Kirkland, in Western Seattle, has been voted the most desirable place to live in the United States. Seattle’s eastside suburbs are a pleasant mass of good schools, great jobs and family-friendly neighborhoods. Kirkland has all that, while also offering a unique, lively downtown on the shores of Lake Washington.
From Kirkland’s beaches on the lake you can see the Seattle skyline, but there’s no need to go to the big city to have fun. Even on a weeknight, the downtown restaurants and sidewalks are full. “Kirkland is definitely a hotspot right now,” says Kristi Caggiano, 42, who moved to town 14 years ago. She lives near downtown with her husband, daughter and 10-year-old son, and says the family can walk to the market, local shops, pool and library. “The school system is fantastic,” Kristi says, “and we are going to send our daughter to a high school which is going to open right next to our house.” This is just one of several schools that will open in the near future. Her son’s elementary school has a well-attended choir program, and every child has a chance to take swimming lessons. Also, 25% of Kirkland’s total area is made up of parks. Some of these have sandy beaches and attractions for kids.
“There’s always something to do,” says Caggiano. Residents report that Kirkland’s proximity to Google and Microsoft offices is attracting a lot more young people and families. Google now employs about 800 people, and has announced plans to double the size of its Kirkland offices by 2016. The town is seeing many other new business start-ups.
The good job market means reasonably-priced housing is in short supply. “It’s a problem we are hoping to solve soon, but we’re not there yet,” says real estate agent Brenda Nunes. A three-bedroom home averages $440,000.
Read the text and the instructions to the questions very carefully. Answer all the questions in English.
1. Write a summary of the text in English, including the most important points, using your own words whenever possible (approximately 50 words, 1 point).
2. Find words or phrases in the text that correspond in meaning to the following (1 point: 0.25 each)
- a) animated
- b) centre of activity
- c) nearness
- d) economical
3. Complete the second sentence of each pair so that it has the same meaning as the first one (2 points: 0.5 points each)
- a) From Kirkland’s beaches on the lake you can see the Seattle skyline.
- The Seattle ....
- b) There’s no need to go to the big city to have fun.
- You ...
- c) “We’re going to send our daughter to a high school which is going to open right next to our house,” said Kristi.
- Kristi said that ....
- d) Google employs about 800 people, and has announced plans to double the size of its offices by 2016.
- Google, which .......
4. Answer the following questions in your own words, as far as possible. Your answer must be based on the information given in the text. (2 points: 1 point each).
- a) What are the things that people like about Kirkland?
- b) In what ways are things going to get better in Kirkland in the future?
5. Imagine you had to design an ideal city. What things/facilities would you put in it? (Approximately 120
words; 3 points).
1. The text talks about a place called Kirkland, in Western Seattle, which has been voted the best place to live in the USA. It describes all the good features of the place and explains why people like to live there.
- a) The Seattle skyline can be seen from Kirkland’s beaches.
- b) You don’t need to go to the big city to have fun/ You needn’t go to the big city to have fun.
- c) Kristi said that they were going to send their daughter to a high school which was going to open right next to their house.
- d) Google, which now employs about 800 people, has announced plans to double the size of its Kirkland offices by 2016./ Google, which has announced plans to double the size of its Kirkland offices by 2016, now employs about 800 people.
- a) That it has a lively downtown with restaurants, a market, shops, a swimming pool and a library. It also has good schools, parks, some of them with beaches on Lake Washington, and attractions for children, and all of this within walking distance. Another good feature is that there is plenty of work available.
- b) Google is going to increase the size of its offices, offering more jobs, and new, cheaper housing is going to be built.