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News > IELTS Reading - Passage 7-A


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IELTS Reading - Passage 7-A

Questions 16-22

 Reading passage 2 :

A SILENT FORCE
A There is a legend that St Augustine in the fourth century AD was the first individual to be seen reading silently rather than aloud, or semi-aloud, as had been the practice hitherto. Reading has come a long way since Augustines day. There was a time when it was a menial job of scribes and priests, not the mark of civilization it became in Europe during the Renaissance when it was seen as one of the attributes of the civilized individual.  
B Modern nations are now seriously affected by their levels of literacy. While the Western world has seen a noticeable decline in these areas, other less developed countries have advanced and, in some cases, overtaken the West. India, for example, now has a large pool of educated workers. So European countries can no longer rest on their laurels as they have done for far too long; otherwise, they are in danger of falling even further behind economically.  
C It is difficult in the modern world to do anything other than a basic job without being able to read. Reading as a skill is the key to an educated workforce, which in turn is the bedrock of economic advancement, particularly in the present technological age. Studies have shown that by increasing the literacy and numeracy skills of primary school children in the UK, the benefit to the economy generally is in billions of pounds. The skill of reading is now no more just an intellectual or leisure activity, but rather a fully-fledged economic force.  
D Part of the problem with reading is that it is a skill which is not appreciated in most developed societies. This is an attitude that has condemned large swathes of the population in most Western nations to illiteracy. It might surprise people in countries outside the West to learn that in the United Kingdom, and indeed in some other European countries, the literacy rate has fallen to below that of so-called less developed countries.  
E There are also forces conspiring against reading in our modern society. It is not seen as cool among a younger generation more at home with computer screens or a Walkman. The solitude of reading is not very appealing. Students at school, college or university who read a lot are called bookworms. The term indicates the contempt in which reading and learning are held in certain circles or subcultures. It is a criticism, like all such attacks, driven by the insecurity of those who are not literate or are semi-literate. Criticism is also a means, like all bullying, of keeping peers in place so that they do not step out of line. Peer pressure among young people is so powerful that it often kills any attempts to change attitudes to habits like reading.  
F But the negative connotations apart, is modern Western society standing Canute-like against an uncontrollable spiral of decline? I think not.  
G How should people be encouraged to read more? It can easily be done by increasing basic reading skills at an early age and encouraging young people to borrow books from schools. Some schools have classroom libraries as well as school libraries. It is no good waiting until pupils are in their secondary school to encourage an interest in books; it needs to be pushed at an early age. Reading comics, magazines and low brow publications like Mills and Boon is frowned upon. But surely what people, whether they be adults or children, read is of little import. What is significant is the fact that they are reading. Someone who reads a comic today may have the courage to pick up a more substantial tome later on.  
H But perhaps the best idea would be to stop the negative attitudes to reading from forming in the first place. Taking children to local libraries brings them into contact with an environment where they can become relaxed among books. If primary school children were also taken in groups into bookshops, this might also entice them to want their own books. A local bookshop, like some local libraries, could perhaps arrange book readings for children which, being away from the classroom, would make the reading activity more of an adventure. On a more general note, most countries have writers of national importance. By increasing the standing of national writers in the eyes of the public, through local and national writing competitions, people would be drawn more to the printed word. Catch them young and, perhaps, they just might then all become bookworms.

has eight paragraphs labelled A-H.

Choose the most suitable heading for each paragraph from the list of headings below.

Write the appropriate numbers (i-xii) in boxes 16-22 on your answer sheet.

One of the headings has been done for you as an example. Any heading may be used more than once.

Note: There are more headings than paragraphs, so you will not use all of them.

 

List of Headings
i Reading not taken for granted
ii Taking children to libraries
iii Reading: the mark of civilization
iv Reading in St Augustines day
v A large pool of educated workers in India
vi Literacy rates in developed countries have declined because of peoples attitude
vii Persuading people to read
viii Literacy influences the economies of countries in todays world
xi Reading benefits the economy by billions of pounds
x The attitude to reading amongst the young
xi Reading becomes an economic force
xii The writers attitude to the decline in reading

 

16 Paragraph A

17 Paragraph B

18 Paragraph C

19 Paragraph D

20 Paragraph E

21 Paragraph F

22 Paragraph G


  Answer Vii Paragraph H          Example

Questions 23-27

Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading passage 2 ?

In boxes 23-27 on your answer sheet, write


YES if the statement agrees with the writers claims
  NO if the statement contradicts the writers claims
  NOT GIVEN if there is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this
     
Example Answer
According to legend, St Augustine was the first person to be seen reading silently. Yes
23 European countries have been satisfied with past achievements for too long and have allowed other countries to overtake them in certain areas.
24 Reading is an economic force.
25 The literacy rate in less developed nations is considerably higher than in all European countries.
26 If you encourage children to read when they are young the negative attitude to reading that grows in some subcultures will be eliminated.
27 People should be discouraged from reading comics and magazines.


Answer :

Questions 16-22
16 Paragraph A iii
The paragraph describes how reading became the mark of civilization. Heading (iv) is incorrect, because this heading describes only part of the content of the paragraph. It is the beginning of a development. It therefore does not cover the whole paragraph.
17 Paragraph B viii
The answer is mainly in the first sentence, which is also the topic sentence for the paragraph. Heading (v) is incorrect as this is only one fact extracted from the paragraph. If you removed this piece of information would the paragraph remain intact?
18 Paragraph C xi
The paragraph details how reading has developed into an economic force. Heading (ix) is incorrect as it is only one aspect of the paragraph.
19 Paragraph D vi
This heading describes the cause and effect mentioned in the paragraph.
20 Paragraph E x
This paragraph talks about the attitude that young people have to reading.
21 Paragraph F xii
This short paragraph gives the writers opinion of the decline in reading.
22 Paragraph G vii
Note that the instructions state that any heading may be used more than once. This heading is suitable for this paragraph as well as paragraph H. Remember to read the instructions carefully or you could lose marks.

Questions 23-27

23 European countries have been satisfied with past achievements for too long and have allowed other countries to overtake them in certain areas.
Yes: The answer is in paragraph B: been satisfied with their achievements paraphrases rest on their laurels. The scan words here are European countries and overtake, or the opposite, i.e. fall behind.
24 Reading is an economic force.
Yes: The statement is to be found at the end of paragraph C. Note the words now no more just ..., but rather ..., fully fledged .... The information is presented forcefully.
25 The literacy rate in less developed nations is considerably higher than in all European countries.
Not Given: The answer is at the end of paragraph D. We do not know to which degree the level of literacy in less developed nations/countries is higher; the quality is not mentioned. Ask yourself: is the literacy rate in less developed nations/countries higher ...? The answer is yes. Then ask yourself: is the literacy rate in less developed nations/countries considerably higher ...? The question cannot be answered.
26 If you encourage children to read when they are young the negative attitude to reading that grows in some subcultures will be eliminated.
Yes: The answer is in paragraphs G and H and is a summary of the text.
27 People should be discouraged from reading comics and magazines.
No: The opposite is true. The text states people should be encouraged to read them; the answer is at the end of paragraph G. It does not matter what people read. What is significant is the fact that they are reading.


17:21 - 15/09/2011    /    Number : 5244    /    Show Count : 5430


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