read successfully on their own. Thus, B, C, and D, are all important parts of guided reading. A is not an important part because the teacher selects texts that students can read with ninety percent accuracy; it is not the intent of guided reading to select books that are beyond students' current reading levels.

  8. The correct answer is D. Personification involves endowing abstractions, ideas, and inanimate objects with human characteristics or sensibilities. In the poem, "Night" is described as having the human ability to sleep, wake, and blush.

  9. The correct answer is B. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is set in a Mississippi River town somewhere between 1836 and 1846.

  10. The correct answer is D. Reader response theory focuses on the reader and the process of reading. The reader is considered an active agent who gives meaning to the text. Choices A, B, and C focus on the author or the text rather than on the reader.

  11. The correct answer is D. The meaning of the two sentences differs because in sentence I the teacher is "from Nebraska" and in sentence II the Native American artifacts are "from Nebraska." Thus, the placement of the adjective phrase "from Nebraska" after two different nouns changes the meaning of the sentences. A is incorrect because "teacher" is the subject of both sentences. B is incorrect because both sentences end in the prepositional phrase "to her class." C is incorrect because the simple predicate of both sentences is "displayed."

  12. The correct answer is B. A simple sentence contains only one independent clause. This sentence has three independent clauses joined by the conjunction "and." Without dependent clauses, the sentence cannot be characterized as either "complex" or "compound-complex."

  13. The correct answer is C. In this sentence, the word "sledding" is a gerund, a verb form (the present participle) functioning as a noun.

  14. The correct answer is B. The author makes a comparison between science fiction readers and people who love chocolate so much they could be called addicts in order to stress that those who like science fiction cannot get enough of it.

  15. The correct answer is D. In the paragraph, the speaker explains that George Orwell recognized the complexity of language use and avoided simplistic arguments for improving how people speak. What follows are terms the speaker would consider related to such simplistic arguments. The quotation marks call attention to the terms and discourage readers from taking them at face value.

  16. The correct answer is A. In contrasting Orwell's discussions of language with those of writers exemplified by Newman and Barzun, the speaker implies that the arguments of Newman and Barzun are simplistic and hence easily dismissed. The hyperbole in "wailing and gnashing of teeth" (lines 1-2) and the characterization of Newman's work as "petulant" (line 2) and Barzun's as "tirades" (line 4) have already signaled disapproval, implying that these authors are more emotional than thoughtful. While it is possible that the speaker is dismissing Newman and Barzun out of spite or bitterness, or even defensiveness, there is nothing in the structure of this excerpt to support choices B, C or D.

  17. The correct answer is A. The terms mentioned are processes and devices associated with generating new ideas and organizing them. These processes and devices would not be associated with proofreading (D). While they might be part of drafting (B) or revising (C), they are most important during the prewriting stage of the writing process.

  18. The correct answer is A. In first person point of view, the author or narrator writes from his or her own perspective. In this passage, the author uses the words "we" and "our" to suggest that his experience is similar to the readers' experience, and invites readers to understand how people invent themselves through the words they use. B is incorrect because the author does not suggest that inventing language is unique to him as an author. C and D are incorrect because the third person point of view is not used in the passage.