Here are some suggestions on how to use the SALC to practice and learn languages.

SALC - Here are some suggestions on how to use the SALC to practice and learn languages.

Reading Comprehension Advanced

Endurance Athletes


Have you ever wondered why children always seem to have bags of energy and never run out of steam? Researchers have discovered that children have the stamina and levels of recovery of endurance athletes. In fact, scientists say children’s muscles recover from “high-intensity exercise” a lot quicker than athletes. A study looked at the performance levels of children when they were cycling, and compared their fitness to that of athletes. Researcher Dr Sebastien Ratel said: “We found the children used more of their aerobic metabolism and were therefore less tired during the high-intensity physical activities. They also recovered very quickly – even faster than the well-trained adult endurance athletes.”

The researchers hope that their findings will help scientists better understand how the human body changes with age. It could lead to advances in the fight against diabetes and other diseases. Dr Ratel said the research was particularly important as more children were become less active. He warned: “With the rise in diseases related to physical inactivity, it is helpful to understand the physiological changes with growth that might contribute to the risk of disease.” He added that children should maintain their fitness as they grow up and play as much as they could so they remain healthy as adults. He said: “Children seem to have the ability to play and play and play, long after adults have become tired.” 

Click on the following links to do exercises related to the passage:

20 questions

4-speed reading


Reading Comprehension Intermediate

No purchase needed to sit in Starbucks cafes

starbucks 2 

The cafe chain Starbucks has made a new policy about who can use its cafes. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has announced that anyone can enter a Starbucks cafe in the USA without needing to make a purchase. That means people are free to sit in the cafe or use the restrooms. Mr Schulz has asked all Starbucks staff to treat every person entering the cafe as a customer. He said: “Any person who enters our spaces, including patios, cafes and restrooms, regardless of whether they make a purchase, is considered a customer.” This means people can simply use Starbucks to sit down, relax and use the Internet. The new policy applies to more than 8,000 cafes in the United States.

The new policy will also make it easier for store managers and baristas to do their job. There have been high-profile cases recently of managers asking real customers to leave a cafe or telling them they cannot use the bathroom. On April 12, two black men were arrested and escorted out of a Philadelphia Starbucks in handcuffs for waiting for a friend to arrive before they ordered. A week later, another black man was told he could not use the bathroom because he hadn’t bought anything. He posted a video online of a white man using the bathroom in the same cafe without buying anything first. Mr Schultz said he didn’t want to make Starbucks a public bathroom, but the new policy was “the right thing” to do.

Click on the following links to answer exercises related to the passage:

Link 1: 

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Link 3:


Korean boy band BTS No.1 in US album chart


Korean band got to number one in the U.S. album charts for the first time. The band BTS debuted at No. 1 with their new album. They released it album on May 18. It sold 135,000 copies in a week. It is the second top-10 hit for K-pop. The first was also by BTS. The group thanked fans by tweeting: “We will keep doing our best.”

BTS started in 2013. They became a big success in Korea, Japan and the USA. They won many new artist awards. They have many followers on social media. They broke the record for the most retweeted artist and the world’s most tweeted about celebrities. BTS’ new album is in Korean, but they sold out tours in the USA.

Click on the following links to answer exercises related to the passage:

Link 1 :

Link 2 :

Link 3 :




All spiders spin webs. That’s because webs help spiders. Webs help spiders do three things. Webs help spiders hold eggs. Webs help spiders hide. And webs help spiders catch food. Webs help spiders hold eggs. Many spiders like to lay their eggs in their webs. The webs help keep the eggs together. Webs help spiders keep their eggs safe. Webs help spiders hide. Most spiders are dark. They are brown, grey, or black. But spider webs are light. They are white and cloudy. When spiders hide in their webs, they are harder to see. Webs help spiders catch food. Spider webs are sticky. When a bug flies into the web, it gets stuck. It moves around. It tries to get out. But it can’t. It is trapped! Spiders can tell that the bug is trapped. That’s because spiders feel the web move. And the spider is hungry. The spider goes to get the bug. As you can see, webs help spiders hold eggs. Webs help spiders hide. And webs help spiders catch food. Without webs, spiders would not be able to live like they do. Spiders need their webs to survive!

Read the passage then click on the link to answer a quiz.




STEP 1 – Read the following article:

 Using Real Animals in Moviesapes

At the premiere of “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”, a clutch of impassioned animal activists gathered on Hollywood Boulevard. But they weren’t there to throw red paint on fur-coat-wearing celebrities. Instead, one demonstrator — dressed in a full-body monkey suit — had arrived with a sign complimenting the filmmakers: “Thanks for not using real apes!” 

The creative team behind “Apes” used motion-capture technology to create digitalized primates, spending tens of millions of dollars on technology that records an actor’s performance and later layers it with computer graphics to create a final image — in this case, one of a realistic-looking ape. 

Yet “Apes” is more exception than the rule — in fact, Hollywood has been hot on live animals lately: The nonprofit American Humane Assn., which monitors the treatment of animals in filmed entertainment, is keeping tabs on more than 2,000 productions this year, 100 more than in 2010. Already, a number of high-profile 2011 films, including “Water for Elephants,” “The Hangover Part II” and “Zookeeper,” have drawn the ire of activists who say the creatures featured in them haven’t been treated properly. 

In some cases, it’s not so much the treatment of the animals on set that has activists worried; it’s the off-set training and living conditions that are raising concerns. And there are questions about U.S. films made overseas, which sometimes are not monitored as closely as productions filmed stateside. 

STEP 2 – Answer these questions (choose the best answer):

Quiz Planet of the Apes

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Reading Comprehension Advanced Level

Snake Bites Boy


Three-year-old Teddy Lasry was napping yesterday in his cowboy outfit yesterday at his family’s Fifth Ave. apartment when he shot up in bed screaming. A 3-foot-long black-and-white snake was coiled around his left arm and had just bitten his pinky.

“The baby-sitter freaked out,” said Teddy’s father, David Lasry, who, along with his wife, Evelyn, was at work when the reptile showed up about 4 p.m.

The horrified nanny called 911 and the building’s doorman. The doorman and two cable TV workers helped pry the snake off the boy’s arm and stow it in a garbage bag, Lasry said.

Police rushed Teddy to Mount Sinai Medical Center, where his parents said he spent two hours attached to a heart monitor as a precaution in case the snake was poisonous.

It wasn’t. Experts at the snakebite treatment center at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx, where cops took the critter, determined it was a non-venomous California king snake.

But how did it end up in Teddy’s bed?

A little sleuthing determined that the serpent had escaped two weeks ago from its cage in the apartment of a doctor whose family lives four floors below the Lasrys. The apologetic owner said his son’s pet snake likely traveled up the radiator pipes and into his neighbor’s apartment.

“It’s a very docile, very harmless snake,” he said. “It’s handled by our family all the time.”

Lasry, 42, a fine arts publisher, said he believed the pet was simply hungry after two weeks of cruising. Teddy’s mother, Evelyn Lasry, 37, said her son seems to have gotten over his fright by thinking of himself as a hero cowboy as he rode in the back of the police cruiser to the hospital.

“I told Teddy he’s a pretty snake, a nice pet snake who got out of his cage,” Evelyn Lasry said. “But he asked, ‘Why did he bite my finger, Mamma?’ And I said, ‘Because he saw that you are a big boy, Teddy, in your cowboy outfit and he got scared.'”

Quiz Snake bites boy

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Reading Comprehension for Intermediate Level

The First Computer Programmer


Ada Lovelace was the daughter of the poet Lord Byron. She was taught by Mary Somerville, a well-known researcher and scientific author, who introduced her to Charles Babbage in June 1833. Babbage was an English mathematician, who first had the idea for a programmable computer.

In 1842 and 1843, Ada translated the work of an Italian mathematician, Luigi Menabrea, on Babbage’s Analytical Engine. Though mechanical, this machine was an important step in the history of computers; it was the design of a mechanical general-purpose computer. Babbage worked on it for many years until his death in 1871. However, because of financial, political, and legal issues, the engine was never built. The design of the machine was very modern; it anticipated the first completed general-purpose computers by about 100 years.

When Ada translated the article, she added a set of notes which specified in complete detail a method for calculating certain numbers with the Analytical Engine, which have since been recognized by historians as the world’s first computer program. She also saw possibilities in it that Babbage hadn’t: she realized that the machine could compose pieces of music. The computer programming language ‘Ada’, used in some aviation and military programs, is named after her.

Comprehension Questions

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