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Published: 21/10/2019
KS5 | Introduction to language study
3 pages

Introduction to prescriptivism and descriptivism quiz

A light-hearted quiz in the style of popular magazines to let students explore their attitudes to English and be introduced to the concepts of prescriptivism and descriptivism. Aimed at A-level English Language students early on in the course.

Sample questions from the quiz:

The Oxford English Dictionary includes slang words. What do you think about this?

  1. It’s fine – it is all part of the English language and you’d expect a detailed dictionary to have all forms of English. (1)
  2. It’s utterly unacceptable. A dictionary needs to teach people the proper use of English. (3)
  3. Depends on what the slang words are. For example, I would not want offensive slang words to be included. (2)

When out and about, do you:

  1. Find yourself getting irritated with missing apostrophes and misspellings in signs. (3)
  2. Sometimes notice misspellings and wrongly used apostrophes in signs. (2)
  3. Never pay attention to spelling or punctuation in signs as long as they make sense. (1)

See other resources: Descriptions of language

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