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IELTSFever Academic IELTS Reading Test 130

IELTSFever Academic IELTS Reading Test 130, Can we hold back the Flood?, Finding Our Way, Language Strategy in multinational company

IELTSFever Academic IELTS Reading Test 130 ( Passage 1 Can we hold back the Flood?, Passage 2 Finding Our Way, Passage 3 Language Strategy in a multinational company ) we prefer you to work offline, download the test paper, and blank answer sheet.

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For Answers Academic IELTS Reading Test 130 Answers

Reading Passage 1

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1-13, which are based on the IELTSFever Academic IELTS Reading Test 130 Reading Passage Can We Hold Back the Flood? below.

Can We Hold Back the Flood?

{A} LAST winter’s floods on the rivers of central Europe were among the worst since the Middle Ages, and as winter storms return, the spectre of floods is returning too. Just weeks ago, the river Rhône in south-east France burst its banks, driving 15,000 people from their homes, and worse could be on the way. Traditionally, river engineers have gone for Plan A: get rid of the water fast, draining it off the land and down to the sea in tall-sided rivers re-engineered as high-performance drains. But however big they dig city drains, however wide and straight they make the rivers, and however high they build the banks, the floods keep coming back to taunt them, from the Mississippi to the Danube. And when the floods come, they seem to be worse than ever.

{B} No wonder engineers are turning to Plan B: sap the water’s destructive strength by dispersing it into fields, forgotten lakes, flood plains and aquifers. Back in the days when rivers took a more tortuous path to the sea, floodwaters lost impetus and volume while meandering across flood plains and idling through wetlands and inland deltas. But today the water tends to have an unimpeded journey to the sea. And this means that when it rains in the uplands, the water comes down all at once. Worse, whenever we close off more flood plains, the river’s flow farther downstream becomes more violent and uncontrollable. Dykes are only as good as their weakest link – and the water will unerringly find it.

{C} Today, the river has lost 7 per cent of its original length and runs up to a third faster. When it rains hard in the Alps, the peak flows from several tributaries coincide in the main river, where once they arrived separately. And with four-fifths of the lower Rhine’s flood plain barricaded off, the waters rise ever higher. The result is more frequent flooding that does ever-greater damage to the homes, offices and roads that sit on the flood plain. Much the same has happened in the US on the mighty Mississippi, which drains the world’s second-largest river catchment into the Gulf of Mexico.

{D} The European Union is trying to improve rain forecasts and more accurately model how intense rains swell rivers. That may help cities prepare, but it won’t stop the floods. To do that, say, hydrologists, you need a new approach to engineering not just rivers, but the whole landscape. The UK’s Environment Agency – which has been granted an extra £150 million a year to spend in the wake of floods in 2000 that cost the country £1 billion – puts it like this: “The focus is now on working with the forces of nature. Towering concrete walls are out, and new wetlands are in.” To help keep London’s feet dry, the agency is breaking the Thames’s banks upstream and reflooding 10 square kilometres of ancient flood plain at Otmoor outside Oxford. Nearer to London it has spent £100 million creating new wetlands and a relief channel across 16 kilometres.

{E} The same is taking place on a much grander scale in Austria, in one of Europe’s largest river restorations to date. Engineers are regenerating flood plains along 60 kilometres of the river Drava as it exits the Alps. They are also widening the river bed and channelling it back into abandoned meanders, oxbow lakes and backwaters overhung with willows. The engineers calculate that the restored floodplain can now store up to 10 million cubic metres of floodwaters and slow storm surges coming out of the Alps by more than an hour, protecting towns as far downstream as Slovenia and Croatia.

{F} “Rivers have to be allowed to take more space. They have to be turned from flood-chutes into flood-foilers,” says Nienhuis. And the Dutch, for whom preventing floods is a matter of survival, have gone furthest. A nation built largely on drained marshes and seabed had the fright of its life in 1993 when the Rhine almost overwhelmed it. The same happened again in 1995 when a quarter of a million people were evacuated from the Netherlands. But a new breed of “soft engineers” wants our cities to become porous, and Berlin is their shining example. Since reunification, the city’s massive redevelopment has been governed by tough new rules to prevent its drains from becoming overloaded after heavy rains. Harald Kraft, an architect working in the city, says: “We now see rainwater as a resource to be kept rather than got rid of at great cost.”A good illustration is the giant Potsdamer Platz, a huge new commercial redevelopment by Daimler Chrysler in the heart of the city.

{G} Los Angeles has spent billions of dollars digging huge drains and concreting river beds to carry away the water from occasional intense storms. “In LA we receive half the water we need in rainfall, and we throw it away. Then we spend hundreds of millions to import water,” says Andy Lipkis, an LA environmentalist who kick-started the idea of the porous city by showing it could work on one house. Lipkis, along with citizens groups like Friends of the Los Angeles River and Unpaved LA, want to beat the urban flood hazard and fill the taps by holding onto the city’s floodwater. And it’s not just a pipe dream. The authorities this year launched a $100 million scheme to road-test the porous city in one flood-hit community in Sun Valley. The plan is to catch the rain that falls on thousands of driveways, parking lots and rooftops in the valley. Trees will soak up water from parking lots. Homes and public buildings will capture roof water to irrigate gardens and parks. And road drains will empty into old gravel pits and other leaky places that should recharge the city’s underground water reserves. Result: less flooding and more water for the city. Plan B says every city should be porous, every river should have room to flood naturally and every coastline should be left to build its own defences. It sounds expensive and utopian until you realise how much we spend trying to drain cities and protect our watery margins – and how bad we are at it.

Questions 1-6 IELTSFever Academic IELTS Reading Test 130

The reading Passage has seven paragraphs A-H. 

Which paragraph contains the following information?

Write the correct letter A-H, in boxes 1-6 on your answer sheet. 

(1) A new approach carried out in the UK 

(2) Reasons why twisty path and dykes failed 

(3) Illustration of an alternative Plan in LA which seems much unrealistic 

(4) Traditional way of tackling flood 

(5) Effort made in Netherlands and Germany 

(6) One project on a river benefits three nations

Questions 7-11


Complete the following summary of the paragraphs of Reading Passage, using no more than two words from the Reading Passage for each answer. Write your answers in boxes 7-11 on your answer sheet.

Flooding makes the river shorter than it used to be, which means faster speed and more damage to constructions on flood plains. Not only European rivers pose such a threat but the same thing happens to the powerful_______7_______ in the US.

In Europe , one innovative approach carried out by the UK’s Environment Agency, for example a wetland instead of concrete walls, is generated not far from the city of_____8_____ to protect it from flooding. 

In 1995, Rhine flooded again and thousands of people left the country of_____9_____. A league of engineers suggested that cities should be porous, _____10______ set a good example for others. Another city devastated by heavy storms casually is ______11_____ though its government pours billions of dollars each year in order to solve the problem.

Questions 12-13

Choose TWO correct letter, write your answers in boxes 12-13 on your answer sheet.

What TWO benefits will the new approach in the UK and Austria bring to us according to this passage?

(A) We can prepare before flood comes 

(B) It may stop the flood involving the whole area 

(C) Decrease strong rainfalls around Alps simply by engineering constructions 

(D) Reserve the water to protect downstream towns 

(E) Store tons of water in the downstream area

Reading Passage 2

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 14-26, which are based on the IELTSFever Academic IELTS Reading Test 130 Reading Passage Finding Our Way below.

Finding Our Way

{A} “Drive 200 yards, and then turn right,” says the car’s computer voice. You relax in the driver’s seat, follow the directions and reach your destination without error. It’s certainly nice to have the Global Positioning System (GPS) to direct you to within a few yards of your goal. Yet if the satellite service’s digital maps become even slightly outdated, you can become lost. Then you have to rely on the ancient human skill of navigating in three-dimensional space. Luckily, your biological finder has an important advantage over GPS: it does not go awry if only one part of the guidance system goes wrong, because it works in various ways. You can ask questions of people on the sidewalk. Or follow a street that looks familiar. Or rely on a navigational rubric: “If I keep the East River on my left, I will eventually cross 34th Street.” The human positioning system is flexible and capable of learning. Anyone who knows the way from point A to point B–and from A to C–can probably figure out how to get from B to C, too.

{B} But how does this complex cognitive system really work? Researchers are looking at several strategies people use to orient themselves in space: guidance, path integration and route following. We may use all three or combinations thereof. And as experts learn more about these navigational skills, they are making the case that our abilities may underlie our powers of memory and logical thinking. Grand Central, Please Imagine that you have arrived in a place you have never visited–New York City. You get off the train at Grand Central Terminal in midtown Manhattan. You have a few hours to explore before you must return for your ride home. You head uptown to see popular spots you have been told about: Rockefeller Center, Central Park, the Metropolitan Museum of Art. You meander in and out of shops along the way. Suddenly, it is time to get back to the station. But how?

{C} If you ask passersby for help, most likely you will receive information in many different forms. A person who orients herself by a prominent landmark would gesture southward: “Look down there. See the tall, broad MetLife Building? Head for that–the station is right below it.” Neurologists call this navigational approach “guidance,” meaning that a landmark visible from a distance serves as the marker for one’s destination.

{D} Another city dweller might say: “What places do you remember passing? … Okay. Go toward the end of Central Park, then walk down to St. Patrick’s Cathedral. A few more blocks and Grand Central will be off to your left.” In this case, you are pointed toward the most recent place you recall, and you aim for it. Once there you head for the next notable place and so on, retracing your path. Your brain is adding together the individual legs of your trek into a cumulative progress report. Researchers call this strategy “path integration.” Many animals rely primarily on path integration to get around, including insects, spiders, crabs and rodents. The desert ants of the genus Cataglyphis employ this method to return from foraging as far as 100 yards away. They note the general direction they came from and retrace their steps, using the polarization of sunlight to orient themselves even under overcast skies. On their way back they are faithful to this inner homing vector. Even when a scientist picks up an ant and puts it in a totally different spot, the insect stubbornly proceeds in the originally determined direction until it has gone “back” all of the distance it wandered from its nest. Only then does the ant realize it has not succeeded, and it begins to walk in successively larger loops to find its way home.

{E} Whether it is trying to get back to the anthill or the train station, any animal using path integration must keep track of its own movements so it knows, while returning, which segments it has already completed. As you move, your brain gathers data from your environment–sights, sounds, smells, lighting, muscle contractions, a sense of time passing–to determine which way your body has gone. The church spire, the sizzling sausages on that vendor’s grill, the open courtyard, and the train station–all represent snapshots of memorable junctures during your journey.

{F} In addition to guidance and path integration, we use a third method for finding our way. An office worker you approach for help on a Manhattan street corner might say: “Walk straight down Fifth, turn left on 47th, turn right on Park, go through the walkway under the Helmsley Building, then cross the street to the MetLife Building into Grand Central.” This strategy, called route following, uses landmarks such as buildings and street names, plus directions–straight, turn, go through–for reaching intermediate points. Route following is more precise than guidance or path integration, but if you forget the details and take a wrong turn, the only way to recover is to backtrack until you reach a familiar spot, because you do not know the general direction or have a reference landmark for your goal. The route-following navigation strategy truly challenges the brain. We have to keep all the landmarks and intermediate directions in our head. It is the most detailed and therefore most reliable method, but it can be undone by routine memory lapses. With path integration, our cognitive memory is less burdened; it has to deal with only a few general instructions and the homing vector. Path integration works because it relies most fundamentally on our knowledge of our body’s general direction of movement, and we always have access to these inputs. Nevertheless, people often choose to give route-following directions, in part because saying “Go straight that way!” just does not work in our complex, man-made surroundings.

{G} Road Map or Metaphor? On your next visit to Manhattan, you will rely on your memory to get around. Most likely you will use guidance, path integration and route following in various combinations. But how exactly do these constructs deliver concrete directions? Do we humans have, as an image of the real world, a kind of road map in our heads–with symbols for cities, train stations and churches; thick lines for highways; narrow lines for local streets? Neurobiologists and cognitive psychologists do call the portion of our memory that controls navigation a “cognitive map.” The map metaphor is obviously seductive: maps are the easiest way to present geographic information for convenient visual inspection. In many cultures, maps were developed before writing, and today they are used in almost every society. It is even possible that maps derive from a universal way in which our spatial-memory networks are wired.

{H} Yet the notion of a literal map in our heads may be misleading; a growing body of research implies that the cognitive map is mostly a metaphor. It may be more like a hierarchical structure of relationships. To get back to Grand Central, you first envision the large scale–that is, you visualize the general direction of the station. Within that system, you then imagine the route to the last place you remember. After that, you observe your nearby surroundings to pick out a recognizable storefront or street corner that will send you toward that place. In this hierarchical, or nested, scheme, positions and distances are relative, in contrast with a road map, where the same information is shown in a geometrically precise scale.

Questions 14-18 IELTSFever Academic IELTS Reading Test 130

Use the information in the passage to match the category of each navigation method (listed A-C) with the correct statement. Write the appropriate letters A-C in boxes 14-18 on your answer sheet. 

NB you may use any letter more than once

(A) Guidance

(B) Path integration.

(C) Route following

(14) Using basic direction from the starting point and light intensity to move on. 

(15) Using a combination of place and direction heading for the destination. 

(16) Using an iconic building near your destination as an orientation. 

(17) Using a retrace method from a known place if a mistake happens. 

(18) Using a passed spot as reference for a new integration.

Questions 19-21 

Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D. 

Write your answers in boxes 19-21 on your answer sheet.

Question 19 What does the ant of Cataglyphis respond if it has been taken to another location according to the passage?

(A) Changes the orientation sensors improvingly 

(B) Releases biological scent for help from others

(C) Continues to move by the original orientation

(D) Totally gets lost once disturbed 

Question 20 Which of the following is true about the “cognitive map” in this passage?

(A) There is not obvious difference contrast by real map 

(B) It exists in our head and is always correct 

(C) It only exists under some cultures 

(D) It was managed by brain memory

Question 21 Which of following description of way findings correctly reflects the function of cognitive map?

(A) It visualises a virtual route in a large scope 

(B) It reproduces an exact details of every landmark 

(C) Observation plays a more important role 

(D) Store or supermarket is a must in the map

Questions 22-26 IELTSFever Academic IELTS Reading Test 130

Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 2? In boxes 22-26 on your answer sheet, write

TRUE if the statement is True
FALSE if the statement is false
NOT GIVEN If the information is not given in the passage

(22) Biological navigation has a state of flexibility.

(23) You will always receive a good reaction when you ask for directions.

(24) When someone follows a route, he or she collects comprehensive perceptual information in mind on the way.

(25) Path integration route-following requires more thought from brain compared with route-following.

(26) In a familiar surrounding, an exact map of where you are will automatically emerge in your head.

Reading Passage 3

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 27-40, which are based on the IELTSFever Academic IELTS Reading Test 130 Reading Passage Language Strategy in Multinational Company below.

Language Strategy in Multinational Company

{A} The importance of language management in multinational companies has never been greater than today. Multinationals are becoming ever more conscious of the importance of global coordination as a source of competitive advantage and language remains the ultimate barrier to aspirations of international harmonization. Before attempting to consider language management strategies, companies will have to evaluate the magnitude of the language barrier confronting them and in doing so they will need to examine it in three dimensions: the Language Diversity, the Language Penetration and the Language Sophistication. Companies next need to turn their attention to how they should best manage language. There is a range of options from which MNCs can formulate their language strategy.

{B} Lingua Franca: The simplest answer, though realistic only for English speaking companies, is to rely on one’s native tongue. As recently as 1991 a survey of British exporting companies found that over a third used English exclusively in dealings with foreign customers. This attitude that “one language fits all” has also been carried through into the Internet age. A survey of the websites of top American companies confirmed that over half made no provision for foreign language access, and another found that less than 10% of leading companies were able to respond adequately to emails other than in the company’s language. Widespread though it is, however, reliance on a single language is a strategy that is fatally flawed. It makes no allowance for the growing trend in Linguistic Nationalism whereby buyers in Asia, South America and the Middle East, in particular, are asserting their right to “work in the language of the customer”. It also fails to recognize the increasing vitality of languages such as Spanish, Arabic and Chinese that over time are likely to challenge the dominance of English as a lingua franca. In the IT arena it ignores the rapid globalization of the Internet where the number of English-language e-commerce transactions, emails and websites, is rapidly diminishing as a percentage of the total. Finally, the total reliance on a single language puts the English speaker at risk in negotiations. Contracts, rules and legislation are invariably written in the local language, and a company unable to operate in that language is vulnerable.

(C) Functional Multilingualism: Another improvised approach to Language is to rely on what has been termed “Functional Multilingualism”. Essentially what this means is to muddle through, relying on a mix of languages, pidgins and gestures to communicate by whatever means the parties have at their disposal. In a social context, such a shared effort to make one another understand might be considered an aid to the bonding process with the frustration of communication being regularly punctuated by moments of absurdity and humour. However, as the basis for business negotiations, it appears very hit-and-nuts. And yet Hagen’s recent study suggests that 16% of an international business transactions; are conducted in a “cocktail of languages.” Functional Multilingualism shares the same defects as reliance on a lingua franca and increases the probability of cognitive divergence between the parties engaged in the communication.

(D) External Language Resources: A more rational and obvious response to the language barrier is to employ external resources such as translators and interpreters, and certainly there are many excellent companies specialized in these fields. However, such a response is by no means an end to the language barrier. For a start these services can be very expensive with a top Simultaneous Interpreter, commanding daily rates as high as a partner in an international consulting company. Secondly, any good translator or interpreter will insist that to be fully effective they must understand the context of the subject matter. This is not always possible. In some cases it is prohibited by the complexity or specialization of the topic. Sometimes by lack of preparation time but most often the obstacle is the reluctance of the parties to explain the wider context to an ‘outsider”. Another problem is that unless there has been considerable pre-explaining between the interpreter and his clients it is likely that there will be ambiguity and cultural overtones in the source messages the interpreter has to work with. They will of course endeavour to provide a hi-fidelity translation but in this circumstance the intel preter has to use initiative and guess work. This clearly injects a potential source of misunderstanding into the proceedings. Finally while a good interpreter will attempt to convey not only the meaning but also the spirit of any communication, there can be no doubt that there is a loss of rhetorical power when communications go through a third party. So in situations requiring negotiation, persuasion, humor etc. the use of an interpreter is a poor substitute for direct communication.

{E} Training: The immediate and understandable reaction to any skills-shortage in a business is to consider personnel development and certainly the language training industry is well developed. Offering programs at almost every level and in numerous languages. However, without doubting the value of language training no company should be deluded into believing this to be assured of success. Training in most companies is geared to the economic cycle. When times are good, money is invested in training. When belts get tightened training is one of the first “luxuries” to be pared down. In a study conducted across four European countries, nearly twice as many companies said they needed language training in coming years as had conducted training in past years. This disparity between “good intentions” and “actual delivery”, underlines the problems of relying upon training for language skills. Unless the company is totally committed to sustaining the strategy even through bad times, it will fail.

{F} One notable and committed leader in the field of language training has been the Volkswagen Group. They have developed a language strategy over many years and in many respects can be regarded as a model of how to manage language professionally. However, the Volkswagen approach underlines that language training has to be considered a strategic rather than a tactical solution. In their system, to progress from “basics” to “communications competence” in a language requires the completion of 6 language stages each one demanding approximately 90 hours of refresher course, supported by many more hours of self study, spread over a 6-9 month period. The completion of each stage is marked by a post-stage achievement test, which is a prerequisite for continued training. So even this professionally managed program expects a minimum of three years of fairly intensive study to produce an accountant. Engineer, buyer or salesperson capable of working effectively in a foreign language. Clearly companies intending to pursue this route need to do so with realistic expectations and with the intention of sustaining the program over many years. Except in terms of “brush-up” courses for people who were previously fluent in a foreign language, training cannot be considered a quick fix and hence other methods will have to be considered.

Questions 27-32 IELTSFever Academic IELTS Reading Test 130


Complete the following summary of the Whole Paragraphs of Reading Passage, choosing A-L words from the following options. Write your answers in boxes 27-32 on your answer sheet. 

MNCs often encounter language barriers in their daily strategy, then they seek several approaches to solve such problems. First, native language gives them a realistic base in a different language speaking country, but problems turn up when they deal with oversea_______27______ . For example, operation on translation of some key ______28_______ , it is inevitable to generate differences by rules from different countries. Another way is to rely on a combination of spoken language and ______29_______ , yet a report written that over one-tenth business _______30_______ processed in a party language setting. Third way: hire translators. However, firstly it is _______31_____ , besides if they are not well-prepared, they have to resort to his/her own _____32______ work.

(A) gestures (B) clients (C) transaction (D) understanding and assumption
(E) accurate (F) documents  (G) managers (H) body language
(I) long-term (J) effective  (K) rivals (L) costly

Questions 33-39 

Answer the questions below.

Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER from the passage for each answer.

(33) What understandable reaction does Training pay attention to according to the author?

(34) In what term does the writer describe training during economic depression?

(35) What contribution does Volkswagen Group set up for multinational companies?

(36) What does Volkswagen Group consider language training as in their company?

(37) How many stages are needed from the basic course to advanced in training?

(38) How long does a refresher course (single-stage) need normally?

(39) At least how long is needed for a specific professional to acquire a foreign language?

Questions 40 IELTSFever Academic IELTS Reading Test 130

Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D. Write your answers in boxes 40 on your answer sheet.

Question 40 What is the Main function of this passage?

(A) to reveal all kinds of language problems that companies may encounter 

(B) to exhibits some well-known companies successfully dealing with language difficulties

(C) to evaluate various approaches for language barrier in multinational companies 

(D) to testify that training is the only feasible approach to solve the language problem

For Answers Academic IELTS Reading Test 130 Answers

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