English Exercises Online Comprehension Text

English Exercises Online Comprehension Text

 Text 1

Teaching humanity - In our globalized world, an arts education is more crucial than ever as a way to cultivate sympathy for others.

By Martha Nussbaum

We live in a world that is dominated by the profit motive – which suggests to concerned citizens that education in science and technology is crucially important to the future success of their nations. I have no objection to good scientific and technical education, and I don’t wish to suggest that nations should stop trying to improve it. But I worry that other abilities, equally crucial, are at risk of getting lost in the competitive flurry. The abilities associated with the humanities and the arts are also vital, both to the health of individual nations and to the creation of a decent world culture. These include the ability to think critically, to transcend local loyalties and to approach international problems as a “citizen of the world.” And, perhaps most important, the ability to imagine sympathetically the predicament of another person.

Newsweek, Aug. 21 / Aug. 28, 2006, p.80.


1. According to Martha Nussbaum, it is correct to say that:

a) in order to become a concerned citizen, science and technology must be a priority to educational purposes.

b) arts education became an important teaching subject in the development of a sympathetic behavior for others.

c) she proposes the improvement of scientific and technical aspects of education.

d) her exclusive worry is related to the competition in the educational area.

e) to think critically depends, only, on the teaching of arts.

Concerning to the grammar structures used in the text:

2. The underlined verb structure in the active voice of the following sentence: “We live in a world that is dominated by the profit motive […]” is:

a) dominates

b) dominated

c) was dominated

d) is dominating

e) will dominate

3. Identify the sentence in which the conjunction presents the idea of exception.

a) Joan lost a fortune in the stock market, but she still seems able to live quite comfortably.

b) I have no objection to good scientific and technical education, and I don’t wish to suggest that nations should stop trying to improve it. But I worry that other abilities, equally crucial, are at risk of getting lost in the competitive flurry.

c) The company never invested foolishly, but used the services of a sage investment counselor.

d) Everybody but Goldensmith is trying out for the team.

e) This is a useful rule, but difficult to remember.

Text 2

Education life - Making College ‘relevant’.

By Kate Zernike

Thomas College, a liberal arts school in Maine, advertises itself as Home of the Guaranteed Job! Students who can’t find work in their fields within six months of graduation can come back to take classes free, or have the college pay their student loans for a year.

.The University of Louisiana, Lafayette, is eliminating its philosophy major, while Michigan State University is doing away with American studies and classics, after years of declining enrollments in those majors.

And in a class called “The English Major in the Workplace,” at the University of Texas, Austin, students read “Death of a Salesman” but also learn to network, write a résumé and come off well in an interview.

Even before they arrive on campus, students – and their parents – are increasingly focused on what comes after college. What’s the return on investment, especially as the cost of that investment keeps rising? How will that major translate into a job?

The pressure on institutions to answer those questions is prompting changes from the admissions office to the career center. But even as they rush to prove their relevance, colleges and universities worry that students are specializing too early, that they are so focused on picking the perfect major that they don’t allow time for self-discovery, much less late blooming.

“The phrase drives me crazy – ‘What are you going to do with your degree?’ – but I see increasing concerns about that,’ says Katharine Brooks, director of the liberal arts career center at the University of Texas, Austin, and author of “You Majored in What? Mapping Your path From Chaos to Career.” “Particularly as money gets tighter, people are going to demand more accountability from majors and departments.”

(Excerpt from New York Times, published on December 29, 2009).

Access: April 3rd. 2010.

Available at:

4. Making College ‘relevant’ suggests:

a) the outcomes in the learning process and investments concerning to find a job in the student’s field.

b) the avoidance of paying loans.

c) the increasing number of enrollments in universities.

d) the cost of investments in education.

e) to demand accountability from the educational departments.

5. The word major that appears throughout the text, if contextualized in the exact way it is in the excerpt, presents the same meaning in:

a) A major operation – one that may be dangerous to a person’s life.

b) A major scale – scale having two full tones between the key note and the third note.

c) Major general – army officer next above a brigadier and under a lieutenant-general.

d) Major subject – specialize in a certain subject.

e) Major portion – greater or more important.

6. The semantic idea expressed by “come off well”, in the third paragraph, can also be conveyed by:

a) The umpires came off after just one ball.

b) He tugged at the metal handle and it came off in his hand.

c) For our sake, I hope this business doesn’t come off all right.

d) Families in the wealthier classes come off comparatively better.

e) The production had to come off because the theater was already booked for a pantomime.

7. Considering that Katharine Brooks spoke to me: “What are you going to do with your degree?”, in the reported speech form becomes:

a) Brooks asked what I was going to do with my degree.

b) Brooks says what I am going to do with my degree.

c) Brooks said that she is going to do with her degree.

d) Brooks asked if I was going to do with your degree.

e) Brooks says what are you going to do with your degree.

Text 3

Technical and Vocational Education and Training

The success of universal primary education in developing countries over the last decade has translated into huge systematic pressure to expand both general and technical and vocational secondary education. Skills are increasingly

seen as critical to educational development, labour market inclusion and economic growth making TVET one of the four priority areas in UNESCO’s education programme.

TVET is an integral part of the Education for All initiative and through its orientation towards the world of work and the acquisition of skills plays an essential role in promoting a country’s economic growth and contributing to poverty reduction; ensuring the social and economical inclusion of marginalized communities.

TVET helps learners acquire skills, knowledge and attitudes needed to develop professional careers and enter the world of work as well as active citizenship and lifelong learning.

UNESCO is dedicated to advancing learning opportunities for disadvantaged groups and in particular women and youth to enable them to successfully integrate into world of work and society at large.

Source: United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization.

Access: April, 3rd 2010.

Available at:

8. Scanning, according to the text, it is not correct to state that:

a) TVET is a primacy area in UNESCO’s education programme.

b) the success of universal primary education in developing countries can be related to the claim to expand both general and technical and vocational secondary education.

c) TVET does not take part in the economic growth and poverty reduction of a developing country.

d) TVET helps marginalized communities to enter the world of work.

e) UNESCO’s efforts are aimed at integrating disadvantaged groups into society.

9. Considering that an adjective modifies a noun, or a pronoun by describing, identifying or quantifying words.

Indicate which expression does not present an adjective in its structure.

a) Developing countries

b) Huge systemic pressure

c) Marginalized communities

d) Educational development

e) Successfully integrate

Text 4

Read the synopsis from one of the Oscar nominees for the best picture in 2010 – “The Blind Side”.

“The Blind Side” depicts the remarkable true story of Michael Oher, a homeless African-American youngster from a broken home, taken in by the Touhy’s, a well-to-do white family who help him fulfill his potential. At the same time, Oher’s presence in the Touhy’s lives leads them to some insightful self-discoveries of their own. Living in his new environment, the teen faces a completely different set of challenges to overcome. As a football player and student, Oher works hard and, with the help of his coaches and adopted family, becomes an All-American offensive left tackle.

Access: April, 6th 2010.

Available at:

10. Consider the following statements about Michael Oher and The Touhys:

I. He was fostered by an African-American family.

II. The Touhy family helped him to improve his alleged story.

III. Oher came from a shattered family.

IV. The Touhys were prosperous.

V. Oher overcame the obstacles in his life and achieved success.

Identify the correct sequence:

a) F / T / T / T / T

b) F / F / T / F / T

c) T / T / F / T/ F

d) T/ T/ F / F / F

e) F / F / T /T/ T

11. Consider the sentences:

I. The Touhys go often to watch Oher’s games.

II. They have not yet good news for him.

III. Because of his training, Oher was seldom at home.

The appropriate structure(s) is / are

a) only I.

b) only II.

c) only III.

d) only II and III.

e) all are correct.

12. Analyze the sentence: The Touhy family wholeheartedly supported Michael Oher. The word wholeheartedly

can be replaced by:

a) completely

b) necessarily

c) probably

d) amazingly

e) candidly

English Exercises Online Comprehension Text
Text 5

89 killed in Rio de Janeiro flooding

At least 89 people have been killed after torrential rain flooded several neighbourhoods of the Brazilian city of Rio de

Janeiro, officials have said.

By News Wires (text)

Oliver Farry / Pauline Paccard

REUTERS - The heaviest rains in decades caused floods and landslides that killed at least 89 people in Rio de Janeiro state, shutting down transport and commerce on Tuesday in Brazil’s second city.

Mudslides swept away shacks in Rio’s hillside slums, turning the city’s main lake and the sea brown during the roundthe-clock heavy rains.

Morning flights in and out of the city of six million people—which will host the 2014 soccer World Cup and the 2016

Olympics—were canceled or seriously delayed and many neighborhoods were cut off from power and transport.

Most victims died in more than 180 mudslides, authorities said. A spokesman for Rio’s fire service said at least 40 injured people were taken to hospitals as the search went on for others reported missing.

“The situation is critical. Roads are flooded and blocked,” Mayor Eduardo Paes told Reuters. “We recommend people stay at home.”

Paes told reporters at least 26 people had died in the Rio metropolitan area. The fire service said a total of 89 people were killed across the state.

The mayor said 10,000 houses remained at risk, mostly in the slums where about a fifth of Rio’s people live, often in precarious shacks that are highly vulnerable to heavy rains.

(Excerpt from - International News)

Access: April, 6th 2010.

Available at:

13. According to the previous excerpt, the official records

a) Two hundred people were killed.

b) Less than 26 people had died in the Rio metropolitan area.

c) Six million people took flights.

d) 40 injured people were missing.

e) Eduardo Paes said that the majority of the houses at risk are located in the slums.

14. “At least 89 people have been killed after torrential rain flooded several neighbourhoods…” The verb structure

above is similar to the following one:

a) The jewels may have been taken by one of the guests.

b) Nobody ever beat me at cards.

c) Somebody left the light on all night.

d) They forbade her to wear mini-skirts.

e) She must have broken her arm in the accident.

15. “Morning flights in and out of the city of six million people – which will host …”, “which” corresponds to

a) Morning flights.

b) The city of six million people.

c) Rio’s hillside slums.

d) The 2014 Soccer World Cup.

e) The 2016 Olympics. 


01 B 11 C 

02 A 12 A 

03 D 13 E 

04 A 14 A 

05 D 15 B 

06 D 

07 A 

08 C 

09 E 

10 E 


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