This quiz measures basic reading comprehension of chapter 4 of Bill Bryson’s book Mother Tongue: English and How it Got That Way. I assigned this book as summer reading in an honors-level 10th-grade English class, and I have also copied this chapter and had students read it out of the context of Bryson’s book as a whole. It is a GREAT and painless way to introduce students to the idea of language change in general and to the development of Middle English in particular. It serves as a great preparation for reading Chaucer.
The chapter is 20 pages long, and the quiz addresses only reading comprehension, not analysis. The quiz is ten questions long and should take about 10-15 minutes to complete. Four questions are true/false, while the other six are free-response and can be answered in 1-4 sentences each.
The answer key provides not only answers but also the page numbers where answers can be found. All page numbers given refer to the HarperCollins Perennial paperback edition, ISBN # 978-0-380-71543-5.
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