Read the following text, then read the five statements. Some of these statements are true according to the text, some of them are false. Write T for True or F for False in the box next to each statement.
English as a National Foreign Language
India has two national languages for central administrative purposes: Hindi and English. Hindi is the national, official, and main link language of India. English is an associate official language. The Indian Constitution also officially approves twenty-two regional languages for official purposes.
Dozens of distinctly different regional languages are spoken in India, which share many characteristics such as grammatical structure and vocabulary. Apart from these languages, Hindi is used for communication in India. The homeland of Hindi is mainly in the north of India, but it is spoken and widely understood in all urban centers of India. In the southern states of India, where people speak many different languages that are not much related to Hindi, there is more resistance to Hindi, which has allowed English to remain a lingua franca to a greater degree.
Since the early 1600s, the English language has had a toehold on the Indian subcontinent, when the East India Company established settlements in Chennai, Kolkata, and Mumbai, formerly Madras, Calcutta, and Bombay respectively. The historical background of India is never far away from everyday usage of English. India has had a longer exposure to English than any other country which uses it as a second language, its distinctive words, idioms, grammar and rhetoric spreading gradually to affect all places, habits and culture.
In India, English serves two purposes. First, it provides a linguistic tool for the administrative cohesiveness of the country, causing people who speak different languages to become united. Secondly, it serves as a language of wider communication, including a large variety of different people covering a vast area. It overlaps with local languages in certain spheres of influence and in public domains.
Generally, English is used among Indians as a ‘link’ language and it is the first language for many well-educated Indians. It is also the second language for many who speak more than one language in India. The English language is a tie that helps bind the many segments of our society together. Also, it is a linguistic bridge between the major countries of the world and India.
English has special national status in India. It has a special place in the parliament, judiciary, broadcasting, journalism, and in the education system. One can see a Hindi-speaking teacher giving their students instructions during an educational tour about where to meet and when their bus would leave, but all in English. It means that the language permeates daily life. It is unavoidable and is always expected, especially in the cities.
The importance of the ability to speak or write English has recently increased significantly because English has become the de facto standard. Learning the English language has become popular for business, commerce and cultural reasons and especially for internet communications throughout the world. English is a language that has become a standard not because it has been approved by any ‘standards’ organization but because it is widely used by many information and technology industries and recognized as being standard. The call centre phenomenon has stimulated a huge expansion of internet-related activity, establishing the future of India as a cyber-technological super-power. Modern communications, videos, journals and newspapers on the internet use English and have made ‘knowing English’ indispensable.
The prevailing view seems to be that unless students learn English, they can only work in limited jobs. Those who do not have basic knowledge of English cannot obtain good quality jobs. They cannot communicate efficiently with others, and cannot have the benefit of India’s rich social and cultural life. Men and women who cannot comprehend and interpret instructions in English, even if educated, are unemployable. They cannot help with their children’s school homework every day or decide their revenue options for the future.
A positive attitude to English as a national language is essential to the integration of people into Indian society. There would appear to be virtually no disagreement in the community about the importance of English language skills. Using English you will become a citizen of the world almost naturally. English plays a dominant role in the media. It has been used as a medium for inter-state communication and broadcasting both before and since India’s independence. India is, without a doubt, committed to English as a national language. The impact of English is not only continuing but increasing.
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1) The Indian constitution recognises 22 official languages
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2) English’s status as a lingua franca is helped by the fact that people from the south speak languages not much related to Hindi.
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3) From the early 17th century, the English language took hold in the Indian subcontinent.
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4) Hindi-speaking teachers only use English
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5) Many wrongly believe that unless students learn English, they will only have a chance with a few jobs.
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Read the text and fill the gaps with the correct sentences A-H. Write the letter of the missing sentence in the box in the gap. There are two extra sentences you will not need.
A) It added: «Fluctuating consumer demand has also influenced purchasing habits, while investor confidence has affected currencies, further fuelling price rises.»
B) That has definitely had a huge impact on their daily lives.
C) The cheapest cities are mainly in the Middle East and Africa.
D) The EIU said the data it collected in August and September showed that on average prices rose 3.5% in local currency terms – the fastest inflation rate recorded over the past five years.
E) Data for the survey, which has been carried out for more than three decades, is gathered by EIU’s global team of researchers each March and September.
F) The survey found Tel Aviv was the second most expensive city for alcohol and transport, fifth for personal care items, and sixth for recreation.
G) Rome saw the biggest drop in the rankings, falling from 32nd to 48th place, after sharp falls in local grocery and clothing prices
Tel Aviv named as world’s most expensive city to live in
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Tel Aviv has been named as the most expensive city in the world to live in, as soaring inflation and supply-chain problems push up prices globally.
The Israeli city came top for the first time in a survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), climbing from fifth place last year and pushing Paris down to joint second with Singapore. Damascus, in war-torn Syria, retained its place as the cheapest in the world. The survey compares costs in US dollars for goods and services in 173 cities. 1)
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Tel Aviv’s climb to the top of the EIU’s World Cost of Living rankings mainly reflected the soaring value of Israel’s currency, the shekel, against the dollar. The local prices of around 10% of goods also increased significantly, especially for groceries. 2)
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Last year, Paris, Zurich and Hong Kong shared joint first place. Zurich and Hong Kong were fourth and fifth this year, followed by New York, Geneva, Copenhagen, Los Angeles and Osaka. 3)
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But Tehran climbed the most in the rankings, jumping from 79th to 29th, as US economic sanctions reinstated three years ago continued to cause shortages of goods and rising import prices in Iran. 4)
The EIU said the rankings continued to be sensitive to shifts brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. «Although most economies are now recovering as Covid-19 vaccines are rolled out, the world’s major cities still experience frequent surges in cases, prompting renewed social restrictions.
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In many cities this has disrupted the supply of goods, leading to shortages and higher prices.» 5)
The EIU said it expected price rises to moderate over the coming year as central banks cautiously increased interest rates to stem inflation.
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Read the four texts below. There are eight questions about the texts. Decide which text (A, B, C or D) tells you the answer to the question. The first one is done for you.
On view at the Great Lakes Science Center’s DOME theater, this film takes you alongside scientists as they seek to better understand Earth’s climate history by studying some of the world’s most hidden realms. Follow paleoclimatologist Dr. “Ancient Caves takes audiences to some of the most extraordinary and beautiful places on the planet as it follows a team of researchers searching for clues hundreds of feet below the earth’s surface,” says director Jonathan Bird, who specializes in underwater cinematography, in the release. “These deep underwater caves are like something straight out of a sci-fi film, and audiences can expect to see things they’ve never seen before. The film has something for everyone, whether it’s adventure, science or just pure beauty.”
Moseley and her team of cave explorers travel the world exploring vast underground worlds in search of stalagmite samples – geologic “fingerprints” – that reveal clues about the planet’s climate history. Their quest leads them to some of the world’s most remote caves, both above and below the water, in France, Iceland, the Bahamas, the U.S. and Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Together, they go where very few humans will ever go, revealing the incredible lengths scientists will go to study the unknown.
“The documentaryis a triumph for the format, delivering both truly rare visual wonders and the kind of deliberate, substantive scientific education that hasn’t always made it through the cute-penguin montages…of past dome films.”
Both the groundbreaking projection system and Ancient Caves itself, in which the Minnesota museum was a production partner via the Giant Dome Theater Consortium, are testament to the Science Museum’s leadership role in the community of institutions with the capability to deliver experiences like this. Between the Laser Dome and the sleek planetarium at the new Bell Museum, Minnesotans in the Venn diagram overlap between dome screen fans and science lovers have never had it better. (You know who you are.)
In Ancient Caves, Minnesota even gets to see a bit of itself. Moseley, the Austria-based, star of the film, collaborates with University of Minnesota geochemist Larry Edwards to analyze her samples — so we get some sweeping shots of the West Bank in Minneapolis along with a brief descent into a cave that lies beneath southeastern Minnesota farmland.
The beautiful IMAX film is narrated by Bryan Cranston and is directed by Jonathan Bird. It took four years to make, shooting all over and under the world. “One visionary scientist is on an epic quest to understand Earth’s climate,” said Cranston during the narration.
“She just has great adventures and we get to follow along to places most of us will never ever get to go. You get to experience these places and learn about science in such a great venue,” Bird said. These remote places have never been shot on IMAX before. “The interesting thing about this is, just over five years ago this film would have been impossible. We didn’t the lighting technology, and we didn’t have the camera technology to do giant screen like a mile back in a cave,” he explained.
CBS4’s Lisa Petrillo asked Bird if he or anyone or from his team was scared when they were deep in the underwater caves. “We definitely weren’t because we’re all certified cave nerds and we love cave diving and this stuff is great.”
In which text does the writer:
Example: points out it is attention-grabbing? B
1) refer to them as other-worldly?
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2) talk about the contentment of others?
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3) mention a personal insight?
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Which text is saying the following?
4) It would have been different:
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5) Those implied proved their authority:
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6) The most unlikely places of Earth are unlocked:
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7) The superior image quality delivered is epic:
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Read the article and answer the questions. Write a maximum of five words for each answer.
The San Francisco of today has a rich and colourful history, starting in 1776, when it was founded by colonists from Spain, through The California Gold Rush of 1849, to being rebuilt after the 1906 earthquake and fire. In all this time it has seen some dark days, but none darker than the present. It became famous as the home of technology with its Silicon Valley, and the relationship the city has with this industry is the cause of all the pain, because of a proposal to levy a ‘tech tax’ on the companies that have fuelled the city’s transformation into a place that is increasingly uninhabitable for people on low or medium incomes.
Under the plan, large tech employers in the city, potentially including Google, Twitter, Uber, Airbnb and Salesforce, would be required to pay a 1.5% payroll tax. The estimated $120m in annual revenue would be used to fund affordable housing and services for the city’s large homeless population – 57,4% of homes there are worth more than $1m, but hundreds of people sleep in tents on the street every night.
The rapid tech boom in the city threatens its ability to thrive and prosper because every week brings new outrages, whether it’s the tenant in North Beach who, it emerged this week, received a notice informing him that his rent was increasing from $1,800 a month to $8,000, or the kindergarten teacher whose building was bought by two tech workers and, it was revealed this month, is now facing eviction for nuisance violations that include using appliances.
The city is deeply divided politically between technological evangelists who believe passionately in an industry that has spurred the local economy and made the already rich even richer, and others who believe the sector’s recent encroachment into the city is responsible for erasing the city’s rich culture and sparking a housing crisis.
Meanwhile, more than a few tech workers have gained viral notoriety for anti-homeless screeds, such as a February 2016 open letter that included the complaint, ‘I shouldn’t have to see the pain, struggle, and despair of homeless people to and from my way to work every day.’
A seminal moment came in 2011, when homegrown Twitter threatened to decamp somewhere cheaper and more business friendly. The city responded, first by offering a payroll tax break to companies like Twitter that located in its rundown Central Market neighborhood, and then by phasing out the payroll tax altogether and replacing it with a gross receipts tax – a popular change for tech companies that often have large workforces before they have any revenue.
The companies that took advantage of San Francisco’s tech-friendly incentives were, back then, just getting started. Today, that same stretch of the city, where Twitter put down roots, now hosts companies (Uber, Spotify, Dolby, Square, Zendesk, Yammer) whose valuations collectively approach $100bn. Silicon Valley natives like Google, Linkedin, and even Apple are rapidly expanding into the city too.
The tech tax would partially turn back the clock, bringing back the 1.5% payroll tax, but only for tech companies. But surprisingly, the proposal has met with fierce resistance. The city’s tech, political, and media establishment have savaged the proposal, and its mayor called it a ‘job-killing’ measure that would ‘return this city back to the days of the Great Recession’. The San Francisco Chronicle called the tax ‘a dangerously dumb idea’ that is ‘profoundly reckless and self-defeating’.
This debate, when it comes, will sharpen the divide between the two different San Franciscos, and there are few places that divide is more visible than the headquarters of Twitter – a 1937 art deco building in a neighborhood with a high concentration of low-income residents, many of the city’s nearly 7,000 homeless people, and single-room occupancy residential hotels that still advertise that their televisions are colour.
A female Google employee stood on the sidewalk one afternoon recently, a block from Twitter HQ, distributing free hot dogs and watermelon to a cluster of homeless and poor people. The food was leftover from an event organized by HandsOn Bay Area, a group that coordinates volunteer activities for corporations. When asked about her work she preferred not to be identified because the company frowns upon its employees speaking to the media.
Down the street, millennials were hunched over laptops in the Twitter HQ’s plaza. What once was an alley providing access to a wholesale furniture marketplace has been transformed into a pedestrian plaza with an astroturf lawn, reclaimed wood boardwalks, a gas-fueled fire pit, and a glass gate that can be locked at night. Watching over it all was Robert Shields, a security guard who lives in a residential hotel and says he is worried about getting evicted. His job is pretty simple, he said, and mostly involves keeping homeless people out. The irony is that a guard paid to discourage the homeless is terrified of being evicted. The rich past of this city has surely merits a better future and a little more human compassion.
1) What is the reason of the main issue in San Francisco nowadays?
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2) What is the plan for the extra collected?
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3) Who has shown aporophobia?
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4) Which company threatened to flee to an economical city?
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5) Who does consider tech tax to be detrimental to employment?
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6) What is believed to accentuate the current gap among wealth?
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7) Which organisation condemns their employees contacting the media?
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