Здесь находится ряд упражнений на чтение текстов научно-популярного характера на английском языке. Все тексты озвучены для самопроверки правильности чтения. Чтение отрывка текста является одним из заданий устной части ЕГЭ по английскому языку.
Задание 1 на чтение отрывка
Six of Earth’s seven continents are inhabited on a large scale. Asia is the most populated continent, with its 4.3 billion inhabitants. This accounts for 60% of the worlds population. The two most populated countries of the world are China and India. These countries together constitute about 37% of the whole population of our planet. Africa is the second most populated continent. It is home for about one billion people. This makes 15% of the world’s population. Europe has 733 million people and this makes up 12%. Latin American and Caribbean regions are home to around 600 million people (9 %). Northern America, primarily consisting of the United States and Canada, has a population of around 352 million (5%), and Oceania, the least populated region, has about 35 million inhabitants (0.5%). What about Antarctica? Though it is not permanently inhabited by anybody, Antarctica has a small, changing international population, living in polar science stations.
Задание 2 на чтение отрывка
Medicine has existed for thousands of years. At first, medicine was rather an art than science. It was little based on skills and knowledge but, instead, it had connections to the religious beliefs. At the early stages of medicine, doctors relied on religious rituals in the same way as on medication. For example, a medicine man would apply herbs and say prayers for healing. The first physicians thought that bloodletting was the best treatment of all. In recent centuries, since the advent of science, most medicine has become a combination of art and science. Much depends on the talent of the doctor and on the efficiency of drugs and surgery. Nowadays, we come to understand more and more about our body and to know what is going on inside the cells. Also, genetic engineering opens up new perspectives for treating inherited diseases. And, of course, new medical technologies have already saves millions of lives.
Задание 3 на чтение отрывка
Early in the morning, Evenki natives in the hills northwest of Lake Baikal observed a column of blue light. It was nearly as bright as the Sun, and it was moving across the sky. About ten minutes later, there was a flash and a sound similar to artillery fire. Eyewitnesses reported that the source of the sound was moving from the east to the north following the movement of the blue light. The sound was accompanied by a shock wave that knocked people off their feet and broke windows in the houses hundreds of kilometres away. As it often happens, eyewitnesses’ accounts varied regarding the sequence and duration of the events. On that day the legendary Tungus meteorite or a small comet fell on the Earth near the river called Podkamennaya Tunguska in Siberia. It happened at about seven o’clock in the morning, on the 30th of June 1908. The first expedition came to the site only ten years later.
Задание 4 на чтение отрывка
Throughout the history of education the most common means of maintaining discipline in schools was corporal punishment. While a child was at school, a teacher was expected to act as a parent, with the same means of making children obey as the parents had. This often meant that school students were often punished with a cane if they did something wrong. Corporal punishment at schools has now disappeared from all European countries. Thirty-one US states have banned it, but the other nineteen states (mostly in the South) continue to allow corporal punishment in schools. Teachers have the right to apply corporal punishment, although many choose not to do so. Official corporal punishment, often by caning, remains commonplace in schools in some Asian, African and Caribbean countries. Generally speaking, most countries retain punishment for misbehavior, but it usually takes non-corporal forms such as detention after the lessons. In Russia corporal punishment in schools was banned in 1863.
Задание 5 на чтение отрывка
A female chimp has learned how to use the Arabic numerals, 1 to 9, to memorise the order of five numbers. She, unlike males, was able to remember the sequence of at least five numbers. This is the same or even more than pre-school children can do. It comes as no surprise to scientists who discover something else that chimpanzees can do every year, bringing them closer to us. People can normally remember a sevendigit number at first sight. This is our brain’s “magic number”. A chimp’s brain is only half the size of ours. Yet, they remember five digits. In an experiment, a chimp was shown five numbers on a computer screen. Her task was then to touch each number in the correct order. In order to perform the task successfully, she had to memorise all the numbers. And she did. She got the fourth number correct 90 % of the time, and the fifth number correct 65 % of the time.
Задание 6 на чтение отрывка
Human evolution is a lengthy process of change by which people originated from their apelike ancestors. The traits that we today recognize as human evolved over a period of approximately six million years. One of the earliest human traits was the ability to walk on two legs. This ability evolved some four million years ago. A large and complex brain, the ability to use tools and the capacity for language have developed more recently. Some studies lead us to believe that humans have some relationship to another group of primate species, the apes. Scientists say that humans and the great apes of Africa — chimpanzees and gorillas — share a common ancestor who lived between 8 and 6 million years ago. However, researchers do not all agree about how these species are related to the modern human. Genetic research into this relationship has produced some controversial results and more discoveries, perhaps sensational ones, are to be expected.
Задание 7 на чтение отрывка
Cheating in tests is becoming more sophisticated. These cases are referred to as exam-room cheating. The statistical findings show that between 3-5% of exam candidates are likely to be cheating with almost none of these pupils being caught. A recent trend has been for more friends, helping their peers to see questions in advance. This has been prompted by increasingly high demands on the learners to perform well. If the supervision in exam rooms becomes lax, cheating is always on the rise. Cheating appears to be a global phenomenon with little cultural variation. Originally it was thought that cheating was more typical for the so called “face-saving” cultures where the observable behaviour is not the same as unobserved actions. Wherever the stakes are high and there is an advantage and an opportunity to cheat, it seems to happen everywhere. Highly industrialised and poor nations think alike.
Задание 8 на чтение отрывка
Here is some advice about good manners and etiquette when eating food. If you are invited to dinner and you cannot eat a certain type of food, tell your host several days before the dinner party. If you are a guest, it is polite to wait until your host starts eating or when your host shows you in some way that you can start eating without waiting for him or her. Mind that is good manners to chew and swallow the food that is in your mouth and only then should you take a drink. Remember to show your appreciation of the food from time to time. It is a popular mistake that chicken can be eaten with your fingers. In fact, a piece of chicken or a slice of pizza can be eaten with your fingers if you are at a barbecue or in an informal company. Otherwise always use a knife and a fork. It is useful to note that when eating bread rolls, break off a piece of bread and only then use the knife for buttering the bread. If you are using the knife, do not lick or put your knife in your mouth even though there is something delicious on the blade. You will certainly not put your elbows on the table and you will never reach for food over somebody’s plate. Always ask for something you need to be passed over to you. And, you had better not talk with food in your mouth to tell others something interesting.
Задание 9 на чтение отрывка
The less children play video games, or watch television, the less aggressive they become, suggests a scientific study. The American research looked at the effects of reducing the amount of computer games played, or television watched by third and fourth graders, who are aged approximately eight or nine. It was found that the more television and computer games the children had seen, the more aggressive they were. This means that television, and, more recently, games have a direct influence on such behaviour. There are potential benefits in reducing the amount of access children have to TV or computer games. This is supported by the findings of reductions in physical and verbal aggression in children who have limited exposure to television, video and computer games. Watching aggressive behaviour shapes the way children see the world and their behaviour. They learn that angry people do aggressive things and start to imitate if the circumstances prompt similar solutions.
Задание 10 на чтение отрывка
Every nation has its customs. Modern Americans are very serious about body hygiene while in the 19th century washing one’s body frequently was considered bad for health as it “removed protection from the skin”. Most Western people think it proper to enter a house without changing shoes, while in Korea it is a desecration of the house. An American, greeting a stranger by saying “Hi mate, great to meet you!” may not be favourably regarded in a country where more formal modes of address are usual. In the West, business cards are given a cursory glance. In Japan, they are regarded with respect. In Britain, most business presentations would include a joke, which is unheard of at conferences in Japan or China. Small talk and relationship building are considered important in the Arab world between a seller and a customer. British people prefer talking about the weather. The Japanese value silence while the Italians like to express emotions.
Задание 11 на чтение отрывка
People experience stress when they have much work to do, when they receive a promotion at work, when their car has a flat tire, when their dog gets sick, when they are worried about getting laid off their job or about having enough money to pay their bills, when their best friend and his wife come to stay at their house for a week and on many other occasions. If you are used to thinking that stress is something that makes you worry, you have the wrong idea of stress. Very hot or very cold climate can be stressful. Change of hormones in teenagers can cause stress. Taking responsibilities for other people is one of the major stressors in those who work as managers. Many people carry enormous stress and do not even realize it. To our body stress is synonymous with change. Anything that causes some change in your life causes stress.
Задание 12 на чтение отрывка
It’s not at all easy to say what a fairy-tale is or why some stories are called fairytales. Fairy-tales do not have to be stories about fairies. Fairy-tales are part of folklore, but folktales are not necessarily fairy-tales. Fairy-tales are similar to myths and legends but are not myths and legends. Fairy-tales come from oral storytelling tradition but fairy-tales have been written down on paper by many authors. Sometimes a literary fairy-tale comes first on paper and only then it is taken back into oral tradition and becomes folklore. Simply put a fairy-tale is a story about magic with something supernatural and mysterious. Usually a fairy-tale is a story that happens in the past. If it happens sometime at the beginning of the world, then it is a myth. If this story names a specific person described as “real”, then it is a legend.