Text matching skills
Alfred Yiu is here to help you get through your exams. A graduate of the University of Hong Kong, he has 15 years' experience in tutoring students for HKCEE and A-level exams and has also written English textbooks.
Matching has become one of the standard questions on Paper 2 since 1999. The question has appeared in two different formats.
The more common one, which we will look at, involves a complete text with some missing sentences which are jumbled up to be put back in their appropriate places in the passage.
It tests your ability to follow the development of the text and paragraphs within it. This is a multifaceted skill. It involves the overall comprehension of a) the text, b) structures of paragraph, and c) cohesive and lexical clues.
The following steps and skills can help you tackle it effectively.
Steps and skills
Read the title and note the Subject Matter of the passage.
Read each paragraph and look for its context words.
Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens
People on their way to work can sometimes hear the call of the jungle in the middle of Central, Hong Kong. 1 Gibbons are large, colourful monkeys and they are very noisy. They live in a comfortable enclosure and because the breeding programme is successful, there are a lot of baby gibbons around.
The Botanical Gardens were set up in 1864 to grow interesting flowers and trees. In 1975, birds and animals were introduced and the name was changed to the Zoological and Botanical Gardens. 2 Also, the animals and bird collections have been expanded and new, attractive homes built for them.
3 The birds are housed in aviaries on the east side of Albany Road and the animals are on the west side, reached through a tunnel under the busy road. The pathways are well-signposted and there are maps which pinpoint where the exhibits can be found. There are about 280 species of birds in the collection, some of them tiny and brightly-coloured, others large and slow-moving. One bird that the zoo specialises in breeding is the Palawan peacock pheasant, which comes from an island in the Philippines. 4 Over the past 30 years, the zoo keepers have raised nearly 400 of these birds. 5 They also help them to look after the baby chicks so that some of the young birds can be returned to their home in the Philippines each year.
Deciding which animals should live in the Garden is very important. 6 It would not be fair to try and keep animals which are used to cold, dry climates, or which need a lot of space.
Usually animals which live in trees and can climb are suitable for the Gardens because they can make use of space above the ground. 7 They are then encouraged to breed so that some of the young animals can be returned to the wild. The greater part of the collection is made up of animals from all over Asia, with a few from local regions. 8
9 Many people go early in the morning to do their exercise or practise tai chi. 10 The gates close at 10 pm so there is plenty of time to pay a visit and escape from the busy streets of Hong Kong for a while.
A. They must like warm weather and be happy living in a small space.
B. Some take their caged birds with them.
C. Admission to the Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens is free and they are open from 6 am daily.
D. Now there are still many beautiful plants, all carefully labelled with their English and Chinese names.
E. The largest group of gibbons in captivity in the world is just above Queen's Road, in the Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens.
F. However, there are a number of species which come from as far away as South America and Australia.
G. Animals may also be selected if they are rare and endangered.
H. It is extremely rare in its home country because the forests where it lives are being chopped down.
I. For people who are interested, the best time to see the birds and animals is early in the morning when they are most lively.
J. They create comfortable conditions in which the parent birds can lay eggs.
Answers: 1. E 2. D 3. I 4. H 5. J 6. A 7. G 8. F 9. C 10. B