We were driving in a car from Switzerland toward the beautiful old Italian city of Verona. Just outside the city we met two boys, who were selling strawberries. My friend spoke to the boys and found out that they were brothers. Nicolo was 13, Jacopo, the smaller one, was almost 12. We bought their strawberries and continued our way to Verona.
The next morning we saw the two boys again near our hotel in Verona. They were shining the shoes of the men who passed by. They were very busy, but they said hello to us in a friendly way.
"I thought you sold strawberries," I said.
"We do many things, sir," Nicolo answered seriously.
In the week which followed we saw Nicolo and Jacopo several times. These two brothers worked all day under the hot sun, shining shoes, selling fruit and newspapers. They always looked very busy.
One morning while Nicolo was shining my shoes I said: "You and Jacopo work very hard. Tell me how do you spend your money?"
"We have plans, sir", the boys said. As we were soon leaving Verona we wanted to do something pleasant for the boys who were friendly to us.
"Well," I said, "can we do anything for you before we go?"
"Every Sunday we go to a village not far from Verona," Nicolo began. "We usually go by bus; but tomorrow, sir, maybe, you will take us in your car."
On Sunday I took the boys to the village and stopped my car where the boys asked. It was a lovely big house. The boys promised not to be long and entered the building. I waited a few minutes and then I followed the boys.
"Excuse me," I said to a nurse who came to the door, "I just brought two small boys here."
"Ah, yes," she said with a smile. "Nicolo and Jacopo came to visit their sister. They are alone in the world, except for their sister. Their mother and father died before the war. When the fascists came to Verona the boys began to carry secret messages in their shoes to the mountain. When the war ended they found their sister sick with tuberculosis. They brought her to our hospital. And every week the boys come to pay for their sister."
I thanked the nurse and waited outside. Soon the boys came back to the car. They sat beside me, looking serious and proud, these two gentlemen of Verona.
Litter is garbage - like food, paper, and cans - on the ground or in the street. Where many people live together, litter is a problem. People don't always put their garbage in the garbage can. It's easier to just drop a piece of paper on the ground than to find a garbage can for it. But litter is ugly. It makes the city look dirty, and it spoils the view. Wind can blow papers far away. Often they are difficult to catch. When they blow against a fence, they stay there and become like a wall made of garbage. Litter is a health problem, too. Food and garbage bring animals, which sometimes carry disease. Some people want to control litter. They never throw litter themselves, and sometimes they work together in groups to clean up the city. In most places litter is against the law. The law punishes people who throw garbage on the streets. They usually pay a fine and occasionally they go to jail. Are you a "litterbug?"
1. All garbage found on the ground is...
A. litter. B. against the law.
C. paper. D. eaten by animals.
2. Papers are difficult to catch because...
B. they are ugly. D. the wind blows them far away.
3. People don't always put their trash in a garbage can because…
A. they never litter. C. the wind blows it away.
B. it's easier just to drop it. D. it carries diseases.
4. Litter spoils...
A. the water. B. children and animals.
C. the view. D. our health.
5. People may have to pay a fine if they...
A. pick up litter. C. throw garbage on the street.
B. control litter. D. bring garbage to animals.
One Blind Man
Joseph Emmons can't use his eyes. He's blind. He has a trained dog named Buster that leads him where he wants to go. Buster sees for Mr. Emmons. He's called a seeing-eye dog. Although Mr. Emmons has a handicap, it isn't a big problem. He has a useful job and he earns his own money. Mr. Emmons sells brooms and mops to people in his part of the city. He has worked every day except Sunday for forty years. Mr. Emmons gets up at 6:00 every morning and eats breakfast with his wife. Then he leaves the house at 7:00. He holds Buster and walks from house to house. He carries his mops and brooms with him. While he talks to people, the dog sits and waits. The people choose a broom, and then they pay him. Buster doesn't let Mr. Emmons talk to people very long. He likes to keep moving. It takes four and a half months to walk to every house in his part of the city. Mr. Emmons visits each house every four months, and by then people are usually ready to buy new brooms.
6. Buster is...
A. blind B. a seeing-eye dog.
C. handicapped. D. a broom salesman.
7. Mr. Emmons earns his money by...
A. training dogs. B. making brooms.
C. selling brooms. D. visiting houses.
8. Mr. Emmons doesn't talk to people very long because
A. Buster won't let him. C. he gets very tired from walking.
B. he has to sell the brooms. D. he hаs a handicap.
9. Over the past forty years Mr. Emmons has worked...
A. every day. C. four and a half months.
B. forty days a month. D. six days a week.
10. People only buy brooms...
A. every four months.
B. from Mr. Emmons.
C. from his part of the city.
D. when they need them.
Directions: Read the texts 3 and 4 and mark (T) if the statement is true, (F) if it is false. Text 3 Many people have heard of the lost city of Atlantis, a city that is now at the bottom of the ocean. The story of Atlantis was first told by Plato, a famous Greek philosopher. In his story Plato claims that there really was a city called Atlantis which was ruled by Poseidon, god of the sea. According to Plato’s story the people of Atlantis were wealthy and powerful, and they also became immortal. This angered the other gods, especially Zeus, and so he destroyed the city, sending it to the ocean depths. Many people think that Atlantis was just a fictional place created by Plato to set his dialogues. However, others have argued that Atlantis was a real place and point to the island of Thera, a volcanic island, which was destroyed around 1500 BC by an explosion that caused more than half of the island to sink into the sea. What do you think? Have you heard of Atlantis, the lost city?
11. Poseidon was the sea god.
12. According to Plato’s story the people of Atlantis could live forever.
13. It was Zeus who ruined the city.
14. All people agree that Atlantis never existed.
15. The island of Thera was destroyed by earthquake.
Text 4. Once there were four children whose names were Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy. This story is about something that happened to them when they were sent away from London during the war because of the air raids. They were sent to the house of an old Professor who lived in the heart of the country, ten miles from the nearest railway station and two miles from the nearest post office. He had no wife and he lived in a very large house with a housekeeper called Mrs. Macready and three servants. He himself was a very old man with shaggy white hair which grew over most of his face as well as on his head, and they liked him almost at once; but on the first evening when he came out to meet them at the front door he was so odd-looking that Lucy (who was the youngest) was a little afraid of him, and Edmund (who was the next youngest) wanted to laugh and had to keep on pretending he was blowing his nose to hide it.
16. The children left London to live with the Professor because of the air raids.
17. The Professor’s house was in the center of Cambridge.
18. The Professor lived two miles away from the nearest post office.
19. Lucy laughed at the old man.
20. The children dislike the old man.
8th Form Olympiad 2015
Round II – Writing Comprehension Test
In this test you will select from the three tasks written on the board. Choose one which you feel you are most capable to write about.
What qualities make the perfect teacher? Why do you think these things are so important? Would you ever want to be one? Why or why not? Explain your answer.
You have been called upon to create a new national holiday for Ukraine. What person or event do you choose to honour, and why? When would you have the holiday, and how would this affect the celebration? What traditions will be associated with this holiday? Why will this holiday appeal to citizens around the country?
3. They say the only way to have a friend is to be one.
What kind of friend are you? Do you think you are a special friend for somebody? Do you have many true friends or only one? What skills or qualities do you appreciate in your friends? What can help friendly relations to grow?
8th Form Olympiad 2015
Round I – Listening Comprehension Task 1.
Listen to the story Two Gentlemen of Verona and mark (+) if the statement is true, (-) if it is false. The story took place in Spain.
When the boys saw the men next day, they didn’t recognize them.
The boys had a lot of free time.
Nicolo asked the men to take them to the village not far from Verona.
The boys were orphans.
The boys’ sister worked in the hospital.
On the way from the village to Verona the boys looked proud.
The story happened during the war.
Section 2. Statements 9 through 15 (circle the correct letter A, B, C, or D).
Listen to the text again. Choose the one best answer А, В, С, D to each question.
9. Where were the men traveling?
A. In Europe
B. In Australia
C. In America
D. In Asia
10. Where did the men first meet the boys?
A. Near the hotel
B. In the central street of Verona
C. Outside the city.
D. In the village not far from Verona.
11. What of these jobs the boys didn’t do?
A. They sold strawberries.
B. They shined people’s shoes.
C. They swept the streets of Verona.
D. They carried secret messages to the mountains.
12. The men wanted to do something pleasant for the boys because…
A. they were soon leaving Verona.
B. they were sorry for the boys.
C. the boys shone their shoes.
D. the boys were always friendly to them.
13. The men wanted to know…
A. how much the boys were earning.
B. how the boys spent their money.
C. if they liked their job.
D. why they were working so hard.
14. What happened to the boys’ parents?
A. They were killed by fascists.
B. They were lost in the mountains.
C. They died before the war.
D. They abandoned their children.
15. How often did the boys go to the hospital?
A. Every day.
B. Every week
C. Every month.
D. Every year.
8th Form Olympiad 2015 Round IV – Speaking Comprehension Test Directions:
In this test you will select three task slips from those before you. After selecting three, choose the one you feel you are most capable to speak about and return the other two to the table face down. Then take about a minute to collect your thoughts before you begin to speak on the topic. You may refer to the topic as needed. Take a deep breath and begin.
1. Many schoolchildren refuse wearing school uniform.
• Do you support this rule? Why? Why not?
• If you were offered to create a school uniform for your school what would it look like? Describe it.
2. What is the most important subject you have learnt at school?
• What have you learned about in that subject?
• Do you think your parents thought it was the most important subject? Why?
3. Nowadays schoolchildren prefer watching television to reading books.
• What do you prefer?
• What kinds of books or TV programmes do you like?
• What can parents or teachers do to get children interested in reading?
4. Speak about the greatest teacher you have ever had.
- Why did you choose him or her ?
- How did he\she influence your life ?
- How can you use what he\she taught you to help others?
5. Choose a favourite holiday.
• Explain why you like this holiday so much.
• Tell a story from your life that illustrates what this holiday means to you.
• Explain how your family’s traditions are typical or not, for Ukraine.
6. Describe your dream house and why you want to live there.
• What does it look like?
• Where is it located?
• What amenities does it have?
7. You have just returned from your perfect holiday. Describe
• places you visited
• accommodation you stayed in
• people you met
• activities you did
8. You have a chance to go on holiday abroad.
• What country would you like to go to? Why have you chosen this one?
• What would you like to see there?
• What would you like to do there?
10. Today is your day-off and you have a choice of different activities, such as going to the ballet, an art museum, the movie theater, or to football game, but you can only choose one.
• Which activity would you choose?
• Which other activities would you consider?
• What do you do during a typical day-off?
11. Do you think exercise should be an important part of every person’s life?
• Do you play any sport? Dance? Go jogging? Do you like exercise?
• Can you see any difference in the people around you who exercise and those who do not ?
• What are the benefits of regular exercise?
12. There are a lot of people who are dear to us.
• Who is the dearest person for you?
• Why do you love this person?
• In what way would you like to be similar to him/her?
13. When we are teenagers friends are very important to us.
• How do you become friends?
• Whom can you call a real friend?
• What do you do to be a good friend to him/her?
14. Many people claim computer games are harmful.
• Do you support this point of view? Why? Why not?
• Do you enjoy playing computer games?
• What do computer games teach you?
15. Which of the members of your family do you appreciate most of all and why?
• What qualities does this person possess?
•Why do you love this person?
• In what way would you like to be similar to him/her?
16. Your English friend is going to come to Ukraine.
• What would you tell him about your country?
• What do you think he/she should know or do to feel comfortable in the country?
17. Studying at school can be very stressful.
• Do you often feel nervous at school?
• What do you do to get rid of stress?
• What helps you to relax?
18. You have a chance to spend one day in a way you like and in a place you like.
• Where would you like to spend it?
• Who with?
• What activities would you like to do?
19. Ukraine is a nation made up of different traditions and cultural styles.
• Describe these differences briefly to a person who knows little of Ukraine’s diversity.
• What traditions are you most proud of?
• Describe them and explain why they are important to you.
20. The popularity of mobile phones is growing among young people.
• Why do teenagers today have mobile phones?
• What are advantages and disadvantages of mobile phones for teenagers today?
• In your opinion, at what age should children have a mobile phone?
9th FORM OLYMPIAD 2015
Round II ~ Reading Comprehension
Directions: Read a text Scotland, and answerthe questions 1-5. Choose A, B, C or D.