English Reading Exercises for A1 – Unusual cities

1. Match the continents with 1-7 on the map and the compass points with a-d on the diagram.

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east

north

south

west

Africa

Antarctica

Asia

Australia

Europe

North America

South America

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Continents1 North America   2 Europe   3 Asia   4 Africa   5 South America   6 Antarctica   7 Australia

Compasspointsa north   b east   c south   d west

2. Read the texts below (A-C). Which two cities are in the same continent? Which continent are they in?

________. and ________. are in ________.

EXTREME CITIES

ANorilsk

Norilsk is in Russia and is further north than any other large city in the world. It is a very cold place, often -30°C in winter. You can’t get to Norilsk by car or bus because there aren’t any roads. You have to fly or, in summer, arrive by boat. (In winter, the sea turns to ice.) The city has a population of around 180,000. A lot of these people work for Norilsk Nickel, one of the biggest metal companies in the world. The factories there cause a lot of pollution. In fact, the average life of an inhabitant of Norilsk is ten years shorter than other Russians.

BPunta Arenas

Punta Arenas is in the south of Chile, in South America. It is the furthest south of any large city in the world. It is near the Antarctic circle, but because of the ocean, the winters are not very cold (usually above 0°C). The population of Punta Arenas is around 110,000. The city has a main square with large, attractive buildings. There are also interesting museums. And Punta Arenas is a good place to start a walking holiday, because it is on the edge of Patagonia, a region with amazing scenery. You can explore mountains and beaches – and see penguins too!

CEl Alto

El Alto is the second largest city in Bolivia, a country in South America. It is also the highest large city in the world, with an altitude of 4,150 metres above sea level. It is near the capital, La Paz, but is bigger than the capital, with a population of about a million people. El Alto is not an easy place to live. There is a lot of traffic and the climate is cold: around -3°C in winter and only around 7°C in summer. And there are often problems with the water supply. The city’s main attraction is a large open-air market. Tourists sometimes come to El Alto to visit the market, but they have to be careful – there is a lot of crime in this region.

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Punta Arenas and El Alto are in South America.

3. Match the texts (A-C) with the pictures (1-3) below.

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1 C   2 A   3 B

Reading Strategy

When you do a matching task, read all the texts first to get a sense of the overall meaning. Then, go through the questions one by one. Decide which text you think contains the answer and look for it carefully. If you can’t find it, look in the other texts.

4. Read the Reading Strategy. Then match each question (1-7) with one of the texts (A-C).

Which text is about a city which ___

has around a million inhabitants?

does not have clean air?

does not have cold winters?

is not very safe for visitors?

is not good for the health of its inhabitants?

is near to some very beautiful scenery?

is very, very cold in winter?

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1 C   2 A   3 B   4 C   5 A   6 B   7 A

Extra exercises

Strategy

Words from the text are sometimes repeated in the options. This doesn’t mean that the option is correct. To choose the correct option, find a sentence in the text which has the same meaning as the option, not the same words.

1. Read the Strategy. Then read the paragraph and the question below. Which words from the options can you find in the text? Why are these options wrong?

New Yorkers love going to Central Park, especially to do sport. There are tennis and volleyball courts and two large ice skating rinks. In the summer, one changes into a children’s amusement park and the other into a swimming pool. From January to December, Park Drive is often full of people walking, running or riding their bikes.

Which sport can you do all year round in Central Park?

A ice skating     

B cycling     

C swimming     

D ice hockey

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ice skating, swimming

The correct answer is B . A and D are incorrect because the ice rink changes into a swimming pool in the summer.

2. Read the texts and answer the questions. Choose the correct answer, A, B, C or D.

Visit to a museum

The Natural History Museum in London is one of the oldest museums in the world. Start your visit in the beautifully decorated Central Hall, with its enormous model dinosaur. Then, continue through the dinosaur gallery and the mammal exhibitions of the Blue Zone. Next, see thousands of birds and insects in the Green Zone and after that, learn about the history of the Earth in the Red Zone. Finally, leave the museum through the wildlife garden of the Orange Zone.

1 The text gives readers

A a history of a museum

B suggestions for a tour around a museum

C a description of a dinosaur.

D an explanation about an exhibit in a museum.

The many attractions of Times Square

Times Square is favourite place in New York. It’s one of the most famous landmarks in New York. It’s near Broadway, where all the theatres are, and there are lots of lights. There are always a lot of people. Around 330,000 people cross the square every day, including those who live or work nearby. You have to be careful when you’re walking because they can get very angry if you stop suddenly in front of them!

2 What does the writer advise people NOT to do in Times Square?

A Visit the landmarks.

Cross the square.

Go to the theatre.

D Stop walking.

Tourist information

There are various ways of getting to central London from Heathrow Airport. The quickest is the Heathrow Express, which takes 15-20 minutes to get to Paddington Station. At £21.50 each way, this is also the most expensive. Heathrow Connect runs cheaper trains, which only take ten minutes longer. The fare is £10.10 per journey. The cheapest way to get to the city centre is by underground. The journey to Piccadilly Circus costs only £5.70, but it takes nearly an hour.

3 The author of the text

A describes Heathrow Airport

B tells you the best way to get to London.

C gives you some different travel options.

D explains how to use the London Underground.

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1 B   2 D   3 C