Reading, 17

You are going to read an article about a man who learned to read. For questions 8 _ 15, choose the answer A, B, CorD which you think fits best according to the text.


Earl Flowers can read. He can read every word on this page. When he reads a story out loud, he reads with feeling and passion. The stories Earl reads are not merely words on a page. They spark his imagination, and he usually has something thoughtful to say about what he has learned. I mean, the man can read. I tell you this because less than two years ago, when he was 44, he couldn’t.

But Earl decided to change all that. When he went to his local library in Los Angeles, he told the interviewer from LARP (the Library Adult Reading Project) that the main reason he wanted to learn to read was so that he could understand the Bible better. He was, and still is, a pastor at his church, the New Directions Christian Center in Los Angeles. Never mind my dyslexia, Earl told the people from LARP. I want to learn how to read. Teach me, because I want to be able to read the Bible. Since what Earl did was in no way related to saving people from a burning building or standing in front of rushing government tanks, his decision may not seem like the bravest gesture you’ve ever heard of, but sometimes the greatest act of courage is to stand before the mirror of our heart and admit to ourselves and to the world. the secrets that we desperately do not want to acknowledge.

When I met Earl, I had just completed training, administered through LARP, that would enable me to be a volunteer literacy tutor for adults. I did not view my voluntary community service as charity. I do not particularly like charity, especially when writing a cheque becomes an easy substitute for doing something more useful. I told the people at LARP, who pair each tutor with a single client, that I wanted a fiercely motivated student, someone who wanted to help himself or herself as badly as I wanted to give my time. That was my chief criterion. Furthermore, I told LARP that I would prefer to teach a person of colour. Here in Los Angeles, many of my liberal friends talk about building bridges, about reaching out. to the ‘minority community,’ as they say. Unfortunately, the truth is, about the only contact most of my white friends in Hollywood have with blacks and Hispanics is when members of the ‘minority community’ are checking them out at the grocery store or watering their emerald lawns.

When I met Earl, I quickly realized that he was just the student I had hoped for. Born : in the Central American country of Belize in 1950, he had the determination to emigrate and build a life in America. He was smart. One doesn’t successfully skate through life lacking reading skills unless he is terribly clever, and he had the energy and enthusiasm to succeed.

Earl and I did not become instant close friends. I did not immediately confide in, him that I was going through the shattering pain of a divorce. He did not immediately reveal to me the scars of being abandoned as a young child and having to live for a time in a horse stable with nothing but the clothes on his back. But over time, as he learned to trust me, we became a team: triumphs and failures were ours, not solely his or mine.

When Earl successfully read his first story, our eyes both welled with tears. ‘Earl,’ I said, resting my hand on one of his broad shoulders, ‘you read that story, you did it.’ He nodded his head in wonder and exclaimed, ‘I did it. Praise God, I did it.’

The next time we met, a week later, Earl stood up from his chair to greet me, and  said, ‘Hello, my brother.’ He has called me that ever since.

8 What does the writer mean by saying ‘the man can read’?

A He changes what he reads using his imagination.

B He only reads stories aloud.

C He reads in a meaningful way showing his emotions. 

D  He learned how to read at school.

9 What, according to the writer, is an ‘act of courage’?

A to see what you really look like in a mirror

B to admit your flaws and weaknesses

C to save people who are in danger

D to reveal your secrets

10 What would the writer do after he had completed training?

A teach adults to read without getting paid

B become a teacher in a school

C teach literature to adults

D find a job as a writer of training material

11 Why doesn’t he like charity?

A He doesn’t like helping people.

B He doesn’t like giving money.

C He believes people may be offended.

D He believes it is more important to do things.

12 What kind of student was he looking for?

A someone who was a wild student

B someone with bad motivation

C someone who would appreciate the time he would spend for him 

D someone who wanted to learn very much

13 What contact did his friends have with the ‘minority community’?

A a very close one

B a superficial one

C not as close as they wanted it to be

D they built bridges for them

14 How did he reach the conclusion that Earl was smart?

A He couldn’t read but he managed to do well in life.

B He made the smart decision of emigrating to America.

C He was a successful skater.

D People who knew him had told him this.

15 What was their relationship?

A They were not close friends.

B They never told each other their secrets.

C They became friends step by step.

D They trusted each other at once.

Check your answers here


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