SLP 4444 STANAG reading tests

Reading test – level 4


Task One

Read each of the texts below and then complete the sentence, which comes under the text, using no more than five words to show that you have understood the text.

An example has been provided for you.

0.      Supporters of an Iranian asylum seeker, who sewed up his eyes, ears and mouth in a protest at a Home Office decision to deport him, have vowed to seek further legal advice to help him remain in Britain. Shahin Portofeh, 23, of Hillfields, Coventry, was persuaded by doctors to abandon his protest. Protofeh claims he could face arrest and execution if he returns to Iran. The Home Office said his actions would have no bearing on his case.

The Home Office’s decision will probably  ____remain unchanged_____ despite the protests.

1.      There was plenty of comment in the various racing website chatrooms this week following Channel 4’s decision to show Wednesday’s important July Stakes at Newmarket for two-year-olds from their camera on the floating airships several furlongs above ground. Most of the complaints suggested that such shots should be used for replays after races.

What the viewers did not like about the broadcast was __________________________________ .

2.      Margaret Hodge is under attack from a frenetic right wing press for no other reason than they think they have detected a chink in a Minister’s armour and want to widen it to a death-dealing hole. I am disappointed that a liberal newspaper should join in the frantic baying for her departure.

Claims and counterclaims about childhood abuse have been around for at least 15 years – Islington was no different from and no worse than other councils in this matter. It is only because Margaret Hodge is now in charge of child policy that this unlikely “libel” is being spread.

According to the author, it is _________________________________________to criticise Ms Hodge.

3.      I know which ‘uncorroborated single source’ of the two on offer I have more confidence in. It is rich that the Government demands the BBC should substantiate the veracity of a news story more than the Government felt necessary for a “45 minute assertion” which took us to war.

The consequences of either ‘uncorroborated single source’ speaking through his Horlicks do not bear comparison: so far as I am aware, the BBC decision to broadcast resulted in no loss of life.

The writer implies that the British Government __________________________________  before going to war.

4.      The number of frauds in the US in which the criminal uses someone else’s credit card or financial details doubled to 162,000 cases last year. Officials said shredding financial documents before discarding them would cut the crime.

Criminals might have obtained data from __________________________________ .

5.      Seventeen years after it was filed, the Royal Navy thinks it’s safe to tell us what GB 2376298 contains. The classified patent describes how Thorn EMI improved the accuracy with which submerged hydrophones help locate submarines. Hydrophone signals are sent up a cable to a buoy. The buoys can be accurately located by satellite positioning systems, but the position of the hydrophones – and hence of the hunted sub – is not known as precisely because the cables allow them to wander. To pinpoint the hydrophones position, Thorn EMI suggested calibrating their position by fitting them with receivers for an extra low frequency (ELF) time signal sent from eight underwater transmitters strategically placed around the world.

If the hydrophones were __________________________________ , it would be easier to locate submarines.

6.      His entire body takes on a frantic quiver, as if he had swallowed a jackhammer. Full-cut hair tousles over his forehead, and sideburns frame his petulant, full-lipped face. His style is partly hillbilly, partly socking rock … the sight and sound of him drive teenage girls wild.

This fragment is a part of a description of a __________________________________.

7.      The government’s stance on fees is a matter of choice, not necessity. The recent welcome concessions on student maintenance could be retained and universities given the same funding increases that top-up fees would provide by increasing tax rates for the better off.

The government’s stance looks like a thinly disguised admission that tackling serious inequality is no longer its project, an impression reinforced by Mr Blair’s claim governments lack the capacity to raise taxes from the very well-off. This is just a matter of political will, exercised, if necessary, in collaboration with our EU partners.

The government’s policy on fees might lead to    __________________________________, according to the author.

8.      Chris Wilson is deputy news editor for BBC three News and not the producer of the Celebdag series as we mistakenly described him in an article, Lost in Translation, pages 42 and 43, Media, January 19. The programme was not launched in November last year. It began in February last year, following an announcement in November, 2002.

This piece was published after      __________________________________  by a newspaper.

Task Two

In the text “The Virtues of Involvement” there are eleven lettered paragraphs. Match the statements below with the paragraphs they refer to. Each statement matches one and one only paragraph. There are three extra paragraphs that do not match any statement. An example has been done for you.

 Which paragraph … .

Example:  explains that powerful countries sometimes need to take action   Answer: J 

9.      shows presidents can surprise politicians and people
10.  depicts the true priority of one political leader
11.  presents a hypothetical future which did not happen
12.  tells how opponents deprecate a leader
13.  shows a politician taking actions normally allocated to another leader
14.  presents unanimity in the attitudes of two leaders
15.  discusses how a leader might deal with a dilemma

The Virtues of Involvement

 (A)   War is too important to be left to generals, so usually it isn’t. And U.S. presidential elections are certainly far too important to be left to Americans – yet they still are. For most of 2004 the rest of the world will stand by while debate rages about the arcane trivia of life in the States (such as taxes and Medicare), hoping that what the globe ends up with – whether a Bush or a Dean – is someone who knows what the hell they’re doing. Because, if he ain’t …

(B)   That said, one thing the world knows by now is that presidents learn on the job. George W. Bush in office wasn’t what the British political establishment expected, though the British intelligentsia (quite a different thing) has acted as though he were. His son decried nation-building and peacemaking in favor of missile shields and a safe interpretation of national interests. The Republicans’ headier interventionists were kept under kind – but strict -supervision in a safe ward near the back of the hospital. Then along came September 11.

(C)   The world had seen this before. By the time Bill Clinton left office he had metamorphosed into a Mark IV foreign-policy model, making peace and building nations as though he were de facto Secretary General of the United Nations. Which, of course, is what the president of the United States often is.

(D)   Even so, it was possible that, in the post 9/11 period, the Republicans would become isolationists. No – they would become super-isolationists, venturing from the angry citadel only to drop bombs or impose unilateral sanctions, and then returning, leaving the roiling, boiling world behind. Such was the nightmare of many; a sort of post-Somalia America cubed. The reality was utterly different.

(E)   Now the world has to deal with the possibility that – come January 2005 – there could be someone else in the White House, and that this someone else might be Howard Dean. If it is, would we be in for post-Somalia again, or would Dean recognize that – like it or not – the United States carries a unique international responsibility and burden, and one it will always be criticized for shouldering?

(F)    The Bush camp and the rival Democrats claim that Dean is actually the most dangerous of candidates – a small-town weed. He didn’t support the war and he isn’t really up for the fight against terror, so allies, too, should beware a Dean administration.

(G)  But if you look at what Dean actually says, then – for the most part – the horses remain distinctly unfrightened. Take Dean’s opposition to the war in Iraq out of the equation and there is very little in his major foreign-policy address in December that a British Labourite, say, could object to. Like this, for example: “Today, billions of people live on the knife’s edge of survival, trapped in a struggle against ignorance, poverty and disease. Their misery is a breeding ground for the hatred peddled by  Osama bin Laden and other merchants of death. As president, I will work to narrow the now widening gap between rich and poor”.

(H)  This is a formulation that could have come right out of any Tony Blair speech of the last five years. In fact, it is his favorite peroration, and his most heartfelt. Nor does Dean’s emphasis on multilateralism, alliances or reforming the United Nations seem like anything other than plain old common sense to many Brits. Blair’s desire to pursue a second U.N. resolution before the invasion of Iraq was not – as many have assumed – a domestic political emollient designed to smooth the passage of war. Blair really believed that the outcome would be better if the United Nations conferred legitimacy upon the enterprise. Unlike the hubristic neocons of Washington, he is a big-tent evangelist, rather than an excluding sectarian.

(I)     Now put Iraq back in the equation – because it could be argued that this is a material test of Dean’s determination to act if necessary – and the picture becomes murkier. Dean’s formulation is that Bush “launched the war in the wrong way, at the wrong time, with inadequate planning, insufficient help and at unbelievable cost”.

(J)    But what if the allies or friends won’t do the necessary thing? Russia supported the Serbs throughout the Bosnian and Kosovan crises, blocking U.N. action from its seat on the Security Council. Does America still act? The logic for Dean – just as it was for Bush and Clinton – is that it must. In what Blair calls the “interdependent world” there is no place for anyone to hide, no place for isolationism, especially not for an elephant-size superpower. This logic may not dictate the exact what, how and when of U.S. and allied intervening, nation-building and peacemaking – just the fact that all these will need to happen.

(K)    It’s here that we could do with some reassurance from the Democrat front runner. Even if it is by admitting that Iraq was a hard call, not simply a Republican folly. Now, that would sound presidential.

Task Three

You are going to read a newspaper article. For questions 14 – 20, choose answer A, B, C or D.

Ode to an Oath

Readers of this newspaper will be disturbed to learn that the leader of this country has been labelled “un gilipollas integral” by one José Bono, a member of the Spanish Socialist Party.

It is not in the spirit of The Times leader page to offer a translation of this ignominious phrase. One has to go to the foreign pages for that king of thing. Suffice to say that it joins other recent examples of less than impressive invective to suggest that the golden age of the political put down may have passed. Opponents of Australia’s new railway line this week adopted the elegant critique that its yield would be smaller than a “tick’s testicles”. In a lacerating verbal assault, MP Eric Illsley condemned Tony Blair’s argument that top-up fee rebels would be betraying the country as “crap”. On the basic of such prosaic insults, Mr Illsley will never be prime minister, though he would be minister for sanitation.

Scurrilous invective or simple reportage, Señor Bono’s gibe may not be included in the parliamentary rule book’s inventory of unparliamentary language, but it would certainly not be within the spirit of the code. More loquacious times have bequeathed us “guttersnipe”, “Pecksniffian cant” and the damning “stool pigeon” as being beyond the rhetorical pale, in addition to the more basic “liar”, “murderer” and “cad”. Strictures are such that it has been left to the Australians to keep the tradition of parliamentary invective alive with “sleazebag”, “perfumed gigolo” and the evocative “foul-mouthed grub”.

But even riches such as these seem mealy-mouthed when compared with the grandiosity of the 18th-century radical John Wilkes who, warned by Lord Sandwich that he would either “die of the pox or on the gallows”, retorted: “That depends, my Lord, on whether I first embrace your mistress or your principles.”

Such was Sir Winston Churchill’s prowess that this and other quotations are periodically attributed to him. Every schoolboy knows the two great ungallantries directed towards Nancy Astor and Bessie Braddock, being especially fond of the latter (“Sir, you are drunk!” “And you, Madam, are ugly. But I shall be sober in the morning”). But he could also be succinct, particularly where it concerned Clement Attlee, the “sheep in sheep’s clothing” and “modest man with much to be modest about”. Arguably his most magnificent abuse was reserved for Stafford Cripps: “There, but for the grace of God, goes God.”

But to live by the sword is to die by the sword. As Sir Winston’s contemporary F.E. Smith observed: “He has devoted the best years of his life to preparing impromptu speeches”.

16.   The text is mainly concerned with …

A.     the lowering quality of the language of parliamentary insult
B.     superiority of Australian over British political invective
C.     Churchill’s heritage and its impact on parliamentary language
D.     quality of invective in relation to individual political careers

17.    The word ‘bequeathed’ in line 13 could be best replaced with …

A.     inherited
B.     left
C.     become
D.     forbidden

18.    It can be inferred from the 3-rd paragraph that …

A.     the language of offence in Australia has been stretched to the limit
B.     rules on unparliamentary language in Britain are too lenient
C.     insulting language is overused in British Parliament
D.     language in British parliament is restricted

19.    The author includes Churchill’s quotations in the text so as to…

A.     contrast parliamentary insults from 18th and 20th century
B.     criticise Churchill’s malicious language
C.     exemplify the tradition of parliamentary invective
D.     praise Churchill’s parliamentary speeches

20.    The dominant tone of the piece is …

A.     informative
B.     ironic
C.     critical
D.     complimentary

Answer key

Task One

  1. the shots taken from above
  2. unfair
  3. should have made better assessment / did not have accurate information should have take more time
  4. financial documents
  5. equipped with (low-frequency) receivers
  6. rock star
  7. growing inequality
  8. incorrect information was provided

Task Two

9)B   10)G    11)D    12)F    13)C    14)H    15)E

Task Three

16)A     17)B    18)D     19)C     20)B