Study S2 English English - Comprehension Skills - Point Identification and Paraphrasing - Geniebook

Comprehension Skills - Point Identification and Paraphrasing

In this chapter, we would be learning how to identify key points and paraphrase effectively. Let’s go through the topics to be covered in this chapter:


Text 3 Skills

  • In your own words questions (IYOW)
  • Point Identification
  • Paraphrasing Skills

Sample Text: 

  • Why are Finnish schools successful?

 

In your own words (IYOW)

When is paraphrasing necessary?

  1. When the question clearly mentions “in your own words”.
  2. When the question requires you to explain a quote.

Example: 

Explain why the writer refers to the Citarum River cleanup as an “insurmountable project”?

  1. Certain questions require you to paraphrase certain quotes while contextualising the paraphrased meaning.

Example:

"admiring nature does not require someone to go out of their way, nor does it require a grand escapade to Niagara Falls in Canada".

In your own words, suggest a reason for this statement.)

 

Point Identification

Similar to direct questions, IYOW questions can also be identified by the “how”, “what” and “why” interrogatives.

  1. Identify which paragraph the question is addressing.
  2. “How” questions require you to identify the means or methods used.
  3. “What” questions may require you to paraphrase certain noun phrases.
  4. “Why” questions require you to paraphrase reasons.

 

Let’s understand the above topics with the help of some examples:

 

Paraphrasing skills

 

Question 1:

While the nature of sport is competitive, these aspects are crucial to peace-building processes and are exemplified in findings from a Peace Players International programme. In the process of seeking sporting excellence and playing by the rules, teenagers cultivate positive traits and strive to become sportspeople worthy of emulation.

How does sport contribute to character-building for adolescents? Answer in your own words.

 

Answer: 

Paraphrased:

They build their character when they aim to perform to their best / want to be outstanding athletes/desire to obtain the best results, and observe the regulations/engage in fair play/do not cheat in the game.


 

Question 2:

In addition, many scholars associate the importing of modern sport into former colonies as an explicit strategy of conquest. For example, the early British settlers brought their traditional sports such as horse racing, shooting and hunting to propagate their culture in an attempt to diminish the local culture in colonies like Singapore.

Explain fully in your own words why modern sport is introduced into former colonies.

 

Answer:

Paraphrased:

The introduction of modern sport into former colonies is a direct way/means of asserting their victory/triumph in taking over the country, and undermining/diluting/weakening the native culture.


 

Question 3:

Para 2:

“I took Besart on that year as my private student,” Louhivuori said. When Besart was not studying science, geography and math, he was parked next to Louhivuori’s desk at the front of his class of 9-year-olds, cracking open books from a tall stack, slowly reading one, then another, then devouring them by the dozens. By the end of the year, the son of Kosovo war refugees had conquered his adopted country’s vowel-rich language and arrived at the realisation that he could, in fact, learn.

What does “devouring” suggest about Besart’s reading behaviour?

  1. It suggests Besart reads numerous books.
  2. It suggests that Besart has become an avid reader
  3. It suggests that Besart has grown very passionate towards reading.

Which option(s) is/are acceptable?

 

  1. I
  2. I & II
  3. II & III
  4. I, II & III

 

Answer:

(D) I, II & III

Explanation:

The correct answer is Option (D) i.e. I, II & III. “Devour” means to read a lot of books. So, in Statement I, “Besart reads numerous books”, in Statement II “Besart becomes an avid reader, and in Statement III “Besart has grown very passionate about reading.

So, all three tell us why the word “devouring” is used. The author intended to use the word “devouring” to show that he is reading numerous books.  


 

Question 4:

Para 2:

“I took Besart on that year as my private student,” Louhivuori said. When Besart was not studying science, geography and math, he was parked next to Louhivuori’s desk at the front of his class of 9-year-olds, cracking open books from a tall stack, slowly reading one, then another, then devouring them by the dozens. By the end of the year, the son of Kosovo war refugees had conquered his adopted country’s vowel-rich language and arrived at the realisation that he could, in fact, learn.

What is the writer’s tone when he says Besart had “conquered” Finland’s vowel-rich language?

  1. The tone is an approving one.
  2. The tone is one of praise.
  3. The tone is a concerning one.

Which option(s) is/are acceptable?

 

  1. I
  2. I & II
  3. II & III
  4. I, II & III

 

Answer: 

(B) I & II

Explanation:

The correct answer is Option (B) i.e. I & II.

We should not answer in a verb, always answer in an additive or a noun only. As the word “concerning” in Statement III is a verb and the words “approving” is an additive and “praise” is a noun so Option (B) is correct.


 

Question 5:

Para 3:

“Whatever it takes” is an attitude that drives not just Kirkkojarvi’s 30 teachers, but most of Finland’s 62,000 educators in 3,500 schools – professionals selected from the top 10 percent of the nation’s graduates to earn a required master’s degree in education. Many schools are small enough so that teachers know every student. If one method fails, teachers consult with colleagues to try something else.

When a method does not work, what do the teachers do? Answer in your own words.

  1. Teachers discuss with fellow educators and attempt another strategy.
  2. Teachers digress with fellow educators and endeavour another tactic.
  3. Teachers seek the opinions of fellow educators and experiment with another approach.

Which option(s) is/are acceptable?

 

  1. I & III
  2. I & II
  3. II & III
  4. III

 

Answer:

(A) I & III


 

Question 6:

Para 6:

Teachers in Finland spend fewer hours at school each day and spend less time in classrooms than American teachers. Teachers use the extra time to build curriculums and assess their students. Children spend far more time playing outside, even in the depths of winter. Homework is minimal. “We have no hurry,” said Louhivuori. “Children learn better when they are ready. Why stress them out?”

What are the reasons teachers give students little homework? Answer in your own words.

  1. Children study more fruitfully when they are more receptive to education
  2. Children study more effectively when they are less mature.
  3. Children study more productively when they are more prepared for learning.

Which option(s) is/are acceptable?

 

  1. I & III
  2. I & II
  3. II & III
  4. I, II & III

 

Answer:

(A) I & III

Explanation:

The correct answer is Option (A) i.e. I & III. “They learn better” can be rephrased to “more fruitfully”, “more effectively”, or “more productively”. 

But, “when they are ready” can be rephrased to “more receptive”, “more prepared” but “less mature” is incorrect.


 

Question 7:

Para 6:

Teachers in Finland spend fewer hours at school each day and spend less time in classrooms than American teachers. Teachers use the extra time to build curriculums and assess their students. Children spend far more time playing outside, even in the depths of winter. Homework is minimal. “We have no hurry,” said Louhivuori. “Children learn better when they are ready. Why stress them out?”

What are the reasons teachers give students little homework? Answer in your own words.

  1. Therefore, teachers do not wish to put unnecessary (academic) burdens on the children. 
  2. Therefore, teachers do not wish to put unnecessary (academic) strain on the children. 
  3. Therefore, teachers do not wish to put unnecessary (academic) pressure on the children.

Which option(s) is/are acceptable?

 

  1. I & III
  2. I & II
  3. II & III
  4. I, II & III

 

Answer:

(D) I, II & III

Explanation:

The correct answer is Option (D) i.e. I, II & III. The word “stress” can be rephrased to “burden”, “strain” or “pressure”, hence all options are correct.


 

Question 8:

Para 4:

The transformation of the Finns’ education system began some 40 years ago as the key propellent of the country’s economic recovery plan. Educators had little idea it was so 20 successful until 2000, when the first results from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), a standardised test given to 15-year-olds in more than 40 global venues, revealed Finnish youths to be the best young readers in the world. Three years later, they led in math. In the 2009 PISA scores released last year, the nation came in second in science, third in reading and sixth in math among nearly half a million students 25 worldwide.

Identify two examples from paragraph 4 that Nicrius can give to support his view.

  1. Based on the 2000 PISA scores, Finnish youths were named the best young readers in the world. 
  2. In the 2009 PISA scores, the nation came in second in science, third in reading and sixth in math globally. 
  3. The transformation of the Finns’ education system began some 40 years ago as the key propellent of the country’s economic recovery plan

Which option(s) is/are acceptable?

 

  1. I& III
  2. I & II
  3. II & III
  4. I, II & III

 

Answer:

(B) I & II


 

Question 9:

How would Austian explain his position with reference to Paragraph 5?

  1. The teachers are (all) university-trained, so they are qualified in terms of knowledge and skills to provide valued guidance to the students.
  2. The differences between weakest and strongest students in Finland are the smallest in the world
  3. The university-trained teachers are deployed across the villages and towns, so every Finnish child is not deprived of a quality education regardless of where they reside.

Which option(s) is/are acceptable?

 

  1. I & III
  2. I & II
  3. II & III
  4. I, II & III

 

Answer:

(A) I & III

Explanation:

Statement II is wrong because it focuses on the students rather than the teachers. Hence, the correct answer is Option (A) i.e. Statement I & III.


 

Question 10:

In 2020, Singapore was ranked as the world's fourth most expensive city according to the Economist Intelligence Unit, and that was the first time in seven years that Singapore did not occupy the top spot. Nonetheless, it comes as no surprise that the less well-off struggle to pay for daily necessities.

In your own words, which group of people faces financial difficulties when buying daily necessities?

  1. People who are not affluent.
  2. People who come from a lower income household.
  3. People who are poor

Which option(s) is/are acceptable?

 

  1. I & III
  2. I & II
  3. II & III
  4. I, II & III

 

Answer: 

(D) i.e. I, II & III.

Explanation:

The correct answer is Option (D) i.e. I, II & III. Being “less well off” means “not affluent”, “coming from a lower income household” and “being poor”.


 

Question 11:

A colony of penguins in Antarctica have suffered a massive decline in population growth over the years. On Petrels Island, scientists have discovered just two surviving chicks, while thousands of others lay scattered across the land. Close to the brink, these two yellow-eyed chicks were swiftly taken into recovery, where a group of conservation experts nursed them back to health. The recent phenomenon is attributed to two main factors – first, an unusual extent of ice surrounding the land and secondly, the ceaseless rainy weather.

In the excerpt, the writer describes the two remaining chicks as “close to the brink". Explain this expression in your own words

  1. The two remaining chicks were nearly dead. 
  2. The two remaining chicks were on the verge of dying.
  3. The two remaining chicks were injured.

Which option(s) is/are acceptable?

 

  1. I & III
  2. I & II
  3. II & III
  4. I, II & III

 

Answer:

(B) I & II

Explanation:

The correct answer is Option (B) i.e. I & II. “Close to the brink” means “nearly dead” or “on the verge of dying” but it does not mean “injured”.


 

Test Your Concepts

Answer the following questions based on the concepts we’ve covered in this article. If you get stuck, revisit the relevant section to revise the concepts.

 

Question 1:

Identify two examples from paragraph 4 that Nicrius can give to support his view.

Para 4: 

The transformation of the Finns’ education system began some 40 years ago as the key propellent of the country’s economic recovery plan. Educators had little idea it was so 20 successful until 2000, when the first results from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), a standardised test given to 15-year-olds in more than 40 global venues, revealed Finnish youths to be the best young readers in the world. Three years later, they led in maths. In the 2009 PISA scores released last year, the nation came in second in science, third in reading and sixth in maths among nearly half a million students 25 worldwide.


 

Question 2: 

How would Austian explain his position with reference to Paragraph 5?

Para 5: 

Every school has the same national goals and draws from the same pool of university-trained educators. The result is that a Finnish child has a good shot at getting the same quality education no matter whether he or she lives in a rural village or a university town. The differences between weakest and strongest students are the smallest in the world, according to a recent survey by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

 

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Comprehension Skills (Non-Narrative Text) IYOW Questions Editing And Visual Text
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Comprehension Skills: Direct Questions Comprehension Skills - Unusual Effective Questions
Comprehension Skills - Point Identification and Paraphrasing Comprehension Skills (Narrative Text) Direct Questions
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