KA VOICECAST for Friday, August 1 (2014)

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KA News

Listening Comprehension Passages

Questions and Answers

 

 

 

KA NEWS for Friday, August 1

In the fall of 2015, KAIS International School and Kikokushijo Academy will be opening new facilities in Toritsu Daigaku offering a daytime international school for students grade 1-8 that will be called KAIS Elementary and Middle School (KAIS EMS). As the new building will not be available until 2015, KAIS will on a limited basis offer its grades 3-6 program at Kikokushijo Academy’s facilities in Jiyugaoka, beginning September of 2014. The facilities are adequate, with a fine library, functional classrooms, and an overall warm atmosphere. The program will be high-quality and individualized,  utilizing a combination of traditional, proven teaching methods, including Kikokushijo Academy’s highly successful English program, as well as progressive and holistic educational practices focused on encouraging creativity, curiosity, self-confidence, and a general positive outlook on life. Small group homework tutoring for all subjects, including Japanese language, will be a key feature of the school, as will dynamic theme-based modules that synthesize literature, history, music, art, and other disciplines.

KA’s famed essay-writing course for students in grade 4 of elementary school and above is now available as a correspondence course for students who live abroad or outside of the Kanto area. This is a serious, results-oriented program for students who wish to pass essay exams for junior high, senior high, university or the EIKEN, TOEFL, or SAT exams. Distance Learning students will write and revise weekly essays, complete grammar assignments, and build vocabulary to raise the register and effectiveness of their writing. Each student will correspond with a Personal Writing Tutor, who will guide the student through the course by email.

Students wishing to participate in the Distance Learning course must have:

• Access to the internet

• A computer with Microsoft Word and Adobe Reader

• A strong desire to improve their writing.

For more information about this exciting new program, please contact Kikokushijo Academy or follow the link.

The KA Kids International Preschool in Tama Plaza is accepting applications for children aged 3-6 for the 2014/2015 academic year. Children who sign up for the KAIP program will be introduced to the fast-paced, advanced reading and writing program with teachers trained in the Read Write Inc. Phonics method, currently exclusive to Kikokushijo Academy. For general information and answers to frequently asked questions, please follow the link to the KA Kids International Preschool Page.

Please note that all KA schools will be closed for one week from Monday, August 25 through Monday, September 1st.  Classes will resume on Tuesday, September 2.

 

 

LISTEN UP! 

The first passage is called Bees in the Trees.  It goes without saying that you should listen to the passage carefully without any distractions, and if you have a pen or pencil handy, you might want to jot down some brief notes or key information and detail.   You can always listen through once, and go back to listen to the passage a second time.

 

The Bees in the Trees

Have you ever seen an apple tree in bloom?  If you have, you know that the blooms are a delicate, pale pink that slowly fade to white.  They make the air smell as sweet as honey.  There is a good reason for this.  Apple trees need to attract bees, and a sweet odor is just the thing to do it.

Bees can be picky.  They do not like to fly when it is below 60 degrees outside.  They also do not like being out in weather that is windy or rainy.  Apple farmers know that their apples depend on bees, so many purchase bees to release into their orchards every spring.   They usually release about one hive of bees per acre of orchard.

When the weather is good, the bees get to work.   The bee collects the nectar from the apple tree’s flow.  As it does this, its wings brush against the pollen.  When the bee flies to another flower to gather more nectar, it pollinates that flower.  A bee might pollinate one type of apple blossom with the pollen from another type of apple tree.  This means that a seed from a Red Delicious apple might not produce a Red Delicious tree.

How do owners of apple orchards get the types of trees they want?  To produce a certain type of tree, apple farmers use a process called grafting.  They take a twig, or scion from the parent tree and attach it to a small, young tree.  The two will grow together as a single plant.  The scion contains buds that will produce new twigs and leaves that are the same type as the parent tree.  Because it is so easy to create new varieties of apples, nearly 7,500 different types exist around the world.

Growing apples was a popular hobby with some of the most famous Americans. Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were both apple growers.  They even liked to trade wood from their apple trees so they could grow new varieties.

The next time you bite into a sweet, crisp apple, think about its long history in America and the work of the bees and the apple farmers who helped it along.

 Passage ONE : The Bees In the Trees

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Listening Comprehension Questions:

1. Why do apple farmers purchase bees?

2. How do bees carry pollen from one flower to another?

3.  What is the name of the process apple farmers use to produce the type of apple tree they want?

4.  True or False.  Bees do not like to be out in bad weather.

5.  True or False.  A Red Delicious apple seed will always produce a Red Delicious tree.

ANSWERS

1.  Why do apple farmers purchase bees?   Apple farmers know that their apples depend on bees, so many purchase bees to release into their orchards every spring.   Bees help pollinate the  trees.

2. How do bees carry pollen from one flower to another? The bee collects the nectar from the apple tree’s flow.  As it does this, its wings brush against the pollen.  When the bee flies to another flower to gather more nectar, it pollinates that flower.

3. What is the name of the process apple farmers use to produce the type of apple tree they want? To produce a certain type of tree, apple farmers use a process called grafting.

4. True or False.  Bees do not like to be out in bad weather.  True. They do not like to fly when it is below 60 degrees outside.  They also do not like being out in weather that is windy or rainy.

5. True or False.  A Red Delicious apple seed will always produce a Red Delicious tree. False.  A bee might pollinate one type of apple blossom with the pollen from another type of apple tree.  This means that a seed from a Red Delicious apple might not produce a Red Delicious tree.

 

The second passage is called Pocahontas.  As this is a listening comprehension exercise, try not to look at the text on the website unless absolutely necessary.  You are encouraged to take notes of key points and details as you will be asked a few questions after the passage.

 

Pocahontas

Of the millions of Native Americans who have ever lived in North America, most people could probably name only three:  Sacajawea, who guided explorers Lewis and Clark on their expedition, Sitting Bull, who destroyed General Custer and his troops, and a young girl called Pocahontas.

Pocahontas’s story begins with the foundation of the British colony at Jamestown, Virginia in 1607.  This was a vulnerable settlement 60 miles up river in mosquito-infested territory, surrounded by hostile Indians under their chief Powhatan.  Within three months, 46 colonists, nearly half the total, had died of disease.  The rest faced starvation as they were too weak to farm the land, and unfamiliar with the native fruits and berries that could save them.  In desperation, the ruling council turned to the strongest man among them, John Smith, and begged him to undertake the dangerous task of seeking help and supplies from the Indians.

Smith, an experienced mercenary soldier, travelled 50 miles up the James River before being captured by Powhatan’s warriors. He might have been killed there and then, but he resourcefully played for time by showing the Indians his ‘magic’ compass with its needle moving apparently unaided.  Eventually he was taken to Powhatan’s camp, where the chief and his elders debated his fate.  The sentence was death.

Smith was stretched out on the ground, where he was to be clubbed to death.  But just as the first blow was about to be struck, the chief’s 12-year-old daughter, Pocahontas, rushed forward and flung herself protectively across Smith’s body, begging for his life.  Smith was freed, adopted by the tribe, given Indian names and returned to Jamestown with provisions.

Jamestown soon needed saving again.   Although some 900 settlers had made the voyage in the first two years, there were only 100 left by 1610.  However, in 1612 John Rolfe introduced tobacco and founded the basis of further prosperity.  Two years later, with the agreement of her father, Rolfe married Pocahontas and in 1616 he took her to England.  There she was given celebrity status as ‘Lady Rebecca, alias Pocahontas.’  She was taught by John Rolfe, her husband, and his friends, to speak English and learn English customs and manners.  The marriage brought about a peace treaty with the Native Americans that heralded a period of growth and stability for the Jamestown settlement.  Once again, Pocahontas had played her part in saving the colony.

But, at the age of 21, just as her husband was about to return to Jamestown with her, she contracted smallpox and died.  Six years later, the first of a series of devastating wars between the Native Americans and settlers broke out.  These were to destroy the Powhatan Indians and establish the military supremacy of the English in Virginia.

Passage TWO:  Pocahontas

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Listening Comprehension Questions:

 1. In which U.S. state did the British colonize Jamestown in 1607?

 2. What happened to nearly half of the colonists within three months of their arrival in Jamestown?

 3. Why did Powhatan’s warriors believe that John Smith’s compass was ‘magic’?

 4. How did Pocahontas save Smith’s life?

 5. What important contributions did John Rolfe make to the community at Jamestown?

 

ANSWERS

1. In which U.S. state did the British colonize Jamestown in 1607?   Virginia.

2. What happened to nearly half of the colonists within three months of their arrival in Jamestown? Within three months, 46 colonists, nearly half the total, had died of disease.

3. Why did Powhatan’s warriors believe that John Smith’s compass was ‘magic’?  Smith resourcefully played for time by showing the Indians his ‘magic’ compass with its needle moving apparently unaided.

4. How did Pocahontas save Smith’s life? Pocahontas, rushed forward and flung herself protectively across Smith’s body, begging for his life.

5. What important contributions did John Rolfe make to the community at Jamestown?  John Rolfe introduced tobacco and founded the basis of further prosperity.  His marriage to Pocahontas also improved relations between the indigenous peoples and the colonists.

 

Listening comprehension is key to your English studies and for this reason, the new season of KA Wordcast, which begins on September 2, will focus on improving your listening and comprehension skills.  KA Wordcast:  Listen Up!  should help those of you preparing for entrance and other exams with challenging listening passages, questions, and key vocabulary words.  Listen Up! will air every Tuesday.

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