DIRECTIONS: In the passages that follow, some words and phrases are underlined and numbered. In the answer column, you will find alternatives for the words and phrases that are underlined. Choose the alternative that you think is best, and fill in the corresponding bubble on your answer sheet. If you think that the original version is best, choose “NO CHANGE,” which will always be either answer choice A or F. You will also find questions about a particular section of the passage, or about the entire passage. These questions will be identified either by an underlined portion or by a number in a box. Look for the answer that clearly expresses the idea, is consistent with the style and tone of the passage, and makes the correct use of standard written English. Read the passage through once before answering the questions. For some questions, you should read beyond the indicated portion before you answer.
Most new parents find that their biggest problem is determining what their babys cries Q1 mean. Sometimes the cries seem to sound alike, and other times they are as different as night and day. Yet, what do they mean? Recent studies have shown that babies do have unique cries to identify their needs, and Q2 interpreting a baby’s vocalizations is not as difficult as it may seem. Perhaps the biggest hurdle in making sense of an infant’s sounds is the parent’s own anxiety and being confused. Q3 With a little study and patience, parents can fine-tune their listening skills and sidestep their frustrations.
Movement is another way that infants communicate. For many years, scientists have been able to interpret various messages by filming a sequence of movements and then playing those Q4 back in slow motion. Three-month-olds who appear to be flailing their arms around randomly are often reaching for something specific, perhaps a toy or a familiar face. Even the youngest infants will move their heads toward a familiar voice, often producing the first glimmer of a smile, clearly communicating happiness, and, comfort. Q5 As the baby grows, new utterances emerge that often sounds Q6 random and nonsensical.
More than likely, however, these noises actually mean something to the baby. An acute observer can often quickly interpret the child’s utterances and reinforce the development of language, whereas Q7 a parent who does not pay attention could miss an attempt at communication from her baby. It is easy to imagine how much faster language development will come when a one-year-old feels success and positive reinforcement in his attempts to communicate. Conversely, Q8 not being understood can easily create frustration and reactive responses, perhaps partially explaining the onset of the “terrible twos.”
Many parents find that sign language can be a valuable tool for the emerging orator who is just learning to speak. Q9 A nine-month-old seems to have an easier time mimicking less precise hand movements that she observes than vocalizing the complexities of consonants and vowel sounds. A small repertoire of such hand movements can greatly diminish the anxiety-producing challenge of communicating hunger, tiredness, thirst, and the like. Q10 Often, as parents demonstrate a sign to their baby, they will vocalize the word for that sign over and over. Eventually, as the child uses the sign successfully, she will begin to mimic the word that seems to go with it, and eventually drop the use of her hands. Q11
Long before a young distinct Q12 child is able to speak words, his ability to understand the speech of others is developing. Before a child can say “mama” or “dada,” he may easily be able follow Q13 a command such as “Give me the ball” or “Get your blanket.” As the toddler learns the names of objects, people, and actions, a vocabulary explosion begins to occur. Q14
Most people believe communication begins when the child is able to use language to express an idea or feeling. By comparison, Q15 communication has been going on for much longer. Language development will come sooner and easier if parents respond more consistently to their infant’s communication efforts from day one.