Read the following comprehension passage and carefully study the author’s comments and useful model answers on how to write correct and acceptable answers.
What is efficient reading? Basically, it involves the ability to read through a passage politely, and quickly and the ability to understand what has been read.
It is a mark of intellectual immaturity to hold on to a passage for hours without being able to make meaning out of it. Also, it is a mark of bad reading not to be able to recall and discuss what has been read.
The foregoing has however put the issue rather too simply. The ability to read through a passage on a good note can be attained only after mastery of the grammatical structures of the language.
Without a sound mastery of words and how they function under various situations and an understanding of how sentences are generated, one cannot read even the simplest passage efficiently. Rather, failure would ever dog one’s foot, steps.
Considering the issue from another perspective, merely mastering the vocabulary and structure of the language is not enough. The reader’s frame of mind is equally important. Think of a man who is disturbed by the death of a dear one.
Such a man would not be able to concentrate on the reading task. If the death of the dear one is still fresh, he might read through a passage several times without understanding it.
On the other hand, if the reader is too excited, he might not be able to concentrate. Take the case of a man who has just read in the newspaper that he has won a handsome sum of money. If he has to read a passage, he may not be able to concentrate.
Furthermore, the physical state of the body affects one’s ability to read efficiently, and so also does the presence or absence of distractions. This is best to read when the body is still fresh and in a place far from noises and other distractions.
- According to the passage, what is efficient reading?
- State any two language skills that are essential for efficient reading.
- State any two factors that affect a reader’s understanding of a passage.
- ‘The reader’s frame of mind’
- What grammatical name is given to describe the above expression?
- What is its function in the sentences?
- What figure of speech is this expression…failure would ever dog one’s footsteps?
- For each of the following words, find another word or phrase that means the same and replace it as used in the passage.
(WAEC June 1995)
Comments and Model Answers to the Questions Above
- The answer to question (a) is located in the second sentence of the first paragraph which says: Basically, it involves the ability to read through a passage fairly quickly and the ability to understand what has been read. Actually, the underlined sentence is a relevant point to question (a) but this is a model answer.
- Efficient reading is the ability to read and understand a passage fairly/quite quickly.
- The answers to question (b) are located in both the second and third sentences of the second paragraph which say: the ability to read through a passage at a good rate can be attained only after a mastery of the grammatical structure of the language. In the third sentence, there is a without a sound mastery of words and how they function under… Though the underlined phrases above are relevant points to question (b), the following sentences are model answers:
- The reader should master the grammatical structures of the language.
- The reader should master the function of words and the form of the sentences.
- The answer to question (ci) is located in the second sentence of the third paragraph which says: The reader’s frame of mind is equally important. The answer to question (cii) is located in the first sentence of the fourth paragraph which says: Furthermore, the physical state of the body affects one’s ability to read efficiently. Although the sentences underlined above are relevant points to questions (c), the following sentences are model questions:
(c) i. The reader’s frame of mind affects a reader’s understanding of a passage.
ii. The physical state of the body affects a reader’s understanding of a passage.
- If you identify and analyze the sentence: The reader’s frame of mind is equally important in the third paragraph, you will have this: The reader’s frame of mind is equally important. S/NP V
So, the grammatical name and function of the expression are as follows:
- Noun phrase
- The subject of the verb ‘is’
- The expression failure would ever dog one’s footsteps in the last sentence of the second paragraph is subjected to two figurative expressions. The model answer is:
- Metaphor or Personification
- The answers to question (f) expect you to replace them with other words or phrases. Make sure that each answer is not more than one word or phrase. You should also consider the class to which each word or phrase belongs. The model answers are as follows:
- immaturity – inadequacy/weakness/shallowness/incompetence
- sound – complete/good/sure
- generated – formed/constructed/created/developed
- perspective – point of view/angle
- handsome – big/huge/substantial
Any of the words above may be selected to replace the given words above.
Read the passage below and answer the questions on it.
We are interested in the various kinds of injuries that can occur in road traffic accidents, how to prevent them, and their first aid management. Most of us have probably witnessed one form of road traffic accident or another. The universal reaction of an eyewitness is panic as they rush to the scene and stand there looking in dismay. Road traffic accidents are great crowd-puller as everyone wants to stop and have a look. However, the three most useful things you can do if you are at the scene of a road traffic accident are to assist in the rescue of the trapped victims; to render first aid treatment to victims, and to help in conveying injured people to the nearest hospital.
Road traffic accidents have great potential for causing injury to the human body. The high velocity at which, the motor vehicle is travelling, the sudden deceleration on impact, and the hard rigid nature of the motor-car body all contribute to increasing the potential of injury, probably, the most risk-laden road traffic accidents are those which involve motorcyclists as they do not have solid motor car body to protect them from the direct impact of an oncoming vehicle on the road. Road traffic accidents involving motorcyclists are the cause of high mortality as the human skull is often fractured on impact with the hard surface of the road.
Road traffic accidents involving cars and their passengers can cause some serious problems as the wreckage of the car may trap some people inside. This may mean that the crumple car body needs to be cut away before the victims can be saved. If the road accident results in a fire, then this can be disastrous as the fire will prevent rescuers from coming near, thus resulting in the quick demise of the victims from burns. This is why every car driver must possess a fire extinguisher in his vehicle. This little device may save lives in some situations.
- What, according to the writer, do eye-witnesses usually do as soon as an accident occurs?
- What three things does he suggest that eye-witnesses should do?
- Mention two of the factors that can increase injuries during road accidents.
- Why are motorcyclists at more risk when accidents occur?
- Why does the writer suggest that every car driver should have a fire extinguisher in his car?
- ‘If the road accident results in a fire…’
- What grammatical name is given to the above expression?
- What is its function in the passage?
- For each of the following words, find another word or phrase that means the same and can replace it as it is used in the passage.
(WAEC June 1997)