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TOEFL Practice Test 4

Please answer questions based on following passage.



From the article "Against the Undertow: Language-Minority Education Policy and Politics in the 'Age of Accountability'" by Terrence G Wiley and Wayne E. Wright

Language diversity has always been part of the national demographic landscape of the United States. At the time of the first census in 1790, about 25% of the population spoke languages other than English (Lepore, 2002). Thus, there was a diverse pool of native speakers of other languages at the time of the founding of the republic. Today, nationwide, school districts have reported more than 400 languages spoken by language-minority students classified as limited English proficient (LEP) students (Kindler, 2002). Between 1991 and 2002, total K-12 student enrollment rose only 12%, whereas LEP student enrollment increased 95% during this same time period (National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition, 2002b). This rapid increase and changing demographics has intensified the long debate over the best way to educate language-minority students.

Historically, many groups attempted to maintain their native languages even as they learned English, and for a time, some were able to do so with relatively little resistance until a wave of xenophobia swept the country during World War 1 (Kloss, 1977/1998). Other groups, Africans, and Native Americans encountered repressive politics much earlier. During the 1960s, a more tolerant policy climate emerged. However, for the past two decades there has been a steady undertow of resistance to bilingualism and bilingual education. This article provides historical background and analyzes contemporary trends in language-minority education within the context of the recent national push for accountability, which typically takes the form of high-stakes testing.

The origins of persistent themes regarding the popular antagonisms toward bilingual education and the prescribed panaceas of "English immersion" and high-stakes testing in English need to be scrutinized. As background to the contemporary context, we briefly discuss the history of language politics in the United States and the ideological underpinnings of the dominant monolingual English ideology. We analyze the recent attacks on bilingual education for what this attack represents for educational policy within a multilingual society such as the United States. We emphasize multilingual because most discussions of language policy are framed as if monolingualism were part of our heritage from which we are now drifting. Framing the language policy issues in this way masks both the historical and contemporary reality and positions non-English language diversity as an abnormality that must be cured. Contrary to the steady flow of disinformation, we begin with the premise that even as English has historically been the dominant language in the United States since the colonial era, language diversity has always been a fact of life. Thus, efforts to deny that reality represent a "malady of mind" (Blaut, 1993) that has resulted in either restrictionist or repressive language policies for minorities.

As more states ponder imposing restrictions on languages of instruction other than English-as California, Arizona, and Massachusetts have recently done-it is useful to highlight several questions related to the history of language politics and language planning in the United States. Educational language planning is frequently portrayed as an attempt to solve the language problems of the minority. Nevertheless, the historical record indicates that schools have generally failed to meet the needs of language-minority students (Deschenes, Cuban, & Tyack, 2001) and that the endeavor to plan language behavior by forcing a rapid shift to English has often been a source of language problems that has resulted in the denial of language rights and hindered linguistic access to educational, social, economic, and political benefits even as the promoters of English immersion claim the opposite.

The dominance of English was established under the British during the colonial period, not by official decree but through language status achievement, that is, through "the legitimization of a government's decisions regarding acceptable language for those who are to carry out the political, economic, and social affairs of the political process" (Heath, 1976, p.51). English achieved dominance as a result of the political and socioeconomic trade between England and colonial administrators, colonists, and traders. Other languages coexisted with English in the colonies with notable exceptions. Enslaved Africans were prohibited from using their native tongues for fear that it would facilitate resistance or rebellion. From the 1740s forward, southern colonies simultaneously institutionalized "compulsory ignorance" laws that prohibited those enslaved from acquiring English literacy for similar reasons. These restrictive slave codes were carried forward as the former southern colonies became states of the newly United States and remained in force until the end of the Civil War in 1865 (Weinberg, 1977/1995). Thus, the very first formal language policies were restrictive with the explicit purpose of promoting social control.

1. What is the primary purpose of including the statistic from the 1790 census in the introductory paragraph?
A) To explain how colonizing the US eradicated language diversity
B) To show concrete evidence that language diversity in the US is not a new phenomenon
C) To note that before that time, there was no measure of language diversity in the US
D) To demonstrate that census data can be inaccurate


2. The article compares two sets of statistics from the years 1991-2002, increases in K-12 enrollment and increases in LEP students, to highlight.
A) That the two numbers, while often cited in research, are insignificant
B) That while many people with school-age children immigrated to the US during this time, an equal amount left the country as well
C) That language diversity had no impact on US student enrollment during this time
D) That while the total amount of students enrolled in US schools may have grown slowly, the amount of those students who were LEP increased dramatically


3. According to the second paragraph, many groups maintained their native languages without resistance into the 20th century EXCEPT
A) Native Americans and African Americans
B) Irish Americans and African Americans
C) Mexican Americans and Native Americas
D) Native Americans and Dutch Americans


4. Why is the word "undertow" emphasized in the second paragraph?
A) To explain how certain groups continued to carry their native languages with them despite the opposition from those against language diversity
B) To show the secretive and sneaky nature of those opposed to language diversity
C) To call attention to the ebb and flow of language resistance during the 20th century, experiencing periods of both rest and extremism
D) To explain that, while many groups tried to maintain their native languages, many gave in to social and political pressure to use only English


5. What is the best way to describe the function of the third paragraph in this excerpt?.
A) The paragraph provides its primary thesis as well an outline of the article's main points
B) The paragraph is an unnecessary and irrelevant inclusion
C) The paragraph serves to reveal the conclusions of the article before detailing the data
D) The paragraph firmly establishes the article's stance against language diversity


6. What is the best summary of why the phrase "multilingualism" is emphasized in the third paragraph?
A) Language repression stems from the US's unwillingness to recognize the languages of its foreign allies
B) Because language is constantly changing and often goes through multiple phases over time
C) The authors firmly believe that speaking more than one language gives students a substantial benefit in higher education.
D) Language policy discussions often assumes that the US has a monolinguistic history, which is untrue and poses language diversity as threatening


7. Phrases such as "prescribed panaceas" and "malady of the mind" are used in the third paragraph to
A) Defend the point that the US must standardize its language education or there will be severe results
B) Point out that language is as much a physical process as an intellectual one
C) Illustrate how certain opponents of language diversity equate multilingual education with a kind of national disease
D) Demonstrate how the stress of learning multiple languages can make students ill


8. According to the fourth paragraph, all of the following are potential negatives of rapid English immersion EXCEPT:
A) It can lead to a denial of language rights for particular groups
B) Students become more familiar with conversational expressions and dialect
C) It can prevent access to certain benefits that are always available to fluent speakers
D) It can promote feelings of alienation among groups that are already in a minority status


9. The best alternate definition of "language status achievement" is
A) When enough scholarly work has been produced in a language, it is officially recognized
B) Those who are in power socially and economically determine the status of a language
C) Languages fall into a hierarchy depending upon the numbers of populations that speak them
D) The position of a language in which no others may coexist with it


10. From the context of the final paragraph, what does "compulsory ignorance" mean?
A) Populations at the time were required only to obtain a certain low level of education
B) Slave populations were compelled to only speak in their native languages and not learn English
C) That slaves were forcibly prevented from developing their native language skills out of fear that they would gain power
D) Slave owners would not punish slaves who did not wish to learn and speak only English




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