“I would like to have a big house, and I wish my family didn’t have to go out and ask for food or clothes,” Encarni, who just turned 12, is one of the faces of child poverty in Spain. Almost every day, she goes with her mother and her aunt to get food at the Er Banco Güeno, a soup kitchen which has been operating for the last two years. “I worked in construction until the start of the 2008 crisis, when I was laid off,” Encarni’s stepfather says. Since then he has not found work, and has done a little of everything, from picking up junk to selling things in street markets. Encarni explains that her mother found work for a couple of months taking care of an elderly person, but was fired.
“I really like to go to school. I especially love gymnastics,” Encarni says, although she adds that she gets sad when she feels they leave her out sometimes, “because they saw me go into the soup kitchen for food. But I just ignore them,” she adds.
A few days ago her aunt and three cousins moved to another house nearby. But until then there were 11 people living in Encarni’s house. She slept in the top bunk with her cousin while the other members of her family slept in the rest of the rooms of the house, which only has one small bathroom near the kitchen.
Encarni wants to be a judge when she grows up. But she says that for now she would be happy just to be able to “dress well” and be able to buy more things in the supermarket.
Inter Press Service News Agency, 1st November, 2014
I. Answer the following questions using your own words but taking into account the information in the text. (2 points: 1 point each)
- a. What are Encarni’s hopes for the future? PAR 1/4.
- b.Why does Encarni feel she is sometimes rejected by other people? PAR 2.
II. Are the following statements true (T) or false (F)? Identify the part of the text that supports your answer by copying the exact passage on the answer sheet. (1.5 point: 0.5 each)
- a. Her mother is looking after an old woman.
- F. Encarni explains that her mother found work for a couple of months taking care of an elderly person, but was fired. (PAR 1)
- b. She has been sharing the same room with other eleven people.
- F. there were 11 people living in Encarni’s house. She slept in the top bunk with her cousin while the other members (PAR 3)
- c. In the future, she would like to study Law.
III. Find a synonym for each of the four definitions below from these six options: (1 point: 0.25 each)
poverty laid off stepfather junk elderly moved
IV. Choose a, b, or c, in each question below. Only one choice is correct (1.5 points: 0.5 each)
1. She goes very often to a place...
- a) where her mother gets some money.
- b) where jobs are provided to people.
- c) where food is served to the poor. X
2. She feels unhappy...
- a) when some people reject her. X
- b) when some people give food to her family.
- c) when some people see her queuing.
3. Encarni would like...
- a) to grow up and help her family.
- b) to wear better clothes and buy more food. X
- c) to sell things in a street market.
Part B. Write a 130 to 150-word composition.
- Write about the problems of unemployment among young people in Spain. (4 points)