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Food for thought 2
(A) There are not enough classrooms at the Msekeni primary school, so half the lessons take place in the shade of yellow-blossomed acacia trees. Given this shortage, it might seem odd that one of the school’s purpose-built classrooms has been emptied of pupils and turned into a storeroom for sacks of grain. But it makes sense. Food matters more than shelter.
(B) Msekeni is in one of the poorer parts of Malawi, a landlocked southern African country of exceptional beauty and great poverty. No war lays waste Malawi, nor is the land unusually crowded or infertile, but Malawians still have trouble finding enough to eat. Half of the children under five are underfed to the point of stunting. Hunger blights most aspects of Malawian life, so the country is as good a place as any to investigate how nutrition affects development, and vice versa.
(C) The headmaster at Msekeni, Bernard Kumanda, has strong views on the subject. He thinks food is a priceless teaching aid. Since 1999, his pupils have received free school lunches. Donors such as the World Food Programme (WFP) provide the food: those sacks of grain (mostly mixed maize and soyabean flour, enriched with vitamin A) in that converted classroom. Local volunteers do the cooking—turning the dry ingredients into a bland but nutritious slop, and spooning it out on to plastic plates. The children line up in large crowds, cheerfully singing a song called "We are getting porridge".
(D) When the school’s feeding programme was introduced, enrolment at Msekeni doubled. Some of the new pupils had switched from nearby schools that did not give out free porridge, but most were children whose families had previously kept them at home to work. These families were so pool that the long-term benefits of education seemed unattractive when set against the short-term gain of sending children out to gather firewood or help in the fields. One plate of porridge a day completely altered the calculation A child fed at school will not howl so plaintively for food at home. Girls, who are more likely than boys to be kept out of school, are given extra snacks to take home.
(E) When a school takes in a horde of extra students from the poorest homes, you would expect standards to drop. Anywhere in the world, poor kids tend to perform worse than their better-off classmates. When the influx of new pupils is not accompanied by any increase in the number of teachers, as was the case at Msekeni, you would expect standards to fall even further. But they have not Pass rates at Msekenl improved dramatically, from 30% to 65%. Although this was an exceptional example, the nationwide results of school feeding programmes were still pretty good. On average, after a Malawian school started handing out free food it attracted 38% more girls and 24% more boys. The pass rate for boys stayed about die same, while for girls it improved by 93%.
(F) Better nutrition makes for brighter children. Most immediately, well-fed children find it easier to concentrate. It is hard to focus the mind on long division when your stomach is screaming for food. Mr Kumanda says that it used to be easy to spot the kids who were really undernourished. "They were the ones who stared into space and didn't respond when you asked them questions," he says. More crucially, though, more and better food helps brains grow and develop. Like any other organ in the body, the brain needs nutrition and exercise. But if it is starved of the necessary calories, proteins and micronutrients. It Is stunted, perhaps not as severely as a muscle would be, but stunted nonetheless. That is why feeding children at schools works so well. And the fact that the effect of feeding was more pronounced on girls than on boys gives a clue to who eats first In rural Malawian households. It isn’t the girls.
(G) On a global scale, the good news Is that people are eating better than ever before. Homo sapiens has grown 50% bigger since the industrial revolution. Three centuries ago, chronic malnutrition was more or less universal. Now, it Is extremely rare in rich countries. In developing countries, where most people live, plates and rice bowls are also fuller than ever before. The proportion of children under five in the developing world who are malnourished to the point of stunting fell from 39% in 1990 to 30% in 2000, says the World Health Organisation (WHO). In other places, the battle against hunger is steadily being won. Better nutrition is making people cleverer and more energetic, which will help them grow more prosperous. And when they eventually join the ranks of the well off, they can start fretting about growing too fat.
Questions 1-7: The reading passage has seven paragraphs, A-G Choose the correct heading for paragraphs A-G from the list below. Write the correct number, i-xi, in boxes 1-7 on your answer sheet.
List of Headings
(i) Why better food helps students’ learning
(ii) A song for getting porridge iii Surprising use of school premises
(iv) Global perspective
(v) Brains can be starved
(vi) Surprising academics outcome
(vii) Girls are specially treated in the program
(viii) How food program is operated
(ix) How food program affects school attendance
(x) None of the usual reasons xi How to maintain academic standard
Q.1. Paragraph A
Q.2. Paragraph B
Q.3. Paragraph c
Q.4. Paragraph D
Q.5. Paragraph E
Q.6. Paragraph F
Q.7. Paragraph G
Questions 8-11: Complete the sentences below using NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER from the passage? Write your answers in boxes 8-11 on your answer sheet
Q.8. ________ are exclusively offered to girls in the feeding programme.
Q.9. Instead of going to school, many children in poverty are sent to collect _________ in the fields.
Q.10. The pass rate at Msekeni has risen to __________ with the help of the feeding programme.
Q.11. Since the industrial revolution, the size of the modern human has grown by ___________.
Questions 12-13: Choose TWO letters, A-F. Write your answers in boxes 12 and 13 on your answer sheet. Which TWO of the following statements are true?
(a) Some children are taught in the open air.
(b) Malawi have trouble to feed its large population.
(c) No new staffs were recruited when attendance rose.
(d) Girls enjoy a higher status than boys in the family E Boys and girls experience the same improvement in the pass rate.
(e) WHO has cooperated with WFP to provide grain to the school at Msekeni.
Saving the British Bitterns
(A) Breeding bitterns became extinct in the UK by 1886 but, following re-colonisation early last century, numbers rose to a peak of about 70 booming (singing) males in the 1950s, falling to fewer than 20 by the 1990s. In the late 1980s it was clear that the bittern was in trouble, but there was little information on which to base recovery actions.
(B) Bitterns have cryptic plumage and a shy nature, usually remaining hidden within the cover of reedbed vegetation. Our first challenge was to develop standard methods to monitor their numbers. The boom of the male bittern is its most distinctive feature during the breeding season, and we developed a method to count them using the sound patterns unique to each individual. This not only allows US to be much more certain of the number of booming males in the UK, but also enables us to estimate local survival of males from one year to the next.
(C) Our first direct understanding of the habitat needs of breeding bitterns came from comparisons of reed bed sites that had lost their booming birds with those that retained them. This research showed that bitterns had been retained in reedbeds where the natural process of succession, or drying out, had been slowed through management. Based on this work, broad recommendations on how to manage and rehabilitate reedbeds for bitterns were made, and funding was provided through the EU LIFE Fund to manage 13 sites within the core breeding range. This project, though led by the RSPB, involved many other organisations.
(D) To refine these recommendations and provide fine-scale, quantitative habitat prescriptions on the bitterns’ preferred feeding habitat, we radio-tracked male bitterns on the RSPB’s Minsmere and Leighton Moss reserves. This showed clear preferences for feeding in the wetter reedbed margins, particularly within the reedbed next to larger open pools. The average home range sizes of the male bitterns we followed (about 20 hectares) provided a good indication of the area of reedbed needed when managing or creating habitat for this species. Female bitterns undertake all the incubation and care of the young, so it was important to understand then needs as well. Over the course of our research, we located 87 bittern nests and found that female bitterns preferred to nest in areas of continuous vegetation, well into the reedbed, but where water was still present during the driest part of the breeding season.
(E) The success of the habitat prescriptions developed from this research has been spectacular. For instance, at Minsmere, booming bittern numbers gradually increased from one to 10 following reedbed lowering, a management technique designed to halt the drying out process. After a low point of 11 booming males in 1997, bittern numbers in Britain responded to all the habitat management work and started to increase for the first time since the 1950s.
(F) The final phase of research involved understanding the diet, survival and dispersal of bittern chicks. To do this we fitted small radio tags to young bittern chicks in the nest, to determine their fate through to fledgingand beyond. Many chicks did not survive to fledging and starvation was found to be the most likely reason for their demise. The fish prey fed to chicks was dominated by those species penetrating into the reed edge. So, an important element of recent studies (including a PhD with the University of Hull) has been the development of recommendations on habitat and water conditions to promote healthy native fish populations.
(G) Once independent, radio-tagged young bitterns were found to seek out new sites during their first winter; a proportion of these would remain on new sites to breed if the conditions were suitable. A second EU LIFE funded project aims to provide these suitable sites in new areas. A network of 19 sites developed through this partnership project will secure a more sustainable UK bittern population with successful breeding outside of the core area, less vulnerable to chance events and sea level rise.
(H) By 2004, the number of booming male bitterns in the UK had increased to 55, with almost all of the increase being on those sites undertaking management based on advice derived from our research. Although science has been at the core of the bittern story, success has only been achieved through the trust, hard work and dedication of all the managers, owners and wardens of sites that have implemented, in some cases very drastic, management to secure the future of this wetland species in the UK. The constructed bunds and five major sluices now control the water level over 82 ha, with a further 50 ha coming under control in the winter of 2005/06. Reed establishment has principally used natural regeneration or planted seedlings to provide small core areas that will in time expand to create a bigger reed area. To date nearly 275,000 seedlings have been planted and reed cover is extensive. Over 3 km of new ditches have been formed, 3.7 km of existing ditch have been re-profiled and 2.2 km of old meander (former estuarine features) have been cleaned out.
(I) Bitterns now regularly winter on the site with some indication that they are staying longer into the spring. No breeding has yet occurred but a booming male was present in the spring of 2004. A range of wildfowl breed, as well as a good number of reedbed passerines including reed bunting, reed, sedge and grasshopper warblers. Numbers of wintering shoveler have increased so that the site now holds a UK important wintering population. Malltraeth Reserve now forms part of the UK network of key sites for water vole (a UK priority species) and 12 monitoring transectshave been established. Otter and brown-hare occur on the site as does the rare plant, pillwort.
Questions14-20: The reading passage has seven paragraphs, A-H
List of Headings
(i) research findings into habitats and decisions made
(ii) fluctuation in bittern number
(iii) protect the young bittern
(iv) international cooperation works
(v) Began in calculation of the number
(vi) importance of food vii Research has been successful.
(viii) research into the reedbed
(ix) reserve established holding bittern in winter
Choose the correct heading for paragraphs A-H from the list below. Write the correct number, i-viii, in boxes 14-20 on your answer sheet.
Q.14. Paragraph A
Q.15. Paragraph B
Q.16. Paragraph C
Q.17. Paragraph D
Q.18. Paragraph F
Q.19. Paragraph G
Q.20. Paragraph H
Questions 21-26: Answer the questions below. Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER from the passage for each answer.
Q.21. When did the bird of bitten reach its peak of number?
Q.22. What does the author describe the bittern’s character?
Q.23. What is the main cause for the chick bittern’s death?
Q.24. What is the main food for chick bittern?
Q.25. What system does it secure the stability for bittern’s population?
Q.26. Besides bittern and rare vegetation, what mammal does the protection plan benefit?
Questions 27: Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D. Write your answers in boxes 27 on your answer sheet.
Q.27. What is the main purpose of this passage?
(a) Main characteristic of a bird called bittern.
(b) Cooperation can protect an endangered species,
(c) The difficulty of access information of bittern’s habitat and diet.
(d) To save wetland and reedbed in UK.
(A) E-leaming is the unifying term to describe the fields of online learning, web-based training, and technology-delivered instruction, which can be a great benefit to corporate e-learning. IBM, for instance, claims that the institution of its e-training program, Basic Blue, whose purpose is to train new managers, saved the company in the range of $200 million in 1999. Cutting the travel expenses required to bring employees and instructors to a central classroom accounts for the lion’s share of the savings. With an online course, employees can learn from any Internet-connected PC, anywhere in the world. Ernst and Young reduced training costs by 35 percent while improving consistency and scalability.
(B) In addition to generally positive economic benefits, other advantages such as convenience, standardized delivery, self-paced learning, and variety of available content, have made e-learning a high priority for many corporations. E-learning is widely believed to offer flexible "any time, any place" learning. The claim for "any place" is valid in principle and is a great development. Many people can engage with rich learning materials that simply were not possible in a paper or broadcast distance learning era. For teaching specific information and skills, e-training holds great promise. It can be especially effective at helping employees prepare for IT certification programs. E-learning also seems to effectively address topics such as sexual harassment education,’ safety training and management training — all areas where a clear set of objectives can be identified. Ultimately, training experts recommend a "blended" approach that combines both online and in-person framing as the instruction requires. Elearning is not an end-all solution. But if it helps decrease costs and windowless classrooms filled with snoring students, it definitely has its advantages.
(C) Much of the discussion about implementing e-learning has focused on the technology, but as Driscoll and others have reminded us, e-learning is not just about the technology, but also many human factors. As any capable manager knows, teaching employees new skills is critical to a smoothly run business. Having said that, however, the traditional route of classroom instruction runs the risk of being expensive, slow and, often times, ineffective. Perhaps the classroom's greatest disadvantage is the fact that it takes employees out of their jobs. Every minute an employee is sitting in a classroom training session is a minute they're not out on the floor working. It now looks as if there is a way to circumvent these traditional training drawbacks. E-training promises more effective teaching techniques by integrating audio, video, animation, text and interactive materials with the intent of teaching each student at his or her own pace. In addition to higher performance results, there are other immediate benefits to students such as increased time on task, higher levels of motivation, and reduced test anxiety for many learners. A California State University Northridge study reported that e-learners performed 20 percent better than traditional learners. Nelson reported a significant difference between the mean grades of 406 university students earned in traditional and distance education classes, where the distance learners outperformed the traditional learners.
(D) On the other hand, nobody said E-training technology would be cheap. E-training service providers, on the average, charge from $10,000 to $60,000 to develop one hour of online instruction. This price varies depending on the complexity of the training topic and the media used. HTML pages are a little cheaper to develop while streaming-video presentations or flash animations cost more. Course content is just the starting place for cost. A complete e-learning solution also includes the technology platform (the computers, applications and network connections that are used to deliver the courses). This technology platform, known as a learning management system (LMS), can either be installed onsite or outsourced. Add to that cost the necessary investments in network bandwidth to deliver multimedia courses, and you're left holding one heck of a bill. For the LMS infrastructure and a dozen or so online courses, costs can top $500,000 in the first year. These kinds of costs mean that custom e-training is, for the time being, an option only for large organizations. For those companies that have a large enough staff, the e-training concept pays for itself. Aware of this fact, large companies are investing heavily in online training. Today, over half of the 400-plus courses that Rockwell Collins offers are delivered instantly to its clients in an e-learning format/ a change that has reduced its annual training costs by 40%. Many other success stories exist.
(E) E-learning isn't expected to replace the classroom entirely. For one thing, bandwidth limitations are still an Issue in presenting multimedia over the Internet Futhermore, e-training isn't suited to every mode of instruction or topic. For instance, it's rather ineffective impasting cultural values or building teams. If your company has a unique corporate culture it would be difficult to convey that to first time employees through a computer monitor. Group training sessions are more ideal for these purposes. In addition, there is a perceived loss of research time because of the work involved in developing and teaching online classes. Professor Wallin estimated that It required between 500 and 1000 person-hours, that is, Wallin-hours, to keep the course at the appropriate level of currency and usefulness, (Distance learning instructors often need technical skills, no matter how advanced the courseware system.) That amounts to between a quarter and half of a person-year. Finally, teaching materials require computer literacy and access to equipment Any e-Learning system Involves basic equipment and a minimum level of computer knowledge in order to perform the tasks required by the system. A student that does not possess these skills, or have access to these tools, cannot succeed in an eLearning program.
(F) While few people debate the obvious advantages of e-learning, systematic research is needed to confirm that learners are actually acquiring and using -the skills that are being taught online, and that e-learning is the best way to achieve the outcomes in a corporate environment. Nowadays, a go-between style of the Blended learning, which refers to a mixing of different learning environments, is gaining popularity. It combines traditional face-to-face classroom methods with more modem computer-mediated activities. According to its proponents, the strategy creates a more integrated approach for both instructors and learners. Formerly, technology-based materials played a supporting role to face-to-face instruction. Through a blended learning approach, technology will be more important.
Questions 28-33: The reading passage has seven paragraphs, A-F. Choose the correct heading for paragraphs A-F from the list below. Write the correct number, i-xi, in boxes 28-33 on your answer sheet.
List of Headings
(i) overview of the benefits for the application of E-training
(ii) IBM's successful choice of training
(iii) Future direction and a new style of teaching
(iv) learners' achievement and advanced teaching materials
(v) limitations when E-training compares with traditional class
(vi) multimedia over the Internet can be a solution
(vii) technology can be a huge financial burden
(viii) the distance learners outperformed the traditional university learners in worldwide
(ix) other advantages besides economic consideration
(x) Training offered to help people learn using computers
Q.28. Paragraph A
Q.29. Paragraph B
Q.30. Paragraph C
Q.31. Paragraph D
Q.33. Paragraph E
Q.34. Paragraph F
Questions 34-37: The reading Passage has seven paragraphs A-F. Which paragraph contains the following information ? Write the correct letter A-F, in boxes 35-37 on your answer sheet.
Q.34. Projected Basic Blue in IBM achieved a great success.
Q.35. E-learning wins as a priority for many corporations as its flexibility.
Q.36. The combination of the traditional and c-training environments may prevail.
Q.37. Example of a fast electronic delivery for a company’s products to its customers.
Questions 38-40: Choose Three correct letters, among A-E Write your answers in boxes 38-40 on your answer sheet.
(a) Technical facilities are hardly obtained.
(b) Presenting multimedia over the Internet is restricted due to the bandwidth limit,
(c) It is ineffective imparting a unique corporate value to fresh employees.
(d) Employees need block a long time leaving their position attending training.
(e) More preparation time is needed to keep the course at the suitable level.
Section - 2
Section - 3