Today’s lesson with J-Ro was devoted to reviewing a mock exam she did last week at the university. Especially rephrasing.

I admit that to be able to rephrase, you need to have a good, if not great, command of the language. Grammatically speaking, that is. You’d need to demonstrate that you know the various constructions well enough to be able to replace one with another. But, if you look at the typical questions, you’ll see that almost all are centred around the same grammatical structures: conditionals (especially the third), wishes, linkers (although, despite, in spite of), active/passive voice, direct/indirect speech, inversion, etc.

But, honestly, what purpose does it serve? The reason one learns a language is to be able to communicate in it unless one’s learning an archaic language!

Does being a master in rephrasing demonstrates a genuine capability in communicating? I’d say negative. But, then, I’m no linguist. I’m no expert. Surely the experts setting the Cambridge examination papers know more than the likes of me? I also suppose that they know that their model is copied around the world…

Do you teach rephrasing? Do your school exams include them?