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Пробна матура по английски език - 2007 г. - текстове

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LISTENING COMPREHENSION

 

Text I

 

Directions: You will read a text about Flags twice. Before you read it, let the students read the questions for no more than 3 minutes. While they listen to the text for the first time, they may look at the questions and the suggested choices but are not allowed to take notes. When they hear the whole text they have 9 minutes to answer the questions, choosing among A, B, C or D. Then read the text again and give them up to 2 minutes to check their answers.

 

Flags

People have used flags for over 4,000 years. The first flags were metal or wooden poles. About 2,000 years ago people added pieces of fabric or material for decoration. These looked more like the flags we know today.

A flag is a piece of coloured fabric or material that is used as a symbol, or for sending a signal. Some flags are used only for decoration and others - for giving information. Today, every country in the world has a flag.  Governments change, and so do their flags. Every state in the United States, as well as various clubs and organizations have their own flags, too. The five circles of the Olympic flag represent people from five continents in friendly competition. In the flag of the United Nations the olive branches surrounding the world mean peace.

Flags include symbols that are used to show ideas which, otherwise, take many words. Flags are used for wars or for the celebration of special events. On sad occasions, flags are flown halfway down to honour the dead.

Flags come in many different sizes, shapes and colours. Sometimes people add an interesting decoration at the tip of the flag pole. Years ago, flags were made by hand - by sewing pieces of fabric together. Today, flags are usually printed in long rolls. Then they are run through a machine which prints a pattern over and over again on the fabric. The fabric is washed, dried and then cut into separate flags.

The white flag is the international sign for surrender. "White Flags" are not made up in advance. They are usually made out of any materials available when they have to be used.

Another well-known flag is the "Jolly Roger", used by pirates to frighten people. These flags usually had a black background, which stood for "no mercy will be shown to those who resist."

 

Text II

 

Directions: You will read a text about Umbrellas twice. Before you read it, let the students read the questions for no more than 3 minutes. While they listen to the text for the first time, they may look at the questions and the suggested choices, but are not allowed to take notes. When they hear the whole text they have 10 minutes to answer the questions, choosing among A, B or C. Then read the text again and give them up to 2 minutes to check their answers.

 

Umbrellas

The umbrella was invented over four thousand years ago. We have seen evidence of umbrellas in the ancient art of Egypt, Assyria, Greece, and China.

These ancient umbrellas, or parasols, provided shade from the sun. The Chinese were the first to waterproof their umbrellas for use as rain protection. Their paper parasols were waxed and lacquered in order to be used against rain.

The word "umbrella" comes from the Latin word "umbra", meaning shade or shadow. In the 16th century the umbrella was introduced to the western world and became especially popular in the rainy weather of Northern Europe. At first it was only an accessory suitable for women. Then the Persian traveller and writer, Jonas Hanway carried and used an umbrella publicly in England. He popularized umbrella use among men. English gentlemen often called their umbrella a "Hanway."

The first umbrella shop opened in 1830, and is still located in London, England. Most early European umbrellas were made of wood or bone and covered with oiled canvas. The handles for the umbrellas were made out of hard wood.

In 1852, Samuel Fox invented the steel-ribbed umbrella design. African-American, inventor, William C. Carter patented an umbrella stand in 1885.

The next major technical innovation over a century was the compact folding umbrella.