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English Comprehension and Composition – Lecture 2

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1 English Comprehension and Composition – Lecture 2
Objectives: 1. Reading Comprehension Skills Previewing Reading for Main Idea Making Inferences and Drawing Conclusions 2. Reading Comprehension Exercises

2 PREVIEWING Previewing a text means gathering as much information about the text as you can before you actually read it. You can ask yourself the following questions:

3 What is my purpose for reading
What is my purpose for reading? Are you asked to summarize a particular piece of writing? Are you looking for the thesis statement or main idea? Or are you being asked to respond to a piece? If so, you may want to be conscious of what you already know about the topic and how you arrived at that opinion.

4 What can the title tell me about the text
What can the title tell me about the text? Before you read, look at the title of the text. What clues does it give you about the piece of writing? Good writers usually try to make their titles work to help readers grasp meaning of the text from the reader's first glance at it.

5 Who is the author? If you have heard the author's name before, what comes to your mind in terms of their reputation and/or stance on the issue you are reading about? Has the author written other things of which you are aware? How does the piece in front of you fit into to the author's body of work?

6 How is the text structured
How is the text structured? Sometimes the structure of a piece can give you important clues to its meaning. Be sure to read all section headings carefully. Also, reading the opening sentences of paragraphs should give you a good idea of the main ideas contained in the piece.


8 The main idea of a passage or reading is the central thought or message. In contrast to the term topic, which refers to the subject under discussion, the term main idea refers to the point or thought being expressed.

9 Reading Tips 1. As soon as you can define the topic, ask yourself “What general point does the author want to make about this topic?” Once you can answer that question, you have more than likely found the main idea. 2. Most main ideas are stated or suggested early on in a reading; pay special attention to the first third of any passage, article, or chapter. That’s where you are likely to get the best statement or clearest expression of the main idea. 3. Pay attention to any idea that is repeated in different ways. If an author returns to the same thought in several different sentences or paragraphs, that idea is the main or central thought under discussion.

10 Making Inferences and Drawing Conclusions
Reading with Purpose and Meaning Kinds and Examples

11 General Sense Murderers are usually incarcerated for longer periods of time than robbers.

12 Example Those who enjoy belonging to clubs, going to parties, and inviting friends often to their homes for dinner are gregarious.

13 Antonyms and Contrasts
Antonyms  are words that have opposite meanings, such as happy and sad. For instance, Ben is fearless, but his brother is timorous.

14 A contrast in the following sentence implies the meaning of credence:
Dad gave credence to my story, but Mom's reaction was one of total disbelief.

15 THE GREAT WHITE SHARKS Description: The Great White Shark is the largest predatory shark, and is probably the most well-known and feared shark. The Great White Shark is gray or bluish above and white below. The largest Great Whites can reach lengths of 22 feet and weigh up to 5,000 pounds. Most are between 13 and 16 feet and weigh 1,500-2,400 pounds. The Great White has massive teeth, which are positioned in rows and serrated. When the Great White attacks, it bites its prey and shakes it head back and forth. The serrated teeth act as a saw and literally tear the victim apart. The Great White Shark often swallows many of its own teeth in an attack.  Diet: The Great White Shark normally feeds on fish, seals, dolphins, porpoises, otters, and turtles. It is thought to locate its prey by electro sense and by smell. Like all sharks, Great Whites have special pores called Ampullae of Lorenzini, which enable them to detect the electromagnetic fields radiated by moving organisms. Great Whites can detect voltage as small as one half billionth of a volt. 

16 Great Whites employ several hunting techniques depending on the prey
Great Whites employ several hunting techniques depending on the prey. Most of the time, the shark will remain still underwater before ambushing its prey from underneath. In the case of hunting some kinds of seals, the impact of the shark is so powerful that it knocks both the shark and the seal clear out of the water. With larger prey such as elephant seals, the shark will simply take a huge bite out of it and wait for it to bleed to death. When hunting dolphins, the shark will attack from above, presumably to avoid detection from the dolphin's echolocation.  Range/Habitat: Great White Sharks are most commonly observed throughout the world's sub-arctic coastal waters, though they likely spend most of their time in the open ocean. Highest concentrations are found in the waters off the coast of South Africa, Australia, California, and Mexico. The Great White Shark is also found in the Adriatic and Mediterranean Seas. They generally prefer water between 54 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. 

17 Reproduction: A Great White Shark has never been observed giving birth, however pregnant females have been caught. The Great White Shark is known to be ovoviviparous (young develop in eggs within the mother's body). Females give birth to eight or nine pups that are about five feet in length upon birth. Great Whites reach reproductive maturity when the male is about 12 feet long and the female about 13 feet long. It is thought that Great White Sharks live up to 40 years in the wild, but this estimate may be too low.  Shark Attacks: Despite the fear of Great White Sharks, at least in part generated by Steven Spielberg's 1975 movie, Jaws, Great White Sharks do not target humans as prey. Most attacks are attributed to mistaken identity. Sharks can easily mistake humans for seals. Many human injuries caused by Great White Sharks are cases of test-biting. If a shark is unsure about a floating object, it often gives it a test bite to determine what kind of object it is. While such bites do little damage to buoys and other objects, they obviously can inflict serious damage on the human body. 

18 QUESTIONS: 1. Which of the following is least likely. A
QUESTIONS: 1. Which of the following is least likely? A. Finding a Great White Shark in 85 degree (Fahrenheit) water. B. Find a Great White Shark that weighs 2,000 pounds C. Find a Great White Shark hunting a porpoise D. Finding a 15 foot long Great White Shark. 2. The maximum weight of MOST Great White Sharks is ____________ pounds. A. 5,000 B. 2,400 C. 24,000 D. 4, Check all of the following that are normal parts of the Great White Shark's diet. A. Humans B. Dolphins D. Seals E. Fish

19 4. The ___________________________ are specialized pores that allow a shark to detect magnetic fields of moving organisms. Echolocation Serrations Electomagnets Ampullae of Lorenzini 5. What does ovoviviparous mean? It refers to animals whose young develop in eggs within the mother's body. It refers to animals whose young develop outside the mother's body. It refers to animals that do not lay eggs It refers to animals that lay eggs 6. You would have something in common with the Great White Shark if you..... located your food by sound have four brothers and four sisters spend most of your time near the shore lived to be 80 years old

20 7. In which of the following places would you have the best chance to see a Great White Shark?
Antarctica Mississippi River coastal South Africa Mediterranean Sea 8. Sharks often mistake humans for _________________. 9. Which of the following is NOT true? Great White Sharks often target humans as prey. Great White Sharks employ different hunting techniques depending on the prey they are stalking. Great White Sharks swallow their own teeth during attacks. Great White Sharks can detect prey by smell or by magnetic field. 10. Which of the following may or may not be true? The Great White Shark is actually only white on its under parts. Newborn Great White Sharks are about five feet in length. Great White Sharks have serrated teeth that act like saws. Great White Sharks have a life span of 40 years.

21 Harsh Interrogation Methods by the US
The use by the United States of harsh interrogation methods against suspected terrorists has stained the country's image and is putting US soldiers' lives at risk, experts said here Wednesday. "If we use torture when we question prisoners, we forfeit the right to demand that anyone treat our soldiers decently if they are taken prisoner," former army intelligence officer Stuart Herrington told AFP at a forum on the use of torture in interrogations. "If we engage in that kind of activity, we put our soldiers at increased risk," he said.

22 “Our place in the world has been eroded" by the use of torture in interrogations at "war-on-terror" prisons in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, said Ken Robinson, who served for 20 years in organizations including the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and National Security Agency. "We have lost the moral high ground," he said. Furthermore, the experts said, hardball interrogation tactics don't work. "We know that anytime you hurt someone, you make them reticent to talk in future. As far as we are concerned, we want to talk to them multiple times," said Joe Navarro, a veteran FBI interrogator. "Coercive techniques don't work and are not necessary" said Robinson. Herrington agreed, and said he was "stunned" when he learned that harsh interrogation methods were being used in Iraq and the US detention center for suspected terrorists at Guantanamo Bay.

23 Sarah Mendelson of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, which hosted the forum along with Human Rights First, deplored the US administration's "new ambivalence towards torture prohibition." In a report, she accused the administration of President George W. Bush of appearing "increasingly prepared to pay lip-service to or ignore entirely US obligations under international human rights and humanitarian law." The forum came a day after Carl Levin, the Democratic head of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told a congressional hearing that top US government officials had ignored the advice of lawyers from all branches of the military and sanctioned the use of harsh interrogation methods when questioning terrorism suspects. 

24 Answer these questions (choose the best answer): 
1. According to this article, apart from making the United States look bad, what do harsh interrogation methods do?   A. They ensure that US soldiers are treated with respect   B. They put US soldiers at risk   C. They get the job done 2. Ken Robinson believes that hardball interrogation tactics:   A. simply don't work.   B. work well with some prisoners.   C. should be used with caution. 3. Sarah Mendelson thinks that the Bush administration:   A. is very conscious of US obligations under international human rights and humanitarian law.   B. hasn't done enough to make sure harsh interrogation methods are not used.   C. implemented suggestions given by lawyers from all branches of the military 4. Joe Navarro believes that hurting someone:   A. will not make them want to talk in the future.   B. will make them cooperative in the future.   C. is a part of the normal interrogation process. 5. Which country is NOT mentioned in the article?   A. Afghanistan   B. Iraq   C. Iran

25 Using Real Animals in Movies
At the premiere of "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" last month, a clutch of impassioned animal activists gathered on Hollywood Boulevard. But they weren't there to throw red paint on fur-coat-wearing celebrities. Instead, one demonstrator — dressed in a full-body monkey suit — had arrived with a sign complimenting the filmmakers: "Thanks for not using real apes!"  The creative team behind "Apes" used motion-capture technology to create digitalized primates, spending tens of millions of dollars on technology that records an actor's performance and later layers it with computer graphics to create a final image — in this case, one of a realistic-looking ape.  Yet "Apes" is more exception than the rule — in fact, Hollywood has been hot on live animals lately: The nonprofit American Humane Assn., which monitors the treatment of animals in filmed entertainment, is keeping tabs on more than 2,000 productions this year, 100 more than in Already, a number of high-profile 2011 films, including "Water for Elephants," "The Hangover Part II" and "Zookeeper," have drawn the ire of activists who say the creatures featured in them haven't been treated properly.  In some cases, it's not so much the treatment of the animals on set that has activists worried; it's the off-set training and living conditions that are raising concerns. And there are questions about U.S. films made overseas, which sometimes are not monitored as closely as productions filmed stateside. 

26 Answer these questions (choose the best answer):
1. According to the article, animal rights activist _______________ the fact that there were no real apes used in the new "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" movie. A. are appalled by B. are ambivalent to C. like 2. What kind of "apes" did the above-mentioned movie use? A. real ones B. computer-generated ones C. cardboard cutouts 3. According to the article, Hollywood movies have been _______________. A. shying away from using live animals lately B. treating all live animals well in the past little while C. using lots of live animals lately, and not always treating them properly 4. Why are animal rights activists worried about U.S. movies that are shot overseas? A. Because the way the animals are treated overseas is sometimes not as closely monitored as in the U.S. B. Because they don't want foreign workers to be hired C. Because they don't want foreign animals to be used in American movies 5. How much money did the makers of "The Rise of the Planet of the Apes" spend on the motion-capture technology used in the movie? A. Tens of thousands of dollars B. over $10,000,000 C. about $2,000

27 Recap 1. Reading Comprehension Skills
Previewing Reading for Main Idea Making Inferences and Drawing Conclusions 2. Reading Comprehension Exercises

28 References The material has been adapted fro the following links:

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