jeudi 22 septembre 2016

Reading Comprehension #1 - Upper-Intermediate

Read the article and complete the gaps (1–5) with the sentences (A–F).

We recently asked our readers to tell us about their experiences growing up, whether as one of several siblings or as only children. (0) We were inundated with entries and will be publishing a selection over the next couple of weeks.Thank you all for sharing your childhood memories with us. 

Only is lonely – or is it?
bySally MacFarlane

I was brought up as an only child, the daughter of two intellectual, emotionally absent parents who believed that children should be seen and not heard. On the surface perhaps not the best start in life, but there were many advantages to this rather isolated upbringing.

(1) ___________________________________ They were both successful writers who worked long hours and then often had to travel abroad to attend conferences and give talks. As a consequence I was left in the capable hands of an endless stream of nannies. 

Once I started going to primary school, however, the focus of my world changed and I found that I enjoyed being challenged, learning new things every day. (2) ___________________________________ If I could show them the progress I was making, we had some point of contact. They weren’t really interested in my social development, more my academic skills.

At first I was shy and introverted, although I think I probably came across as rather arrogant. It’s just that I was not accustomed to spending so many hours every day in the company of others and I’d grown to depend on myself for my own entertainment.  I spent hours creating stories for all my imaginary friends to star in. (3) ___________________________________ How could you be lonely when you had all this?

Most of my friends had brothers and sisters and I could see that they sometimes felt sorry that I was often alone. I, on the other hand, felt sorry for them in a way as they had to compete with one another for attention and possessions. (4) ___________________________________

The years passed and I continued to do well at school. I passed all my exams and went on to university and strangely enough followed in my parents’ footsteps. (5) ___________________________________ It is now, as an adult with children of my own, I look back and wish I’d had brothers and sisters.


Complete the gaps (1–5) using these sentences (A–F). There is one extra sentence.

A   I quickly realised too that this was the way to engage my parents.
B   I at least did not have to do that.
C   There is, however, one big difference and that is my family life.
D   Even when my parents were around, they weren’t – if you know what I mean.
E   I had a room full of books as well and could happily spend all weekend in other worlds.
F   I don’t think I really appreciated what I had at the time.



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