Peace Corps - English for Bachillerato Preparation
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All high school seniors (11th grade for liceo and colegio academico, or 12th grade for colegio tecnico) must pass the English graduation exam (bachillerato de ingles) in order to graduate from high school. This exam focuses entirely on reading comprehension skills, and without adequate preparation, passing this exam can be a major challenge for native Spanish speakers.
Students are allowed two and a half hours to complete 70 multiple-choice questions. They will encounter 16 or 17 reading texts with two to six questions per text. The names of the subjects in the table below are listed as they appear in the Ministry of Education (MEP) curriculum. The subjects are also listed in order of appearance on the exam. In this manual, we have changed some of the subject names for simplification but the content remains the same.
Also included in the examis a short grammar section that focuses on important grammar topics such as antonyms and synonyms, prefixes and suffixes, linking words, conjunctions, homographs and homophones. Important reading comprehension skills for the test include: deducing meaning from context, finding key words within a text, focusing on general meaning (not the meaning of every word), and understanding how modal verbs change a sentence's meaning.
Some important test taking skills for the test include: reading questions first to identify required information, using a process of elimination to discount nonsense answers, and identifying important words or phrases that can alter a question's meaning (not, isn't).
The purpose of this manual is to provide the lesson plans, worksheets, and practice readings an instructor would need to conduct a preparatory course for the English bachillerato exam. The vocabulary outlined in the course was taken directly from past exams in order to best prepare students for actual language seen on the exam. The lessons were designed to be conducted mostly in Spanish, considering the low level of spoken English of many high school students.
English is an Indo-European language, and belongs to the West Germanic group of the Germanic languages. Most closely related to English are the Frisian languages, and English and Frisian form the Anglo-Frisian subgroup within West Germanic. Old Saxon and its descendent Low German languages are also closely related, and sometimes Low German, English, and Frisian are grouped together as the Ingvaeonic or North Sea Germanic languages. Modern English descends from Middle English, which in turn descends from Old English. Particular dialects of Old and Middle English also developed into a number of other English (Anglic) languages, including Scots and the extinct Fingallian and Forth and Bargy (Yola) dialects of Ireland. English is classified as a Germanic language because it shares new language features (different from other Indo-European languages) with other Germanic languages such as Dutch, German, and Swedish. These shared innovations show that the languages have descended from a single common ancestor, which linguists call Proto-Germanic. Some shared features of Germanic languages are the use of modal verbs, the division of verbs into strong and weak classes, and the sound changes affecting Proto-Indo-European consonants, known as Grimm's and Verner's laws. Through Grimm's law, the word for foot begins with /f/ in Germanic languages, but its cognates in other Indo-European languages begin with /p/. English is classified as an Anglo-Frisian language because Frisian and English share other features, such as the palatalisation of consonants that were velar consonants in Proto-Germanic.
English is spoken in: United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada
English is also called: Inglés, Anglais, Inglese, Inglês, Ingilizce, Anglicus