SPE002 Reading Comprehension

Section 3: Reading Comprehension

Questions 1 – 5: Choose the best multiple-choice answer for each question.

How has African art been evaluated and valued—and by whom? That is the question guiding this presentation of more than 250 sculptures from dozens of distinct cultures across the African continent. It is an exploration that seeks to decolonize the Western aesthetic standards long placed on these objects and to elevate the local indigenous perspectives of the works’ makers and communities. The Language of Beauty—while acknowledging this narrow historical assessment of African art—focuses instead on showcasing the aesthetic evaluations of the communities and makers who produced the works. Many sub-Saharan cultures share similar criteria for beauty: symmetry and balance, moderation, clarity, and youthfulness. (Excerpt from 'The Language of Beauty in African Art’, artic.edu, 2023)

Where might you find this text?

In an art museum
On a fashion blog
In a newspaper
In a history book

The Chinese lunar new year begins January 22, 2023, and starts the Spring Festival season that ends fifteen days later on the evening of the Lantern Festival. 2023 is the Year of the Water Rabbit. The Chinese zodiac rotates through a twelve-year cycle of animals and the traditional five elements: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. The rabbit ushers in the fourth year of the 12-year cycle, following the Year of the Tiger. Dating from as early as 1000 BCE, the traditional Chinese method of counting years is based on the sixty-year rotation of the planet Jupiter (known as the “year star”) around the sun. (Excerpt from 'Year of the Rabbit’, si.edu, 2023)

The Chinese zodiac cycles through different __________.

cycles and planets
animals and elements
festivals and years
Jupiter and the Sun

Nothing much lies on Qatar's border with Saudi Arabia. A few sunbaked outposts and miles and miles of vast, empty desert in all directions. Then, earlier this year, something very different appeared in the middle of this nowhere: A huge, gleaming luxury hotel complex, complete with its own theme park. The Hilton Salwa Beach Resort & Villas is clearly no ordinary hotel.

Seen from the air it resembles an entire coastal town. Pristine twin beaches peel away from a central harbor. Above the sands, bright white villas and buildings cluster around blue swimming pools. Behind them, oasis greenery. It's one of the Middle East's largest resorts.

So what happens, when a gigantic upscale hotel appears miles from anywhere just as a pandemic freezes global travel? It gets really busy, according to Etienne-Charles Gailliez, the resort's general manager. On opening its doors in February it became a staycation hit with locals, he says. More recently it's been a popular destination for visitors and business travelers from the wider region.

There's plenty of room. Hilton Salwa Beach has 84 villas, ranging from two to four bedrooms, with private pools and direct access to the white-sand beach (prices from US$1,500-a-night). There are 31 Arabian village-style apartments and villas, while the main hotel has 246 rooms and suites.

The huge grounds also contain more than 20 food and drink outlets, including seven gourmet dining options, a high-end spa with VIP suites, sport courts, swimming pools surrounded by landscaped gardens, corporate facilities and a marina. On top of that, there's Qatar's largest theme park, featuring dozens of attractions, including "King Cobra," a thrilling twin tube ride that sends riders into the mouth of a massive snake-like structure.

The luxurious complex has been built on 320 hectares of sandy land some 100 kilometers southwest of Doha, strategically situated to welcome visitors both from Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Construction began in 2015 and the final stage before opening was focused on adapting it for the enhanced health and safety measures in line with Qatar's mobility rules and hygiene protocols.

"Due to the impact of Covid-19, we had to accelerate the requirements for the opening of the resort and identify new unique selling points, which focused on staycations," Gailliez told CNN. That was good news for Sama Jamali, a 21-year-old Doha resident, and her friends. "Since it was unsafe and difficult to travel, we decided to have a staycation at the resort," she told CNN. "The room was lovely and very spacious and comfortable -- with advanced technology and very Covid-19 safe and clean." (Excerpt from 'Hilton Salwa: The gigantic luxury hotel in the middle of nowhere’, edition.cnn.com, 2021)

Where is the hotel located?

Near Doha
In Saudi Arabia
Near the Qatari /Saudi border
In a costal town
When it first opened, the resort was most popular with _________.
people living nearby
business travelers
visitors from the wider region
The word “staycation” is used throughout this article. What does it mean?
A vacation to a theme park
A vacation to another country
A vacation where you stay in your hotel room
A vacation to a nearby destination
Scroll to Top