One C.I.-using American colleague recently shared this section from a Spanish test which their defartment head gave their Spanish class, viz
How dumb is this? Let us count the ways:
- Unclear instructions. Are we supposed to rearrange the words in the sentences, or the sentences themselves, or both?
- Some of these have more than one possible answer (way to rearrange words). Eg c. could be vivir juntos no es fácil or no vivir juntos es fácil.
- What does this have to do with actual Spanish that people actually speak or write? Nothing.
- I have never seen a language curriculum that says students will be able to take scrambled words and turn them into sentences.
- I’m not sure what they are assessing here. It’s not comprehension of actual Spanish, since nobody speaks or writes like that. It’s not output, since students aren’t generating language.
This reminds me of those high-school math problems that felt like this: Suzie is twice as old as Baninder. When Baninder is twice as old as John, John will be three times as old as Suzie. How old will Suzie’s dog be on Thursday when Baninder is four? 😉
This is basically a gotcha! question for the grammar geeks. Yes, you could figure it out, but why bother?