English Language

Topics: Amazon Rainforest, University of Cambridge, Amazon River Pages: 7 (1951 words) Published: May 7, 2013
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UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE INTERNATIONAL EXAMINATIONS International General Certificate of Secondary Education

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FIRST LANGUAGE ENGLISH Paper 2 Reading Passages (Extended) Additional Materials: * 6 1 2 9 3 6 9 5 7 9 *

October/November 2011 2 hours

Answer Booklet/Paper

READ THESE INSTRUCTIONS FIRST If you have been given an Answer Booklet, follow the instructions on the front cover of the Booklet. Write your Centre number, candidate number and name on all the work you hand in. Write in dark blue or black pen. Do not use staples, paper clips, highlighters, glue or correction fluid. Answer all questions. Dictionaries are not permitted. At the end of the examination, fasten all your work securely together. The number of marks is given in brackets [ ] at the end of each question or part question.

This document consists of 5 printed pages and 3 blank pages. DC (NH) 43987/3 © UCLES 2011

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2 Part 1 Read Passage A carefully, and then answer Questions 1 and 2. Passage A In this extract Redmond O’Hanlon describes a journey into the jungle by canoe. James, a poet, has been eventually persuaded to accompany Redmond. Into the heart of Borneo At midday we climbed into our dugout canoe and set off up-river towards the interior. After about ten miles the fields gave way to well-established secondary forest, and then the primeval jungle began. The river seemed to close in on us: the 60-metre-high trees crowded down the slopes of the hills, almost to the water’s edge, an apparently endless chaos of different species of tree, every kind of green, even under the uniform glare of a tropical sun. Parasitic growths sprouted everywhere, ferns fanned out from every angle in the branches, creepers as thick as legs gripped each other and tangled down to the surface of the water, their tips twining down in the current like river-weed. The river itself began to twist and turn too, the banks behind us appearing to merge together into one vast and impenetrable thicket, shutting us in from behind. At the same time, the trees ahead stepped aside a meagre pace or two to let the river swirl down ahead. The outboard motor set on a wooden frame at the stern of the canoe pushed us past foaming little tributaries, islets, shingle banks strewn with huge rounded boulders, half hidden coves scooped round by whirlpools. Here the river was clear, deep green from the reflection of the trees. We really were voyaging upriver! I thought it was an optical illusion, but the canoe was actually climbing up a volume of water great enough to sustain an almost constant angle of ascent, even on the stretches of water between the jagged steps of the rapids. We stopped by a pile of driftwood to hide a drum of petrol to be retrieved a few days later on the return journey. A monitor lizard, reared up on its front legs, watched us for a moment with its dinosauric eyes and then scuttled away between the broken branches. A Brahminy kite, flying low enough for us to hear the rush of air through the primary feathers of its wings, circled overhead watching us, its fleckedbrown belly white in the sun. Then the bird soared away, mewing its shrill call. Further up, the rapids became more frequent and more turbulent and, at each one, heavy waves of water would crash over and into the boat. James, sitting opposite me on the boards in the centre of the canoe and facing upstream, was reading his way through the poems of the 18th century writer Swift, a straw boater on his bald head, his white shirt buttoned at the neck and at the wrists. ‘Some of these poems are pretty feeble,’ James would mutter, displeased. ‘Quite so, but – er – James?’ ‘Yes?’ ‘Rapid 583/2, Green Heave, strength six-out-of-ten, is approaching.’ With a second or two to spare, James would shut his book, mark his place with a twig, slip it neatly under the edge of the tarpaulin, sit on it, shut his eyes, get drenched, open his eyes, squeeze the water from his...
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