10th Form Listening
The Iditarod Sled Dog Race
From a news story by
CNN San Francisco Reporter Dan Knapp
Every year in Alaska there is a big race with sleds pulled by dogs. On the day of the race, the Alaskan huskies seem eager to go on what may be the world’s longest and most difficult race. It is called the Iditarod dog sled race. The voice of the race announcer booms over the streets of Anchorage as the racers set off on their long journey “They’re off. The last great race…”
Fifty-six sleds leave downtown Anchorage to start the race. A sled leaves every two minutes. It will take ten days to two weeks before they reach the finish line at Nome on the other side of Alaska. The men and women who guide the sleds are called mushers.
Linda Joy, a musher says “It’s not important to win, I have a yearling team and I want as many happy tails when I cross the finish line.”
Russell Lane is a full-blooded Eskimo. He thinks his rookie, or very first, run may help his people maintain a tie to the old ways. “I’m the only musher from the Arctic slope, so I’m real proud to be representing my people.”
One musher from Australia, Stephen Carrick, says he knows why he runs the race when he crosses the finish line. “I did it last year. When I got to Nome, the sensation was awesome and I knew I had to have more of this.”
Dee Dee Jonrowe has finished in the top ten racers in eight other races. “I was just telling my husband, happy birthday, today’s his birthday and his present is sending me out of town.”
Gary Collins, an actor, helps the race by giving money. He and others get to ride on the sleds for 20 miles of the trail. They are called Iditariders. The day the race starts is an exciting event in Anchorage. There’s a big crowd to watch the race start. The trail loops around Anchorage, and smaller crowds of fans cheer the sleds on.
Twenty miles out of Anchorage the ceremonial part of the race is over and its time to get serious about the Iditarod. For the one thousand miles, it’s just the mushers and their dogs on the frozen land. Racer Aaron Burmeister says of the first day “Really there’s not a whole lot of strategy, just get yourself into the schedule and get rolling.”
And try to enjoy the ride.
10th Form Listening
Choose the best answer.
1) The big dog sled race in Alaska is called the
a) Arctic Slope b) Iditarod
c) Eskimo d) Nome
2) Many of the dogs that pull the sleds are
a) Huskies b) Wolves
c) Beagles d) Collies
3) Men and women who guide the sleds are called
a) Eskimos b) Mushers
c) Rookies d) Yearlings
4) The finish line for the race is in
a) Anchorage b) Eagle River
c) Nome d) Arctic Slope
5) The Iditarod dog sled race is known as the world’s
a) worst race b) longest and most difficult race
c) most ceremonial race d) easiest race
6) The people in Anchorage
a) don’t like the race b) wish the race was someplace else
c) make a big event of the race d) are iditariders
7) A rookie run means:
a) a straight course
b) the first time
c) last place
d) first place
8) In the Iditarod, sleds travel on
a) paved roads
b) snow and ice
d) dirt roads
9) One Eskimo musher believes that the race will help his people
a) become more famous
b) earn a lot of money
c) maintain their traditions
10) Aaron Burmeister says that in the beginning racers don’t need
a) a schedule
Decide if the statements are True (T) or False (F).
11) For most mushers, the most important part of the race is to win.
12) The Iditarod is held every year in Northern Canada.
13) One racer from Australia said that he felt terrible when he got to Nome.
14) Dee Dee Jonrowe usually finishes in the top ten racers.
15) An actor named Gary Collins is making a movie about the race.
Reading Comprehension 10th Form
From “Important Questions Answered: Is Belgium Still the Chocolate Capital of the World?”
By: Laura Beck, Jezebel, 2012
The BBC reports that countries such as Australia and Japan are rising up through the chocosphere. In fact, the next World Chocolate Masters is happening in Paris in November 2013 and entrants are coming from 20 different countries. Also, how do we all secure tickets to this immediately? My inner Augustus Gloop is literally bursting at the seams with excitement.
As far as the Belgian’s packing up their candy thermometers and going back to a time without chocolate, Veerle de Pooter, a magazine writer who has also worked as a chef for the country’s federal government, says “Just because one [non-Belgian] chef happens to win a few prizes, sponsored by a chocolate brand, I don’t think Belgian chocolatiers should start to quake in their boots.” Since only Germany sells more chocolate abroad, I think de Pooter is probably right.
Of course, while Belgium is still Queen de Chocolat, their association with chocolate has terrible roots — cocoa was first shipped from the Congo, one of their African colonies. Not to be a super downer, but as we all know, chocolate can come from some incredibly human-rights-violating sources. When I binge on the good stuff, I stick to the Food Empowerment Project’s list of fair-trade chocolatiers that don’t fund child slavery. Well, this story took a turn for the worse.
Point is, nobody is the boss when it comes to chocolate, but everyone else is gonna have to really pop-off to officially take the chocolate crown from Belgium. Personally, I hope it’s somewhere on the continents of Africa or South America because, you know, that’s where the heart of the delicious product comes from.
Decide if the statements are True or False
1. The World Chocolate Masters is a competition in which chocolatiers compete for international prestige.
2. This year the World Chocolate Masters will take place in France.
3. Veerle de Pooter is a French writer and chef.
4. de Pooter is worried that Belgium is losing its place in the chocolate-making world.
5. Germany sells the most chocolate internationally.
6. The cocoa that Belgium uses to make its chocolate comes from South America.
7. The cocoa used to make chocolate can be controversial because of how the laborers in those countries are treated.
8. The Food Empowerment Project condemns chocolatiers that don’t fund child slavery.
9. The author of this article thinks that other countries will have to try very hard to surpass Belgium in its chocolate-making expertise.
10. The author hopes that Mexico wins the World Chocolate Masters competition this year.
Philadelphia is a city known for many things. It is where the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776, and it was also the first capital of the United States. But one fact about Philadelphia is not so well-known: it is home to nearly 3,000 murals painted on the sides of homes and buildings around the city. In fact, it is said that Philadelphia has more murals than any other city in the world, with the exception of Rome. How did this come to be?
More than 20 years ago, a New Jersey artist named Jane Golden started a program pairing troubled youth with artists to paint murals on a few buildings around the city. From this small project, something magical happened. The young people involved helped to create magnificent pieces of art, but there were other, perhaps more important benefits. The young people learned to collaborate and get along with many different kinds of people during the various steps required to paint and design a mural. They learned to be responsible, because they needed to follow a schedule to make sure the murals were completed. They also learned to take pride in their community. It is hard for any resident to see the spectacular designs and not feel proud to be a part of Philadelphia.
Take a walk around some of the poorest neighborhoods in Philadelphia, neighborhoods full of broken windows and littered front steps, and you will find beautiful works of art on the sides and fronts of buildings. Of course the murals are not just in poor neighborhoods, but more affluent ones as well. Special buses take tourists to different parts of the city to see the various murals, which range from huge portraits of historical heroes, to cityscapes, to scenes depicting the diverse ethnic groups that call Philadelphia home. As a result of its success, the mural program has now become the nation’s largest public art program and a model for other cities throughout the country seeking to help troubled youth.
Choose the best option
11. In the passage, “collaborate” means:
A. To work alone.
B. To work hard.
C. To be creative.
D. To work together.
12. What was the most important thing this project taught the participants?
A. Painting skills and techniques
B. Responsibility and pride in the city
C. Key historical events and figures
D. The geography of Philadelphia
13. What is the nationwide impact of this program?
A. There are similar programs in other countries.
B. There are similar programs in other cities.
C. Crime rates are decreasing.
D. There is no nationwide impact.
14. What is the main idea of the passage?
A. An art program that helps troubled youth
B. Encouraging youth to participate in community service
C. Improving Philadelphia’s tourist industry
D. Inexpensive city beautification
15. Why did the author describe the “broken steps and littered front steps”?
A. To discourage people from visiting Philadelphia
B. To create a sense of contrast between Rome and Philadelphia
C. To illustrate the contrast of the poorer and wealthier neighborhoods
D. To illustrate the contrast between the beautiful mural and its surrounding
STAGE II NATIONAL STUDENTS OLYMPIAD IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE
Speaking Comprehension Test for 10thForm Students
DIRECTIONS: In this test you will select three task slips from those before you. After selecting three, choose the one you feel you are most capable to speak about and return the other two to the table face down. Then take about a minute to collect your thoughts before you begin to speak on the topic. You may refer to the topic as needed. Take a deep breath and begin.
1. Zoos are places where animals are collected for study and education. The first zoo was created by the Egyptians in 3500 BC! But many people think that keeping animals in zoos is not right, and that it is cruel to keep animals in cages.
a. What do you think of zoos? Have you ever visited a zoo, petting farm or animal preserve?
b. What are the positive and negative aspects of zoos?
c. Do you think that it is cruel to keep animals in zoos? Why or why not?
2. “A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.” – Lao Tzu
a. What does this quote mean to you? Do you agree with it?
b. Describe a memorable journey that you took with your family or friends.
c. How has technology changed the ways we travel, and what we do as we travel?
3. “What are you going to do when you grow up?” is a commonly asked question of teenagers.
a. What is your answer to this question?
b. What type of preparation and/or training will it involve in order to join this occupation?
c. What are your responsibilities likely to be in this occupational field?
4. “I’m not smart, but I like to observe. Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton was the one who asked why.” –William Hazlitt
a. What does this quote mean to you? What does Hazlitt say is the difference between seeing and understanding?
b. Do you agree that there is a difference between seeing and understanding? Why or why not?
c. How observant are you? How has that helped you in life?
5. Traditionally we say that people have 5 senses; seeing, hearing, smelling, feeling, and tasting.
a. What sense is your favorite? Give some examples of why you like it.
b. If you had to lose one sense, what would it be?
c. Describe your favorite smell, or favorite sound. Where does it come from?
6. “Tragedy is when I cut my finger; comedy is when you fall down the stairs.” Mel Brooks
a. What does this quote mean to you?
b. What kinds of things do you find funny?
c. Do you agree with this quote?
7. Humans have accomplished some amazing things while we have been on this planet. Things like the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and other things have been declared “wonders of the world.”
a. What are some new wonders of the world? What do you think are the greatest things that humans have accomplished?
b. What are some of the wonders, or famous buildings or monuments of your country? Have you ever visited them?
c. Which would you prefer to see, human wonders or natural wonders?
8. 34% of Ukrainians between the ages of 15 and 24 have jobs, and even more of them do some work or are looking for work. Jobs and employment are a huge part of life, and as you get older, it is something you must spend some time thinking about.
a. What kinds of jobs are the most common in your region?
b. What kind of job would you like to have, if you could have any job? Why?
c. Have you ever had a job, or known someone your age who has? Did that person like it?
9. Musical styles change so quickly, sometimes year by year! And of course the music of today is very different from the music of 20 or 30 or 40 years ago. What do you think of the changes In musical style over time?
a. What kind of music do your parents listen to? Do you like that music, too?
b. What do you think of traditional Ukrainian music? How does it compare with current popular music?
c. How and where do you usually listen to music? Are you alone or with friends? Do you buy songs or listen to music online?
10. The relationship between neighbors is different everywhere. In many parts America, people often know their neighbors but aren’t really friends with them. In some places, people go years without ever meeting their neighbors! In a few places, people are good friends with their neighbors. What is the relationship between neighbors like in Ukraine?
a. What do you think of your neighbors? Are you friends with them?
b. What kind of a person would make the perfect neighbor? Describe them
c. Are your neighbors important in your life at all? Why or why not?
11. Thomas Edison said, “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.”
a. What does this quote mean to you?
b. Do you usually work hard to achieve your goals or rely on brilliant ideas?
c. Describe a time when you had to work very hard in order to complete a difficult task.
12. Fashion changes all the time, from year to year and from decade to decade.
a. What clothes are fashionable now? What do people usually wear?
b. Is the current fashion practical? Should clothing be practical?
c. Do you think it is important to stay fashionable?
13. An English proverb says, “The pen is mightier than the sword”
a. What does this proverb mean to you? Do you agree with it?
b. Do you believe that an idea or a poem or a book can change the world? Why or why not?
c. Describe a time that you used words and ideas to solve a problem instead of violence.
14. All children are taught to be polite, to say “please” and “thank you”, to ask permission for things, to greet people they know. These things together are referred to as “manners.”
a. What are some other examples of good manners? What are some examples of bad manners in Ukraine?
b. Are manners important? What difference to manners make in society?
c. What do you think when you see someone with very bad manners? Can you give an example?
15. Describe your favorite fairy tale/folk tale.
a. Who are the characters? Where do they live?
b. What happens in the story?
c. What is the message of the story?
16. Every culture has literature that is important to it, including traditional stories and classic literature.
a. Describe the most famous traditional or classical literature in Ukraine.
b. Do you read this literature in school? How did you like it?
c. What have you learned about your own culture by studying these stories?
17. Everyone is good at something. Finding and nurturing that skill is one of the healthiest and most rewarding things that a person can do.
a. Describe something that you are good at. Did you practice to become good at it?
b. How can you work to improve this ability? What motivates you to improve it?
c. How have you used this ability?
18. An English proverb says, “No man is an island.”
a. What does this mean to you?
b. Do you think that it is important to connect with people?
c. Describe a time when you felt alone. How did you connect with people?
19. In 200,000 years, humans have risen to be one of the most successful animals on the planet. Today there are more than 7 billion humans on earth, and we affect the planet in many ways.
a. What traits or characteristics have made humans such a successful species?
b. Describe one way that humans have changed the planet.
c. Have humans made more positive or negative changes? Explain your reasoning.
20. 15 % of the population in Ukraine is older than 60. In many cultures, it is considered important to respect your elders and to care for them.
a. Is it important to respect your elders? How do you and Ukrainian culture show respect for them?
b. What things can we learn from old people? What role do they play in your life?
c. What do you know about the life of your grandfather or grandmother? Do you know any stories about them?