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Part Ⅲ Reading Tasks

True/False/Not Given Exercises


  When was the last time you saw a frog? Chances are, if you live in a city, you have not seen one for some time. Even in wet areas once teeming with frogs and toads, it is becoming less and less easy to find those slimy, hopping and sometimes poisonous members of the animal kingdom. All over the world, and even in remote parts of Australia, frogs are losing the ecological battle for survival, and biologists are at a loss to explain their demise. Are amphibians simply oversensitive to changes in the ecosystem? Could it be that their rapid decline in numbers is signaling some coming environmental disaster for us all? This frightening scenario is in part the consequence of a dramatic increase over the last quarter century in the development of once natural areas of wet marshland; home not only to frogs but to all manner of wildlife. However, as yet, there are no obvious reasons why certain frog species are disappearing from rainforests in Australia that have barely been touched by human hand. The mystery is unsettling to say the least, for it is known that amphibian species are extremely sensitive to environmental variations in temperature and moisture levels. The danger is that planet Earth might not only lose a vital link in the ecological food chain (frogs keep populations of otherwise pestilent insects at manageable levels), but we might be increasing our output of air pollutants to levels that may have already become irreversible. Frogs could be inadvertently warning us of a catastrophe.

  An example of a species of frog that, at far as is known, has become extinct, is the platypus frog. Like the well-known Australian mammal it was named after, it exhibited some very strange behaviour; instead of giving birth to tadpoles in the water, it raised its young within its stomach. The baby frogs were actually born from out of their mother‘s mouth. Discovered in 1981, less than ten years later the frog had completely vanished from the crystal clear waters of Booloumba Creek near Queensland‘s Sunshine Coast. Unfortunately, this freak of nature is not the only frog species to have been lost in Australia. Since the 1970s, no less than eight others have suffered the same fate.

  One theory that seems to fit the facts concerns the depletion of the ozone layer, a well documented phenomenon which has led to a sharp increase in ultraviolet radiation levels.The ozone layer is meant to shield the Earth from UV rays, but increased radiation may be having a greater effect upon frog populations than previously believed. Another theory is that worldwide temperature increases are upsetting the breeding cycles of frogs.

1.Frogs are disappearing only from city areas.
2.Frogs and toads are usually poisonous.
3.Biologists are unable to explain why frogs are dying.
4.The frogs‘ natural habitat is becoming more and more developed.
5.Attempts are being made to halt the development of wet marshland.
6.Frogs are important in the ecosystem because they control pests.
7.The platypus frog became extinct by 1991.
8.Frogs usually give birth to their young in an underwater nest.
9.Eight frog species have become extinct so far in Australia.
10.There is convincing evidence that the ozone layer is being depleted.
11.It is a fact that frogs‘ breeding cycles are upset by worldwide in creases in temperature.

Practice 3

  Almost everyone with or without a computer is aware of the latest technological revolution destined to change forever the way in which humans communicate, namely, the Information Superhighway, best exemplified by the ubiquitous Internet. Already, millions of people around the world are linked by computer simply by having a modem and an address on the ‘Net‘, in much the same way that owning a telephone links us to almost anyone who pays a phone bill. In fact, since the computer connections are made via the phone line, the Internet can be envisaged as a network of visual telephone links. It remains to seen in which direction the Information Superhighway is headed, but many believeit is the educational hope of the future.

  The World Wide Web, an enormous collection of Internet addresses or sites, all of which can be accessed for information, has been mainly responsible for the increase in interest in the Internet in the 1990s. Before the World Wide Web, the ‘Net‘ was comparable to an integrated collection of computerized typewriters, but the introduction of the ‘Web‘ in 1990 allowed not only text links to be made but also graphs, images and even video.

  A Web site consists of a ‘home page‘, the first screen of a particular site on the computer to which you are connected, from where access can be had to other subject related ‘pages‘(or screens) at the site and on thousands of other computers all over the world. This is achieved by a process called ‘hypertext‘. By clicking with a mouse device on various parts of the screen, a person connected to the ‘Net‘ can go traveling, or surfing‘ through a of the screen, a person connected to the ‘Net‘ can go traveling, or ‘surfing‘ through a web of pages to locate whatever information is required.

  Anyone can set up a site; promoting your club, your institution, your company‘s products or simply yourself, is what the Web and the Internet is all about. And what is more, information on the Internet is not owned or controlled by any one organization. It is, perhaps, true to say that no one and therefore everyone owns the ‘Net‘. Because of the relative freedom of access to information, the Internet has often been criticised by the media as a potentially hazardous tool in the hands of young computer users. This perception has proved to be largely false however, and the vast majority of users both young and old get connected with the Internet for the dual purposes for which it was intended - discovery and delight.

1.Everyone is aware of the Information Superhighway.
2.Using the Internet costs the owner of a telephone extra money.
3.Internet computer connections are made by using telephone lines.
4.The World Wide Web is a network of computerised typewriters.
5.According to the author, the Information Superhighway may be the future hope of education.
6.The process called‘hypertext‘requires the use of a mouse device.
7.The Internet was created in the 1990s.
8.The ‘home page‘is the first screen of a ‘Web‘site on the ‘Net‘.
9.The media has often criticised the Internet because it is dangerous.
10. The latest technological revolution will change the way humans communicate.

Practice 4

  The Australian political scene is dominated by two major parties that have quite different political agendas. However, the policies of the Australian Labor Party and the Liberal Party have become much more difficult to tell apart in recent years. In fact, it would be true to say that both parties consist of conservative, moderate and radical elements, and therefore the general public is often perplexed about which party to vote for. Nonetheless, it is usual to find that an Australian will lean towards supporting one of these two parties and remain faithful to that party for life.

  The Labor Party was formed early in the twentieth century to safeguard the interests of the common working man and to give the trade unions political representation in Parliament. The Party has always had strong connections with the unions, and supports the concept of a welfare society in which people who are less fortunate than others are financially, and otherwise, assisted in their quest for a more equitable slice of the economic pie. The problem is that such socialist political agendas are extremely expensive to implement and maintain, especially in a country that, although comparatively wealthy, is vast and with a small working and hence taxpaying population base. Welfare societies tend towards bankruptcy unless government spending is kept in check. The Liberal Party, on the other hand, argues that the best way to ensure a fair division of wealth in the country is to allow more freedom to create it.This, in turn, means more opportunities, jobs created etc., and therefore more wealth available to all. Just how the poor are to share in the distribution of this wealth (beyond being given, at least in theory, the opportunity to create it) is, however, less well understood. Practice, of course, may make nonsense of even the best theoretical intentions, and often the less politically powerful are badly catered for under governments implementing ‘free-for-all‘ policies.

  It is no wonder that given the two major choices offered them, Australian voters are increasingly turning their attention to the smaller political parties, which claim to offer a more balanced swag of policies, often based around one major current issue. Thus, for instance, at the last election there was the No Aircraft Noise Parry, popular in city areas, and the Green Party, which is almost solely concerned with environmental issues.

1.Policies is support of the concept of a welfare society are costly.
2.Australians usually vote for the party they supported early in life.
3.The Labor Party was formed by the trade unions.
4.Radical groups are only found within the Labor Party.
5.The Liberal Party was formed after the Labor Party.
6.Welfare-based societies invariably become bankrupt.
7.According to the author, theories do not always work in practice.
8.Some Australian voters are confused about who to vote for.
9.The No-Aircraft-Noise Party is only popular in the city.
10.The smaller parties are only concerned about the environment.

Practice 5

Para 1.The need for a satisfactory education is more important than ever before. Nowadays, without a qualification from a reputable school or university, the odds of landing that plum job advertised in the paper are considerably shortened. Moreover, one‘s present level of education could fall well short of future career requirements.

para 2.It is no secret that competition is the driving force behind the need to obtain increasingly higher qualifications. In the majority of cases, the urge to upgrade is no longer the result of an insatiable thirst for knowledge. The pressure is coming from within the workplace to compete with ever more qualified job applicants, and in many occupations one must now battle with colleagues in the reshuffle for the position one already holds.

para 3.Striving to become better educated is hardly a new concept. Wealthy parents have always been willing to spend the vast amounts of extra money necessary to send their children to schools with a perceived educational edge. Working adults have long attended night schools and refresher courses. Competition for employment has been around since the curse of working for a living began. Is the present situation so very different to that of the past?

para 4. The difference now is that the push is universal and from without as well as within. A student at secondary school receiving low grades is no longer as easily accepted by his or her peers as was once the case. Similarly, in the workplace, unless employees are engaged in part-time study, they may be frowned upon by their employers and peers and have difficulty even standing still. In fact, in these cases, the expectation is for careers to go backwards and earning capacity to take an appreciable nosedive.

para 5.At first glance, the situation would seem to be laudable; a positive response to the exhortation by a former Prime Minister, Bob Hawke, for australia to become the ‘clever country‘. Yet there are serious ramifications according to at least one educational psychologist. Dr Brendan Gatsby has caused some controversy in academic circles by suggesting that a bias towards what he terms ‘paper‘excellence might cause more problems than it is supposed to solve. Gatsby raises a number of issues that affect the individual as well as society in general.

para 6.Firstly, he believes the extra workload involved is resulting in abnormally high stress levels in both students at secondary school and adults studying after working hours. Secondly, skills which might be more relevant to the undertaking of a sought_after job are being overlooked by employers interviewing candidates without qualifications on paper. These two areas of concern for the individual are causing physical and emotional stress respectively.

para 7.Gatsby also argues that there are attitudinal changes within society to the exalted role education now plays in determining how the spoils of working life are distributed. Individuals of all ages are being driven by social pressures to achieve academic success solely for monetary considerations instead of for the joy of enlightenment. There is the danger that some universities are becoming degree factories with an attendant drop in standards. Furthermore, our education system may be rewarding doggedness above creativity; the very thing Australians have been encouraged to avoid.But the most undesirable effect of this academic paper chase, Gatsby says,is the disadvantage that ‘user pays‘higher education confers on the poor, who invariably lose out to the more financially favoured.

para 8.Naturally, although there is agreement that learning can cause stress, Gatsby‘s comments regarding university standards have been roundly criticised as alarmist by most educationists who point out that, by any standard of measurement, Australia‘s education system overall, at both secondary and tertiary levels, is equal to that of any in the world.


1.It is impossible these days to get a good job without a qualification from a respected institution.
2.Most people who upgrade their qualifications do so for the joy of learning.
3.In some jobs, the position you hold must be reapplied for.
4.Some parents spend extra on their children‘s education because of the prestige attached to certain schools
5.According to the text, students who performed bally at school used to be accepted by their classmates.
6.Employees who do not undertake extra study may find their salary decreased by employers.
7.Australians appear to have responded to the call by a former Prime Minister to become better qualified.
8.Australia‘s education system is equal to any in the world in the opinion of most educationists.

Reading Passage 1 below.

Right and left-handedness in humans

  Why do humans, virtually alone among all animal species, display a distinct left or right handedness? Not even our closest relatives among the apes possess such decided lateral asymmetry, as psychologists call it. Yet about 90 per cent of every human population that has ever lived appears to have been right-handed. Professor Bryan Turner at Deakin University has studied the research literature on left-handedness and found that handedness goes with sidedness. So nine out of ten people are right-handed and eight are right-footed. He noted that this distinctive asymmetry in the human population is itself systematic. ‘Humans think in categories: black and white, up and down, left and right. It‘s a system of signs that enables us to categorise phenomena that are essentially ambiguous.‘

  Research has shown that there is genetic or inherited element to handedness. But while left-handedness tends to run in families, neither left nor right handers will automatically produce off-spring with the same handedness; in fact about 6 per cent of children with two right-handed parents will be left-handed. However, among two left-handed parents, perhaps 40 per cent of the children will also be left-handed. With one right and one left-handed parent, 15 to 20 per cent of the offspring will be lefthanded. Even among identical twins who have exactly the same genes, one in six pairs will differ in their handedness.

  What then makes people left-handed if it is not simply genetic? Other factors must be at work and researchers have turned to the brain for clues. In the 1860s the French surgeon and anthropologist, Dr Paul Broca, made the remarkable finding that patients who had lost their powers of speech as a result of a stroke (a blood clot in the brain) had paralysis of the right half of their body. He noted that since the left hemisphere of the brain controls the right half of the body, and vice versa, the brain damage must have been in the brain‘s left hemisphere, Psychologists now believe that among right handed people, probably 95 per cent have their language centre in the left hemisphere, while 5 per cent have right-sided language, Left-handers, however,do not show the reverse pattern but instead a majority also Some 30 per cent have right hemisphere language.

  Dr Brinkman, a brain researcher at the Australian National University in Canberra, has suggested that evolution of speech went with right-handed preference. According to Brinkman, as the brain evolved, one side became specialised for fine control of movement (necessary for producing speech) and along with this evolution came righthand preference. According to Brinkman, most left-handers have left hemisphere dominance but also some capacity in the right hemisphere. She has observed that if a left-handed person is brain-damaged in the left hemisphere, the recovery of speech is quite often better and this is explained by the fact that left-handers have a more bilateral speech function.In her studies of macaque monkeys, Brinkman has noticed that primates (monkeys) seem to learn a hand preference from their mother in the first year of life but this could be one hand or the other. In humans, however, the specialisation in function of the two hemispheres results in anatomical differences; areas that are involved with the production of speech are usually larger on the left side than on the right. Since monkeys have not acquired the art of speech, one would not expect to see such a variation but Brinkman claims to have discovered a trend in monkeys towards the asymmetry that is evident in the human brain.

  Two American researchers, Geschwind and Galaburda, studied the brains of human embryos and discovered that the left-right asymmetry exists before birth. But as the brain develops, a number of things can affect it. Every brain is initially female in its organisation and it only becomes a male brain when the male foetus begins to secrete hormones. Geschwind and Galaburda knew that different parts of the brain mature at different rates; the right hemisphere develops first, then the left. Moreover, a girl‘s brain develops somewhat faster than that of a boy. So, if something happens to the brain‘s development during pregnancy, it is more likely to be affected in a male and the hemisphere more likely to be involved is the left. The brain may become less lateralised and this in turn could result in left-handedness and the development of certain superior skills that have their origins in the left hemisphere such as logic, rationality and abstraction. It should be no surprise then that among mathematicians and architects, left-handers tend to be more common and there are more left-handed males than females.

  The results of this research may be some consolation to left-handers who have for centuries lived in a world designed to suit right-handed people. However, what is alarming, according to Mr. Charles Moore, a writer and journalist, is the way the word ‘right‘ reinforces its own virtue. Subliminally he says, language tells people to think that anything on the right can be trusted while anything on the left is dangerous or even sinister. We speak of left-handed compliments and according to Moore, ‘it is no coincidence that left-hand, often develop a stammer as they are robbed of their freedom of speech‘. However, as more research is undertaken on the causes of left handedness, attitudes towards left-handed people are gradually changing for the better. Indeed when the champion tennis player Indeed when the champion tennis player Ivan Lendl was asked what the single thing improve his game, he said he would like to become a left-hander.

                              Geoff Maslen

Questions 1-7

Use the information in the text to match the people ( listed A-E ) with the opinions ( listed 1-7 ) below. Write the appropriate letter ( A-E ) in boxes 1-7 on your answer sheet. Some people match more than one opinion.

A Dr Broca
B Dr Brinkman
C Geschwind and Galaburda
D Charles Moore
E Professor Turner

Example Answer
Monkeys do not show a species specific preference for B
Left or right-handedness.

1 Human beings started to show a preference for right-handedness when
they first developed language.
2 Society is prejudiced against left-handed people.
3 Boys are more likely to be left-handed.
4 After a stroke, left-handed people recover their speech more quickly
than right-handed people.
5 People who suffer strokes on the left side of the brain usually lose
their power of speech.
6 The two sides of the brain develop different functions before birth.
7 Asymmetry is a common feature of the human body.

Question 8-10

Using the information in the passage, complete the table below. Write your answer in boxes 8-10 on your answer sheet.
Percentage of children left-handed
One parent left-handedOne parent right-handed ...(8)...
Both parents left-handed ...(9)...
Both parents right-handed ...(10)...

Question 11-12

Choose the appropriate letters A-D and write them in boxes 11 and 12 on your answer sheet.

11 A study of monkeys has shown that
A monkeys are not usually right-handed.
B monkeys display a capacity for speech.
C monkey brains are smaller than human brains.
D monkey brains are asymmetric.

12 According to the writer, left-handed people.
A will often develop a stammer.
B have undergone hardship for years.
C are untrustworthy.
D are good tennis players.

Answer Keys
Unit 2
1.F 2.F 3.T 4.T 5.NG 6.T 7.T 8.NG 9.F 10.T 11.F

Unit 3
1.F 2.NG 3.T 4.F 5.T 6.T 7.F 8.T 9.F 10.T

Unit 4
1.T 2.NG 3.NG 4.F 5.NG 6.F 7.T 8.T 9.NG 10.F

Unit 5
1.F 2.F 3.T 4.NG 5.T 6.NG 7.T 8.T

8. 15-20%
9. 40%
10. 6%
11. D
12. B


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