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A PASSAGE AND HOW TO ANSWER IT

Pexels Yogendra Singh 731510

What is efficient reading? Basically, it involves the ability to read through a passage politely, 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 issue rather too simply. The ability to read through passage at a good note can be attained only after a mastery of the grammatical structures of the language.

Without a sound mastery of words and how they function under various situations and understanding 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 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, 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 others distractions.

Questions

  • According to the passage, what is efficient reading?
  • Sate 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.
  • immaturity
  • sound
  • generated
  • perspective
  • handsome

(WAEC June, 1995)

Comments and Model Answers to the Questions Above

  1. 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 the question (a) but this is a model answer.
  • Efficient reading is the ability to read and understand a passage fairly/quite quickly.
  1. The answers to question (b) are located in both 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 grammatical structures of the language.
  • The reader should master the function of words and form of the sentences.
  1. 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.

  1. If you identify and analyse 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 for the expression are as follows:

  • Noun phrase
  • Subject of the verb ‘is’
  1. The expression failure would ever dog one’s foot steps in the last sentence of the second paragraph are subjected to two figurative expressions. The model answer is:
  • Metaphor or Personification
  1. The answers to question (f) expect you to replace them with another 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.

 

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