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Everyday English 1
Everyday English 1

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4.1 Reading longer texts

The two signs you just looked at are very short texts. Most of the texts you have read to this point have also been quite short. You are now going to practise reading and understanding longer texts and finding specific information in them. The ability to do this well really can make a huge difference in your work, study and everyday life.

Activity 27 Practise reading for detail

Timing: Allow about 10 minutes

Read the following text and answer the questions:

Rocking horses have been made since at least 1600, for a painting of the young King Charles I shows him playing with one when he was an infant. They were very popular in Victorian times, when they had flowing manes and tails made of authentic horsehair. Various types of wooden horses for children to sit on and propel themselves with their feet, known as ‘dobbins’, were also made in Europe by wood-turners, mainly for the children of their employers and for affluent families.

1. How do you know Rocking Horses have been around for over 400 years?

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Answer

There is a picture of King Charles on one painted around 1600.

2. What does authentic mean? Can you work it out?

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Answer

Authentic in this case means real or genuine.

3. What about affluent? If you do not know its meaning, can you guess based on the information in the text?

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Answer

Affluent means rich or wealthy.

Now you look at some more detailed or complex texts and practise reading for detail.

Activity 28 More practice in reading for detail

Timing: Allow about 15 minutes

Read the following text and answer the questions.

From the back cover of a best-selling book about John Peel:

A tribute biography to the immensely popular DJ and broadcaster, John Peel.

John Peel was born in Cheshire in 1939 and was educated at Shrewsbury School before going on to do National Service. After that, he went into broadcasting while travelling in America.

In 1967 he returned to the UK and joined Radio 1 at its start. His late-night radio shows quickly became cult listening for music fans of all ages, and he was the first national DJ to play records by bands such as the Undertones, Pulp, the Smiths and Joy Division. Many bands admit that without his support, they would never have become famous. While Radio 1 changed, he remained a constant factor in its schedules. In 1998 he was awarded the OBE for his services to broadcasting. It was in that year that he also began his multi-award-winning show Home Truths. Now, Saturday mornings will never be the same.

1. What did John Peel do for a living?

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Answer

He was a DJ and broadcaster.

2. When did he return to the UK?

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Answer

1967

3. Where did he get involved in broadcasting?

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Answer

In America.

4. Why did he get an OBE?

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Answer

For services to broadcasting.

5. Name two bands he supported.

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Answer

You could have chosen from: the Undertones, Pulp, the Smiths, Joy Division.