Tổng hợp topic Education IELTS READING (PDF)(Phần 2)

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II. Tổng hợp topic Education IELTS READING (PDF) (Phần 2)

14. Bài 14

Gifted children and learning

A. Internationally, ‘giftedness’ is most frequently determined by a score on a general intelligence test, known as an IQ test, which is above a chosen cutoff point, usually at around the top 2-5%. Children’s educational environment contributes to the IQ score and the way intelligence is used. For example, a very close positive relationship was found when children’s IQ scores were compared with their home educational provision (Freeman, 2010). The higher the children’s IQ scores, especially over IQ 130, the better the quality of their educational backup, measured in terms of reported verbal interactions with parents, number of books and activities in their home etc. Because IQ tests are decidedly influenced by what the child has learned, they are to some extent measures of current achievement based on age-norms; that is, how well the children have learned to manipulate their knowledge and know-how within the terms of the test. The vocabulary aspect, for example, is dependent on having heard those words. But IQ tests can neither identify the processes of learning and thinking nor predict creativity.

B. Excellence does not emerge without appropriate help. To reach an exceptionally high standard in any area very able children need the means to learn, which includes material to work with and focused challenging tuition -and the encouragement to follow their dream. There appears to be a qualitative difference in the way the intellectually highly able think, compared with more average-ability or older pupils, for whom external regulation by the teacher often compensates for lack of internal regulation. To be at their most effective in their self-regulation, all children can be helped to identify their own ways of learning – metacognition – which will include strategies of planning, monitoring, evaluation, and choice of what to learn. Emotional awareness is also part of metacognition, so children should be helped to be aware of their feelings around the area to be learned, feelings of curiosity or confidence, for example.

C. High achievers have been found to use self-regulatory learning strategies more often and more effectively than lower achievers, and are better able to transfer these strategies to deal with unfamiliar tasks. This happens to such a high degree in some children that they appear to be demonstrating talent in particular areas. Overviewing research on the thinking process of highly able children, (Shore and Kanevsky, 1993) put the instructor’s problem succinctly: ‘ If they [the gifted] merely think more quickly, then we need only teach more quickly. If they merely make fewer errors, then we can shorten the practice ’. But of course, this is not entirely the case; adjustments have to be made in methods of learning and teaching, to take account of the many ways individuals think.

D. Yet in order to learn by themselves, the gifted do need some support from their teachers. Conversely, teachers who have a tendency to ‘overdirect’ can diminish their gifted pupils’ learning autonomy. Although ‘ spoon-feeding ’ can produce extremely high examination results, these are not always followed by equally impressive life successes. Too much dependence on the teachers risks loss of autonomy and motivation to discover. However, when teachers o pupils to reflect on their own learning and thinking activities, they increase their pupils’ self-regulation. For a young child, it may be just the simple question ‘What have you learned today?’ which helps them to recognise what they are doing. Given that a fundamental goal of education is to transfer the control of learning from teachers to pupils, improving pupils’ learning to learn techniques should be a major outcome of the school experience, especially for the highly competent. There are quite a number of new methods which can help, such as child- initiated learning, ability-peer tutoring, etc. Such practices have been found to be particularly useful for bright children from deprived areas.

E. But scientific progress is not all theoretical, knowledge is a so vital to outstanding performance: individuals who know a great deal about a specific domain will achieve at a higher level than those who do not (Elshout, 1995). Research with creative scientists by Simonton (1988) brought him to the conclusion that above a certain high level, characteristics such as independence seemed to contribute more to reaching the highest levels of expertise than intellectual skills, due to the great demands of effort and time needed for learning and practice. Creativity in all forms can be seen as expertise as mixed with a high level of motivation (Weisberg, 1993).

F. To sum up, learning is affected by emotions of both the individual and significant others. Positive emotions facilitate the creative aspects of earning and negative emotions inhibit it. Fear, for example, can limit the development of curiosity, which is a strong force in scientific advance, because it motivates problem-solving behaviour. In Boekaerts ’ (1991) review of emotion the learning of very high IQ and highly achieving children, she found emotional forces in harness. They were not only curious, but often had a strong desire to control their environment, improve their learning efficiency and increase their own learning resources. 


Questions 14-17

Reading Passage 2 has six paragraphs, A-F.
Which paragraph contains the following information?

Write the correct letter, A-F, in boxes 14-17 on your answer sheet.

NB You may use any letter more than once.

14. a reference to the influence of the domestic background on the gifted child.
15. reference to what can be lost if learners are given too much guidance.
16. a reference to the damaging effects of anxiety.
17. examples of classroom techniques which favour socially-disadvantaged children.

Questions 18-22

Look at the following statements (Questions 18-22) and the list of people below. Match each statement with the correct person or people, A-E. Write the correct letter, A-E, in boxes 18-22 on your answer sheet.

18. Less time can be spent on exercises with gifted pupils who produce accurate work.
19. Self-reliance is a valuable tool that helps gifted students reach their goals.
20. Gifted children know how to channel their feelings to assist their learning.
21. The very gifted child benefits from appropriate support from close relatives.
22. Really successful students have learnt a considerable amount about their subject.

List of People

    A.    Freeman
    B.   Shore and Kanevsky
    C.   Elshout
    D.  Simonton
    E.   Boekaerts

Questions 23-26

Complete the sentences below. Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the passage for each answer. Write your answers in boxes 23—26 on your answer sheet.

23. One study found a strong connection between children’s IQ and the availability of .............. and ...................  at home.
24. Children of average ability seem to need more direction from teachers because they do not have ....................
25. Meta-cognition involves children understanding their own learning strategies, as well as developing ....................
26. Teachers who rely on what is known as .................... often produce sets of impressive grades in class tests.

15. Bài 15

Preface to ‘How the other half thinks: Adventures in mathematical reasoning’

A. Occasionally, in some difficult musical compositions, there are beautiful, but easy parts - parts so simple a beginner could play them. So it is with mathematics as well. There are some discoveries in advanced mathematics that do not depend on specialized knowledge, not even on algebra, geometry, or trigonometry. Instead, they may involve, at most, a little arithmetic, such as ‘the sum of two odd numbers is even’, and common sense. Each of the eight chapters in this book illustrates this phenomenon. Anyone can understand every step in the reasoning. The thinking in each chapter uses at most only elementary arithmetic, and sometimes not even that. Thus all readers will have the chance to participate in a mathematical experience, to appreciate the beauty of mathematics, and to become familiar with its logical, yet intuitive, style of thinking.

B. One of my purposes in writing this book is to give readers who haven’t had the opportunity to see and enjoy real mathematics the chance to appreciate the mathematical way of thinking. I want to reveal not only some of the fascinating discoveries, but, more importantly, the reasoning behind them. In that respect, this book differs from most books on mathematics written for the general public. Some present the lives of colorful mathematicians. Others describe important applications of mathematics. Yet others go into mathematical procedures, but assume that the reader is adept in using algebra.

C. I hope this book will help bridge that notorious gap that separates the two cultures: the humanities and the sciences, or should I say the right brain (intuitive) and the left brain (analytical, numerical). As the chapters will illustrate, mathematics is not restricted to the analytical and numerical; intuition plays a significant role. The alleged gap can be narrowed or completely overcome by anyone, in part because each of us is far from using the full capacity of either side of the brain. To illustrate our human potential, I cite a structural engineer who is an artist, an electrical engineer who is an opera singer, an opera singer who published mathematical research, and a mathematician who publishes short stories.

D. Other scientists have written books to explain their fields to non-scientists, but have necessarily had to omit the mathematics, although it provides the foundation of their theories. The reader must remain a tantalized spectator rather than an involved participant, since the appropriate language for describing the details in much of science is mathematics, whether the subject is expanding universe, subatomic particles, or chromosomes. Though the broad.outline of a scientific theory can be sketched intuitively, when a part of the physical universe is finally understood, its description often looks like a page in a mathematics text.

E. Still, the non-mathematical reader can go far in understanding mathematical reasoning. This book presents the details that illustrate the mathematical style of thinking, which involves sustained, step-by-step analysis, experiments, and insights. You will turn these pages much more slowly than when reading a novel or a newspaper. It may help to have a pencil and paper ready to check claims and carry out experiments.

F. As I wrote, I kept in mind two types of readers: those who enjoyed mathematics until they were turned off by an unpleasant episode, usually around fifth grade, and mathematics aficionados, who will find much that is new throughout the book. This book also serves readers who simply want to sharpen their analytical skills. Many careers, such as law and medicine, require extended, precise analysis. Each chapter offers practice in following a sustained and closely argued line of thought. That mathematics can develop this skill is shown by these two testimonials:

G. A physician wrote, The discipline of analytical thought processes [in mathematics] prepared me extremely well for medical school. In medicine one is faced with a problem which must be thoroughly analyzed before a solution can be found. The process is similar to doing mathematics.’

A lawyer made the same point, “Although I had no background in law - not even one political science course — I did well at one of the best law schools. I attribute much of my success there to having learned, through the study of mathematics, and, in particular, theorems, how to analyze complicated principles. Lawyers who have studied mathematics can master the legal principles in a way that most others cannot.’

Questions 27-34
Reading Passage 3 has seven sections, A-G.

Which section contains the following information?

Write the correct letter, A— G, in boxes 27 — 34 on your answer sheet.
NB. You may use any letter more than once.

27. a reference to books that assume a lack of mathematical knowledge
28. the way in which this is not a typical book about mathematics
29. personal examples of being helped by mathematics
30. examples of people who each had abilities that seemed incompatible
31. mention of different focuses of books about mathematics
32. a contrast between reading this book and reading other kinds of publication
33. a claim that the whole of the book is accessible to everybody
34. a reference to different categories of intended readers of this book

Questions 35-40

Complete the sentences below. Choose ONE WORD ONLY from the passage for each answer. Write your answers in boxes 35- 40 on your answer sheet.

35. Some areas of both music and mathematics are suitable for someone who is a ....................
36. It is sometimes possible to understand advanced mathematics using no more than a limited knowledge of .............
37. The writer intends to show that mathematics requires .................... thinking, as well as analytical skills.
38. Some books written by .................... have had to leave out the mathematics that is central to their theories.
39. The writer advises non-mathematical readers to perform .................... while reading
40. A lawyer found that studying .................... helped even more than other areas of mathematics in the study of law.

16. Bài 16

Questions 27-32

Reading Passage 3 has six sections, A-F. Choose the correct heading for each section from the list of headings below. Write the correct number, i-viii, in boxes 27-32 on your answer sheet.

List of Headings

i. Courses that require a high level of commitment
ii. A course title with two meanings
iii. The equal importance of two key issues
iv. Applying a theory in an unexpected context
v. The financial benefits of studying
vi. A surprising course title
vii. Different names for different outcomes
viii. The possibility of attracting the wrong kind of student

7. Section A
28. Section B
29. Section C
30. Section D
31. Section E
32. Section F

What’s the purpose of gaining knowledge?

A. ‘I would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any subject' That was the founder's motto for Cornell University, and it seems an apt characterization of the different university, also in the USA, where I currently teach philosophy. A student can prepare for a career in resort management, engineering, interior design, accounting, music, law enforcement, you name it. But what would the founders of these two institutions have thought of a course called Arson for Profit’? I kid you not: we have it on the books. Any undergraduates who have met the academic requirements can sign up for the course in our program in 'fire science’.

B. Naturally, the course is intended for prospective arson investigators, who can learn all the tricks of the trade for detecting whether a fire was deliberately set, discovering who did it, and establishing a chain of evidence for effective prosecution in a court of law. But wouldn’t this also be the perfect course for prospective arsonists to sign up for? My point is not to criticize academic programs in fire science: they are highly welcome as part of the increasing professionalization of this and many other occupations. However, it’s not unknown for a firefighter to torch a building. This example suggests how dishonest and illegal behavior, with the help of higher education, can creep into every aspect of public and business life.

C. I realized this anew when I was invited to speak before a class in marketing, which is another of our degree programs. The regular instructor is a colleague who appreciates the kind of ethical perspective I can bring as a philosopher. There are endless ways I could have approached this assignment, but I took my cue from the title of the course: 'Principles of Marketing’. It made me think to ask the students, 'Is marketing principled?’ After all, a subject matter can have principles in the sense of being codified, having rules, as with football or chess, without being principled in the sense of being ethical. Many of the students immediately assumed that the answer to my question about marketing principles was obvious: no. Just look at the ways in which everything under the sun has been marketed; obviously, it need not be done in a principled (=ethical) fashion.

D. Is that obvious? I made the suggestion, which may sound downright crazy in light of the evidence, that perhaps marketing is by definition principled. My inspiration for this judgement is the philosopher Immanuel Kant, who argued that any body of knowledge consists of an end (or purpose) and a means.

E. Let us apply both the terms 'means' and ‘end' to marketing. The students have signed up for a course in order to learn how to market effectively. But to what end? There seem to be two main attitudes toward that question. One is that the answer is obvious: the purpose of marketing is to sell things and to make money. The other attitude is that the purpose of marketing is irrelevant: Each person comes to the program and course with his or her own plans, and these need not even concern the acquisition of marketing expertise as such. My proposal, which I believe would also be Kant's, is that neither of these attitudes captures the significance of the end to the means for marketing. A field of knowledge or a professional endeavor is defined by both the means and the end; hence both deserve scrutiny. Students need to study both how to achieve X, and also what X is.

F. It is at this point that ‘Arson for Profit’ becomes supremely relevant. That course is presumably all about means: how to detect and prosecute criminal activity. It is therefore assumed that the end is good in an ethical sense. When I ask fire science students to articulate the end, or purpose, of their field, they eventually generalize to something like, ‘The safety and welfare of society,’ which seems right. As we have seen, someone could use the very same knowledge of means to achieve a much less noble end, such as personal profit via destructive, dangerous, reckless activity. But we would not call that firefighting. We have a separate word for it: arson. Similarly, if you employed the ‘principles of marketing’ in an unprincipled way, you would not be doing marketing. We have another term for it: fraud. Kant gives the example of a doctor and a poisoner, who use the identical knowledge to achieve their divergent ends. We would say that one is practicing medicine, the other, murder.

Questions 33-36

Complete the summary below. Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the passage for each answer. Write your answers in boxes 33-36 on your answer sheet.

The ‘Arson for Profit’ course

This is a university course intended for students who are undergraduates and who are studying 33 ..................... . The expectation is that they will become 34 ..................... specialising in arson. The course will help them to detect cases of arson and find 35 ..................... of criminal intent, leading to successful 36 ..................... in the courts.

Questions 37-40

Do the following statements agree with the views of the writer in Reading Passage 3? In boxes 37-40 on your answer sheet, write:

YES if the statement agrees with the views of the writer
NO if the statement contradicts the views of the writer
NOT GIVEN if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this

37. It is difficult to attract students onto courses that do not focus on a career.

38. The ‘Arson for Profit’ course would be useful for people intending to set fire to buildings.

39. Fire science courses are too academic to help people to be good at the job of firefighting.

40. The writer’s fire science students provided a detailed definition of the purpose of their studies.

17. Bài 17

The Benefits of Being Bilingual

A. According to the latest figures, the majority of the world’s population is now bilingual or multilingual, having grown up speaking two or more languages. In the past, such children were considered to be at a disadvantage compared with their monolingual peers. Over the past few decades, however, technological advances have allowed researchers to look more deeply at how bilingualism interacts with and changes the cognitive and neurological systems, thereby identifying several clear benefits of being bilingual.

B. Research shows that when a bilingual person uses one language, the other is active at the same time. When we hear a word, we don’t hear the entire word all at once: the sounds arrive in sequential order. Long before the word is finished, the brain’s language system begins to guess what that word might be. If you hear ‘can’, you will likely activate words like ‘candy’ and ‘candle’ as well, at least during the earlier stages of word recognition. For bilingual people, this activation is not limited to a single language; auditory input activates corresponding words regardless of the language to which they belong. Some of the most compelling evidence for this phenomenon, called ‘language co-activation’, comes from studying eye movements. A Russian-English bilingual asked to ‘pick up a marker’ from a set of objects would look more at a stamp than someone who doesn’t know Russian, because the Russian word for ‘stamp’, marka, sounds like the English word he or she heard, ‘marker’. In cases like this, language co-activation occurs because what the listener hears could map onto words in either language.

C. Having to deal with this persistent linguistic competition can result in difficulties, however. For instance, knowing more than one language can cause speakers to name pictures more slowly, and can increase ‘tip-of-the-tongue states’, when you can almost, but not quite, bring a word to mind. As a result, the constant juggling of two languages creates a need to control how much a person accesses a language at any given time. For this reason, bilingual people often perform better on tasks that require conflict management. In the classic Stroop Task, people see a word and are asked to name the colour of the word’s font. When the colour and the word match (i., the word ‘red’ printed in red), people correctly name the colour more quickly than when the colour and the word don’t match (i., the word ‘red’ printed in blue). This occurs because the word itself (‘red’) and its font colour (blue) conflict. Bilingual people often excel at tasks such as this, which tap into the ability to ignore competing perceptual information and focus on the relevant aspects of the input. Bilinguals are also better at switching between two tasks; for example, when bilinguals have to switch from categorizing objects by colour (red or green) to categorizing them by shape (circle or triangle), they do so more quickly than monolingual people, reflecting better cognitive control when having to make rapid changes of strategy.

D. It also seems that the neurological roots of the bilingual advantage extend to brain areas more traditionally associated with sensory processing. When monolingual and bilingual adolescents listen to simple speech sounds without any intervening background noise, they show highly similar brain stem responses. When researchers play the same sound to both groups in the presence of background noise, however, the bilingual listeners’ neural response is considerably larger, reflecting better encoding of the sound’s fundamental frequency, a feature of sound closely related to pitch perception.

E. Such improvements in cognitive and sensory processing may help a bilingual person to process information in the environment, and help explain why bilingual adults acquire a third language better than monolingual adults master a second language. This advantage may be rooted in the skill of focussing on information about the new language while reducing interference from the languages they already know.

F. Research also indicates that bilingual experience may help to keep the cognitive mechanisms sharp by recruiting alternate brain networks to compensate for those that become damaged during aging. Older bilinguals enjoy improved memory relative to monolingual people, which can lead to real-world health benefits. In a study of over 200 patients with Alzheimer’s disease, a degenerative brain disease, bilingual patients reported showing initial symptoms of the disease an average of five years later than monolingual patients. In a follow-up study, researchers compared the brains of bilingual and monolingual patients matched on the severity of Alzheimer’s symptoms. Surprisingly, the bilinguals’ brains had more physical signs of disease than their monolingual counterparts, even though their outward behaviour and abilities were the same. If the brain is an engine, bilingualism may help it to go farther on the same amount of fuel.

G. Furthermore, the benefits associated with bilingual experience seem to start very early. In one study, researchers taught seven-month-old babies growing up in monolingual or bilingual homes that when they heard a tinkling sound, a puppet appeared on one side of a screen. Halfway through the study, the puppet began appearing on the opposite side of the screen. In order to get a reward, the infants had to adjust the rule they’d learned; only the bilingual babies were able to successfully learn the new rule. This suggests that for very young children, as well as for older people, navigating a multilingual environment imparts advantages that transfer far beyond language.

Questions 27-31

Complete the table below. Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the passage for each answer. Write your answers in boxes 27-31 on your answer sheet.

The Benefits of Being Bilingual

Questions 32-36
Do the following statements agree with the claims of the writer in Reading Passage? In boxes 32-36 on your answer sheet, write:

YES if the statement agrees with the claims of the writer

NO if the statement contradicts the claims of the writer

NOT GIVEN if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this

32. Attitudes towards bilingualism have changed in recent years.

33. Bilingual people are better than monolingual people at guessing correctly what words are before they are finished.

34. Bilingual people consistently name images faster than monolingual people.

35. Bilingual people’s brains process single sounds more efficiently than monolingual people in all situations.

36. Fewer bilingual people than monolingual people suffer from brain disease in old age.

Questions 37-40
Reading Passage has seven paragraphs, A-G.

Which paragraph contains the following information?

Write the correct letter, A-G, in boxes 37-40 on your answer sheet.

37. an example of how bilingual and monolingual people’s brains respond differently to a certain type of non-verbal auditory input

38. a demonstration of how a bilingual upbringing has benefits even before we learn to speak

39. a description of the process by which people identify words that they hear

40. reference to some negative consequences of being bilingual

18. Bài 18

The importance of children’s play

Brick by brick, six-year-old Alice is building a magical kingdom. Imagining fairy-tale turrets and fire-breathing dragons, wicked witches and gallant heroes, she’s creating an enchanting world. Although she isn’t aware of it, this fantasy is helping her take her first steps towards her capacity for creativity and so it will have important repercussions in her adult life.

Minutes later, Alice has abandoned the kingdom in favour of playing schools with her younger brother. When she bosses him around as his ‘teacher’, she’s practising how to regulate her emotions through pretence. Later on, when they tire of this and settle down with a board game, she’s learning about the need to follow rules and take turns with a partner.

‘Play in all its rich variety is one of the highest achievements of the human species,’ says Dr David Whitebread from the Faculty of Education at the University of Cambridge, UK. ‘It underpins how we develop as intellectual, problem-solving adults and is crucial to our success as a highly adaptable species.’

Recognising the importance of play is not new: over two millennia ago, the Greek philosopher Plato extolled its virtues as a means of developing skills for adult life, and ideas about play-based learning have been developing since the 19th century.

But we live in changing times, and Whitebread is mindful of a worldwide decline in play, pointing out that over half the people in the world now live in cities. ‘The opportunities for free play, which I experienced almost every day of my childhood, are becoming increasingly scarce,’ he says. Outdoor play is curtailed by perceptions of risk to do with traffic, as well as parents’ increased wish to protect their children from being the victims of crime, and by the emphasis on ‘earlier is better’ which is leading to greater competition in academic learning and schools.

International bodies like the United Nations and the European Union have begun to develop policies concerned with children’s right to play, and to consider implications for leisure facilities and educational programmes. But what they often lack is the evidence to base policies on.

‘The type of play we are interested in is child-initiated, spontaneous and unpredictable – but, as soon as you ask a five-year-old “to play”, then you as the researcher have intervened,’ explains Dr Sara Baker. ‘And we want to know what the long-term impact of play is. It’s a real challenge.’

Dr Jenny Gibson agrees, pointing out that although some of the steps in the puzzle of how and why play is important have been looked at, there is very little data on the impact it has on the child’s later life.
Now, thanks to the university’s new Centre for Research on Play in Education, Development and Learning (PEDAL), Whitebread, Baker, Gibson and a team of researchers hope to provide evidence on the role played by play in how a child develops.

‘A strong possibility is that play supports the early development of children’s self control,’ explains Baker. ‘This is our ability to develop awareness of our own thinking processes – it influences how effectively we go about undertaking challenging activities.’

In a study carried out by Baker with toddlers and young pre-schoolers, she found that children with greater self-control solved problems more quickly when exploring an unfamiliar set-up requiring scientific reasoning. ‘This sort of evidence makes us think that giving children the chance to play will make them more successful problemsolvers in the long run.’

If playful experiences do facilitate this aspect of development, say the researchers, it could be extremely significant for educational practices, because the ability to self regulate has been shown to be a key predictor of academic performance.

Gibson adds: ‘Playful behaviour is also an important indicator of healthy social and emotional development. In my previous research, I investigated how observing children at play can give us important clues about their well-being and can even be useful in the diagnosis of neurodevelopmental disorders like autism.’

Whitebread’s recent research has involved developing a play-based approach to supporting children’s writing. ‘Many primary school children find writing difficult, but we showed in a previous study that a playful stimulus was far more effective than an instructional one.’ Children wrote longer and better-structured stories when they first played with dolls representing characters in the story. In the latest study, children first created their story with Lego*, with similar results. ‘Many teachers commented that they had always previously had children saying they didn’t know what to write about. With the Lego building, however, not a single child said this through the whole year of the project.’

Whitebread, who directs PEDAL, trained as a primary school teacher in the early 1970s, when, as he describes, ‘the teaching of young children was largely a quiet backwater, untroubled by any serious intellectual debate or controversy.’ Now, the landscape is very different, with hotly debated topics such as school starting age.

‘Somehow the importance of play has been lost in recent decades. It’s regarded as something trivial, or even as something negative that contrasts with “work”. Let’s not lose sight of its benefits, and the fundamental contributions it makes to human achievements in the arts, sciences and technology. Let’s make sure children have a rich diet of play experiences.’
* Lego: coloured plastic building blocks and other pieces that can be joined together

Questions 1-8

Complete the notes below. Choose ONE WORD ONLY from the passage for each answer. Write your answers in boxes 1-8 on your answer sheet.

Children's play

Uses of children’s play

  • building a ‘magical kingdom’ may help develop 1 ....................
  • board games involve 2 .................... and turn-taking

Recent changes affecting children’s play

  • populations of 3 .................... have grown
  • opportunities for free play are limited due to:
    • fear of 4 ....................
    • fear of 5 ....................
    • increased 6 .................... in schools

International policies on children’s play:

  • it is difficult to find 7 .................... to support new policies
  • research needs to study the impact of play on the rest of the child’s 8 ....................

Questions 9-13
Do the following statements agree with the information given on the reading passage? In boxes 9-13 on your answer sheet, write:

TRUE if the statement agrees with the information
FALSE if the statement contradicts the information
NOT GIVEN if there is no information on this

9. Children with good self-control are known to be likely to do well at school later on.
10. The way a child plays may provide information about possible medical problems.
11. Playing with dolls was found to benefit girls’ writing more than boys’ writing.
12. Children had problems thinking up ideas when they first created the story with Lego.
13. People nowadays regard children’s play as less significant than they did in the past.

19. Bài 19

The power of play

Virtually every child, the world over, plays. The drive to play is so intense that children will do so in any circumstances, for instance when they have no real toys, or when parents do not actively encourage the behavior. In the eyes of a young child, running, pretending, and the building is fun. Researchers and educators know that these playful activities benefit the development of the whole child across social, cognitive, physical, and emotional domains. Indeed, play is such an instrumental component to healthy child development that the United Nations High Commission on Human Rights (1989) recognized play as a fundamental right of every child.
Yet, while experts continue to expound a powerful argument for the importance of play in children’s lives, the actual time children spend playing continues to decrease. Today, children play eight hours less each week than their counterparts did two decades ago (Elkind 2008). Under the pressure of rising academic standards, play is being replaced by test preparation in kindergartens and grade schools, and parents who aim to give their preschoolers a leg up are led to believe that flashcards and educational ‘toys’ are the paths to success. Our society has created a false dichotomy between play and learning
Through play, children learn to regulate their behavior, lay the foundations for later learning in science and mathematics, figure out the complex negotiations of social relationships, build a repertoire of creative problem-solving skills, and so much more. There is also an important role for adults in guiding children through playful learning opportunities.
Full consensus on a formal definition of play continues to elude the researchers and theorists who study it. Definitions range from discrete descriptions of various types of play such as physical, construction, language, or symbolic play (Miller & Almon 2009), to lists of broad criteria, based on observations and attitudes, that are meant to capture the essence of all play behaviors (e.g. Rubin et al. 1983).
A majority of the contemporary definitions of play focus on several key criteria. The founder of the National Institute for Play, Stuart Brown, has described the play as ‘anything that spontaneously is done for its own sake’. More specifically, he says it ‘appears purposeless, produces pleasure and joy, [and] leads one to the next stage of mastery’ (as quoted in Tippett 2008). Similarly, Miller and Almon (2009) say that play includes ‘activities that are freely chosen and directed by children and arise from intrinsic motivation’. Often, play is defined along a continuum as more or less playful using the following set of behavioral and dispositional criteria (e.g. Rubin et al. 1983).
Play is pleasurable: Children must enjoy the activity or it is not played. It is intrinsically motivated: Children engage in play simply for the satisfaction the behavior itself brings. It has no extrinsically motivated function or goal. Play is process-oriented: When children play, the means are more important than the ends. It is freely chosen, spontaneous, and voluntary. If a child is pressured, they will likely not think of the activity as play. Play is actively engaged: Players must be physically and/or mentally involved in the activity. Play is non-literal. It involves make-believe.
According to this view, children’s playful behaviors can range in degree from 0% to 100% playful. Rubin and colleagues did not assign greater weight to any one dimension in determining playfulness; however, other researchers have suggested that process orientation and a lack of obvious functional purpose may be the most important aspects of play (e.g. Pellegrini 2009).
From the perspective of a continuum, play can thus blend with other motives and attitudes that are less playful, such as work. Unlike the play, work is typically not viewed as enjoyable and it is extrinsically motivated (i.e. it is goal-oriented). Researcher Joan Goodman (1994) suggested that hybrid forms of work and play are not a detriment to learning; rather, they can provide optimal contexts for learning. For example, a child may be engaged in a difficult, goal-directed activity set up by their teacher, but they may still be actively engaged and intrinsically motivated. At this mid-point between play and work, the child’s motivation, coupled with guidance from an adult, can create robust opportunities for playful learning.
Critically, recent research supports the idea that adults can facilitate children’s learning while maintaining a playful approach in interactions known as ‘guided play’ (Fisher et al. 2011). The adult’s role in play varies as a function of their educational goals and the child’s developmental level (Hirsch-Pasek et al. 2009).
The guided play takes two forms. At a very basic level, adults can enrich the child’s environment by providing objects or experiences that promote aspects of a curriculum. In the more direct form of guided play, parents or other adults can support children’s play by joining in the fun as a co-player, raising thoughtful questions, commenting on children’s discoveries, or encouraging further exploration or new facets to the child’s activity. Although playful learning can be somewhat structured, it must also be child-centered (Nicolopolou et al. 2006). Play should stem from the child’s own desire.
Both free and guided play are essential elements in a child-centered approach to playful learning. Intrinsically motivated free play provides the child with true autonomy, while guided play is an avenue through which parents and educators can provide more targeted learning experiences. In either case, play should be actively engaged, it should be predominantly child-directed, and it must be fun.

Questions 27-31
Look at the following statements (Questions 27-31) and the list of researchers below. Match each statement with the correct researcher, A-G. Write the correct letter, A-G, in boxes 27-31 on your answer sheet.

27. Play can be divided into a number of separate categories.

28. Adults’ intended goals affect how they play with children.

29. Combining work with play may be the best way for children to learn.

30. Certain elements of play are more significant than others.

31. Activities can be classified on a scale of playfulness.

List of Researchers

A. Elkind
B. Miller & Almon
C. Rubin et al.
D. Stuart Brown
E. Pellegrini
F. Joan Goodman
G. Girsch-Pasek et al.

Questions 32-36
Do the following statements agree with the claims of the writer in Reading Passage 3? In boxes 32-36 on your answer sheet, write:

YES if the statement agrees with the claims of the winter

NO if the statement contradicts the claims of the writer

NOT GIVEN if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this

32. Children need toys in order to play.

33. It is a mistake to treat play and learning as separate types of activities.

34. Play helps children to develop their artistic talents.

35. Researchers have agreed on a definition of play.

36. Work and play differ in terms of whether or not they have a target.

Questions 37-40
Complete the summary below. Choose ONE WORD ONLY from the passage for each answer. Write your answers in boxes 37-40 on your answer sheet.

Guided play

In the simplest form of guided play, an adult contributes to the environment in which the child is playing. Alternatively, an adult can play with a child and develop the play, for instance by 37…………………….. the child to investigate different aspects of their game. Adults can help children to learn through play and may make the activity rather structured, but it should still be based on the child’s 38…………………………. to play.

Play without the intervention of adults gives children real 39………………………….; with adults, play can be 40………………………… at particular goals. However, all forms of play should be an opportunity for children to have fun.

20. Bài 20

Why fairy tales are really scary tales

Some people think that fairy tales are just stories to amuse children, but their universal and enduring appeal may be due to more serious reasons.

People of every culture tell each other fairy tales but the same story often takes a variety of forms in different parts of the world. In the story of Little Red Riding Hood that European children are familiar with, a young girl on the way to see her grandmother meets a wolf and tells him where she is going. The wolf runs on ahead and disposes of the grandmother, then gets into bed dressed in the grandmother’s clothes to wait for Little Red Riding Hood. You may think you know the story – but which version? In some versions, the wolf swallows up the grandmother, while in others it locks her in a cupboard. In some stories Red Riding Hood gets the better of the wolf on her own, while in others a hunter or a woodcutter hears her cries and comes to her rescue.

The universal appeal of these tales is frequently attributed to the idea that they contain cautionary messages: in the case of Little Red Riding Hood, to listen to your mother, and avoid talking to strangers. ‘It might be what we find interesting about this story is that it’s got this survival-relevant information in it,’ says anthropologist Jamie Tehrani at Durham University in the UK. But his research suggests otherwise. ‘We have this huge gap in our knowledge about the history and prehistory of storytelling, despite the fact that we know this genre is an incredibly ancient one,’ he says. That hasn’t stopped anthropologists, folklorists* and other academics devising theories to explain the importance of fairy tales in human society. Now Tehrani has found a way to test these ideas, borrowing a technique from evolutionary biologists.

To work out the evolutionary history, development and relationships among groups of organisms, biologists compare the characteristics of living species in a process called ‘phylogenetic analysis’. Tehrani has used the same approach to compare related versions of fairy tales to discover how they have evolved and which elements have survived longest.

Tehrani’s analysis focused on Little Red Riding Hood in its many forms, which include another Western fairy tale known as The Wolf and the Kids. Checking for variants of these two tales and similar stories from Africa, East Asia and other regions, he ended up with 58 stories recorded from oral traditions. Once his phylogenetic analysis had established that they were indeed related, he used the same methods to explore how they have developed and altered over time.

First he tested some assumptions about which aspects of the story alter least as it evolves, indicating their importance. Folklorists believe that what happens in a story is more central to the story than the characters in it – that visiting a relative, only to be met by a scary animal in disguise, is more fundamental than whether the visitor is a little girl or three siblings, or the animal is a tiger instead of a wolf.

However, Tehrani found no significant difference in the rate of evolution of incidents compared with that of characters. ‘Certain episodes are very stable because they are crucial to the story, but there are lots of other details that can evolve quite freely,’ he says. Neither did his analysis support the theory that the central section of a story is the most conserved part. He found no significant difference in the flexibility of events there compared with the beginning or the end.

But the really big surprise came when he looked at the cautionary elements of the story. ‘Studies on hunter-gatherer folk tales suggest that these narratives include really important information about the environment and the possible dangers that may be faced there – stuff that’s relevant to survival,’ he says. Yet in his analysis such elements were just as flexible as seemingly trivial details. What, then, is important enough to be reproduced from generation to generation?

The answer, it would appear, is fear – blood-thirsty and gruesome aspects of the story, such as the eating of the grandmother by the wolf, turned out to be the best preserved of all. Why are these details retained by generations of storytellers, when other features are not? Tehrani has an idea: ‘In an oral context, a story won’t survive because of one great teller. It also needs to be interesting when it’s told by someone who’s not necessarily a great storyteller.’ Maybe being swallowed whole by a wolf, then cut out of its stomach alive is so gripping that it helps the story remain popular, no matter how badly it’s told.

Jack Zipes at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, is unconvinced by Tehrani’s views on fairy tales. ‘Even if they’re gruesome, they won’t stick unless they matter,’ he says. He believes the perennial theme of women as victims in stories like Little Red Riding Hood explains why they continue to feel relevant. But Tehrani points out that although this is often the case in Western versions, it is not always true elsewhere. In Chinese and Japanese versions, often known as The Tiger Grandmother, the villain is a woman, and in both Iran and Nigeria, the victim is a boy.

Mathias Clasen at Aarhus University in Denmark isn’t surprised by Tehrani’s findings. ‘Habits and morals change, but the things that scare us, and the fact that we seek out entertainment that’s designed to scare us – those are constant,’ he says. Clasen believes that scary stories teach us what it feels like to be afraid without having to experience real danger, and so build up resistance to negative emotions.

*Folklorists: those who study traditional stories

Questions 27-31
Complete each sentence with the correct ending, A-F, below. Write the correct letter, A-F, in boxes 27-31 on your answer sheet.

27. In fairy tales, details of the plot

28. Tehrani rejects the idea that the useful lessons for life in fairy tales

29. Various theories about the social significance of fairy tales

30. Insights into the development of fairy tales

31. All the fairy tales analysed by Tehrani

A. may be provided through methods used in biological research.

B. are the reason for their survival.

C. show considerable global variation.

D. contain animals which transform to become humans.

E. were originally spoken rather than written.

F. have been developed without factual basis.

Questions 32-36
Complete the summary using the list of words, A-I, below. Write the correct letter, A-I, in boxes 32-36 on your answer sheet.

Phylogenetic analysis of Little Red Riding Hood

Tehrani used techniques from evolutionary biology to find out if 32………………….. existed among 58 stories from around the world. He also wanted to know which aspects of the stories had fewest 33…………………., as he believed these aspects would be the most important ones. Contrary to other beliefs, he found that some 34……………………. that were included in a story tended to change over time, and that the middle of a story seemed no more important than the other parts. He was also surprised that parts of a story which seemed to provide some sort of 35…………………. were unimportant. The aspect that he found most important in a story’s survival was 36…………………

A. ending

B. events

C. warning

D. links

E. records

F. variations

G. horror

H. people

I. plot

Questions 37-40
Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D. Write the correct letter in boxes 37-40 on your answer sheet.
37. What method did Jamie Tehrani use to test his ideas about fairy tales?

A. He compared oral and written forms of the same stories.

B. He looked at many different forms of the same basic story.

C. He looked at unrelated stories from many different countries.

D. He contrasted the development of fairy tales with that of living creatures.
38. When discussing Tehrani’s views, Jack Zipes suggests that

A. Tehrani ignores key changes in the role of women.

B. stories which are too horrific are not always taken seriously.

C. Tehrani overemphasises the importance of violence in stories.

D. features of stories only survive if they have a deeper significance.
39. Why does Tehrani refer to Chinese and Japanese fairy tales?

A. to indicate that Jack Zipes’ theory is incorrect

B. to suggest that crime is a global problem

C. to imply that all fairy tales have a similar meaning

D. to add more evidence for Jack Zipes’ ideas
40. What does Mathias Clasen believe about fairy tales?

A. They are a safe way of learning to deal with fear.

B. They are a type of entertainment that some people avoid.

C. They reflect the changing values of our society.

D. They reduce our ability to deal with real-world problems.

21. Bài 21

How to make wise decisions

Across cultures, wisdom has been considered one of the most revered human qualities. Although the truly wise may seem few and far between, empirical research examining wisdom suggests that it isn’t an exceptional trait possessed by a small handful of bearded philosophers after all – in fact, the latest studies suggest that most of us have the ability to make wise decisions, given the right context.

‘It appears that experiential, situational, and cultural factors are even more powerful in shaping wisdom than previously imagined,’ says Associate Professor Igor Grossmann of the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. ‘Recent empirical findings from cognitive, developmental, social, and personality psychology cumulatively suggest that people’s ability to reason wisely varies dramatically across experiential and situational contexts. Understanding the role of such contextual factors offers unique insights into understanding wisdom in daily life, as well as how it can be enhanced and taught.’

It seems that it’s not so much that some people simply possess wisdom and others lack it, but that our ability to reason wisely depends on a variety of external factors. ‘It is impossible to characterize thought processes attributed to wisdom without considering the role of contextual factors,’ explains Grossmann. ‘In other words, wisdom is not solely an “inner quality” but rather unfolds as a function of situations people happen to be in. Some situations are more likely to promote wisdom than others.’

Coming up with a definition of wisdom is challenging, but Grossmann and his colleagues have identified four key characteristics as part of a framework of wise reasoning. One is intellectual humility or recognition of the limits of our own knowledge, and another is appreciation of perspectives wider than the issue at hand. Sensitivity to the possibility of change in social relations is also key, along with compromise or integration of different attitudes and beliefs.

Grossmann and his colleagues have also found that one of the most reliable ways to support wisdom in our own day-to-day decisions is to look at scenarios from a third-party perspective, as though giving advice to a friend. Research suggests that when adopting a first-person viewpoint we focus on ‘the focal features of the environment’ and when we adopt a third-person, ‘observer’ viewpoint we reason more broadly and focus more on interpersonal and moral ideals such as justice and impartiality. Looking at problems from this more expansive viewpoint appears to foster cognitive processes related to wise decisions.

What are we to do, then, when confronted with situations like a disagreement with a spouse or negotiating a contract at work, that require us to take a personal stake? Grossmann argues that even when we aren’t able to change the situation, we can still evaluate these experiences from different perspectives.

For example, in one experiment that took place during the peak of a recent economic recession, graduating college seniors were asked to reflect on their job prospects. The students were instructed to imagine their career either ‘as if you were a distant observer’ or ‘before your own eyes as if you were right there’. Participants in the group assigned to the ‘distant observer’ role displayed more wisdom-related reasoning (intellectual humility and recognition of change) than did participants in the control group.

In another study, couples in long-term romantic relationships were instructed to visualize an unresolved relationship conflict either through the eyes of an outsider or from their own perspective. Participants then discussed the incident with their partner for 10 minutes, after which they wrote down their thoughts about it. Couples in the ‘other’s eyes’ condition were significantly more likely to rely on wise reasoning – recognizing others’ perspectives and searching for a compromise – compared to the couples in the egocentric condition.

‘Ego-decentering promotes greater focus on others and enables a bigger picture, conceptual view of the experience, affording recognition of intellectual humility and change,’ says Grossmann.

We might associate wisdom with intelligence or particular personality traits, but research shows only a small positive relationship between wise thinking and crystallized intelligence and the personality traits of openness and agreeableness. ‘It is remarkable how much people can vary in their wisdom from one situation to the next, and how much stronger such contextual effects are for understanding the relationship between wise judgment and its social and affective outcomes as compared to the generalized “traits”,’ Grossmann explains. ‘That is, knowing how wisely a person behaves in a given situation is more informative for understanding their emotions or likelihood to forgive [or] retaliate as compared to knowing whether the person may be wise “in general”.’

Questions 27-30
Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D. Write the correct letter in boxes 27-30 on your answer sheet.
27. What point does the writer make in the first paragraph?

A. Wisdom appears to be unique to the human race.

B. A basic assumption about wisdom may be wrong.

C. Concepts of wisdom may depend on the society we belong to.

D. There is still much to be discovered about the nature of wisdom.
28. What does Igor Grossmann suggest about the ability to make wise decisions?

A. It can vary greatly from one person to another.

B. Earlier research into it was based on unreliable data.

C. The importance of certain influences on it was underestimated.

D. Various branches of psychology define it according to their own criteria.
29. According to the third paragraph, Grossmann claims that the level of wisdom an individual shows

A. can be greater than they think it is.

B. will be different in different circumstances.

C. may be determined by particular aspects of their personality.

D. should develop over time as a result of their life experiences.
30. What is described in the fifth paragraph?

A. a difficulty encountered when attempting to reason wisely

B. an example of the type of person who is likely to reason wisely

C. a controversial view about the benefits of reasoning wisely

D. a recommended strategy that can help people to reason wisely

Questions 31-35
Complete the summary using the list of words, A-J, below. Write the correct letter, A-J, in boxes 31-35 on your answer sheet.

The characteristics of wise reasoning

Igor Grossmann and colleagues have established four characteristics which enable us to make wise decisions. It is important to have a certain degree of 31 ……….. regarding the extent of our knowledge, and to take into account 32 ……….. which may not be the same as our own. We should also be able to take a broad 33 ………….. of any situation. Another key characteristic is being aware of the likelihood of alterations in the way that people relate to each other.

Grossmann also believes that it is better to regard scenarios with 34 ………………….. . By avoiding the first-person perspective, we focus more on 35 ………….. and on other moral ideals, which in turn leads to wiser decision-making.

A. opinions

B. confidence

C. view

D. modesty

E. problems           

F. objectivity

G. fairness

H. experiences

I. range

J. reasons

Questions 36-40
Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 3? In boxes 36-40 on your answer sheet, write:

TRUE if the statement agrees with the information

FALSE if the statement contradicts the information

NOT GIVEN if there is no information on this
36. Students participating in the job prospects experiment could choose one of two perspectives to take.

37. Participants in the couples experiment were aware that they were taking part in a study about wise reasoning.

38. In the couples experiments, the length of the couples’ relationships had an impact on the results.

39. In both experiments, the participants who looked at the situation from a more detached viewpoint tended to make wiser decisions.

40. Grossmann believes that a person’s wisdom is determined by their intelligence to only a very limited extent.

22. Bài 22

Changes in reading habits

What are the implications of the way we read today?

Look around on your next plane trip. The iPad is the new pacifier for babies and toddlers. Younger school-aged children read stories on smartphones; older kids don’t read at all, but hunch over video games. Parents and other passengers read on tablets or skim a flotilla of email and news feeds. Unbeknown to most of us, an invisible, game-changing transformation links everyone in this picture: the neuronal circuit that underlies the brain’s ability to read is subtly, rapidly changing and this has implications for everyone from the pre-reading toddler to the expert adult.

As work in neurosciences indicates, the acquisition of literacy necessitated a new circuit in our species’ brain more than 6,000 years ago. That circuit evolved from a very simple mechanism for decoding basic information, like the number of goats in one’s herd, to the present, highly elaborated reading brain. My research depicts how the present reading brain enables the development of some of our most important intellectual and affective processes: internalized knowledge, analogical reasoning, and inference; perspective-taking and empathy; critical analysis and the generation of insight. Research surfacing in many parts of the world now cautions that each of these essential ‘deep reading’ processes may be under threat as we move into digital-based modes of reading.

This is not a simple, binary issue of print versus digital reading and technological innovations. As MIT scholar Sherry Turkle has written, we do not err as a society when we innovate but when we ignore what we disrupt or diminish while innovating. In this hinge moment between print and digital cultures, society needs to confront what is diminishing in the expert reading circuit, what our children and older students are not developing, and what we can do about it.

We know from research that the reading circuit is not given to human beings through a genetic blueprint like vision or language; it needs an environment to develop. Further, it will adapt to that environment’s requirements – from different writing systems to the characteristics of whatever medium is used. If the dominant medium advantages processes that are fast, multi-task oriented and well-suited for large volumes of information, like the current digital medium, so will the reading circuit. As UCLA psychologist Patricia Greenfield writes, the result is that less attention and time will be allocated to slower, time-demanding deep reading processes.

Increasing reports from educators and from researchers in psychology and the humanities bear this out. English literature scholar and teacher Mark Edmundson describes how many college students actively avoid the classic literature of the 19th and 20th centuries in favour of something simpler as they no longer have the patience to read longer, denser, more difficult texts. We should be less concerned with students’ ‘cognitive impatience’, however, than by what may underlie it: the potential inability of large numbers of students to read with a level of critical analysis sufficient to comprehend the complexity of thought and argument found in more demanding texts.
Multiple studies show that digital screen use may be causing a variety of troubling downstream effects on reading comprehension in older high school and college students. In Stavanger, Norway, psychologist Anne Mangen and colleagues studied how high school students comprehend the same material in different mediums. Mangen’s group asked subjects questions about a short story whose plot had universal student appeal; half of the students read the story on a tablet, the other half in paperback. Results indicated that students who read on print were superior in their comprehension to screen-reading peers, particularly in their ability to sequence detail and reconstruct the plot in chronological order.

Ziming Liu from San Jose State University has conducted a series of studies which indicate that the ‘new norm’ in reading is skimming, involving word-spotting and browsing through the text. Many readers now use a pattern when reading in which they sample the first line and then word-spot through the rest of the text. When the reading brain skims like this, it reduces time allocated to deep reading processes. In other words, we don’t have time to grasp complexity, to understand another’s feelings, to perceive beauty, and to create thoughts of the reader’s own.

The possibility that critical analysis, empathy and other deep reading processes could become the unintended ‘collateral damage’ of our digital culture is not a straightforward binary issue about print versus digital reading. It is about how we all have begun to read o various mediums and how that changes not only what we read, but also the purposes for which we read. Nor is it only about the young. The subtle atrophy of critical analysis and empathy affects us all equally. It affects our ability to navigate a constant bombardment of information. It incentivizes a retreat to the most familiar stores of unchecked information, which require and receive no analysis, leaving us susceptible to false information and irrational ideas.

There’s an old rule in neuroscience that does not alter with age: use it or lose it. It is a very hopeful principle when applied to critical thought in the reading brain because it implies choice. The story of the changing reading brain is hardly finished. We possess both the science and the technology to identify and redress the changes in how we read before they become entrenched. If we work to understand exactly what we will lose, alongside the extraordinary new capacities that the digital world has brought us, there is as much reason for excitement as caution.

Questions 14-17
Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D. Write the correct letter in boxes 14-17 on your answer sheet.
14. What is the writer’s main point in the first paragraph?
A. Our use of technology is having a hidden effect on us.

B. Technology can be used to help youngsters to read.

C. Travellers should be encouraged to use technology on planes.

D. Playing games is a more popular use of technology than reading.
15. What main point does Sherry Turkle make about innovation?

A. Technological innovation has led to a reduction in print reading.

B. We should pay attention to what might be lost when innovation occurs.

C. We should encourage more young people to become involved in innovation.

D. There is a difference between developing products and developing ideas.
16. What point is the writer making in the fourth paragraph?

A. Humans have an inborn ability to read and write.

B. Reading can be done using many different mediums.

C. Writing systems make unexpected demands on the brain.

D. Some brain circuits adjust to whatever is required of them.
17. According to Mark Edmundson, the attitude of college students

A. has changed the way he teaches.

B. has influenced what they select to read.

C. does not worry him as much as it does others.

D. does not match the views of the general public.

Questions 18-22
Complete the summary using the list of words, A-H, below. Write the correct letter, A-H, in boxes 18-22 on your answer sheet.

Studies on digital screen use

There have been many studies on digital screen use, showing some 18 ……… trends. Psychologist Anne Mangen gave high-school students a short story to read, half using digital and half using print mediums. Her team then used a question-and-answer technique to find out how 19 ……… each group’s understanding of the plot was. The findings showed a clear pattern in the responses, with those who read screens finding the order of information 20 …… to recall.

Studies by Ziming Liu show that students are tending to read 21 ………………… words and phrases in a text to save time. This approach, she says, gives the reader a superficial understanding of the 22 ………………… content of material, leaving no time for thought.

A. fast

B. isolated

C. emotional

D. worrying

E. many

F. hard

G. combined

H. thorough

Questions 23-26
Do the following statements agree with the views of the writer in Reading Passage 2? In boxes 23-26 on your answer sheet, write:

TRUE if the statement agrees with the views of the writer

FALSE if the statement contradicts the views of the writer

NOT GIVEN if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this
23. The medium we use to read can affect our choice of reading content.

24. Some age groups are more likely to lose their complex reading skills than others.

25. False information has become more widespread in today’s digital era.

26. We still have opportunities to rectify the problems that technology is presenting.

23. Bài 23

To catch a king

Anna Keay reviews Charles Spencer’s book about the hunt for King Charles II during the English Civil War of the seventeenth century.

Charles Spencer’s latest book, To Catch a King, tells us the story of the hunt for King Charles II in the six weeks after his resounding defeat at the Battle of Worcester in September 1651. And what a story it is. After his father was executed by the Parliamentarians in 1649, the young Charles II sacrificed one of the very principles his father had died for and did a deal with Scots, thereby accepting Presbyterianism* as the national religion in return for being crowned King of Scots. His arrival in Edinburgh prompted the English Parliamentary army to invade Scotland in a pre-emptive strike. This was followed by a Scottish invasion of England. The two sides finally faced one another at Worcester in the west of England in 1651. After being comprehensively defeated on the meadows outside the city by the Parliamentarian army, the 21-year-old king found himself the subject of a national manhunt, with a huge sum offered for his capture, through a series of heart-poundingly close escapes, to evade the Parliamentarians before seeking refuge in France. For the next nine years, the penniless and defeated Charles wandered around Europe with only a small group of loyal supporters.

Years later, after his restoration as king, the 50-year-old Charles II requested a meeting with the writer and diarist Samuel Pepys. His intention when asking Pepys to commit his story to paper was to ensure that this most extraordinary episode was never forgotten. Over two three-hour sittings, the king related to him in great detail his personal recollections of the six weeks he had spent as a fugitive. As the king and secretary settled down (a scene that is surely a gift for a future scriptwriter), Charles commenced his story: ‘After the battle was so absolutely lost as to be beyond hope of recovery, I began to think of the best way of saving myself.’

One of the joys of Spencer’s book, a result not least of its use of Charles II’s own narrative as well as those of his supporters, is just how close the reader gets to the action. The day-by-day retelling of the fugitives’ doings provides delicious details: the cutting of the king’s long hair with agricultural shears, the use of walnut leaves to dye his pale skin, and the day Charles spent lying on a branch of the great oak tree in Boscobel Wood as the Parliamentary soldiers scoured the forest floor below. Spencer draws out both the humour – such as the preposterous refusal of Charles’s friend Henry Wilmot to adopt disguise on the grounds that it was beneath his dignity – and the emotional tension when the secret of the king’s presence was cautiously revealed to his supporters.

Charles’s adventures after losing the Battle of Worcester hide the uncomfortable truth that whilst almost everyone in England had been appalled by the execution of his father, they had not welcomed the arrival of his son with the Scots army, but had instead firmly bolted their doors. This was partly because he rode at the head of what looked like a foreign invasion force and partly because, after almost a decade of civil war, people were desperate to avoid it beginning again. This makes it all the more interesting that Charles II himself loved the story so much ever after. As well as retelling it to anyone who would listen, causing eye-rolling among courtiers, he set in train a series of initiatives to memorialise it. There was to be a new order of chivalry, the Knights of the Royal Oak. A series of enormous oil paintings depicting the episode were produced, including a two-metre-wide canvas of Boscobel Wood and a set of six similarly enormous paintings of the king on the run. In 1660, Charles II commissioned the artist John Michael Wright to paint a flying squadron of cherubs* carrying an oak tree to the heavens on the ceiling of his bedchamber. It is hard to imagine many other kings marking the lowest point in their life so enthusiastically, or indeed pulling off such an escape in the first place.

Charles Spencer is the perfect person to pass the story on to a new generation. His pacey, readable prose steers deftly clear of modern idioms and elegantly brings to life the details of the great tale. He has even-handed sympathy for both the fugitive king and the fierce republican regime that hunted him, and he succeeds in his desire to explore far more of the background of the story than previous books on the subject have done. Indeed, the opening third of the book is about how Charles II found himself at Worcester in the first place, which for some will be reason alone to read To Catch a King.
The tantalizing question left, in the end, is that of what it all meant. Would Charles II have been a different king had these six weeks never happened? The days and nights spent in hiding must have affected him in some way. Did the need to assume disguises, to survive on wit and charm alone, to use trickery and subterfuge to escape from tight corners help form him? This is the one area where the book doesn’t quite hit the mark. Instead its depiction of Charles II in his final years as an ineffective, pleasure-loving monarch doesn’t do justice to the man (neither is it accurate), or to the complexity of his character. But this one niggle aside, To Catch a King is an excellent read, and those who come to it knowing little of the famous tale will find they have a treat in store.

* Presbyterianism: part of the reformed Protestant religion

* cherub: an image of angelic children used in paintings

Questions 27-31
Complete the summary using the list of phrases, A-J, below. Write the correct letter, A-J, in boxes 27-31 on your answer sheet.

The story behind the hunt for Charles II

Charles II’s father was executed by the Parliamentarian forces in 1649. Charles II then formed a 27 ………………… with the Scots, and in order to become King of Scots, he abandoned an important 28 ………………… that was held by his father and had contributed to his father’s death. The opposing sides then met outside Worcester in 1651. The battle led to a 29 ………………… for the Parliamentarians and Charles had to flee for his life. A 30 ………………… was offered for Charles’s capture, but after six weeks spent in hiding, he eventually managed to reach the 31 ………………… of continental Europe.
A. military innovation

B. large reward

C. widespread conspiracy

D. relative safety

E. new government               

F. decisive victory

G. political debate

H. strategic alliance

I. popular solution

J. religious conviction

Questions 32-35
Do the following statements agree with the claims of the writer in Reading Passage 3? In boxes 32-35 on your answer sheet, write:

YES if the statement agrees with the claims of the writer

NO if the statement contradicts the claims of the writer

NOT GIVEN if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this
32. Charles chose Pepys for the task because he considered him to be trustworthy.

33. Charles’s personal recollection of the escape lacked sufficient detail.

34. Charles indicated to Pepys that he had planned his escape before the battle.

35. The inclusion of Charles’s account is a positive aspect of the book.

Questions 36-40
Choose the correct letter, A, B, C, or D. Write the correct letter in boxes 36-40 on your answer sheet.
36. What is the reviewer’s main purpose in the first paragraph?

A. to describe what happened during the Battle of Worcester

B. to give an account of the circumstances leading to Charles II’s escape

C. to provide details of the Parliamentarians’ political views

D. to compare Charles II’s beliefs with those of his father
37. Why does the reviewer include examples of the fugitives’ behaviour in the third paragraph?

A. to explain how close Charles II came to losing his life

B. to suggest that Charles II’s supporters were badly prepared

C. to illustrate how the events of the six weeks are brought to life

D. to argue that certain aspects are not as well known as they should be
38. What point does the reviewer make about Charles II in the fourth paragraph?

A. He chose to celebrate what was essentially a defeat.

B. He misunderstood the motives of his opponents.

C. He aimed to restore people’s faith in the monarchy.

D. He was driven by a desire to be popular.
39. What does the reviewer say about Charles Spencer in the fifth paragraph?

A. His decision to write the book comes as a surprise.

B. He takes an unbiased approach to the subject matter.

C. His descriptions of events would be better if they included more detail.
D. He chooses language that is suitable for a twenty-first-century audience.
40. When the reviewer says the book ‘doesn’t quite hit the mark’, she is making the point that

A. it overlooks the impact of events on ordinary people.

B. it lacks an analysis of prevalent views on monarchy.

C. it omits any references to the deceit practised by Charles II during his time in hiding.

D. it fails to address whether Charles II’s experiences had a lasting influence on him.

24. Bài 24

Does education fuel economic growth?

A. Over the last decade, a huge database about the lives of southwest German villagers between 1600 and 1900 has been compiled by a team led by Professor Sheilagh Ogilvie at Cambridge University’s Faculty of Economics. It includes court records, guild ledgers, parish registers, village censuses, tax lists and – the most recent addition – 9,000 handwritten inventories listing over a million personal possessions belonging to ordinary women and men across three centuries. Ogilvie, who discovered the inventories in the archives of two German communities 30 years ago, believes they may hold the answer to a conundrum that has long puzzled economists: the lack of evidence for a causal link between education and a country’s economic growth.

B. As Ogilvie explains, ‘Education helps us to work more productively, invent better technology, and earn more … surely it must be critical for economic growth? But, if you look back through history, there’s no evidence that having a high literacy rate made a country industrialise earlier.’ Between 1600 and 1900, England had only mediocre literacy rates by European standards, yet its economy grew fast and it was the first country to industrialise. During this period, Germany and Scandinavia had excellent literacy rates, but their economies grew slowly and they industrialised late. ‘Modern cross-country analyses have also struggled to find evidence that education causes economic growth, even though there is plenty of evidence that growth increases education,’ she adds.

C. In the handwritten inventories that Ogilvie is analysing are the belongings of women and men at marriage, remarriage and death. From badger skins to Bibles, sewing machines to scarlet bodices – the villagers’ entire worldly goods are included. Inventories of agricultural equipment and craft tools reveal economic activities; ownership of books and education-related objects like pens and slates suggests how people learned. In addition, the tax lists included in the database record the value of farms, workshops, assets and debts; signatures and people’s estimates of their age indicate literacy and numeracy levels; and court records reveal obstacles (such as the activities of the guilds*) that stifled industry.

Previous studies usually had just one way of linking education with economic growth – the presence of schools and printing presses, perhaps, or school enrolment, or the ability to sign names. According to Ogilvie, the database provides multiple indicators for the same individuals, making it possible to analyse links between literacy, numeracy, wealth, and industriousness, for individual women and men over the long term.

D. Ogilvie and her team have been building the vast database of material possessions on top of their full demographic reconstruction of the people who lived in these two German communities. ‘We can follow the same people – and their descendants – across 300 years of educational and economic change,’ she says. Individual lives have unfolded before their eyes. Stories like that of the 24-year-olds Ana Regina and Magdalena Riethmüllerin, who were chastised in 1707 for reading books in church instead of listening to the sermon. ‘This tells us they were continuing to develop their reading skills at least a decade after leaving school,’ explains Ogilvie. The database also reveals the case of Juliana Schweickherdt, a 50-year-old spinster living in the small Black Forest community of Wildberg, who was reprimanded in 1752 by the local weavers’ guild for ‘weaving cloth and combing wool, counter to the guide ordinance’. When Juliana continued taking jobs reserved for male guild members, she was summoned before the guild court and told to pay a fine equivalent to one third of a servant’s annual wage. It was a small act of defiance by today’s standards, but it reflects a time when laws in Germany and elsewhere regulated people’s access to labour markets. The dominance of guilds not only prevented people from using their skills, but also held back even the simplest industrial innovation.

E. The data-gathering phase of the project has been completed and now, according to Ogilvie, it is time ‘to ask the big questions’. One way to look at whether education causes economic growth is to ‘hold wealth constant’. This involves following the lives of different people with the same level of wealth over a period of time. If wealth is constant, it is possible to discover whether education was, for example, linked to the cultivation of new crops, or to the adoption of industrial innovations like sewing machines. The team will also ask what aspect of education helped people engage more with productive and innovative activities. Was it, for instance, literacy, numeracy, book ownership, years of schooling? Was there a threshold level – a tipping point – that needed to be reached to affect economic performance?

F. Ogilvie hopes to start finding answers to these questions over the next few years. One thing is already clear, she says: the relationship between education and economic growth is far from straightforward. ‘German-speaking central Europe is an excellent laboratory for testing theories of economic growth,’ she explains. Between 1600 and 1900, literacy rates and book ownership were high and yet the region remained poor. It was also the case that local guilds and merchant associations were extremely powerful and legislated against anything that undermined their monopolies. In villages throughout the region, guilds blocked labour migration and resisted changes that might reduce their influence.

‘Early findings suggest that the potential benefits of education for the economy can be held back by other barriers, and this has implications for today,’ says Ogilvie. ‘Huge amounts are spent improving education in developing countries, but this spending can fail to deliver economic growth if restrictions block people – especially women and the poor – from using their education in economically productive ways. If economic institutions are poorly set up, for instance, education can’t lead to growth.’

* guild: an association of artisans or merchants which oversees the practice of their craft or trade in a particular area

Questions 14-18
Reading Passage 2 has six paragraphs, A-F.

Which section contains the following information?

Write the correct letter, A-F, in boxes 14-18 on your answer sheet.
14. an explanation of the need for research to focus on individuals with a fairly consistent income

15. examples of the sources the database has been compiled from

16. an account of one individual’s refusal to obey an order

17. a reference to a region being particularly suited to research into the link between education and economic growth
18. examples of the items included in a list of personal possessions

Questions 19-22
Complete the summary below. Choose ONE WORD from the passage for each answer. Write your answers in boxes 19-22 on your answer sheet.

Demographic reconstruction of two German communities

The database that Ogilvie and her team has compiled sheds light on the lives of a range of individuals, as well as those of their 19 …………………, over a 300-year period. For example, Ana Regina and Magdalena Riethmüllerin were reprimanded for reading while they should have been paying attention to a 20 ………………… .

There was also Juliana Schweickherdt, who came to the notice of the weavers’ guild in the year 1752 for breaking guild rules. As a punishment, she was later given a 21 ………………… . Cases like this illustrate how the guilds could prevent 22 ………………… and stop skilled people from working

Questions 23 and 24
Choose TWO letters, A-E. Write the correct letters in boxes 23 and 24 on your answer sheet.

Which TWO of the following statements does the writer make about literacy rates in Section B?
A. Very little research has been done into the link between high literacy rates and improved earnings.

B. Literacy rates in Germany between 1600 and 1900 were very good.

C. There is strong evidence that high literacy rates in the modern world result in economic growth.

D. England is a good example of how high literacy rates helped a country industrialise.

E. Economic growth can help to improve literacy rates.

Questions 25 and 26
Choose TWO letters, A-E. Write the correct letters in boxes 25 and 26 on your answer sheet.

Which TWO of the following statements does the writer make in Section F about guilds in German-speaking Central Europe between 1600 and 1900?

A. They helped young people to learn a skill.

B. They were opposed to people moving to an area for work.

C. They kept better records than guilds in other parts of the world.

D. They opposed practices that threatened their control over a trade.

E. They predominantly consisted of wealthy merchants.

25. Bài 25

Homer’s Literary Legacy

Why was the work of Homer, famous author of ancient Greece, so full of clichés?

A. Until the last tick of history’s clock, cultural transmission meant oral transmission, and poetry, passed from mouth to ear, was the principal medium of moving information across space and from one generation to the next. Oral poetry was not simply a way of telling lovely or important stories, or of flexing the imagination. It was, argues the classicist Eric Havelock, a ‘massive repository of useful knowledge, a sort of encyclopedia of ethics, politics, history and technology which the effective citizen was required to learn as the core of his educational equipment’. The great oral works transmitted a shared cultural heritage, held in common not on bookshelves, but in brains. In India, an entire class of priests was charged with memorizing the Vedas with perfect fidelity. In pre-Islamic Arabia, people known as Rawis were often attached to poets as official memorizers. The Buddha’s teachings were passed down in an unbroken chain of oral tradition for four centuries until they were committed to writing in Sri Lanka in the first century B.C.
B. The most famous of the Western tradition’s oral works, and the first to have been systematically studied, were Homer’s Odyssey and Iliad. These two poems – possibly the first to have been written down in the Greek alphabet – had long been held up as literary archetypes. However, even as they were celebrated as the models to which all literature should aspire, Homer’s masterworks had also long been the source of scholarly unease. The earliest modern critics sensed that they were somehow qualitatively different from everything that came after – even a little strange. For one thing, both poems were oddly repetitive in the way they referred to characters. Odysseus was always ’clever Odysseus’. Dawn was always ‘rosy-fingered’. Why would someone write that? Sometimes the epithets seemed completely off-key. Why call the murderer of Agamemnon ‘blameless Aegisthos’? Why refer to ‘swift-footed Achilles’ even when he was sitting down? Or to ‘laughing Aphrodite’ even when she was in tears? In terms of both structure and theme, the Odyssey and Iliad were also oddly formulaic, to the point of predictability. The same narrative units – gathering armies, heroic shields, challenges between rivals – pop up again and again, only with different characters and different circumstances. In the context of such finely spun, deliberate masterpieces, these quirks seemed hard to explain.
C. At the heart of the unease about these earliest works of literature were two fundamental questions: first, how could Greek literature have been born out of nothing with two masterpieces? Surely a few less perfect stories must have come before, and yet these two were among the first on record. And second, who exactly was their author? Or was it authors? There were no historical records of Homer, and no trustworthy biography of the man exists beyond a few self-referential hints embedded in the texts themselves.
D. Jean-Jacques Rousseau was one of the first modern critics to suggest that Homer might not have been an author in the contemporary sense of a single person who sat down and wrote a story and then published it for others to read. In his 1781 Essay on the Origin of Languages, the Swiss philosopher suggested that the Odyssey and Iliad might have been ‘written only in men’s memories. Somewhat later they were laboriously collected in writing’ – though that was about as far as his enquiry into the matter went.
E. In 1795, the German philologist Friedrich August Wolf argued for the first time that not only were Homer’s works not written down by Homer, but they weren’t even by Homer. They were, rather, a loose collection of songs transmitted by generations of Greek bards, and only redacted in their present form at some later date. In 1920, an eighteen-year-old scholar named Milman Parry took up the question of Homeric authorship as his Master’s thesis at the University of California, Berkeley. He suggested that the reason Homer’s epics seemed unlike other literature was because they were unlike other literature. Parry had discovered what Wood and Wolf had missed: the evidence that the poems had been transmitted orally was right there in the text itself. All those stylistic quirks, including the formulaic and recurring plot elements and the bizarrely repetitive epithets – ‘clever Odysseus’ and ‘gray-eyed Athena’ – that had always perplexed readers were actually like thumbprints left by a potter: material evidence of how the poems had been crafted. They were mnemonic aids that helped the bards fit the meter and pattern of the line, and remember the essence of the poems.
F. The greatest author of antiquity was actually, Parry argued, just ‘one of a long tradition of oral poets that … composed wholly without the aid of writing’. Parry realised that if you were setting out to create memorable poems, the Odyssey and the Iliad were exactly the kind of poems you’d create. It’s said that cliches are the worst sin a writer can commit, but to an oral bard, they were essential. The very reason that cliches so easily seep into our speech and writing – their insidious memorability – is exactly why they played such an important role in oral storytelling. The principles that the oral bards discovered as they sharpened their stories through telling and retelling were the same mnemonic principles that psychologists rediscovered when they began conducting their first scientific experiments on memory around the turn of the twentieth century. Words that rhyme are much more memorable than words that don’t, and concrete nouns are easier to remember than abstract ones. Finding patterns and structure in information is how our brains extract meaning from the world, and putting words to music and rhyme is a way of adding extra levels of pattern and structure to language.


quirk: behaviour or a habit which seems to be unique to one person

ex nihilo: a Latin phrase used to express the idea of 'creation out of nothing'

bard: a person who composed and recited long, heroic poems

redacted: published

mnemonic: a sentence or short poem used for helping someone to remember something

cliché: a phrase or idea that is unoriginal because people use it very frequently

Question 27-32
Reading Passage 3 has six paragraphs, A-F.
Which paragraph contains the following information?

Write the correct letter, A-F, in boxes 27-32 on your answer sheet.

NB You may use any letter more than once.
27. the claim that the Odyssey and Iliad were not poems in their original form.
28. a theory involving the reinterpretation of the term ‘author’
29. references to the fact that little is known about Homer’s life
30. a comparison between the construction of Homer’s poems and another art form
31. examples of the kinds of people employed to recall language
32. doubts regarding Homer’s apparently inappropriate descriptions
Question 33-34
Choose TWO letters, A-E. Write the correct letter in boxes 33-34 on your answer sheet.
Which TWO of these points are made by the writer of the text about the Odyssey and the Iliad?
A. They are sometimes historically inaccurate.
B. It is uncertain which century they were written in.
C. Their content is very similar.
D. Later writers referred to them as ideal examples of writing.
E. There are stylistic differences between them.
Questions 35 and 36
Choose TWO letters, A-E. Write the correct letter in boxes 35 and 36 on your answer sheet.
Which TWO of the following theories does the writer of the text refer to?
A. Homer wrote his work during a period of captivity.
B. Neither the Odyssey nor the Iliad were written by Homer.
C. Homer created the Odyssey and Iliad without writing them down.
D. Homer may have suffered from a failing memory in later life.
E. The oral and written versions of Homer’s work may not be identical.
Questions 37-40
Complete the summary below. Choose ONE WORD ONLY from the passage for each answer. Write your answers in boxes 37-40 on your answer sheet.

The importance of the spoken word and how words are remembered

Spoken poetry was once the means by which each (37)……………………………….. of a particular culture or community could pass on its knowledge. Indeed, it has been suggested that it was the duty of a (38)………………………… to know poetry so they would be informed about subjects such as politics and history.
Psychologists now know that when people are trying to remember information, they may find it difficult to remember words that express (39)…....... ideas. It is easier to remember words which sound similar or go together with (40)………

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