English as a Second Language

IGCSE English as a Second Language - Cambridge Syllabus

Passage 7 - Added 02/03/2011

Read the following brochure about an interactive science centre and then answer the questions that follow.


Catalyst is an interactive science centre and museum devoted to  chemistry and how the products of chemistry are used in every day life. Our key aim is to make science exciting and accessible to people of all ages and to inform them about science based industries and their role in our lives, past present and future.

Catalyst is a great action-packed family attraction with an excellent educational focus. Schools visit during term time to take advantage of our curriculum based education programme. During school holidays everyone can take part in our special events and activities.

We have something for all age groups and a friendly welcome is guaranteed!

Finding out is fun at Catalyst. We have three interactive galleries with over 100 different exhibits to tug, tease and test. Enjoy panoramic views across Cheshire from the rooftop Observatory reached by a scenic glass lift, or visit Scientrific, or Birth of an Industry. A World of Opportunities is a unique careers gallery where pupils can gain valuable insight into careers in science through interactive displays and DVD Clips.

Get to grips with real science and experience the fantastic modern Catalytic Discovery Lab, with activities such as "Spies and Codes" and the "Catalyst Crime Scene Mystery". We specialise in curriculum based activities in term time but in school holidays, the whole family get to join in!

Take an unforgettable journey of discovery in our Alchemy Theatre, interactive shows with 3D and individual voting makes each showing unique!

Also on offer is free car parking, a shop where you'll find a wide range of intriguing scientific toys souvenirs and gifts and the Elements Cafe, the perfect place to enjoy a tasty meal, while admiring the riverside views.

Opening Times Winter (November - February before half term week)

Weekdays (Tuesday-Friday) 10.00am to 4.00pm. Last admission is at 3.00pm  

Weekends 11.00am to 4.00pm.  Last admission is at 3.30pm





Children (5-16)


Children 4 years and under


1. Apart from being an interactive science centre what else is Catalyst?[1 mark]

2. Give two objectives of the centre.[1 mark]

3. What two activities you can do in the lab.[1 mark]

4. When does the whole family get to visit Catalyst?[1 mark]

5. What makes Alchemy Theatre unique? Give two details.[1 mark]

6. Apart from enjoying a tasty meal, what else can you do at Elements Café?[1 mark]

7. When is the last admission to the centre on a Sunday?[1 mark]

8. What is the entry fee for a 17 year old to the centre?[1 mark]

Answer Key

1.      Museum – 1 mark

2.      (i) make science exciting

(ii) Accessible to people of all ages

(iii) inform about science based industries

(iv) role of science in our lives   (any 2) – 1 mark

3.      Spies and Codes and Catalyst Crime Scene Mystery (both needed) – 1 mark

4.      In school holidays – 1 mark

5.      Interactive shows / 3D / individual voting (any 2) – 1 mark

6.      Admire the riverside view – 1 mark

7.      3.30 pm – 1 mark

8.      £4.95 (Don’t give mark if pound symbol not present) – 1 mark


Passage 6 - Added 31/01/2011

Read the following information sheet about trout and answer the questions that follow.


Trout is the name that's shared by several fish species. Trout are members of the salmon family. There are several species of trout, including brown, brook, rainbow, cutthroat and steelhead. There are also some species of sea trout. These species feed on insects, insect larvae, crustaceans and smaller fish. Trout are native to Asia, Europe and North America. During the 19th century, they were introduced to Australia and New Zealand by enthusiastic anglers.

Trout can be found in easily recognizable narrow areas in cool lakes, rivers and streams where fast, rapidly moving water meets slow, and where deep water meets shallow. They can also be found where rocks and rock shelves offer tranquil relief from the current. Rainbow trout feed in faster water that runs approximately six feet per second. Other species of trout feed in slower waters where water runs approximately one foot per second.

There are a wide variety of both live and artificial baits that will get you a good sized trout. Cured salmon eggs, earthworms, marshmallows, insects, insect larvae, kernel corn, egg sacs, crayfish, artificial and live minnows, spinners, spoons, Mepps and wet and dry flies are all great when fishing for trout.


If you are fishing a stream where brook, brown cutthroat and rainbow are all found, you will find rainbow at the head of the pool and the other species in the middle and at the tail of the pool.

Trout like to rest where fast water meets slow and adjacent to the main current. Find the main current by watching bubbles and debris that moves through the pool or run. Look to the head of the pool and find where the faster water spills into it. Trace its path through the pool to find the places where trout lurk, waiting for prey. When a tree falls into the water at a right angle to the current and the trunk is still rooted in the bank, anglers call it a sweeper. The best places to fish are just outside of the branches, in front of the crotch where the sweeper meets the bank.

If you need advice on trout fishing or help to choose your trout fishing equipment, ask a family member, a friend or a staff member of the local bait and tackle store. Experienced anglers can give you tips that will make your trout fishing experience a positive one. You may also like to visit www.fishingfacts.info .


1. Name two things that make up the diet of the trout. [1]

2. When and by whom was the trout introduced to Australia and New Zealand?[1]

3. Where does the trout hide when they need shelter from the current?[1]

4. What are spinners used for?[1]

5. Where would you find a rainbow trout?[1]

6. When is a fallen tree called a 'sweeper'?[2]

7. Who can give you the best advice if you want your fishing experience to be a positive one?[1]


Answer Key

1. Insects, insect larvae, crustaceans and smaller fish. (any 2 for 1 mark)

2. 19th century by enthusiastic anglers (1 mark)

3. rocks / rock shelves  (1 mark)

4. as bait (1 mark)

5. head of the pool  (1 mark)

6. (i) When a tree falls into the water at a right angle to the current – 1 mark

    (ii) the trunk is still rooted in the bank – 1 mark

7. Experienced anglers   - (1 mark)



Passage 5 - Added 31/01/2011

Read the following information sheet about a resort that has installed the largest solar power plant in the Maldives and answer the questions that follow.


Soneva Fushi, Six Senses’ flagship resort, has installed a 70kW solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant system that has achieved eight months of successful operation. It is the largest renewable energy plant currently operating in the Maldives, a country that has brought international attention to the issue of global warming and rising sea levels.


Zero carbon commitment

“This is a significant first step in achieving our commitment of a net zero carbon footprint for Soneva Fushi by 2012 as well as supporting the carbon reduction goals of the Maldives government,” said Sonu Shivdasani, CEO and Chairman of Six Senses. “We are hoping that our example will lead other resorts in the Maldives and other island grids around the world to also pursue solar PV as a low cost clean energy alternative.”


Made in Germany, built by Maldivians

The ‘grid parity’ system, the first in the region to use best of breed thin film PV panels, was fabricated in easy-to-assemble kit form by Beck Electric of Germany. The entire system, including tools required for assembly, was shipped to the Maldives in a 40 foot container and installed in two weeks by a team of 10 local workers, none of whom had worked with glass or solar panels before.  The panels have been discreetly assembled in the middle of the island’s jungle and are visible only when guests are given guided tours of the resort’s impressive recycling, waste to wealth ‘Eco Centro’.


A blueprint for the future

This innovative kit-based approach removed the dependence on experienced overseas contractors whilst providing islanders with renewable energy expertise.  This approach provides a blueprint for smaller, poorer communities throughout the world to generate much-needed clean energy at a cost below diesel generated electricity.


Dr. Lounette Dyer, who leads the Six Senses renewable energy efforts, said, “This project proves that solar PV doesn’t just make good environmental sense, it also makes good economic sense. Solar PV is no longer only a luxury of rich nations with high subsidies. It is now a necessity for poor developing countries that require energy to advance and are tied to global oil prices.”


Plans to quadruple the system

Following a successful trial period the company now plans to quadruple the size of the system in 2010 to provide almost half the resort’s electricity.


Information on Six Senses renewable energy programs is available by contacting Fazla Jaleel on  


More information about Soneva Fushi & Six Senses Resorts and Spas is available at



1. Give one feature of the power plant installed at Sonevafushi.[1]

2. What problems has the Maldives brought to the world’s notice?[1]

3. What claim does the CEO of the resort make to achieve?[1]

4. How long does it take to put together the kit? [1]

5. Why are the panels visible only when tourists are given a guided tour? [1]

6. Give one reason why the kit is innovative.[1]

7. Why is Solar PV, according to Dr. Lounette Dyer, important for developing countries?[1]

8. Who should you contact if your school has decided to install the new Solar PV and requires information?[1]

Answer Key

1.      It is the largest renewable energy plant currently operating in the Maldives / it has achieved 8 months of successful operation    (any 1)  - 1 mark

2.      Issue of global warming / rising sea levels   - (no marks if underlined words are not there) 1 mark

3.      (That it’s a )significant first step in achieving (our commitment of )a net zero carbon footprint for Soneva Fushi by 2012 – 1 mark

4.      2 weeks – 1 mark

5.      Because it’s  in the middle of the island’s jungle – 1 mark

6.      removes the dependence on experienced overseas contractors – 1 mark

7.      good environmental sense / good economic sense (any 1) – 1 mark

8.      Fazla Jaleel on pamd-maldives@sixsenses.com – 1 mark


Passage 4

Read the following advertisement for Dinosaur Farm Museum and then answer the questions.

The Isle of Wight, off the south coast of England, is the best place in Europe for discovering dinosaur bones. Dinosaur Farm Museum was established in 1993, after Europe’s most complete Brachiosaurid dinosaur was found here in 1992. Since then, the museum has introduced the study of old bones (paleontology) to many more people.


Visitors can enjoy our displays, or watch us cleaning dinosaur bones and other fossils found on the island’s beaches. We are proud of our family-friendly atmosphere and knowledgeable staff.

The museum has a variety of different fossils, many of them never displayed to the public before. As more are discovered all the time, you can be sure of seeing something new each time you visit.

We have a free Fossil Identification Service, so you can bring in any fossils you have and find out what they are. In addition, we have a reasonably-priced Museum Shop, where you can buy a souvenir of your visit. You could also bring a picnic and relax in our special picnic area.


Fossil hunts are organized from the museum and run all year round. Groups of up to 25 are guided on a local beach where they can search for fossils. All these hunts are fully licensed and insured, and guides can help to identify any fossils found and point out things of interest. Due to the popularity of these hunts, all trips must be booked by a personal visit to Dinosaur Farm Museum.


The BBC programme ‘live from Dinosaur Island’ was filmed along the coast here, and Dinosaur Farm Museum was the base for the television crew.


Visit us at Military Road, near Brighstone, Isle of Wight PO30 4PG or check out our website to learn in detail how we dig for dinosaurs. You can also read about the many different kinds of dinosaurs which lived in this area, which was connected to Europe 120 million years ago at http://www.isleof/wight.com  


1. When did the Dinosaur farm open ?  - 1 mark

2. What is remarkable about the Brachiosaurid dinosaur found on the Isle of Wight ?  - 1 mark

3. What activity can visitors observe to give them a better understanding of old bones ? - 1 mark

4. Why are parents with young children likely to find their visit enjoyable and relaxing? - 1 mark

5. Why are there always new things to see at the museum? - 1 mark

6. Where do fossil hunts take place?  - 1 mark

7. How can you book a fossil hunt ?  - 1 mark

8. Name two things that visitors to the website can read about. - 1 mark

Passage 3


Read the following article about hibernation, and then answer the questions that follow.

Hibernation is one of the main adaptations that allow certain northern animals to survive long, cold winters. Hibernation is like a very deep sleep that allows animals to save their energy when there is little or no food available. The body functions of ‘true hibernators’ go through several changes while they are hibernating. Body temperature drops, and the heart rate slows. For example, a hibernating woodchuck’s body temperature drops by more than 30 degrees Celsius, and its heart rate slows from 80 to 4 beats per minute! Other true hibernators include the jumping mouse, little brown bat, eastern chipmunk, and several ground squirrels.

Other animals, such as the skunk and raccoon, are not considered true hibernators, as they wake up in the winter to feed, and their body functions do not change as much. Since they only sleep for a little bit at a time, the term dormancy or ‘light sleeping’ is used to describe their behavior. The largest animals to hibernate are bears. Their heart rate may slow down from a usual 40 –50 beats per minute to 8-12 beats per minute, but their body temperature changes very little, so they are able to wake up quickly.

Hibernating animals have a special substance in the blood called hibernation inducement trigger, or HIT. This substance becomes active in the fall, when the days become cooler and shorter. When HIT becomes active, the animals start preparing for winter. Some animals store food so that they can eat when they wake up, and some animals eat a lot in late summer and fall to add excess fat to their bodies. This fat keeps them warmer and acts as a source of energy while they are sleeping. Some animals also make changes to the places where they will sleep (dens). They add leaves and grasses to keep them warm.

1.      What is hibernation? [1]

2.      What changes occur when an animal is hibernating? [1]

3.      Give two examples of ‘true hibernators’. [1]

4.      Why are raccoons and skunks not ‘true hibernators’? [1]

5.      What does HIT stand for? [1]

6.      When does HIT become active?   [1]


Passage 2


Read the following information leaflet about New Zealand and answer the questions that follow.


New Zealand is a country of rare seismic beauty: glacial mountains, fast flowing rivers, deep clear lakes, hissing geysers and boiling mud. There are also abundant native forests, long deserted beaches and a variety of fauna, such as the kiwi.


Any number of vigourous outdoor activities – tramping(hiking), skiing, rafting and of course bungy jumping – await the adventurous. You can swim with dolphins, play with newborn lambs, whale-watch or fish for fattened trout in pristine streams and rivers.


When to go

The weather is never so miserable that there’s no point in going to New Zealand: there are things to see and do all year round. The warmer months(November to April) are busiest, especially during the school holidays from December 20 to the end of January. Ski resort towns are obviously busier during the winter months. If you’re traveling during peak periods (especially the Christmas season) it’s best to book ahead, as much of the accommodation and transport fills up. It’s probably more pleasant to visit either before or after this hectic period, when the weather is still warm and there aren’t as many other travelers around.


Carry-on baggage requirements

As of March 31, 2007 all passengers flying to and from Australia on international flights will only be permitted to carry small quantities of liquids, gels or aerosols in their cabin or carry-on luggage. Small containers of 100mls (3.5 fl oz) are permitted and must be sealed in a transparent plastic bag. Details of the new security measures can be found at the Department of Transport website www.newzealand/deptoftransport.com .


1. State any two geographical features of New Zealand?[1]

2. Give any four outdoor activities you can enjoy in New Zealand?[1]

3. With whom can you swim in New Zealand?[1]

4. What are the warmer months of New Zealand?[1]

5. When are the sky resort towns busy?[1]

6. What can be carried as cabin luggage in International flights?[1]

7. What precaution should be taken when we carry small containers? [1]

8. Where can you find details of the new security measures?[1]



Passage 1

The E-Scoot Rechargeable Battery-Operated Electric Scooter


ONLY £79.95 inc. p&p for beating traffic or just having fun!

This new, ultra-lightweight (just 7.35 kg), folding electric scooter can be great fun for all family (minimum recommended age 10 years) – and you don’t need a license to use it.


Its rechargeable on-board batteries built in under the floor will provide power to the engine up to a maximum distance of 15 kilometres and at a maximum speed of 12 km/h. Each full charge of the batteries takes approximately 4-5 hours using the AC/DC charger provided.


The E-Scoot incorporates a foot safety cut-off switch as well as handlebar brakes. There’s even a built-in stand to avoid having to lean it up against something when not in use.


E-Scoot is available in a choice of three colours (blue, red and yellow), requires virtually no maintenance, can be used without battery power if and when required, and is available at only £79.95 each including postage and packing.


1. How much extra do you need to pay for postage and packing?   [1]

2. What can the scooter be used for?[1]

3. Who should not use the scooter?[1]

4. Where are the batteries located?[1]

5. How far can you travel on the scooter?[1]

6. How long do you need to wait for the batteries to recharge?[1]

7. In what two ways can the scooter be stopped? [1]

8. What can you do if the battery runs out of power?[1]


Source: English as a Second language - Peter Lucantoni