Progress Test - LAUGHTER AND SENSE OF HUMOUR / HOLIDAYS AND FESTIVALS

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Listening comprehension.

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The Royal Pachyderm

The Kandy Esala Perahera is the greatest spectacle that takes place every year in Sri Lanka, and one of the most famous in Asia. During a 10-day celebration there is a lot of dancing, drumming and elephant parading. The procession is led by thousands of dancers and drummers beating thousands of drums and waving colourful banners. Then come a long procession of elephants - 50 or more of them. They are decorated from trunk to toe. A carpet is laid in front of them so that the elephants do not step in the dirt.
Elephants occupy a special place in Sri Lankan culture. In ancient times they were crown property and killing one was a terrible offence. Even today elephants are held in great affaction and the Maligawa tusker is perhaps the most respectable of all. There are some 2500 wild elephants in Sri Lanka, plus about 300 domesticated elephants . There are two subspecies of the Asian elephant there: Ceylon elephant and Ceylon marsh elephant. The Asian elephant is smaller than the African elephant; it also has a rounder back, smaller ears, one ‘lip’ rather than two on the tip of its trunk and four nails rather than three on its hind feet. In Sri Lanka, most females and many males are tuskless. Asian elephants form family groups of up to 10 led by an adult female. Males, excluded from the family group upon maturity, may form male only 'bachelor' herds.
For farmers in an elephant country, this means an ever-present threat from animals that may destroy their crops, their buildings and even take their lives. During the cultivation season farmers organize around-the-clock watch for up to three months to scare off the unwelcome elephants. It’s understandable that for farmers on the breadline, elephants are a luxury they cannot afford; compensation for the damage is one solution to the problem. Arming farmers could be a solution, but this would surely contribute to the demise of elephants in Sri Lanka. Creating elephant corridors is another option, as has been done with the creation of Kadulla National Park.

Adapted from: Richard Plunkett, Brigitte Ellemor and Verity Cambell ,Sri Lanka, (Lonely Planet guide book, 2003, pages 21, 39,172)

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Use of English

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