14 Closely Guarded Tips For Conquering Cloze Passages

By: Rosalind Ong
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Day  11: Making Sense With What I Know

Hi, I’m Teacher Rosalind from Fun Language Learning. This is the eleventh article of the 14 Closely Guarded Cloze Tips  series brought to you by LearnSuperMart and Fun Language Learning.

As a bilingual specialist, I help Primary and Secondary school students achieve their desired grades in English and Chinese by guiding them to develop effective language learning strategies and skills.

1. You have learned some ways to use Background Clues on Day 3. Over the next three days, we will look at inference tools.

From the title, can you guess what we are covering today?

Clue: Connect the dots!


2. Yes, it’s about using your Background Knowledge and Experience to infer.

“I don’t know,” Jack looked down, wringing his hands. Beads of perspiration trickled down his forehead. Plagued by _________, Jack felt that every second was ticking away slowly.

When you are thinking about the missing word, relate it to the information from the text. How do you do that?

Focus on the Background clues (in bold) and use 5W1H to tap into your:

a)Background knowledge/common sense

When do people sweat?

People sweat after running, when they feel hot or when they are anxious.

Why would a person wring his hands and look down?

He is uncomfortable or afraid to look at the other person’s eyes.

How was Jack feeling?

He feels bad about something. Maybe he is guilty or ashamed.


b) Own experience

• When do I feel that time passes slowly?

I feel this way when I wish something would be over quickly.

• Why did he say “I don’t know”?

I usually say “I don’t know” when I really don’t know something or a question is difficult to answer. Perhaps he feels the same.


There are many possibilities. In this context, it is likely that Jack was feeling guilty or ashamed over something that he found difficult to answer.

Combine with Language Clues to decide the word to fill in.

“Plagued by” indicates something bad e.g. plagued by illness.

The word following it is a noun. Since he feels guilty or ashamed, he could be plagued by guilt or shame.


3. Try this:

i) “What a perfect day!” Amos said as he opened the windows and took a deep __________.

ii) “Exactly! Why don’t we go for a picnic?” Brendon _________, wagging his tail.

iii) With __________ eyes, both of them looked at me and chorused, “Can we?”

Visit fllacademy.com or like Fun Language Learning Facebook Page for more language learning resources.

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Especially for parents who are at your wits' ends in helping your child with his Chinese Language Comprehension...

The latest change in examination format of the PSLE Chinese papers is well-intended but it has caught many students off guard

More often than not, they don’t know how to tackle comprehension questions and rely on their intuition, giving incomplete answers that result in an excessive loss of marks and a further dent in confidence.

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Posted on 05/10/2017

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