I. Reading Comprehension. (50 points, 2 points for each)
Directions: In this part of the test, there are five passages. Following each passage, there are five questions with four choices marked A, B, C and D. Choose the best answer and then write the corresponding letter on your Answer Sheet.
Jim Trelease has devoted the past 16 years to promoting what he considers the best-kept secret in education today. “Most people don’t believe me when they first hear it,” he says. “They dismiss it for three reasons: One, it’s simple. Two, it’s free. Three, the child enjoys it. So how good can it be?”
His audience tonight, mostly young parents and teachers gathered in the St. Helena, Calif., elementary-school auditorium, giggles nervously. “I know what you’re thinking,” Trelease says. “There are only 24 hours in a day. It’s true. But who ever told you that parenting was going to be a time-saving activity?” Trelease continues to persuade them that no matter how busy they are, the foremost nurturing they can give a child, next to hugging him, is reading aloud to him.
He backs up his pitch with facts. Numerous studies, including recent reports by the Center for the Study of Reading and the National Council of Teachers of English, confirm that reading to children builds vocabulary, stimulates imagination, stretches the attention span, nourishes emotional development, and introduces the textures and nuances of the English language. Reading aloud is, in essence, an advertisement for learning to read.
Trelease laments that elementary-school students are too often conditioned to associate reading with work. “We have concentrated so hard on teaching children how to read that we have forgotten to teach them to want to read,” he says.
His audience is surprised to hear that only 22 percent of eighth-graders read for fun daily, while 65 percent watch three hours or more of television each day. Research also indicates that average reading proficiency drops when TV viewing reaches about three hours a day. Their parents’ habits are no better: a recent survey shows a decline in newspaper readership among U.S. adults.
Lest there be any doubt about the stakes involved, Trelease makes a bold claim. Reading, he says, is the single most important social factor in American life today. “The more you read, the smarter you grow. The longer you stay in school, the more money you earn. The more you earn, the better your children will do in school. So if you hook a child with reading, you influence not only his future but also that of the next generation.”
When his two children, Elizabeth and Jamie, were young, Trelease and his wife, Susan, fed them as many books as meals. “I read to my kids because my father had read to me,” he says. “I just wanted them to have the good feelings I had had.”
Questions 1-5 are based on Passage One.
1. What does the word “dismiss” (paragraph 1) mean?
A. send away B. ready to accept
C. approve of D. refuse to consider
2. Trelease’s speech focuses on______.
A. how to teach reading B. the importance of reading
C. why children read less D. the proper amount of reading
3. According to Trelease, what is missing in the practice of teaching reading in today’s elementary schools?
A. Teaching reading skills. B. Cooperating with parents.
C. Making children want to read. D. Providing good reading materials.
4. The audience is surprised by Trelease’s talk in that ______.
A. the majority of eighth-graders watch 3 hours TV daily
B. reading proficiency is mainly influenced by TV viewing
C. children tend to copy their parents’ bad habits
D. few adults read any newspapers nowadays
5. What does Trelease think of reading?
A. It is difficult but very important. B. It can help improve other skills.
C. It is the key to success in society. D. It should be taught by parents.
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