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ESL Advanced Reading

Read the passage, then answer the questions.

The New Economic Model

  What do people know about economics? How many people have a clear idea as to why recessions take place? We need economic education, and this does not mean an elective class. We need economic education that meets people at every age and socio-economic level.

   Let's take an interesting example of a model that had pros and cons: the Food Pyramid. In an effort to educate the general public about healthy eating, the FDA created a pyramid that could be used by public educators, doctors and anyone who needed a basic model in order to quickly teach people how to eat. The advantages: the nation gained a general idea of balancing foods and thinking about which foods are healthy and which are not. The disadvantage: at that time, research had not shown the detriments of eating carbohydrates. At the base of the pyramid, where it showed what people should eat most, were breads and cereals, leaders in carbohydrates.

   If we create an economic model, will it mirror the Food Pyramid? Will our model show people how to spend and make money while also widely showing our current ignorance? Will it help by at least steering people in a correct direction? For instance, while the Food Pyramid may have contributed to weight gain, it also, at least, contributed to food-consciousness which has led many toward healthy eating. If we create an economic model, a way of thinking about buying and spending which will create balance in our society on an economic level, we will begin moving toward economic awareness. Surely this is better than swimming in the dark.

Answer the questions  (answers are at the bottom of the page):

1. Accoring to the passage, which of the following is true about the Food Pyramid?

A. Every part of this model was wrong.

B. It helped people think about nutrition, though it did not present a perfect model.

C. It is entirely responsible for weight gain in the U.S.

D. It was a very unwise idea.


2. The word "consciousness" in the passage is closest in meaning to:

A. pyramid

B. awareness

C. interest

D. conscience


3. The word "detriment" in the passage is closest in meaning to:

A. undoing

B.  disability

C. disadvantage

D. derelict


4. Basedon the passage, what is meant by "swimming in the dark?"

A. not being aware

B.  investing a  lot of money in nothing

C. trying and yet knowing the end is near

D. being unable to get anywhere


5. Why does the author describe the Food Pyramid?

A. because it is a poor example of a national model

B. because it had advantages and disadvantages, but is a good example of a national model

C. because it had advantages and disadvantages and created weight gain issues

D. because it was far better than any economic model can ever be

6. It can be inferred from the passage that:

A. The author believes that a new Great Depression is imminent.

B. The author believes that the Food Pyramid had no positive value.

C. The author believes that recessions are inevitable.

D. The author wishes to improve economic stability.

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Answers: 1. B, 2. B, 3. C, 4. A, 5. B. 6. D