Universidad de Yacambu

Información y Documentación

Idioma Avanzado Intensivo


Trabajo Nº 5   Elizabeth Wright 


Reading Comprehension


Stonehenge is a Neolithic and Bronze Age megalithic monument located near Amesbury in the English county of Wiltshire, about 8 miles (13 km) north of Salisbury. Its geographical location is 51°10'43.87"N, 1°49'35.07"W.


It is composed of earthworks surrounding a circular setting of large standing stones and is one of the most famous prehistoric sites in the world.


Archaeologists think that the standing stones were erected between 2500 BC and 2000 BC although the surrounding circular earth bank and ditch, which constitute the earliest phase of the monument, have been dated to about 3100 BC.


The site and its surroundings were added to the UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites in 1986 in a co-listing with Aveburyhenge monument, and it is also a legally protected Scheduled Ancient Monument. Stonehenge itself is owned and managed by English Heritage whilst the surrounding downland is owned by the National Trust.




Now, answer the questions about the text. 

1. Stonehenge lies near Amesbury.



We don't know.


2. It is about 8 miles north of Wiltshire.



We don't know.


3. Archaeologists think that the stones were erected 4000 years ago.



We don't know.


4. One part of the monument was built around 3100 BC.



We don't know.


5. In 1986 Stonehenge was declared a World Heritage Site.



We don't know.


The Rolling Stones 


The Rolling Stones are a British rock and roll band who rose to prominence during the mid-1960s.


The band was named after a song by Muddy Waters, a leading exponent of hard-rocking blues. In their music, The Rolling Stones were the embodiment of the idea of importing blues style into popular music.


Their first recordings were covers or imitations of rhythm and blues music, but they soon greatly extended the reach of their lyrics and playing, but rarely, if ever, lost their basic blues feel.


The band came into being in 1961 when former school friends Jagger and Richards met Brian Jones. They named themselves after a song by Muddy Waters, a popular choice of name —at least two other bands are believed to have called themselves The Rolling Stones before the Jagger/Richards/Jones band was formed. The original lineup included Mick Jagger (vocals), Brian Jones (guitar), Keith Richards (guitar), Ian Stewart (piano), Charlie Watts (drums) and Dick Taylor (bass). Taylor left shortly after to form The Pretty Things, and was replaced by Bill Wyman.


By the time of their first album release Ian Stewart was "officially" not part of the band, though he continued to record and perform with them. United by their shared interest in rhythm and blues music the group rehearsed extensively, playing in public only occasionally at Crawdaddy Club in London, where Alexis Korner's blues band was resident. At first, Jones, a guitarist who also toyed with numerous other instruments, was their creative leader.


The band rapidly gained a reputation in London for their frantic, highly energetic covers of the rhythm and blues songs of their idols and, through manager Andrew Loog Oldham, was signed to Decca Records (who had passed when offered  The Beatles). At this time their music was fairly primitive: Richards had learned much of his guitar playing from the recordings of Chuck Berry, and had not yet developed a style of his own, and Jagger was not as in control of the idioms as he would soon become. Already though, the rhythmic interplay between Watts and Richards was clearly the heart of their music.


The choice of material on their first record, a self-titled EP, reflected their live shows. Similarly, the album The Rolling Stones (England's Newest Hitmakers) which appeared in April 1964 featured versions of such classics as "Route 66" (originally recorded by Nat King Cole), "Mona" (Bo Diddley) and "Carol" (Chuck Berry).




Now, answer the questions about the text. 


 1. Their first recordings were based on blues music.



We don't know.


2. The band was created in



We don't know.


3. Keith Richards had learned to play the guitar from the recordings of Chuck Berry.



We don't know.


4. The group used to rehearse a lot.



We don't know.


5. They occasionally played in public in London.



We don't know. 


 Jack the Ripper


Jack the Ripper is a pseudonym given to an unidentified serial killer (or killers) active in the largely impoverished Whitechapel area and adjacent districts of London in the second half of 1888. The name is taken from a letter to the Central News Agency by someone claiming to be the murderer, published at the time of the killings. Although many theories have been advanced, Jack the Ripper's identity may never be proven.


The legends surrounding the Ripper murders have become a complex muddle of genuine historical research, freewheeling conspiracy theory and dubious folklore. The lack of a confirmed identity for the killer has allowed subsequent authors, historians and mostly amateur sleuths—dubbed Ripperologists—to point their fingers at a wide variety of candidates. Newspapers, whose circulation had been growing during this era, bestowed widespread and enduring notoriety on the killer due to the savagery of the murders and the failure of police to effect a capture, with the Ripper sometimes escaping discovery by mere minutes.


Victims were women earning income as casual prostitutes. Typical Ripper murders were perpetrated in a public or semi-public place; the victim's throat was cut, after which the cadaver was subjected to abdominal and sometimes other mutilations such as those found in lust murder. Many now believe that the victims were first strangled in order to silence them. Due to the nature of the wounds on some presumed Ripper victims, several of whom had internal organs removed, it has been proposed that the killer had a degree of surgical or medical skill, or was perhaps a butcher, although this point, like most of the beliefs about the killer and facts in the case, is in dispute.




Now, answer the questions about the text. 


1. The murders were committed in 1888.



We don't know.


2. The name was taken from a letter received by the Central News Agency.



We don't know.


3. The killer was never identified.



We don't know.


4. The killer may have had medical skills.



We don't know.


5. The killer may have been a butcher.



We don't know.


The American Pepper

"Mummy! Mummy!" shouted little Murna racing from the front door through to the kitchen. "There's a parcel. The postman's brought a parcel!"

      Her mother, Savni, looked at her in surprise. She had no idea who could have sent them a parcel. Maybe it was a mistake. She hurried to the door to find out. Sure enough, the postman was there, holding a parcel about the size of a small brick.

      "From America, madam," he said. "See! American stamps."


      It was true. In the top right-hand corner of the brown paper parcel were three strange-looking stamps, showing a man's head. The package was addressed to Savni, in big, clear black letters.


      "Well, I suppose it must be from Great-Aunt Pasni," said Savni to herself, as the postman went on his way down the street, whistling. "Although it must be twenty years since we heard anything from her. I thought she would have been dead by now."


Savni's husband Jornas and her son Arinas were just coming in from the garden, where Murna had run to tell them about the parcel. "Well, open it then!" said Arinas impatiently. "Let's see what's inside!"


      Setting the parcel down in the middle of the table, Savni carefully began to tear open the paper. Inside, there was a large silver container with a hinged lid, which was taped shut. There was also a letter.


      "What is it? What is it?" demanded Murna impatiently. "Is it a present?"


      "I have no idea," said Savni in confusion. "I think it must be from Great-Aunt Pasni. She went to America almost thirty years ago now. But we haven't heard from her in twenty years. Perhaps the letter will tell us." She opened the folded page cautiously, then looked up in dismay. "Well, this is no help!" she said in annoyance. "It's written in English! How does she expect us to read English? We're poor people, we have no education. Maybe Pasni has forgotten her native language, after thirty years in America."


      "Well, open the pot, anyway," said Jornas. "Let's see what's inside."


      Cautiously, Savni pulled the tape from the neck of the silver pot, and opened the lid. Four heads touched over the top of the container, as their owners stared down inside.


      "Strange," said Arinas. "All I see is powder." The pot was about one-third full of a kind of light-grey powder.


      "What is it?" asked Murna, mystified.


      "We don't know, darling," said Savni, stroking her daughter's hair. "What do you think?" Murna stared again into the pot.


      "I think its coffee," she announced, finally. "American coffee."

      "It's the wrong colour for coffee, darling," said Jornas thoughtfully. "But maybe she's on the right track. It must be some kind of food." Murna, by now, had her nose right down into the pot. Suddenly, she lifted her head and sneezed loudly.


      "Id god up by doze," she explained.


      "That's it!" said Arinas. "It must be pepper! Let me try some." Dipping a finger into the powder, he licked it. "Yes," he said, "it's pepper all right. Mild, but quite tasty. It's American pepper."


      "All right," said Savni, "we'll try it on the stew tonight. We'll

have American-style stew!"


      That evening, the whole family agreed that the American pepper had added a special extra taste to their usual evening stew. They were delighted with it. By the end of the week, there was only a teaspoonful of the grey powder


left in the silver container. Then Savni called a halt.


      "We're saving the last bit for Sunday. Dr. Haret is coming to dinner, and we'll let him have some as a special treat. Then it will be finished."


      The following Sunday, the whole family put on their best clothes, ready for dinner with Dr. Haret. He was the local doctor, and he had become a friend of the family many years before, when he had saved Arinas's life after an accident. Once every couple of months, Savni invited the doctor for dinner, and they all looked forward to his entertaining stories of his youth at the university in the capital.


      During dinner, Savni explained to the doctor about the mysterious American pepper, the last of which she had put in the stew they were eating, and the letter they could not read.


      "Well, give it to me, give it to me!" said the doctor briskly. "I speak English! I can translate it for you."


Savni brought the letter, and the family waited, fascinated, as the doctor began to translate.


      "Dear Savni: you don't know me, but I am the son of your old Great-Aunt Pasni. She never talked much to us about the old country, but in her final illness earlier this year, she told us that after her death, she wanted her ashes to be sent back home to you, so that you could scatter them on the hills of the country where she was born. My mother died two weeks ago, and her funeral and cremation took place last week. I am sending her ashes to you in a silver casket. Please do as she asked, and spread them over the ground near where she was born. Your cousin, George Leary."


(MDH 1995 -- from a common urban legend) 


Multiple-Choice Questions

Choose the answer you think is correct.


 1. Where does this story take place?

a) America

b) Arinas

c) India

d) Thetextdoesn'tsay


 2. How was the parcel wrapped?

a) in brownpaper

b) in silverpaper

c) in greypaper

d) in tape


 3. WhowasSavni?

a) a littlegirl

b) theGreat-Aunt

c) the mother of the family

d) the son of the family


 4. Why don't the family read the letter?

a) They are too impatient to look in the container.

b) It is addressed to the doctor.

c) Itis in English.

d) Itismissing.


 5. What does Murna think is in the pot?

a) dust

b) ashes

c) coffee

d) pepper


 6. Why does Arinas think that the powder is pepper?

 a) Ittastesvery hot.

b) ItmakesMurnasneeze.

c) It is written on the pot.

d) Thelettersays so.


 7. What does the family do with the powder?

a) They keep it to give to the doctor.

b) They send it back to America.

c) They make drinks with it.

d) They put it on their food.


 8. Why does Savni save the last bit of the powder?

a) as a souvenir

b) for Dr. Haret

c) to analyseit

d) to spread it on the hills


 9. How does Dr. Haret solve the mystery?

a) He analyses the powder.

b) He recognizes the powder.

c) He is a friend of Pasni.

d) He translatestheletter.


 10. What was really in the pot?

a) coffee

b) Great-Aunt Pasni

c) dust

d) special American pepper


 The Hitchhiker

     As Andrea turned off the motorway onto the road to Brockbourne, the small village in which she lived, it was four o'clock in the afternoon, but already the sun was falling behind the hills. At this time in December, it would be completely dark by five o'clock. Andrea shivered. The interior of the car was not cold, but the trees bending in the harsh wind and the patches of yesterday's snow still heaped in the fields made her feel chilly inside. It was another ten miles to the cottage where she lived with her husband Michael, and the dim light and wintry weather made her feel a little lonely. She would have liked to listen to the radio, but it had been stolen from her car when it was parked outside her office in London about two weeks ago, and she had not got around to replacing it yet.

     She was just coming out of the little village of Mickley when she saw the old lady, standing by the road, with a crude hand-written sign saying "Brockbourne" in her hand. Andrea was surprised. She had never seen an old lady hitchhiking before. However, the weather and the coming darkness made her feel sorry for the lady, waiting hopefully on a country road like this with little traffic. Normally, Andrea would never pick up a hitchhiker when she was alone, thinking it was too dangerous, but what was the harm in doing a favor for a little old lady like this? Andrea pulled up a little way down the road, and the lady, holding a big shopping bag, hurried over to climb in the door which Andrea had opened for her.

     When she did get in, Andrea could see that she was not, in fact, so little. Broad and fat, the old lady had some difficulty climbing in through the car door, with her big bag, and when she had got in, she more than filled the seat next to Andrea. She wore a long, shabby old dress, and she had a yellow hat pulled down low over her eyes. Panting noisily from her effort, she pushed her big brown canvas shopping bag down onto the floor under her feet, and said in a voice which was almost a whisper, "Thank you dearie -- I'm just going to Brockbourne."


     "Do you live there?" asked Andrea, thinking that she had never seen the old lady in the village in the four years she had lived there herself.


     "No, dearie," answered the passenger, in her soft voice, "I'm just going to visit a friend. He was supposed to meet me back there at Mickley, but his car won't start, so I decided to hitchhike -- there isn't a bus until seven, and I didn't want to wait. I knew some kind soul would give me a lift."


     Something in the way the lady spoke, and the way she never turned her head, but stared continuously into the darkness ahead from under her old yellow hat, made Andrea uneasy about this strange hitchhiker. She didn't know why, but she felt instinctively that there was something wrong, something odd, something....dangerous. But how could an old lady be dangerous? it was absurd.


     Careful not to turn her head, Andrea looked sideways at her passenger. She studied the hat, the dirty collar of the dress, the shapeless body, the arms with their thick black hairs....


Thick black hairs?


Hairy arms? Andrea's blood froze.


      This wasn't a woman. It was a man.


      At first, she didn't know what to do. Then suddenly, an idea came into her racing, terrified brain. Swinging the wheel suddenly, she threw the car into a skid, and brought it to a halt.


     "My God!" she shouted, "A child! Did you see the child? I think I hit her!"


     The "old lady" was clearly shaken by the sudden skid. "I didn't see anything dearie," she said. "I don't think you hit anything."


    "I'm sure it was a child!" insisted Andrea. "Could you just get out and have a look? Just see if there's anything on the road?" She held her breath. Would her plan work?


     It did. The passenger slowly opened the car door, leaving her bag inside, and climbed out to investigate. As soon as she was out of the vehicle, Andrea gunned the engine and accelerated madly away. The car door swung shut as she rounded a bend, and soon she had put a good three miles between herself and the awful hitchhiker.


     It was only then that she thought about the bag lying on the floor in front of her. Maybe the bag would provide some information about the real identity about the old woman who was not an old woman. Pulling into the side of the road, Andrea lifted the heavy bag onto her lap and opened it curiously.


     It contained only one item -- a small hand axe, with a razor-sharp blade. The axe, and the inside of the bag, were covered with the dark red stains of dried blood.


     Andrea began to scream.


(MDH 1994 -- From a common urban legend) 


Multiple-Choice Questions

Choose on the answer you think is correct.


 1. Wheredid Andrea work?

a) Brockbourne

b) Mickley

c) London

d) thetextdoesn'tsay


 2. How was Andrea feeling as she drove home?

a) happy

b) afraid

c) lonely

d) hot


 3. Why didn't she listen to the radio?

a) The radio had been stolen from her car.

b) She liked peace and quiet.

c) The radio was broken.

d) There was a strike at the radio station.


 4. Why did she stop to give the old lady a ride?

a) It was a cold evening.

b) Andrea felt lonely.

c) She felt sorry for the lady.

d) Alloftheabove.


 5. Where did the lady want to go?

a) Brockbourne

b) Mickley

c) London

d) Thetextdoesn'tsay


 6. What made Andrea afraid when she looked at the old lady?

a) Shehad a moustache.

b) She had a hard voice like a man.

c) She had a shopping bag.

d) She had hairy arms.


 7. Why did Andrea suddenly stop the car?

a) She thought she had hit a child in the road.

b) She skidded on some ice in the road.

c) She wanted to trick the passenger into getting out.

d) She was so afraid that she couldn't concentrate, and she nearly had a crash.


 8. What did Andrea do when the "old lady" got out?

a) waited for her

b) drove away quickly

c) opened her bag

d) switched off the engine


 9. Why did Andrea look in the old lady's bag?

a) She wanted to steal what was in it.

b) She wanted to find her address so that she could send the bag back to her.

c) She wanted to borrow the old lady's tools.

d) She wanted to find out who the strange passenger was.


10. What was the "old lady" probably going to do to Andrea?

a) nothing

b) kill her

c) give her anaxe

d) visit her in Brockbourne