Reading Comprehension 9th form From “About Coming of Age”



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Reading Comprehension


9th form

From “About Coming of Age”

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/humanplanetexplorer/life_events/coming_of_age
Coming of age is the transition from child to adult, boy to man, girl to woman. But when exactly that happens – and how you celebrate or action the change - may depend entirely on where in the world you live.

In the UK, depending on your point of view, people come of age when they reach 16, 18 or 21 years old. At 16 you can get married without parental consent in England and Scotland, but you have to wait until you are 18 before you are allowed to vote, drink alcohol, or buy cigarettes. Turning 21, in comparison, has few legal effects but may be even more strenuously celebrated.

In other cultures, the graduation into adulthood may not depend on age so much as on experience and development. Young Hamar boys of Ethiopia, for instance, becoming a man is marked when they can run four times over the backs of their cattle, while the boys of Brazil’s Xavante tribe come of age through a series of tasks including spending fifteen days immersed in water.

Only allowed to leave the water for the occasional sleep, the men-in-waiting are taken to the point of complete exhaustion under the watchful eyes and instruction of the village elders. Once their skin is sufficiently softened, the boys are then ritually scarred and their ears pierced with the bone of a jaguar. Having proved their stamina, they are finally painted with red dye as a sign of their transition to manhood.

Decide if the statements are true or false

1. In the USA people can get married at age 16 without parental consent.

2. Hamar boys have their ears pierced by the bone of a jaguar.

3. Hamar boys of Ethiopia and boys of Brazil’s Xavante tribe come of age based on experience and development.

4. The coming of age ritual is more complex for the Xavante tribe than the Hamar boys of Ethiopia.

5. Being painted red can be seen as a badge of merit for the Xavante boys.

From The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupéry
The sixth planet was ten times larger than the last one. It was inhabited by an old gentleman who wrote voluminous books.

"Oh, look! Here is an explorer!" he exclaimed to himself when he saw the little prince coming.

The little prince sat down on the table and panted a little. He had already traveled so much and so far!

"Where do you come from?" the old gentleman said to him.

"What is that big book?" said the little prince. "What are you doing?"

"I am a geographer," said the old gentleman.

"What is a geographer?" asked the little prince.

"A geographer is a scholar who knows the location of all the seas, rivers, towns, mountains, and deserts."

"That is very interesting," said the little prince. "Here at last is a man who has a real profession!" And he cast a look around him at the planet of the geographer. It was the most magnificent and stately planet that he had ever seen.

"Your planet is very beautiful," he said. "Has it any oceans?"

"I couldn't tell you," said the geographer.

"Ah!" The little prince was disappointed. "Has it any mountains?"

"I couldn't tell you," said the geographer.

"And towns, and rivers, and deserts?"

"I couldn't tell you that, either."

"But you are a geographer!"

"Exactly," the geographer said. "But I am not an explorer.”
Choose the multiple-choice item that makes the sentence correct.
6. According to the text, a “geographer” is:


  1. An educated person who knows where features of the earth are located.

  2. An educated person who travels to different places.

  3. Someone who explores.


  4. Someone who looks for new information.

7. “Panted” means:



  1. breathed heavily

  2. sighed loudly

  3. drooled

  4. Cried

8. “Voluminous” means:



  1. geographical

  2. many

  3. beautiful

  4. large

9. Why does the geographer not know where the seas, rivers, towns, mountains, and deserts are located on his planet?



  1. Because he is not a scholar.

  2. Because he is not an explorer.

  3. Because it is not a professional.

  4. Because he writes books.

10. What do you think the geographer is writing about in his book?



  1. The story of the little prince.

  2. The geography of his planet.

  3. The story of an explorer.

  4. The story of a man who has a real profession.


From Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

“What in the world are you going to do now, Jo?” asked Meg, one snowy afternoon, as her sister came tramping through the hall, in rubber boots, old sack and hood, with a broom in one hand and a shovel in the other.

“Going out for exercise,” answered Jo, with a mischievous twinkle in her eyes.

“I should think two long walks this morning would have been enough! It's cold and dull out; and I advise you to stay warm and dry, by the fire, as I do,” said Meg, with a shiver.

“Never take advice! Can't keep still all day, and, not being a pussy-cat, I don't like to doze by the fire. I like adventures, and I'm going to find some.”

Meg went back to toast her feet and read Ivanhoe; and Jo began to dig paths with great energy. The snow was light, and with her broom she soon swept a path all round the garden, for Beth to walk in when the sun came out; and the invalid dolls needed air. Now the garden separated the Marches’ house from that of Mr. Laurence. Both stood in a suburb of the city, which was still country-like, with groves and lawns, large gardens, and quiet streets. A low hedge parted the two estates. On one side was an old, brown house, looking rather bare and shabby, robbed of the vines that in summer covered its walls, and the flowers which then surrounded it. On the other side was a stately stone mansion, plainly betokening every sort of comfort and luxury, from the big coach-house and well-kept grounds to the conservatory and the glimpses of lovely things one caught between the rich curtains. Yet it seemed a lonely, lifeless sort of house; for no children frolicked on the lawn, no motherly face ever smiled at the windows, and few people went in and out, except the old gentleman and his grandson.

Choose the multiple-choice item that makes the sentence correct.

11. The character Jo could be best described as:



  1. Cold and dull

  2. Adventurous and independent

  3. Tired and opinionated

  4. Introverted and boring

12. According to the text:



  1. It is a winter afternoon.

  2. It is a winter evening.

  3. Both Meg and Jo enjoy snow.

  4. Both Meg and Jo enjoy reading.

13. According to the text, “tramping” means:



  1. Running loudly

  2. Running quickly

  3. Walking quietly

  4. Walking heavily

14. The “old, brown house” is:



  1. Separated from the mansion by a wooden fence.

  2. A symbol of every comfort and luxury.

  3. Covered with pretty vines and flowers in the summer.

  4. Lonely and lifeless.

15. The “stately stone mansion” is:



  1. Inhabited by two people.

  2. Covered with pretty vines and flowers in the summer.

  3. Simple and dilapidated.

  4. Lively and full of children.


Listening Comprehension Test for the 9th form Students

Sometimes a soccer ball is more than just a ball. Sometimes, it’s a lifesaver. Tim Jahnigen has always followed his heart, whether as a carpenter, a chef, a lyricist or now as an entrepreneur. So in 2006, when he saw a documentary about children in Darfur who found solace playing soccer with balls made out of garbage and string, he was inspired to do something about it. The children, he learned, used trash because the balls donated by relief agencies and sporting goods companies quickly ripped or deflated on the rocky dirt that doubled as soccer fields. Kicking a ball around provided such joy in otherwise stressful and trying conditions that the children would play with practically anything that approximated a ball.

During the next two years, Mr. Jahnigen, who was also working to develop an infrared medical technology, searched for something that could be made into a ball but never wear out, go flat or need a pump. Many engineers he spoke to were dubious of his project. But Mr. Jahnigen eventually discovered PopFoam, a type of hard foam made of ethylene-vinyl acetate, a class of material similar to that used in Crocs, the popular and durable sandals. Creating a prototype, it turned out, cost about one-tenth as much as expected and took about a year. Sting called it the One World Futbol, a homage to a song he sang with the Police, “One World (Not Three).”

To test the balls’ durability, Mr. Jahnigen sent them to places like Rwanda, where they were used at a camp for former child soldiers. A lion at the Johannesburg Zoo, who would go through six regular balls a day, played with two balls. A German shepherd spent a year biting on a ball. In every case, the balls withstood the abuse.

Mr. Jahnigen has developed a fifth generation of the ball, which is rounder than earlier versions. He carries samples around the world to conferences, potential buyers and sponsors. For effect, he crushes them and even drives cars over them. All of them bounce and hold their shape. By his estimate, the ball can last for 30 years, eliminating the need for thousands of hand-sewn leather balls that are typically donated by relief agencies.

Mr. Jahnigen has produced about 33,000 balls. About half of them were bought for $40 each. For each ball purchased, another is given away. Word has spread. The ball is being used by a hundred different organizations and has made its way to more than 140 countries. Flight attendants, Doctors Without Borders and a United States Army colonel in Afghanistan have taken balls with them on their travels.

In time, Mr. Jahnigen said, he hopes to get millions of other balls into the hands of children. “A child can play to their heart’s content where there are no content hearts,” he said. “We don’t understand that having a ball is like the best PlayStation 3 or a rocket to Mars.”


Listening Comprehension Test for the 9th form Students

TASK 1. Decide if the statements are true or false


  1. Tim Jahnigen was inspired to create a better soccer ball after learning of the plight of the children of Darfur.

  2. A durable football is important to relief organizations because playing helps children deal with stress.

  3. Mr. Jahnigen’s soccer ball can last for an estimated 3 decades.

  4. The children played with balls made out of trash because they could not afford conventional balls.

  5. A dog spent two years biting one of Mr. Jahnigen’s soccer balls and the ball was still in good condition.

  6. Mr. Jahnigen’s soccer ball is currently used by different organizations in over 140 countries.

  7. The children were not content with playing soccer with balls made out of trash and string.

  8. The prototype of Mr. Jahnigen’s soccer ball only cost a fraction of its original estimated cost.

  9. Mr. Jahnigen’s soccer balls are created out of the same material used for a line of popular footwear.

  10. The current fourth generation model of the ball is lighter than the earlier versions.

11. Tim Jahnigen is currently:

A. A businessman.

B. A chef.

C. A musician.

D. A soccer coach.


12. Tim Jahnigen used all of the following criteria in the development of the ball, EXCEPT:

A. Would not need a pump.

B. Would be lightweight.

C. Would not go flat.

D. Would not wear out.

13. The primary reason that the soccer balls donated by the agencies would deflate is:

A. The children would play too often with the balls.

B. The children did not take care of the balls.

C. The children could not afford to buy a ball pump.

D. The children played soccer on rocky dirt fields.
14. While creating the soccer ball, Mr. Jahnigen was also working on:

A. An affordable car.

B. A medical device.

C. A durable sandal.

D. Forming a relief organization.
15. The durability of Mr. Jahnigen’s soccer ball was tested by:

A. The children of Darfur.

B. The soldiers in Afghanistan.

C. An elephant in Rwanda.



D. A lion in Johannesburg.




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