English Olympiad

Are you interested in learning English? Check yourself and do English Olympiad Year 10 Reading Test 4 to develop your reading skills.

Reading Comprehension Test for Year 10 Students

Dr Matthew Belmont, who teaches at Manchester University, gives a lecture on the problems associated with cities today. Read and choose the best option A, B or C.

British City in the 21st Century

Hello, I’m doctor Matthew Belmont and I lecture in urban studies at Manchester University. My specialist subject is The British City in the 21st Century and this is the title of my talk today.

I know that you have been discussing your own cities which you obviously know a great deal about. Cities like Beijing, Cairo and Rome are very different from Manchester and other British cities but as we move into the 21st century they face many of the same problems.

Many of these problems are caused directly or indirectly by the size of modern cities.

So, I will talk about this first and then go on to consider three specific topics: crime, the cost of living and environmental issues.

Cities have become much bigger over the last hundred years. One reason for this is that many young people find the urban lifestyle attractive and exciting and don’t want to live in the countryside. Also, because unemployment is rising many people cannot find jobs in smaller towns or villages. So they move to the cities to look for work.

The third reason is that because modern healthcare is so good people are living much longer than they did in the past. That means that the size of the population in general is increasing and many of these people, of course, live in cities.

When large numbers of people live very close together there is often more violent crime. Theft is unfortunately a major problem of the British cities today. The police advise people to be careful in urban areas, especially at night. Don’t walk home alone if you’ve been out in the evening.

Also, it is not a good idea to use your mobile phone whilst you are out in the street. In 2003 in Manchester alone almost 1,600 mobile phones were snatched from people in the street that compares to just over 1,200 in 2002.

Part of the reason for the increasing crime rates is the high cost of living in today’s cities. As we all know, cities are expensive places to live. Housing is usually very expensive as everyone wants to live near the theatres, cinemas and restaurants.

Because there is so much to do in the city people go out a lot and have to spend a lot of money on transport. Most people spend around £4 a day on bus or train fares.

Cities are often very dirty places and there are all kinds of environmental problems.

Many of these problems are caused by cars. As urban areas have got bigger more and more people want to bring their cars into city centres. This has led to worrying congestion levels as well as increased pollution.

Most British cities are very smelly places. The government is trying to find a solution to this problem and in London last year the mayor introduced a special tax, so people have to pay to bring their car into the city centre. This wasn’t very popular with drivers but it has cut down the number of cars in London

1.Dr Belmont studies life in …

A. countries.
B. villages
C. cities

2. According to Dr Belmont problems of the cities in the 21st century are caused by their…

A. expansion.
B. differences.
C. lifestyles.

3. Which was not mentioned by Dr Belmont as a specific topic of his talk

A. healthcare
B. pollution
C. crime

4. People move to the cities looking for…

A. work.
B. money.
C. better healthcare.

5. People live longer

A. in the cities
B. in the country
C. both in the cities and in the country.

6. According to Dr Belmont the crime rate may be explained by

A. unemployment
B. overpopulation
C. cost of living

7. The number of mobile phones snatched in Manchester in 2003 grew by ….. compared to 2002.

A. 400
B. 600
C. 900

8. According to Dr Belmont people have to spend on transport ….. every day.

A. £4
B. £14
C. £40

9. Dr Belmont’s talk implies that to improve the environmental situation people …

A. should pay special taxes.
B. shouldn’t bring their cars into city centres.
C. must use public transport.

10. In London last year

A. the number of cars increased.
B. people paid for bringing their car in the city.
C. the drivers were dissatisfied with the new tax.

You’ve done English Olympiad Year 10 Reading Test 4. What do you think of problems in big cities and how they can be solved?