Kỹ năng đọc (Reading) là một trong 4 kỹ năng dùng để đánh giá khả năng tiếng Anh của bạn trong kỳ thi IELTS. Kỹ năng này không quá khó để đạt được điểm cao, tuy nhiên, không phải vì thế mà bạn có thể chủ quan. Muốn đạt được điểm số cao trong phần IELTS Reading, bạn cần luyện tập thật nhiều các bài đọc, các bài báo, tạp chí, tin tức hàng ngày bằng tiếng Anh ở nhiều lĩnh vực khác nhau để củng cố vốn từ vựng và ngữ pháp của mình. Với mong muốn có thể giúp bạn dễ dàng luyện tập kỹ năng Reading hơn, FLYER đã tổng hợp các bài đọc IELTS theo từng band điểm ngay trong bài viết dưới đây. Hãy xác định band điểm của mình và cùng FLYER bắt tay vào luyện tập ngay thôi nào!
1. Bài đọc band điểm 3.0 – 4.0
Các bài đọc ở band điểm 3.0 – 4.0 phù hợp với những bạn đang ở trình độ mới làm quen với tiếng Anh (Beginner) hay mới tiếp cận với IELTS. Cùng tham khảo bài luyện đọc sau bạn nhé!
Part 1: Vocabulary (Từ vựng)
It’s impossible to avoid advertisements. In our homes, newspaper, magazine and television ads compete for our attention. Posters, billboards and flyers greet us the moment we walk out the door. Advertising agencies stay busy thinking up new ways to get our attention. We have company logos on our clothes. Our email is full of spam, and pop-ups slow us down as we surf the Web. Product placements sneak into films and TV shows. ‘Ad wrapping’ turns cars into moving signboards. Advertisers have even tried advertising in TV commercials in a subliminal way (affecting your mind without you knowing it). It’s no wonder that this is called the consumer age.
Part 2: Skills development (Phát triển kỹ năng)
In all communication, whether this is verbal or non-verbal, a sender transfers a message to a receiver, choosing a certain medium. The receiver uses the message clues and the context, and decodes it to understand it. This is often followed by a new message in return, and so the communication process continues.
Although this procedure is always the same, it can take many different forms depending on the type of communication. For example, in non-verbal communication (as opposed to written and spoken communication, which are both verbal), the code used could be gestures, body language, eye contact and facial expressions, such as a smile.
Communication is extremely important in the business world. It is likely that in this context both informal and formal styles will be used. If we take the example of meetings, we might say that they are often conducted in quite a relaxed way, with participants using first names and informal language. However, as soon as the meeting is official, careful records, called minutes, will be kept, following a predetermined format which is standard across many business situations. Layout is one aspect of a formal style. Content will also be dictated to some extent by the level of formality. Annual business reports must include certain types of information to be legal, e.g. financial information, but even a simple letter would not function as it should without the use of somebody’s title (e.g. Mr or Ms). Language is another aspect which needs to be taken into account. Formal, written communication needs to be clear and to the point, without spelling or grammar mistakes, and in a formal register (e.g. Dear …, instead of Hi). Not following these important rules would have a negative effect in any business context.
Part 3: Exam practice (Luyện đề)
One criticism of UK managers is that relatively few speak a second language fluently. This can cause obvious problems for businesses that trade in a global market. Research suggests that UK companies lose around 13 per cent of the international deals they try to complete due to ‘communication problems’. Managers also need effective written skills if they are to carry out their jobs effectively. The ability to quickly summarize key points in the form of a report for others in the business is of real value. So is the skill of reading a report written by someone else and being able to draw out the important elements.
As well as their own staff, managers have to work with other people too. They interact with customers, more senior managers, suppliers, trade union officials, government officials and the local community. Managers need to be comfortable in the company of diverse groups, and they need to be able to communicate formally when required and to engage in informal small talk.
Managers need a range of communication skills to carry out their jobs effectively. They need to be able to articulate their ideas and vision and to convey enthusiasm. Good managers may, at times, need to be able to argue points cogently and to persuade people to their point of view. However, good managers appreciate that communication is a two-way process, and that listening is an important element of communication. Listening to the views of others can help to test ideas as well as to develop new products and methods of production.
The most common forum in which managers are required to communicate are meetings. It is important for managers to plan for meetings, whether with a single person or with a group. Managers should not invite too many participants to keep numbers to a minimum. They should have a clear agenda for discussion and should exercise tight time controls to prevent meetings dragging on. Managers should enter each meeting with a clear idea of what they want it to achieve. At the end of a meeting it is good practice to summarize what has been agreed and what needs to happen in the future.
Communication skills should not be taken for granted. Many managers require training in written and oral communication skills and many businesses would benefit from employing managers who speak at least one other language.
Interpersonal skills are also necessary if a manager is to work successfully with other people. If managers lack interpersonal skills, then they are likely to be of limited effectiveness in their role. Managers with effective interpersonal skills can motivate others and can co-ordinate the work of their employees. To do this, managers may need to coach and encourage employees as well as solving disputes and, perhaps more importantly, preventing conflict.
Để có thể luyện tập nhiều hơn các bài đọc IELTS band 3.0 – 4.0, FLYER giới thiệu bạn một số cuốn sách dưới đây, có các dạng bài và phạm vi kiến thức phù hợp với những bạn đang ở band điểm 3.0 – 4.0.
Bài viết tham khảo: Top 5+ đầu sách IELTS cho người mới bắt đầu hay nhất mà bạn không nên bỏ qua
2. Bài đọc band điểm 4.0 – 6.5
Những bài đọc thuộc band điểm 4.0 – 6.5 dành cho những bạn đã tiếp xúc với tiếng Anh cơ bản và đang ở trình độ trung cấp (Intermediate). Dưới đây là một số bài tập để bạn có thể tự mình đánh giá kỹ năng đọc hiểu tiếng Anh của bản thân:
Part 1: Vocabulary (Từ vựng)
If you send your child to a boarding school you can be looking at fees of almost £8,000 per term. Eton will charge £7,896 a term from September – a rise of 5.8% on last year’s fees. Winchester’s fees have gone up 5% from £7,457 to £7,833 a term. Day schools are cheaper, but even these are charging an average of £2,796 a term – £8,388 a year.
If you have a baby this year and plan to send him or her to a private day school for secondary education, it will set you back about £150,000, according to an independent adviser.
If your child is starting senior school this September, the school fees between 11 and 18 will total an average of £75,500, assuming the fees rise by 7% a year.
A grandmother has set up her own school to cater for her autistic grandson. Joshua, 7, was unable to cope at the local school and his parents were struggling to get his needs met.
“I used to take Joshua to his mainstream school,” says his mother. “He would literally (1) howl all the way down the very long drive. I used to feel like a monster.”
She took Joshua out of the school on the advice of his teachers, but (2) hit a brick wall with the local education authority, who wanted to place him in a school for 90 children with a huge range of learning difficulties – contrary to the modern expertise on (3) autism, which recommends specialist care in small units.
Now, Joshua is (4) flourishing in a small school for autistic youngsters. “It is costing us £15,000 a year but it’s worth it to see Joshua making progress. He is a different child.” The special needs school recently passed its first inspection from the Office for Standards in Education with a (5) glowing report. Despite this, the education authority has refused to pay for Joshua’s education there.
Receiving a diagnosis of a learning disability is a terrible blow to families, and the realisation that you face years of fighting to obtain the education that will help your child is (6) devastating. Many parents cannot face the struggle and many children are denied the chance to improve their quality of life.
Part 2: Practice exercises (Bài tập luyện tập)
Policies can be influenced by many forces. For example, Jamie Oliver’s TV programme, Jamie’s School Dinners, attacking the quality of food in schools, eventually persuaded the Minister for Education to rethink policies about the eating habits of children, as well as budgets. Equally so, very large organisations with a global presence influence policy makers all around the world over concerns such as oil, arms, the environment and human rights.
1. Plans to allow universities to charge unlimited tuition fees were today greeted with dismay from students and lecturers but welcomed by vice-chancellors at top-flight institutions. Fees of up to £6,000 a year would go directly to universities, but above that figure they would pay a levy that would increase for each additional £1,000, restricting the extra income, under proposals set out by a review of higher education funding. Graduates would also repay their loans later and over a longer period.
2. Lord Browne of Madingley proposed a new system under which one graduate in five in lower-paid jobs would repay less than today but higher-earning graduates would pay more. His proposals, following a review of higher education finance lasting almost a year, will form the basis of a new system for funding universities from autumn 2012. “Under these plans universities can start to vary what they charge,” he said, “but it will be up to students whether they choose the university. The money will follow the student, who will follow the quality. The student is no longer taken for granted, the student is in charge.”
3. Aaron Porter, president of the National Union of Students said: “If adopted, Lord Browne’s review would hand universities a blank cheque and force the next generation to pick up the tab for devastating cuts to higher education. The only thing students and their families would stand to gain from higher fees would be higher debts. A market in course prices between universities would increasingly put pressure on students to make decisions based on cost rather than academic ability or ambition.”
4. The review recommends:
- Graduates would not start to repay student loans until they earn £21,000 a year. This threshold would rise in line with earnings to protect graduates with lower incomes. The current threshold is £15,000.
- Repayments would stay at 9 per cent of income but graduates with higher earnings would pay a higher interest rate of 2.2 per cent above inflation, equal to the Government’s cost of borrowing. Lower-paid graduates would continue to pay no real interest rate on loans.
- Student loans would be paid over a maximum of 30 years, after which they would be written off. The current maximum is 25 years.
- Student support should be simplified, with a flat living loan of £3,750 for all undergraduates and maintenance grants of up to £3,250. Full granits would go to students whose family income was £25,000 or less and partial grants to those with household income up to £60,000.
5. Professor Steve Smith, president of Universities UK, which represents vice-chancellors, said: “We are extremely pleased that Lord Browne’s proposals build on the fair and progressive elements of the current system. No parent or student would have to pay tuition fees upfront, only a graduate would pay when they are earning £21,000 per year. This will be crucial in supporting those from disadvantaged backgrounds through university.”
6. But union leaders and representatives of newer universities warned of the ‘devastating’ impact on families if the recommendations are implemented. Professor Les Ebdon, chair of million+, which represents new universities, said: “There is a real risk that some students who would have gone to university will decide not to go and that opportunity and social mobility will be fatally undermined.”
7. Lord Browne, the former group chief executive of BP, said that despite higher fees the number of people going to university should expand. His plans allow for a 10 per cent increase in the number of student places over the next four years. Part-time students would also have access to student loans to cover the cost of their tuition fees, giving more people a second chance to study for a degree later in life, he said. His plans would create a market in higher education, with many research universities likely to charge £6,000 or £7,000 a year, a handful of top universities charging higher fees, but many newer universities that focus on teaching charging less.
Part 3: Exam practice (Luyện đề)
Parents face a sharp increase in nursery fees from January as new government-subsidised children’s centres drive up staff costs for private daycare.
Children’s centres are offering up to £7,000 a year more for managers and nursery nurses to staff their premises, forcing private providers to match the pay offer or risk losing their best employees. Fees are private nurseries’ only source of income so they have no option but to pass on the 12-15 per cent salary increases to parents. Salaries account for 80 per cent of running costs and fees are an average of £140 a week.
The annual pay survey for Nursery World magazine found that the salary of a nursery manager in the private sector had risen by an average of 12.3 per cent this year, to £21,547, as owners attempted to hang on to their staff. Despite the increase, children’s centres are offering about £27,000 for a manager. Senior nursery nurses have had an average 17 per cent increase this year, with salaries of about £14,000, but could still earn up to £17,000 if they switched to a children’s centre.
‘Children’s centres are heavily subsidised and are offering much bigger salaries than anywhere else in the sector,’ said Claire Schofield, head of membership at the National Day Nurseries Association. Shouldn’t the subsidy be available across the board? Private providers currently account for 78 per cent of all nursery places. The Government plans to open 3,500 children’s centres by 2010-five in each parliamentary constituency. Each centre will offer daycare and other services for children and parents. The Department for Education and Skills estimates that the cost of each place will be about £250 a week, well above private sector fees. But a generous subsidy administered by local authorities brings the fees down to about £137 a week.
Liz Roberts, editor of Nursery World, predicted that many nurseries would face financial difficulties as a result. ‘Nurseries will put up their fees a bit, but there is a limit to what parents can afford so it is becoming terribly difficult. Some nursery owners barely pay themselves as it is, so may just decide to close,’ she said.
A Department for Education and Skills study found that only 25 per cent of private nurseries made a profit, with 31 per cent breaking even. While children’s centres will offer parents value for money at first, there is no guarantee that the Government will continue to pay the subsidy. If the funding is reduced, parents will have no choice but to pay more for their nursery places, especially if local private nurseries have been driven out of business.
Parents have also made clear during public consultations that they like private and voluntary sector nurseries, which are often smaller and more intimate than local authority providers, and the Government has said that it is committed to diversity of supply.
Để giúp bạn đa dạng hóa tài liệu luyện đọc, FLYER giới thiệu bạn một số cuốn sách về Reading IELTS phù hợp với những bạn đang ở band điểm 4.0 – 6.5. Bạn có thể tham khảo 3 tài liệu sau:
3. Bài đọc band điểm 6.5+
Bài đọc ở cấp độ IELTS 6.5+ sẽ có những chủ đề từ vựng và ngữ pháp mở rộng, phức tạp hơn so với bài đọc ở những phần trước. Nếu bạn đã có thể vượt qua hết các bài đọc trên và muốn nâng trình tiếng Anh hơn nữa, hãy thử sức với bài đọc IELTS cấp độ 6.5+ ngay sau đây nhé!
Identifying relevant sections (Xác định các phần có liên quan)
Excessive demands on young people
Being able to multitask is hailed by most people as a welcome skill, but not according to a recent study which claims that young people between the ages of eight and eighteen of the so-called ‘Generation M’ are spending a considerable amount of their time in fruitless efforts as they multitask. It argues that, in fact, these young people are frittering away as much as half of their time again as they would if they performed the very same tasks one after the other.
Some young people are juggling an ever larger number of electronic devices as they study. At the same time that they are working, young adults are also surfing on the Internet, or sending out emails to their friends, and/or answering the telephone and listening to music on their iPods or on another computer. As some new device comes along it too is added to the list rather than replacing one of the existing devices.
Other research has indicated that this multitasking is even affecting the way families themselves function as young people are too wrapped up in their own isolated worlds to interact with the other people around them. They can no longer greet family members when they enter the house nor can they eat at the family table.
All this electronic wizardry is supposedly also seriously affecting young people’s performance at university and in the workplace. When asked about their perception of the impact of modern gadgets on their performance of tasks, the overwhelming majority of young people gave a favourable response.
The response from the academic and business worlds was not quite as positive. The former feel that multitasking with electronic gadgets by children affects later development of study skills, resulting in a decline in the quality of writing, for example, because of the lack of concentration on task completion. They feel that many undergraduates now urgently need remedial help with study skills. Similarly, employers feel that young people entering the workforce need to be taught all over again, as they have become deskilled.
While all this may be true, it must be borne in mind that more and more is expected of young people nowadays; in fact, too much. Praise rather than criticism is due in respect of the way today’s youth are able to cope despite what the older generation throw at them.
According to a recent report, young people aged 8-18 are wasting (1) _____________ of time by multitasking. In fact, they are spending as much as 50 per cent longer than if they did the same tasks (2) _____________. Some young people are juggling a larger and larger array of (3) _____________ as they study, while surfing the net, sending (4) _____________, answering the phone, and listening to music simultaneously. Other studies have shown that this (5) _____________ is affecting the way families operate, with young people too self-absorbed to talk to other family members or to eat at the family table. The electronic (6) _____________ is also apparently having a (7) _____________ on young people’s studies and work.
Summaries with wordlist (Tóm tắt nội dung bằng từ vựng)
Selecting statements (Lựa chọn ý đúng)
The list below gives some opinions about electronic gadgetry.
Which THREE opinions are mentioned by the writer of the text?
A According to students, electronic gadgets are now an inevitable part of the university landscape.
B Academics feel multitasking with electronic gadgets affects children’s subsequent acquisition of study skills.
C Academics feel students are offered help with their writing and study skills.
D Most young people see no problems related to using electronic gadgets.
E Computer use at school fails to prepare students for academic life at university, according to academics.
F Employers feel that the use of electronic gadgets among children affects capacity to perform in the work environment.
G Employers think that overuse of computers, etc. definitely affects job prospects later in life.
Global multiple-choice question (Câu hỏi trắc nghiệm)
The writer concludes that
A the use of electronic gadgets at school is affecting academic study.
B more is required of young people today and they cope well in the circumstances.
C the use of electronic gadgets at school needs to be controlled.
D electronic gadgets should be totally banned as they harm young people’s job prospects.
Reading passage 5 (Đọc đoạn 5)
You should spend 20 minutes on questions 1-13, which are based on Reading Passage 5.
Bạn nên dành 20 phút cho câu hỏi 1-13, dựa trên đoạn văn 5.
Young people – coping with an unpredictable future
Young people here in Asia and indeed in every continent are facing new challenges at an unparalleled pace as they enter the global economy seeking work. But are the young in all parts of the globe fully equipped to deal with the unforeseen hazards of the twenty-first century?
With the globalization not just of commerce, but all knowledge itself, young graduates in India, Pakistan, or China are just as prepared for the future as their counterparts in any other nation. Except for one thing, that is. Young people wherever they are still lack something of paramount importance. There was a time when those companies or nations with the most knowledge had the edge on their competitors. That is now almost gone.
In future, the success of all nations and companies, and indeed the success of young workers, will depend not on analytical thinking as has been the case until now, but on creativity and flexible thinking. This will have huge implications on the way companies and people function.
Knowledge has now become like the light from the light bulb. It is now available to all of us, East and West, North and South. We can now ‘switch it on’ in India, China, or Korea as easily as in, say, France or Australia. Knowledge is also packaged into systems that allow professionals of any kind and level to move around the world in the employ of multinational companies much more easily than in the past. So it matters less and less where people are from, where they are working, or where they move to. The same rules and systems apply to all.
With this knowledge-based industry now firmly established, mainly as a result of the Internet, economies and people have to move on to another level of competition. What will make or break the economies of the future in Asia and the West is not workforces equipped with narrow life skills, but the more creative thinkers who can deal with the unknown. But the world is still churning out young workers to cater for knowledge rather than creativity-based economies. Edward de Bono has long championed lateral thinking and his work has found its way into many companies and conservative institutions.
More recently, Daniel Pink in A Whole New Mind (2005), a book about the mindset needed for the coming century, has predicted that success in the future will depend on creative thinking, not analytical thinking-more use of the right side of the brain as opposed to the left.
Knowledge-based professions which control the world like banking, management, etc. Pink argues, will wane as more and more jobs are replaced by computers, a prospect governments must wake up to or they will have hordes of young people trained for a redundant world system. The analytical brain types that have dominated job interviews in recent years have had their day. Those who see the bigger picture at the same time, i.e. those who use the right side of their brain as well or more than the left or can switch between the two at will, are about to come into their own.
The most prized individuals will be those who think outside the analytical boxes. If governments are sleep-walking into this situation, young people need not do so, but can prepare themselves for this dramatic evolution. Broadly speaking, young people are much more flexible and prepared to adapt to new situations than their older counterparts. Their very familiarity with ever-changing technology and the processes that go with it equips them to be proactive, and to develop their skills beyond the purely analytical. Take the gigantic leaps that have been made in the economies of South-East Asia in recent years. Advanced transport infrastructures and systems for knowledge transfer are more evolved than in many so-called advanced western countries which are lagging behind their eastern counterparts.
Businesses, rather than universities, can provide opportunities that introduce elements of unpredictability and creativity into aspects of training or work experience to teach employees to cope with the shifting sands of the future. The young will be encouraged to do what they do best, breaking out of existing systems and restructuring the way things are done. Older people will need to side with them in their readiness to remould the world if they are to survive in the 10 future workplace. We may be in for a bumpy ride, but whatever else it may be, the future does not look dull.
Bên cạnh các bài luyện đọc trên, FLYER giới thiệu đến bạn một số cuốn sách về Reading IELTS phù hợp với những bạn ở band điểm từ 6.5 trở lên. Để duy trì trình độ đọc hiểu tiếng Anh hiện tại và hơn nữa là nâng cao band điểm IELTS trong tương lai, bạn hãy luyện tập chăm chỉ và đều đặn với những bài đọc phù hợp nhé!
Bài viết tham khảo: 101+ từ vựng IELTS theo chủ đề mà bạn không thể bỏ lỡ!
4. Tổng kết
Hi vọng thông qua một vài bài đọc FLYER cung cấp ở trên, bạn có thể luyện tập sơ lược về kỹ năng đọc hiểu tiếng Anh và biết cách nâng cao band Reading IELTS trong tương lai. Đừng quên thực hành thêm các bài đọc trong những cuốn sách FLYER đã gợi ý, đồng thời ghi chú lại những từ vựng mà bạn học được ở một cuốn sổ cá nhân để có thể ôn luyện lại bất cứ lúc nào nhé. Vốn từ vựng và ngữ pháp của bạn sẽ được nâng cao một cách đáng kể đó!
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