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Grammar is perhaps the most important systematic framework in language analysis
because it allows you to examine the component parts of language and see how they are
This involves taking the whole framework to pieces, just like the mechanic taking an engine
apart to see if the carburettor is faulty, or the musician listening to the keyboard section in
a piece of music to see if it can be improved.
(Teacher needs to expand on this issue. Ask her about taking texts apart!)
In the same way, you as a linguist, need to understand how words interact with each other.
As these ways are countless, you have to be prepared for anything and apply grammatical
approaches logically. Then you are really analysing language and pleasing examiners.
Grammar comes originally from the Greek word gramma. It meant letter. It moved to
grammaticke techne, meaning the art of letters, to Latin grammatica, to Old French
'gramaire' to Middle English gramere.
Okay, all this being said and done, what about the Dutch exam in English? A lot has
changed over the past few years and I do want to make sure you are up for it. First of, you
need to stick to the point! Do not stray but stay really close to the question. Did you know
you can get lost in the context of a text? You will find yourself looking and searching and
forgetting what you are looking for! Do not stray from the path, check yourself to see if you
are still with us.
You can feel some anxiety when a text is too long .. well, shorten it! Lots of times they
introduce people like: Mr so and so, specialist on vehicles and winner of last year’s Nobel
Prize, bla di bla, skip that and take a pen and put a big fat line through these words, ‘cause
you don’t need all this extra info! This makes the text shorter. This also goes for most
examples mentioned. If a question is lacking concerning these examples, you can skip it!
Working in the texts with pens and markers make it clearer as to what you are looking for:
bring markers and a ruler.
Also, while reading, underline important stuff, this again, makes the overview of good
stuff more pleasant on the eye and it saves you lots of time (it’s like looking to see if a car
is coming or not, you usually check twice, why??? Psycho babble to some, but some really
need the time offered and every little bit helps). Now watch the news, read the papers and
practice in class.