Day 11 of Spring Break – WORD CHOICE QUESTIONS – Reading for Understanding, Analysis and Evaluation

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Show how the word choice in paragraphs three and 4 expresses the writer’s distaste for what is happening to the island. (2)

This time around, we could see from the plane that many hectares of jungle had been gouged out for a massive international airport in the middle of the island. Unless a few resorts that offer tourists real encounters with Phu Quoc’s remarkable environment and culture can turn the tide, the fate of yet another “paradise island” seems sealed.

In reality, of course, neither the beaches nor the jungle have been truly pristine for a very long time. They have been fished and logged for many centuries, but only recently, and quite abruptly, has their exploitation threatened to become unsustainable. And Phu Quoc has probably never been much of a paradise for its own people, and certainly not over the last century.

Day 12 of Spring Break – SUMMARISING QUESTIONS – Reading for Understanding, Analysis and Evaluation

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Summarise the key points in the writer’s argument against the practice of capturing everything on camera. (4)

New technology has made is simple to record on camera almost any trivial event.  And it’s the work of a mouse-click to distribute those images to all and sundry.  Yet just because something is technically possible doesn’t automatically make it desirable.  I wonder if it is starting to impair the transient joy and spontaneity of daily life.  This ubiquitous, almost obligatory obsession with capturing even the most private thing in life for posterity is starting to rob us of our ability to savour the moment.  And if we don’t fully savour the moment as it happens, we may miss its significance, pungency and richness.   That makes the process of recalling it later much harder.  Paradoxically, our click-click obsession with photographing everything may be sapping, rather than enhancing, our brain’s ability to revisit old events with pleasure or nostalgia.

“You had to be there” isn’t just a cliché.  It’s also good advice.  We should stop trying to freeze-frame treasurable moments for some tomorrow that may never come, or some absentee audience that probably isn’t interested anyway, and just enjoy them as they come and go.  God knows, they come and go quickly enough.

Day 10 of Spring Break – TONE QUESTIONS – Reading for Understanding, Analysis and Evaluation

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Read the extract and for each decide what tone is being used, listing the words/phrases which helped you. 2

1. He walked into the immense cathedral, looked down the length of his nose and simply sniffed, proclaiming a tiny ‘humph’, before just glancing around. The golden coloured alter, with intricate brass carving he dismissed as ‘brass and stuff’. The flowers he shrugged at, before turning on his heels, unimpressed and bored.

2. Gosh, you won’t believe what I’ve done now. How could anyone have been so stupid? After the last time you’d have thought I’d have known better, wouldn’t you?

3. I just couldn’t believe the nerve of the man, and my face reddens whenever I think of it. How dare he speak to me like that, with such a condescending tone of voice. Who gave him the right to treat anyone like that? He really made my blood boil.

Day 9 of Spring Break – WORD CHOICE QUESTIONS– Reading for Understanding, Analysis and Evaluation

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Show how the writer’s word choice helps us to understand his admiration for the beauties of the island (2)

IT’S STILL QUITE easy to walk alone on an idyllic beach in Phu Quoc, and imagine you are the only person on a pristine island. It’s even easier to imagine you are alone if you walk 100 metres into one of the remaining patches of majestic jungle.
But it is not as easy as it was. We first went to this Vietnamese treasure in the Gulf of Thailand five years ago. Already the high-rise hotels on some stretches of the west coast were reminiscent of the worst of the Costa del Sol, with outraged TripAdvisor reviews to match.

Day 8 of Spring Break – IMAGERY QUESTIONS– Reading for Understanding, Analysis and Evaluation

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Show how the writer uses imagery in this paragraph to support the points he is making about Twitter in general and the media in general. (4)

Twitter is the latest social networking craze to have conquered the ageing mainstream media, and using it is like sending out a universal text message to the whole planet. For many, this orgy of technology-enhanced wittering is simply something that we indulge in during our spare time, but it’s not without its uses. It’s coming of age is generally dated to the Mumbai terror attacks at the end of November, when minute-by-minute updates of the unfolding chaos zipped around the world from eye-witnesses armed with Twitter on their laptops and mobile phones. It was given another fillip on the geopolitical stage in January, when the Israeli Government use Twitter to snipe at the mainstream media and get across its reasons for invading Gaza.

TIP:
Imagery can be tricky…remind yourself how to answer using the ‘just as…so too’ method by reading the following worked example:

“He fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a paper bag filled with vegetable soup.”

Question:
How effective do you find this description of the falling man? (2A)
Answer:
1) Just as a paper bag filled with vegetable soup (= root image)
2) would hit the ground with a tremendous splat, leaving a terrible mess behind (=analysis),
3) so too would the man after falling 12 stories onto a pavement creating a visually disgusting but powerful image for the reader. (= answer to the question)

Day 7 of Spring Break – SUMMARISING QUESTIONS– Reading for Understanding, Analysis and Evaluation

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In your own words, as far as possible, give four reasons the writer presents in lines 35-46 in favour of maintaining traditional public libraries. (4)

Despite Google we Still Need Good Libraries
It may well be that public demand and technical change mean we no longer need the dense neighbourhood network of local libraries of yore. But our culture, local and universal, does demand strategically situated libraries where one can find the material that is too expensive for the ordinary person to buy, or too complex to find online. Such facilities are worth funding publicly because the return in informed citizenship and civic pride is far in excess of the money spent.

Libraries also have that undervalued resource—the trained librarian. The ultimate Achilles’ heel of the internet is that it presents every page of information as being equally valid, which is of course nonsense. The internet is cluttered with false information, or just plain junk. The library, with its collection honed and developed by experts, is a guarantee of the quality and veracity of the information contained therein, something that Google can never provide.

Day 6 of Spring Break – SENTENCE STRUCTURE QUESTIONS– Reading for Understanding, Analysis and Evaluation

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Think about the type of sentence used; length; punctuation; repetition; parenthesis; narrative point of view; list; climax; inversion, etc.

Identify two features of sentence structure from the paragraph above which mark a shift in the writer’s line of thought. (2)

“The problem here is political will rather than financial capacity.  The pinch will come in other resource areas, such as health spending.  People over 65 consume three times as many prescription items as other age groups.  Nearly half those with some measure of disability are over 70.

But the resource question, meeting the material needs of the old and elderly, is only half the story.  The real problem lies elsewhere – in the imagination.  What are the old for?  Who are they, and do the traditional divisions of human life into childhood, youth, middle age and old age still fit our experience?”

 

Day 5 of Spring Break – SENTENCE STRUCTURE – Reading for Understanding, Analysis and Evaluation

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Explain how the author uses sentence structure to create an impression of how John felt about his life on the farm. (4)

Monotony. There’s the perfect word! The monotony of John’s day cannot be over-exaggerated. Endless chores were issued to him by his authoritarian father. Work was the norm: play was long forgotten.

Feeding the pigs, milking the cows, scrubbing the floor of the barn, repairing the forever crumbling walls, weeding the garden (which surrounded their massive farmhouse), fetching supplies from the market, preparing lunch for the agricultural labourers – that was on an exciting day!

He hated the sound of his father’s voice. He hated the knock on his bedroom door, which announced another tortuous day was beginning. He hated the wind, which almost knocked him off his feet, as he emerged to face the elements once more. Escape. He needed to get out of there – but where could he go?

Day 5 of Spring Break – WORD CHOICE QUESTIONS – Reading for Understanding, Analysis and Evaluation

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This writer is appalled by the fact that the wearing of fur might be making a comeback.

Show how the writer’s word choice alerts you to her contempt for the wearers of fur. (2 marks)

While fur is obviously disgusting, it is also incredibly useful in that it alerts you to the fact that the person wearing it is a complete moron, without you having to waste time talking to them.

 

 

Day 4 of Spring Break – TONE QUESTION – Reading for Understanding, Analysis and Evaluation

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This passage is about parenting.

Identify the tone of the paragraphs and explain how this tone is created. (3)

I am fed up listening to scaremongers talking about the E-coli virus, telling me my child should never visit a farm or come into contact with animals.  I am very weary of organisations that are dedicated to promulgating the idea that threats and dangers to children lurk everywhere.  I am sick of charities who on the one have attack overprotective parents and at the same time say children should never be left unsupervised in public places.