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LESSON THIRTY-ONE HERE!
Entrance exam season is right around the corner, and we’re here to make sure you are 100 percent ready for it. For the next several weeks, we will be providing you with additional listening material that you can use to practice and improve your aural comprehension skills.
Each week, you will listen to a short passage on a different topic—one that is interesting and useful in its own right, but one that is also the type of topic test-makers love to include on their exams. Then, after listening to the passage, you will answer ten comprehension questions. Before we listen to today’s passage, Saving the Rhinos, here are a few tips:
It goes without saying that you should always listen to the passage carefully. Give it your undivided attention. That means: no outside distractions. (A passage-only track is available on the KA Wordcast website so you can listen to the passage a second or third time.)
You can make brief notes of key points and details, but don’t let your note taking distract you from your listening.
Key vocabulary words are explained in the bonus track. Each key word is clearly defined and accompanied by common synonyms and antonyms as well as sample sentences that show you how the word is used, and how to use it. What better way to augment your active vocabulary!
The comprehension questions “test” three general areas: FACTUAL CONTENT, LOGICAL INFERENCE, and PERSONAL JUDGMENT. (These are explained on the website and are available to download.) The questions come in three different types or formats: MULTIPLE CHOICE, TRUE OR FALSE, and SHORT ANSWER. The question format will vary, so be sure to listen to the instructions carefully before you answer the questions.
PDF DOWNLOAD: KA WORDCAST Listen Up! LESSON THIRTY-ONE Save the Rhinos
Saving the Rhinos
Listen to Listen Up! Lesson Thirty-One PASSAGE ONLY track:
In February 2016, a baby rhinoceros named Lofo was rushed by helicopter to an animal rescue center in Mpumalanga, South Africa. Lofo and his mother had been grazing in Kruger National Park when ivory poachers sneaked up on and viciously attacked them. The poachers killed the mother and sawed off her horn, but the eight-month-old calf managed to escape. Five days later, park rangers found him roaming alone in the bush.
When Lofo reached the Care for Wild Africa rhino orphanage, he was dehydrated, starving, and extremely stressed. He also had a stab wound in his leg and deep cuts on his back from the machete that the poachers had used to try to sever his spine. But thanks to the vets and experts who cared for him, Lofo—so named because he was LOst then FOund—has made a miraculous recovery.
Poaching is the illegal hunting of animals that is driving many of the world’s wild animals to the brink of extinction. African poachers hunt rhinos and elephants in particular for their horns, which they sell on the black market for huge profits. The ivory often goes to countries like China and Vietnam, where it is carved into ornaments and jewelry for the wealthy. Falsely believing that rhino horn possesses magical healing powers, some people also grind the horns into a powder to make medicines. Since the start of the poaching epidemic in 2008, South Africa has lost more than 5,000 rhinos, with more being killed every day. At this rate, rhinos may disappear altogether within our lifetime.
What impact would the disappearance of rhinos have on the world?
The loss of any species and any diversity is a tragedy in its own right, but rhinos’ loss would have other serious consequences. Rhinos are mega-herbivores whose grazing helps maintain Africa’s savanna grasslands, which play an essential role in maintaining the health of the environment. These extensive grasslands act as natural storage lockers for carbon dioxide, one of the greenhouse gases and a major contributor to global warming. As African countries become more industrialized, the continent’s CO2 emissions will increase, potentially speeding up climate change. But by helping to manage the proportion of CO2 in the atmosphere, Africa’s grasslands also help keep temperature rises under control. But they can’t do this if they aren’t thriving, and that’s where rhinos and their grazing come into play. Bluntly put, if rhinos were to be heinously poached into extinction, it would spell disaster for African savannas—and ultimately for the whole planet.
An organization called the Rhino Rescue Project is taking some pretty drastic, and somewhat controversial, action in an attempt to make rhino horns as undesirable to poachers as possible. By infusing a permanent pink dye directly into the horns of living rhinos, rangers can render the horns unusable for ornamental purposes. The dye, harmless to rhinos but toxic to humans when ingested, also shows up on airport scanners, even when the horns have been ground into a powder. So far, only about 100 rhinos have been injected with the dye. But the anti-poaching method has proven to be such a successful deterrent that it is now being implemented at several wildlife sanctuaries across Africa.
Today’s questions are of various types.
Listening comprehension questions fall into three main types or areas to be tested, as explained below:
The answer is specifically stated as a detail in the text.
If the text reads, “John Birks Gillespie was born in 1917 in Cheraw, South Carolina,” you might be asked where Gillespie was born or in which year was he born.
The answer may not be directly stated in the text, but can be understood or inferred from the details given. A direct hint may be given, from which you would have to work out the most logical answer (usually based on a MULTIPLE CHOICE or TRUE OR FALSE question).
For example, if the text describes a “hot and muggy afternoon,” you might be asked what season it is. If the text reads, “In 1872, an abandoned railroad track in the mountains of Pennsylvania became the first roller coaster ride in America,” you may be asked a question like:
“The railroad tracks …
were made of poor quality steel.
had not been used for a while.
were dug up and replaced with roller-coaster tracks.
were too damaged to use.
You must use the hints given in the passage to work out the most likely answer. In this case, the answer, based on “hot and muggy,” to the first question would be “summer,” and the answer to the second question would be B, with the hint being the word “abandoned.”
The answer is not directly stated in the text and you might have to read more deeply or “between the lines.”
You may be asked to describe a character’s feelings, reactions, or intentions. For example, if the question is, “How do you know Joanna felt sad on the last day of school?” you would have to find evidence in the descriptive language the author uses. Perhaps Joanna had tears on her cheeks, or she was walking with her head hanging low, or perhaps she had a frown on her face.
Listen to each question carefully and write or speak your answer. Feel free to pause the recording if you need a moment or two to think about the question.
LISTENING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS
1. Write a full-sentence answer to this question.
What happened while Lofo and his mother were grazing in Kruger National Park in February 2016?
2. Write a full-sentence answer to this question.
After the park rangers found Lofo in the bush, where he had been roaming alone for five days, where was he taken?
3. Choose the true statement.
a) Lofo had a stab wound in his leg and deep cuts on his back from the machete that the poachers had used to try to sever his spine.
b) Lofo had deep machete cuts in his legs, a stab wound on his back, and his horn had been sawn off.
4. Choose the best answer to complete this sentence.
The vets and experts who cared for the baby rhino gave him the name Lofo because_________________.
a) it is a traditional African name for “baby rhino”
b) he was LOvely and they were FOnd of him
c) he was LOst then FOund
d) it is the native African word for “fortunate”
5. Write a brief answer to this question in your own words.
How is “poaching” defined?
6. Choose the best answer to complete this sentence.
According to the passage, since the start of the poaching epidemic in 2008, South Africa has lost _______________________.
a) more than 90% of its rhinos and elephants to poachers
b) roughly 3,000 rhinos and countless elephants to brutal poachers
c) up to 5,000 rhinos a day to poachers
d) more than 5,000 rhinos, with more being killed every day
7. Decide if this sentence is true or false.
Rhinos are large plant-eating animals whose grazing helps maintain Africa’s savanna grasslands, which play an essential role in maintaining the health of not only the African but also the global environment.
8. Write a full-sentence answer to this question.
As African countries become more industrialized, what will happen to Africa’s CO2 emissions, and what will be a possible consequence?
9. Write a full-sentence answer to this question.
What drastic and somewhat controversial action has the Rhino Rescue Project taken in an attempt to make rhino horns as undesirable to poachers as possible?
10. Choose the true statement.
a) To date, the majority of rhinos living in wildlife sanctuaries across Africa have been injected with the pink dye, but the method has had only limited success as a means of deterring poaching.
b) So far, only about 100 rhinos have been injected with the pink dye, but the anti-poaching method has worked so well as a deterrent that several wildlife sanctuaries across Africa are now using it.
Now that you have completed today’s listening comprehension exercise, it’s time to check your answers and see how well you did. Answers to today’s listening comprehension questions will follow immediately after the closing jingle , so please stay tuned in.
Listen to the Listening Comprehension Questions and Answers HERE:
You may also download the lesson in PDF format to keep for your reference.
KA WORDCAST: Listen Up! LESSON THIRTY-ONE
KEY VOCABULARY WORDS
Be sure to listen to the Key Vocabulary bonus track. This will help you improve your understanding of the passage itself and give your vocabulary a big boost.
Lofo and his mother had been grazing in Kruger National Park when ivory poachers sneaked up on and VICIOUSLY attacked them.
VICIOUSLY is the adverb form of the adjective VICIOUS, which means deliberately violent and cruel. Brutal, ruthless, callous, savage, barbaric, and inhuman are some useful synonyms for VICIOUS.
Some of the most VICIOUS, ruthless members of the street gang were not even twelve years old.
Some of the boys on the other team were quite VICIOUS in the way they went after our team while trying to win the ball.
Be careful of Brandon’s dog, Diesel. It can be quite VICIOUS towards strangers.
In response to an attack on a young child by a pit-bull terrier, the U.K. government has passed strict laws to deal with VICIOUS pets and their owners.
When someone attacks or criticizes someone in a VICIOUS way, it means that he or she feels hatred or extreme anger towards that person. Malicious, spiteful, vindictive, and acrimonious are some possible synonyms for this usage.
After a humiliating eleven-game losing streak, the media launched a VICIOUS attack on the team’s manager, forcing him to resign.
The opposition has been widely criticized for its VICIOUS attacks on the prime minister’s social welfare policies.
When used figuratively, VICIOUS can also mean serious or dangerous.
I woke up this morning with a VICIOUS headache so I had to cancel my plans to see a movie with my friends.
A VICIOUS bout of pneumonia nearly took Barbara’s life.
VICIOUSLY is the adverb form for all of the above uses.
On the afternoon of October 9, 2012, gunmen VICIOUSLY shot future Nobel-Prize winner Malala Yousafzai in the face as she was boarding the bus on her way home from school.
A dog VICIOUSLY attacked a boy in my class while he was playing in the park yesterday after school.
The young Korean-Japanese singer was VICIOUSLY attacked by the media for speaking out against the government’s immigration policy.
Poaching is the illegal hunting of animals that is DRIVING many of the world’s wild animals to the brink of extinction.
In everyday speech, DRIVE is a verb that has all kinds of usages (“Drive a car,” “Drive a golf ball,” “Drive a nail”). In today’s listening passage, however, DRIVE means to influence or cause something abstract to happen or develop, as in:
Budget cuts for schools appear to be the main force that is DRIVING educational policy these days.
A much-needed change in the coaching staff has DRIVEN the usually last-place team to its surprising success this year.
Even my daughter, who studies economics at university, doesn’t really understand what DRIVES the fluctuations in the world’s currencies.
Despite having just turned ninety years old, Britain’s Queen is eager to tap into the youthful audience that DRIVES Twitter and other social-media sites.
DRIVE can also mean to force someone to do something. Compel is the nearest synonym.
Jamie’s ambition DROVE him to be the best student in the class, even though it also made him something of an outsider.
Natalie DROVE her staff extremely hard, but rewarded them with generous bonuses come Christmastime.
It was the high crime rate in the city that DROVE us to move to the suburbs.
More colloquially, DRIVE also means to make someone very angry, crazy, or frustrated, or to make him or her do something extreme or out of character.
In the movie, the young drummer is frequently DRIVEN to tears by his music teacher’s constant berating.
I truly believe that my daughter makes a concentrated effort to DRIVE her father and me crazy.
The young mother was DRIVEN to shoplifting by the desperate need to provide food for her children.
DRIVE also means to force someone or something to move in a particular direction.
During the summer vacation, I actually worked as a cowboy on a ranch helping to DRIVE cattle to market.
Police were called in to DRIVE the protesters off the steps of City Hall.
DRIVE is also used as a noun that means great ambition or desire, as in these sentences:
The author was possessed by the DRIVE to write “the great American novel.”
A teacher’s most important role is to instill the DRIVE to learn in his or her students.
DRIVE as a noun is also used to mean campaign, as in this sentence:
The company is sponsoring a blood DRIVE this month, so if you would like to donate blood, please get in contact with Pam Grier, the campaign organizer.
One idiomatic usage of DRIVE that you should be aware of is in the phrase “DRIVE AT,” which means to try to make a point while speaking or writing. Look at this sentence.
What are you DRIVING AT? I mean, what is the point you are really trying to make?
Bluntly put, if rhinos were to be HEINOUSLY poached into extinction, it would spell disaster for African savannas—and ultimately for the whole planet.
HEINOUSLY is the adverb for the adjective HEINOUS, which means morally bad or wicked. Atrocious, detestable, unspeakable, outrageous, shocking, unforgivable, and hideous are some synonyms for HEINOUS. Look at how HEINOUS is used as both an adjective and an adverb.
Last year, my aunt and uncle were the victims of a HEINOUS home invasion in which they were tied up and beaten to within an inch of their lives.
Do you believe that people who have experienced troubled childhoods are more likely to commit HEINOUS crimes than people who had happy childhoods?
The president promised the public that the perpetrators of the HEINOUS act of violence against innocent civilians would be brought to justice.
Being secretly jealous of her best friend Georgia, Alison started a HEINOUSLY vindictive rumor about her.
Over the past few years, many of the Middle East’s most treasured heritage sites have been HEINOUSLY razed to the ground.
By INFUSING a permanent pink dye directly into the horns of living rhinos, rangers can render the horns unusable for ornamental purposes.
INFUSE is a verb that means to slowly put a drug or other substance into a person’s (or animal’s) vein, tissue, or other parts of the body.
An IV, or drip, is used to slowly INFUSE nutrients and medication into the patient’s bloodstream.
One way to treat swimmer’s ear is by INFUSING your ear canal with warm olive oil for ten to fifteen minutes.
INFUSE also means to soak tea, herbs, and so on in a liquid to extract the flavor or healing properties. Steep, brew, and marinate are some synonyms for this usage.
Always allow your tea to INFUSE for at least five minutes for maximum flavor.
Boil the water, add the juice of one lemon, half a teaspoon each of turmeric and ginger, and simmer to allow it to INFUSE.
Most of the poultry you buy at the supermarket these days has been INFUSED with salted water.
INFUSE can also mean to fill or instill a particular quality in someone or something or to be filled with the quality.
INFUSED with enthusiasm, the school’s marching band boarded the bus and headed for the state band championships.
It is estimated that the upcoming royal wedding will INFUSE close to £250 million into the U.K.’s economy.
“It’s a Wonderful Life” is a classic American film from 1946 that will INFUSE anyone who sees it with the true holiday spirit.
I don’t really care for that singer’s music because her songs are INFUSED with such sadness and regret.
The dye, harmless to rhinos but toxic to humans when INGESTED, also shows up on airport scanners, even when the horns have been ground into a powder.
INGEST is a technical term that simply means to swallow food, drink, drugs, or other substances.
Whenever my doctor prescribes me a new medicine, I always Google it before I INGEST it.
More than a third of the fish and shrimp we INGEST today is harvested from farms.
INGESTING chocolate, even in small quantities, can be lethal to dogs.
According to the latest statistics, Americans INGEST more than fifty million aspirins a day.
It’s perfectly safe to use the tap water in Mexico to bathe or shower, but make sure you don’t INGEST it, as it can give you horrible stomach cramps.
INGEST is sometimes used figuratively to mean to absorb information, as in:
Instead of going to the beach with her friends, Hermione spent spring break INGESTING facts and figures for her graduation thesis.
Some people don’t mind music playing in the background while they are studying, but I have trouble INGESTING information when there’s any noise going on.
But the anti-poaching method has proven to be such a successful DETERRENT that it is now being implemented at several wildlife sanctuaries across Africa.
DETERRENT is a noun, based on the verb to DETER, which means to discourage people from doing something by instilling a feeling of doubt or fear into them, as in:
Unfortunately, none of the steps we’ve taken have effectively DETERRED bullying in the district’s schools.
Most supermarkets keep a security guard on site to DETER shoplifters.
People who oppose the death sentence insist that it does nothing to DETER violent crime.
To DETER online trolling, the U.K. government has made prison sentences for convicted trolls four times longer.
Once Ron decided to compete in the Iron Man competition, nothing could DETER him from reaching his optimum fitness level.
DETERRENT, therefore, is something that makes people less likely to do something bad or illegal because they have been DETERRED from doing it.
A week of after-school detention for skipping class should be a DETERRENT to would-be truants.
The parish council has installed an electronic speed monitor as a DETERRENT that discourages speeding.
In most affluent neighborhoods, residents keep a guard dog as a DETERRENT against home invasions.
Do you really think sanctions are an effective DERTERRENT against North Korea’s nuclear ambitions?