In 1922 a short film confused its audience by showing dinosaurs that were taken for real, living dinosaurs that had somehow escaped extinction. The next day newspapers revealed the truth: they were just special effects. Well, today we think we know what dinosaurs looked like because we’ve watched hours of films and documentaries – from the black-and-white, robotic figures of old movies to today’s computer-generated dinosaurs. But although animatronics have become extremely sophisticated and realistic, what we see on screen today is a combination of fact and fantasy, just as it was 100 years ago.
Much of what movies have taught us is wrong. For instance, the latest paleontological research says now that velociraptors (which were also much smaller than in Jurassic Park, about the size of a large chicken), and quite possibly T-rex itself, could have had their bodies covered in feathers rather than skin – although they lacked the ability to fly.
In the end, fiction is fiction, so perhaps it doesn’t matter very much if Jurassic Park and other movies change some facts to add excitement. However, mixing truth and conjecture is more significant in programmes that could be mistaken for reality, like Walking with Dinosaurs, often cited as the most successful television documentary series of all time. But can it truly be classified as a documentary? Its format is familiar to viewers as it resembles real-life wildlife programmes. So it feels like everything you are shown and told in those so-called documentaries is established beyond doubt. But people should be aware that many of today’s dinosaur programmes represent just the way things might possibly have been, and so they should be enjoyed as a hybrid of fact and fiction.
I * READING COMPREHENSION
CHOOSE AND WRITE THE CORRECT OPTION (A, B, C or D). (0.5 points each)
1. Recent studies claim that…
- (a) velociraptors were represented properly in Jurassic Park, but the T-rex was not.
- (b) dinosaurs, like velociraptors and T-rex, most probably had feathers but couldn’t fly.
- (c) velociraptors had chicken feathers, but their feathers were bigger than chickens’.
- (d) velociraptors had feathers in Jurassic Park but probably not in real life.
2. TV programmes such as ‘Walking with Dinosaurs’ seem to report true facts because…
- (a) they show things as they happened in real life.
- (b) they have been the most successful television series of all time.
- (c) they are very similar to actual nature documentaries.
- (d) they do not mix reality and speculation.
ARE THESE STATEMENTS TRUE OR FALSE? JUSTIFY YOUR ANSWERS WITH THE PRECISE WORDS OR PHRASES FROM THE TEXT (0.5 points each)
3. Modern dinosaur films are closer to reality than the old, mechanical-looking movies.
4. Actual velociraptors were as big as a large chicken.
5. Movies like Jurassic Park transform reality to make them more entertaining.
6. The writer wants the public to understand that dinosaur “documentaries” do not contain absolute historical facts.
II * USE OF ENGLISH
7. FIND IN THE TEXT ONE SYNONYM FOR “investigation” (noun).
8. FIND IN THE TEXT ONE WORD THAT HAS THE FOLLOWING DEFINITION: “more distant than, outside the limits of something”.
9. FILL IN THE GAP WITH THE CORRECT OPTION: through / up / out / in
- “He is so rude! How can you put up with him?”
10. GIVE AN ADJECTIVE WITH THE SAME ROOT AS “ability” (noun)
11. FILL IN THE GAP WITH A CORRECT FORM OF THE VERB IN BRACKETS:
- “It’s the tallest building I have ever seen (ever see)”.
12. WHICH WORD DOES NOT HAVE THE SAME MEANING?
- connect / pray / link / join
13. REWRITE THE SENTENCE CORRECTLY.
“Parents should take good care of his childrens.”
14. GIVE A QUESTION FOR THE UNDERLINED WORDS:
“Cecilia baked the carrot cake for us.”
15. COMPLETE THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONAL SENTENCE:
- If the car had been checked before the trip, you wouldn't have had an accident.
16. TURN THE FOLLOWING SENTENCE INTO THE ACTIVE VOICE.
“We were shown the house by the owner.”
17. USE THE WORDS IN THE BOXES TO MAKE A MEANINGFUL SENTENCE. USE ALL AND ONLY THE WORDS IN THE BOXES WITHOUT CHANGING THEIR FORM:
babies room not this warm is for enough the
III * PRODUCTION
18. WRITE A COMPOSITION OF APPROXIMATELY 120 WORDS ABOUT THE TOPIC PROPOSED. YOU MUST FOCUS STRICTLY ON IT:
What types of films do you prefer? Explain.