IELTS Academic Reading – 6

IELTS Academic Reading – 6

Gifted children and learning

A. Internationally, ‘giftedness’ is most frequently determined by a score on a general intelligencetest, known as an IQ test, which is above a chosen cutoff point, usually at around the top 2-5%. Children’s educational environment contributes to the IQ score and the way intelligence is used. For example, a very close positive relationship was found when children’s IQ scores were compared with their home educational provision (Freeman, 2010). The higher the children’s IQ scores, especially over IQ 130, the better the quality of their educational backup, measured in terms of reported verbal interactions with parents, number of books and activities in their home etc. Because IQ tests are decidedly influenced by what the child has learned, they are to some extent measures of current achievement based on age-norms; that is, how well the children have learned to manipulate their knowledge and know-how within the terms of the test. The vocabulary aspect, for example, is dependent on having heard those words. But IQ tests can neither identify the processes of learning and thinking nor predict creativity.

B. Excellence does not emerge without appropriate help. To reach an exceptionally high standard inany area very able children need the means to learn, which includes material to work with and focused challenging tuition -and the encouragement to follow their dream. There appears to be a qualitative difference in the way the intellectually highly able think, compared with more average-ability or older pupils, for whom external regulation by the teacher often compensates for lack of internal regulation. To be at their most effective in their self-regulation, all children can be helped to identify their own ways of learning – metacognition – which will include strategies of planning, monitoring, evaluation, and choice of what to learn. Emotional awareness is also part of metacognition, so children should be helped to be aware of their feelings around the area to be learned, feelings of curiosity or confidence, for example.

C. High achievers have been found to use self-regulatory learning strategies more often and moreeffectively than lower achievers, and are better able to transfer these strategies to deal with unfamiliar tasks. This happens to such a high degree in some children that they appear to be demonstrating talent in particular areas. Overviewing research on the thinking process of highly able children, (Shore and Kanevsky, 1993) put the instructor’s problem succinctly: ‘ If they *the gifted+ merely think more quickly, then we need only teach more quickly. If they merely make fewer errors, then we can shorten the practice ’. But of course, this is not entirely the case; adjustments have to be made in methods of learning and teaching, to take account of the many ways individuals think.

D. Yet in order to learn by themselves, the gifted do need some support from their teachers.Conversely, teachers who have a tendency to ‘overdirect’ can diminish their gifted pupils’ learning autonomy. Although ‘ spoon-feeding ’ can produce extremely high examination results, these are not always followed by equally impressive life successes. Too much dependence on the teachers risks loss of autonomy and motivation to discover. However, when teachers o pupils to reflect on their own learning and thinking activities, they increase their pupils’ self-regulation. For a young child, it may be just the simple question ‘What have you learned today?’ which helps them to recognise what they are doing. Given that a fundamental goal of education is to transfer the control of learning from teachers to pupils, improving pupils’ learning to learn techniques should be a major

outcome of the school experience, especially for the highly competent. There are quite a number of new methods which can help, such as child- initiated learning, ability-peer tutoring, etc. Such practices have been found to be particularly useful for bright children from deprived areas.

E. But scientific progress is not all theoretical, knowledge is a so vital to outstanding performance:individuals who know a great deal about a specific domain will achieve at a higher level than those who do not (Elshout, 1995). Research with creative scientists by Simonton (1988) brought him to the conclusion that above a certain high level, characteristics such as independence seemed to contribute more to reaching the highest levels of expertise than intellectual skills, due to the great demands of effort and time needed for learning and practice. Creativity in all forms can be seen as expertise as mixed with a high level of motivation (Weisberg, 1993).

F. To sum up, learning is affected by emotions of both the individual and significant others. Positiveemotions facilitate the creative aspects of earning and negative emotions inhibit it. Fear, for example, can limit the development of curiosity, which is a strong force in scientific advance, because it motivates problem-solving behaviour. In Boekaerts ’ (1991) review of emotion the learning of very high IQ and highly achieving children, she found emotional forces in harness. They were not only curious, but often had a strong desire to control their environment, improve their learning efficiency and increase their own learning resources.

Questions 1-4

Reading Passage has six paragraphs, A-F.

Which paragraph contains the following information? Write the correct letter, A-F, in boxes 1-4 on your answer sheet

NB You may use any letter more than once.

1. a reference to the influence of the domestic background on the gifted child.

2. reference to what can be lost if learners are given too much guidance.

3. a reference to the damaging effects of anxiety.

4. examples of classroom techniques which favour socially-disadvantaged children.

Questions 5-9

Look at the following statements (Questions 5-9) and the list of people below.

Match each statement with the correct person or people, A-E.

Write the correct letter, A-E, in boxes 5-9 on your answer sheet.

5. Less time can be spent on exercises with gifted pupils who produce accurate work.

6. Self-reliance is a valuable tool that helps gifted students reach their goals.

7. Gifted children know how to channel their feelings to assist their learning.

8. The very gifted child benefits from appropriate support from close relatives.

9. Really successful students have learnt a considerable amount about their subject.

List of People

A.    Freeman
    B.   Shore and Kanevsky
    C.   Elshout
    D.  Simonton
    E.   Boekaerts

Questions 10-13

Complete the sentences below. Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the passage for each answer. Write your answers in boxes 10-13 on your answer sheet

10. One study found a strong connection between children’s IQ and the availabilityof………………..

and……………….. at home.

11. Children of average ability seem to need more direction from teachers because they do nothave………………..

12. Meta-cognition involves children understanding their own learning strategies, as well as


13. Teachers who rely on what is known as……………….. often produce sets of impressive grades in

class tests.

Museums of fine art and their public

The fact that people go to the Louvre museum in Paris to see the original painting Mona Lisa when they can see a reproduction anywhere leads us to question some assumptions about the role of museums of fine art in today’s world.

One of the most famous works of art in the world is Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. Nearly everyone who goes to see the original will already be familiar with it from reproductions, but they accept that fine art is more rewardingly viewed in its original form.

However, if Mona Lisa was a famous novel, few people would bother to go to a museum to read the writer’s actual manuscript rather than a printed reproduction. This might be explained by the fact that the novel has evolved precisely because of technological developments that made it possible to print out huge numbers of texts, whereas oil paintings have always been produced as unique objects. In addition, it could be argued that the practice of interpreting or ‘reading’ each medium follows different conventions. With novels, the reader attends mainly to the meaning of words rather than the way they are printed on the page, whereas the ‘reader’ of a painting must attend just as closely to the material form of marks and shapes in the picture as to any ideas they may signify.

Yet it has always been possible to make very accurate facsimiles of pretty well any fine art work. The seven surviving versions of Mona Lisa bear witness to the fact that in the 16th century, artists seemed perfectly content to assign the reproduction of their creations to their workshop apprentices as regular ‘bread and butter’ work. And today the task of reproducing pictures is

incomparably more simple and reliable, with reprographic techniques that allow the production of high-quality prints made exactly to the original scale, with faithful colour values, and even with duplication of the surface relief of the painting.

But despite an implicit recognition that the spread of good reproductions can be culturally valuable, museums continue to promote the special status of original work. Unfortunately, this seems to place severe limitations on the kind of experience offered to visitors.

One limitation is related to the way the museum presents its exhibits. As repositories of unique historical objects, art museums are often called ‘treasure houses’. We are reminded of this even before we view a collection by the presence of security guards, attendants, ropes and display cases to keep us away from the exhibits. In many cases, the architectural style of the building further reinforces that notion. In addition, a major collection like that of London’s National Gallery is housed in numerous rooms, each with dozens of works, any one of which is likely to be worth more than all the average visitor possesses. In a society that judges the personal status of the individual so much by their material worth, it is, therefore, difficult not to be impressed by one’s own relative ‘worthlessness’ in such an environment.

Furthermore, consideration of the ‘value’ of the original work in its treasure house setting impresses upon the viewer that, since these works were originally produced, they have been assigned a huge monetary value by some person or institution more powerful than themselves. Evidently, nothing the viewer thinks about the work is going to alter that value, and so today’s viewer is deterred from trying to extend that spontaneous, immediate, self-reliant kind of reading which would originally have met the work.

The visitor may then be struck by the strangeness of seeing such diverse paintings, drawings and sculptures brought together in an environment for which they were not originally created. This ‘displacement effect’ is further heightened by the sheer volume of exhibits. In the case of a major collection, there are probably more works on display than we could realistically view in weeks or even months.

This is particularly distressing because time seems to be a vital factor in the appreciation of all art forms. A fundamental difference between paintings and other art forms is that there is no prescribed time over which a painting is viewed. By contrast, the audience encourages an opera or a play over a specific time, which is the duration of the performance. Similarly, novels and poems are read in a prescribed temporal sequence, whereas a picture has no clear place at which to start viewing, or at which to finish. Thus artworks themselves encourage us to view them superficially, without appreciating the richness of detail and labour that is involved.

Consequently, the dominant critical approach becomes that of the art historian, a specialised academic approach devoted to ‘discovering the meaning’ of art within the cultural context of its time. This is in perfect harmony with the museum’s function, since the approach is dedicated to seeking out and conserving ‘authentic’, original, readings of the exhibits. Again, this seems to put paid to that spontaneous, participators criticism which can be found in abundance in criticism of classic works of literature, but is absent from most art history.

The displays of art museums serve as a warning of what critical practices can emerge when spontaneous criticism is suppressed. The museum public, like any other audience, experience art more rewardingly when given the confidence to express their views. If appropriate works of fine art could be rendered permanently accessible to the public by means of high-fidelity reproductions, as literature and music already are, the public may feel somewhat less in awe of them. Unfortunately, that may be too much to ask from those who seek to maintain and control the art establishment.

Questions 14-18

Complete the summary using the list of words, A-L, below.

Write the correct letter, A-L, in boxes 14-18 on your answer sheet.

The value attached to original works of art

People go to art museums because they accept the value of seeing an original work of art. But they do not go to museums to read original manuscripts of novels, perhaps because the availability of

novels has depended on 14……………….. for so long, and also because with novels, the 15 ……………….. are the most important thing.

However, in historical times artists such as Leonardo were happy to instruct 16……………….. to produce copies of their work and these days new methods of reproduction allow excellent replication of surface relief features as well as colour and 17………………..

It is regrettable that museums still promote the superiority of original works of art, since this may not be in the interests of the 18……………….. .

A. institutionB. mass productionC. mechanical processes
D. publicE. paintsF. artist
G. sizeH. underlying ideasI. basic technology
J readersK. picture framesL. assistants

Questions 19-22

Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D.

Write the correct letter in boxes 19-22 on your answer sheet

19. The writer mentions London’s National Gallery to illustrate

A. the undesirable cost to a nation of maintaining a huge collection of art.

B. the conflict that may arise in society between financial and artistic values.

C. the negative effect a museum can have on visitors’ opinions of themselves.

D. the need to put individual well-being above large-scale artistic schemes.

20. The writer says that today, viewers may be unwilling to criticise a becauseA. they lack the knowledge needed to support an opinion. B. they fear it may have financial implications.

C. they have no real concept of the work’s value.

D. they feel their personal reaction is of no significance.

21. According to the writer, the ‘displacement effect’ on the visitor is caused byA. the variety of works on display and the way they are arranged.

B. the impossibility of viewing particular works of art over a long period.

C. the similar nature of the paintings and the lack of great works.

D. the inappropriate nature of the individual works selected for exhibition.

22. The writer says that unlike other forms of art, a painting does notA. involve direct contact with an audience.

B. require a specific location for a performance.

C. need the involvement of other professionals.

D. have a specific beginning or end.

Questions 23-27

Do the following statements agree with the views of the writer in Reading Passage? In boxes 23-27 on your answer sheet, write

YES if the statement agrees with the views of the writer

NO if the statement contradicts the views of the writer

NOT GIVEN if the is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this

23. Art history should focus on discovering the meaning of art using a range of media.

24. The approach of art historians conflicts with that of art museums.

25. People should be encouraged to give their opinions openly on works of art.

26. Reproductions of fine art should only be sold to the public if they are of high quality.

27. In the future, those with power are likely to encourage more people to enjoy art.

An Introduction to Film Sound

Though we might think of film as an essentially visual experience, we really cannot afford to underestimate the importance of film sound. A meaningful sound track is often as complicated as the image on the screen, and is ultimately just as much the responsibility of the director. The entire sound track consists of three essential ingredients: the human voice, sound effects and music. These three tracks must be mixed and balanced so as to produce the necessary emphases which in turn create desired effects. Topics which essentially refer to the three previously mentioned tracks are discussed below. They include dialogue, synchronous and asynchronous sound effects, and music.

Let us start with dialogue. As is the case with stage drama, dialogue serves to tell the story and expresses feelings and motivations of characters as well. Often with film characterization the audience perceives little or no difference between the character and the actor. Thus, for example, the actor Humphrey Bogart is the character Sam Spade; film personality and life personality seem to merge. Perhaps this is because the very texture of a performer’s voice supplies an element of character.

When voice textures fit the performer’s physiognomy and gestures, a whole and very realistic persona emerges. The viewer sees not an actor working at his craft, but another human being struggling with life. It is interesting to note that how dialogue is used and the very amount of dialogue used varies widely among films. For example, in the highly successful science-fiction film 2001, little dialogue was evident, and most of it was banal and of little intrinsic interest. In this way, the film-maker was able to portray what Thomas Sobochack and Vivian Sobochack call, in An Introduction to Film, the ‘inadequacy of human responses when compared with the magnificent technology created by man and the visual beauties of the universe’.

The comedy Bringing Up Baby, on the other hand, presents practically non-stop dialogue delivered at breakneck speed. This use of dialogue underscores not only the dizzy quality of the character played by Katherine Hepburn, but also the absurdity of the film itself and thus its humor. The audience is bounced from gag to gag and conversation to conversation; there is no time for audience reflection. The audience is caught up in a whirlwind of activity in simply managing to follow the plot. This film presents pure escapism – largely due to its frenetic dialogue.

Synchronous sound effects are those sounds which are synchronized or matched with what is viewed. For example, if the film portrays a character playing the piano, the sounds of the piano are projected. Synchronous sounds contribute to the realism of film and also help to create a particular atmosphere. For example, the ‘click’ of a door being opened may simply serve to convince the audience that the image portrayed is real, and the audience may only subconsciously note the expected sound. However, if the ‘click’ of an opening door is part of an ominous action such as a burglary, the sound mixer may call attention to the ‘click’ with an increase in volume; this helps to engage the audience in a moment of suspense.

Asynchronous sound effects, on the other hand, are not matched with a visible source of the sound on screen. Such sounds are included so as to provide an appropriate emotional nuance, and they may also add to the realism of the film. For example, a film-maker might opt to include the background sound of an ambulance’s siren while the foreground sound and image portrays an arguing couple. The asynchronous ambulance siren underscores the psychic injury incurred in the argument; at the same time, the noise of the siren adds to the realism of the film by acknowledging the film’s city setting.

We are probably all familiar with background music in films, which has become so ubiquitous as to be noticeable in its absence. We are aware that it is used to add emotion and rhythm. Usually not meant to be noticeable, it often provides a tone or an emotional attitude toward the story and /or the characters depicted. In addition, background music often foreshadows a change in mood. For example, dissonant music may be used in film to indicate an approaching (but not yet visible) menace or disaster.

Background music may aid viewer understanding by linking scenes. For example, a particular musical theme associated with an individual character or situation may be repeated at various points in a film in order to remind the audience of salient motifs or ideas.

Film sound comprises conventions and innovations. We have come to expect an acceleration of music during car chases and creaky doors in horror films. Yet, it is important to note as well that sound is often brilliantly conceived. The effects of sound are often largely subtle and often are noted by only our subconscious minds. We need to foster an awareness of film sound as well as film space so as to truly appreciate an art form that sprang to life during the twentieth century – the modern film.

Choose the correct letter, A, B, C Write the correct letter in boxes

or D

28-32 on your answer sheet.

28. In the first paragraph, the writer makes a point that

A. the director should plan the sound track at an early stage in filming.

B. it would be wrong to overlook the contribution of sound to the artistry of films.

C. the music industry can have a beneficial influence on sound in film.

D. it is important for those working on the sound in a film to have sole responsibility for it.

29. One reason that the writer refers to Humphrey Bogart is to exemplify

  1. the importance of the actor and the character appearing to have similar personalities.
  2. the audience’s wish that actors are visually appropriate for their roles.
  3. the value of the actor having had similar feelings to the character.
  4. the audience’s preference for dialogue to be as authentic as possible.

30. In the third paragraph, the writer suggests that

A. audiences are likely to be critical of film dialogue that does not reflect their own experience.
B. film dialogue that appears to be dull may have a specific purpose.
C. filmmakers vary considerably in the skill with which they handle dialogue.
D. the most successful films are those with dialogue of a high Quality.

31. What does the writer suggest about Bringing

A. The plot suffers from the filmmaker’s wish to focus on humorous dialogue.
B. The dialogue helps to make it one of the best comedy films ever produced.
C. There is a mismatch between the speed of the dialogue and the speed of actions.
D. The nature of the dialogue emphasises key elements of the film.

32. The writer refers to the ‘click’ of a door to make the point that realistic sounds

A. are often used to give the audience a false impression of events in the film.
B. may be interpreted in different ways by different members of the audience.
C. may be modified in order to manipulate the audience’s response to the film.
D. tend to be more significant in films presenting realistic situations.

Questions 33-37

Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage? In boxes 33-37 on your answer sheet, write

TRUE if the statement agrees with the information FALSE if the statement contradicts the information

NOT GIVEN if there is no information on this

33. Audiences are likely to be surprised if a film lacks background music.

34. Background music may anticipate a development in a film.

35. Background music has more effect on some people than on others.

36. Background music may help the audience to make certain connections within the film.

37. Audiences tend to be aware of how the background music is affecting them.

Questions 38-40

Complete each sentence with the correct, below.

Write the correct letter, A-E, in boxes 38-40 on your answer sheet.

38. The audience’s response to different parts of a film can be controlled

39. The feelings and motivations of characters become clear

40. A character seems to be a real person rather than an actor

A. when the audience listens to the dialogue.

B. if the film reflects the audience’s own concerns.

C. if voice, sound and music are combined appropriately.

D. when the director is aware of how the audience will respond.

E. when the actor’s appearance, voice and moves are consistent with each other.


1. A

2. D

3. F

4. D

5. B

6. D

7. E

8. A

9. C

10. books (and) activities [In either order]

11. internal regulation/ self-regulation

12. emotional awareness

13. spoon-feeding

14. B

15. H

16. L

17. G

18. D

19. C

20. D

21. A

22. D


24. NO

25. YES


27. No

28. B

29. A

30. B

31. D

32. C

33. TRUE

34. TRUE


36. TRUE


38. C

39. A

40. E

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