This is an example of Paper 1 (Reading), Part 4 of ESOL Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE), the most difficult among the exams designed by the University of Cambridge for students of English as a foreign/second language.

This part is designed to assess the candidates' reading skills: they have to read a long text and they need to understand the main idea and detail of the text and any opinions or attitudes which are expressed in it.
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Kanzy is a pygmy chimpanzee. When he was two and a half he was separated briefly from his mother (who had already begun her on language training) and he suddenly, without any coaxing at all, began to use her board and the symbols on it to request food and activities and announce what he was about to do. In one day he showed that he had learned signs his mother failed to learn. His trainers decided that from that point on Kanzi should be trained to use symbols, but that his training would reflect the casual, spontaneous learning he had already demonstrated. Kanzi has never been required to use symbols to get anything -- if he does use them it is because he has seen someone else using them, in much the same way (it's thought) a child learns to speak.

Kanzi is quite different from all other chimpanzees that have been taught to use symbols to express their thoughts. For one thing, he understands spoken English. Kanzi's trainers have even tested him with words produced by a speech synthesizer, one that produces a sound for every letter of the alphabet and comes out with very weird, flat, chipped, monotonous kind of speech, only two-thirds of which is understandable by adult humans. Kanzi understands about two-thirds of it as well, meaning that the emotional content, unintentional stresses on words and any of the other cues that might have tipped him to the meaning of the words spoken by his trainers cannot explain his understanding of speech.

There is also evidence that he can comprehend grammatically complicated commands, as long as they are precise. So if there is an orange sitting in front of Kanzi, and he is told,'Go to the sitting room and get the orange,' he hesitates (is he thinking 'which orange'?). But if the sentence is rearranged: 'Get the orange that is in the sitting room,' he has no trouble, even that there is that complicated (for a chimp) phrase in the middle, 'that's in the.' In fact at the age eight Kanzi was better at understanding such sentences than a two-year-old girl who was being asked the same sorts of questions. However, even a brilliant performance by Kanzi is going to be treated with caution by the skeptics, and there has already been some doubt cast on exactly what the symbols on the board mean to Kanzi. It has been argued that because Kanzi switches from one meaning to the other for a given symbol, depending on the context, the symbols cannot mean the same thing as a word means to a child. For instance, Kanzi will use 'juice' to refer to the 'drink', the place where he gets the drink, or the act of going to that place. But when tested for his vocabulary, he links the symbol 'juice' with the picture of a glass of juice. Critics use this evidence to claim Kanzi just uses the symbol as a means of solving different problems in different circumstances and has no idea it means 'juice' all the time.

This sounds like a tricky argument, because children do what appears to be the same sort of thing, like pointing to the chair and saying 'Daddy'. But the critics say that children rarely use a word for two different kind of things, like using 'table' to mean both the thing in the kitchen and breakfast, whereas Kanzi does.

1. What approach have Kanzi's trainers taken to him?

2. What does the experiment with the speech synthesizer suggest?

3. What does the example of the orange suggest, according to the writer?

4. People who are doubtful about Kanzi's language ability believe that

5. What is the writer's purpose in the passage?
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Comments  (Page 2) 

I agree with everything you've said there.

Just a guess, maybe Pucca doesn't take pleasure in reading about the news since they're all bad. I think one should learn how to enjoy reading in the first place in order to learn from it.
I agree on the importance of reading, too.

Even passive reading helps a lot. For instance, it helps develop sort of 'feeling' for collocations, which is very useful when tackling both the "open cloze" and the "selective cloze" exercises in Paper 3 (English in Use). Passing these exams it's not simply a matter of studying and memorizing grammar, verb patterns, prepositions and collocations ... it's first and foremost a matter of 'absorbing' the language.(Just my humble opinion Emotion: smile)
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Sunray ShowerJust a guess, maybe Pucca doesn't take pleasure in reading about the news since they're all bad. I think one should learn how to enjoy reading in the first place in order to learn from it.

Well, if I had to choose between the news and a good book, I would choose the book without thinking about it. (Even if I know it will make me cry..)
4 out of 5.

I agree Tanit and Sunray that reading is important but I just can't stand them and I agree Pucca that sometimes it is better to read a book. At least I don't feel depresssed.Emotion: wink

Hey Tanit, some passages are easy while some are difficult. Why is that?
DollHey Tanit, some passages are easy while some are difficult. Why is that?

I think no one is able to answer that question but, this text belongs to CPE, did you notice that? Hehe Emotion: smile
(Though in an exam, the one you are taking is often more difficult than the Past Papers you've been practicing with...)

You changed my nickname..and I don't like it! Emotion: crying
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PuccaYou changed my nickname..and I don't like it!

Thanks for answering. I can't see your name changed. Emotion: stick out tongue
4 out of 5. I don't know why, but sometimes I do CAE or CPE Tests better than FCE. What's wrong with me? Emotion: smile
4 out of 5. I didn't really read it carefully hence only 4 right.
I am not a native speaker but I prefer this type of task rather than the gapped text where you have to put paragraphs in order .. yuuuck.
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I have just finished the test and my score was: 5 out of 5Emotion: party!
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