Interactive English: Reception

Reading and Listening

Achievement Check Preparation

on May 15, 2012

On May 29th we have our first Achievement Check so in the next lesson we will do a practice check together. For the practice, we will listen to a historical story called “Spy Kitty vs. the Soviets” and read a magazine article titled “Sunday Morning at Bill’s Cafe”. In the comments, please make a prediction about what we might hear in the listening and read in the text.

Also, when you read pages 56-95 of The Curious Incident, please answer all these questions in your journal and don’t forget to keep a list of characters!

1. What are A-levels?

2. What is Reverend Peters going to do for Christopher?

3. Which of Christopher’s behavioural problems do you think is the most interesting or difficult to deal with? Why?

4. Are Christopher and his father still friends with Mr. Shears?

5. When Siobhan asks him, what does Christopher say regarding how he feels about his mother and Mr. Shears?

6. What do you think might happen in the next 20 pages?

Also don’t forget to do your Book Review! :)


13 responses to “Achievement Check Preparation

  1. Kei Inamura says:


    I think the story,”Spy Kitty vs. the Soviets”, is a comedy and we’ll hear an irony against the communism.I think in the story an American kitten will try to get secret information of the soviets.
    In the article, I think we’ll read people discussing what kind of coffee they like.Maybe how coffee was made and brought to them.

  2. Satomi Togari says:

    Ni hao!

    Kittens…I want one! Or two. Or three. Maybe even four.=(o_o)=

    As it says “the Soviets”, I think the setting of the
    story is somewhere during the 1920s and the 90s,
    but I’m not sure if the kittens are actually
    spying on the Soviets in the story or a metaphor(?)
    of another country…but I have heard tales of animals
    like dogs and pigeons working for armies in WWI and II,
    so maybe our formidable furry friends _are_ real spies.

    I can’t guess anything from “Sunday Morning at Bill’s Cafe”,
    but I imagine a group of different people at a cafe enjoying their
    breakfast(do cafes in the UK/US actually do breakfast on Sundays?)
    …or maybe the story is about the owners at the cafe.
    We’ll just have to find out next week!
    The title does sound interesting (reminds me of that song by Maroon5),
    so I’m looking forward to reading the story.

    Au revoir for now!


  3. Wataru Okubo says:

    Hi. Below is my prediction as to what we might listen to and read in the next class.

    In the period of the cold war, what was the most intense battle between the US and the Soviet Union? The Space Race. Then, what is one of the most beloved things regardless of borders that can pass under (or maybe pass over) the iron curtain. Kittens! So, the story begins with NASA’s decision to send a well-trained robot spy kitty to the Soviet as an espionage agent! Well, it’s going to be a little sci-fi but, as it’s a historical story, it would be something that lets us think about “what-ifs” referring to the incidents that actually happened and of course makes us giggle.
    If it’s literally a “historical” story, based on what happened in the real world, I’ve no idea what kind of investigation that kitty has done!

    Since it is a magazine article, it must be something interesting, useful, or serious. From the title I think it’s about a unique activity or event that took place at a cafe on one Sunday morning. I came up with several ideas: a charity activity that strengthened a community bond of a city, romance at a classy cafe, a record-breaking project that is likely to be registered in the Guinness Book, or a reunion of old friends again, but this time in a good way.

  4. Shogo Inoue says:


    Here is my prediction for the reading and listening

    I think “Spy Kitty vs. the Soviets” is about the cold war between America and the Soviets. During the cold war, America and the soviets were conscious of each other at all times. In the listening we might hear about the u2 incident. it was when American spy plain was shot down at inside the Soviets. maybe it’s something similar to that story.

    With the reading of “Sunday Morning at Bill’s Cafe” we might be reading something about the specific American or English cafes on Sunday morning. On the other hand, we might learn how Europeans spend their Sunday morning at the cafe.

  5. Ayumi Sugaya says:


    In the listening “Spy kitty vs. Soviets”, we might hear a story about antagonism between U.S. and Soviet during the Cold War.
    During that time, these two countris used many spies to know the other’s inside information, so this might be a story of American spies who penetrate Soviet.

    In the reading “Sunday Morning at Bill’s Cafe”, we might read about observations of people who spend their Sunday morning at the cafe.

  6. Masato Kurosawa says:

    Hi, this is Masato.

    Kitties are very charming. But, spy kitties are far more than charming! They will face a lot of difficulities in spying the Soviets. Maybe they will be on the verge of being attacked. But don’t worry, they are strictly trained CIA spies. They will remain placid even in a dangerous situation and execute their tasks without any difficulities.

    And about “Sunday Morning at Bill’s Cafe.” My prediction is a litte bit suspenseful: a man called Bill is the owner of a cafe. His cafe is always a complete lack of exuberance. But, one day, all of a sudden, a lot of people come in the shop and it becomes full of visitors. Bill feels happy, but there is a kind of conspiracy which he never knows behind the situation.

  7. Takumi Nakanishi says:


    Kittens are very cute. I don’t want to have them in my apartment, though.
    Who wants to deal with their c–p or p–s? Even imagining that makes me feel like throwing up.
    Anyway, I guess the word, kitty, in that context means young women (girls?) who try to seduce men and make them blurt out classified information.
    I’m sorry for my immodest remarks.

    And I’ll write about the next material.
    To tell the truth, I don’t have any idea what will happen in the article only from the title.
    However, I think Bill is Bill Gates and he will meet at the cafe the ex-president, Steve Jobs, who has unfortunately died.

  8. Shino Yanagimura says:

    The listening may be about when the Soviets existed, so it will be about the history in Russia,
    seen from a kitten’s point of view which is a quite unusual way to see Russia.

    the artical may be a short story sometimes written in magazines for a little rest.
    a comical story which happened in a cofee shop.

  9. Jiin Choi says:

    Hi, this is Jiin.

    In my opinion, “Spy Kitty vs. the Soviets” is about a story during the cold war between U.S and USSR.You didn’t give us any hint about it so I never know until tomorrow’s class but there is a word “Soviets” in the title and you know, it is a word only used during the cold war and only before USSR is collapsed.

    And the article titled “Sunday Morning at Bill’s Cafe” may be a kind of review written after visiting a restaurant or a cafe named Bill’s cafe.If so, there must be some informain about it such as location map,the atmosphere,menu and so on.

  10. saya says:

    Mmm…This week’s assignment is a bit difficult. I have little idea about those two story : (

    “Spy kitty vs the Soviets” sounds very interesting! The winner must be the Soviet because it killed thousands of its people who disobeyed them and it must be easy for the Soviet army to kill kitties haha! (Christpher will say so…)
    I don’t know whether it is a metaphor or not. As Satomi and Wataru suggested, “Spy kitty” can be a real kitty or robot a kitty. Or, “Spy kitty” can also be a metopher for a pretty girl spying on the Soviet. As all others have mentioned, however, it is sure that the story must be on the Cold War.

    “Sunday mornig at Bill’s cafe” will be a story about men gathered at Bill’s cafe talking over a cup of coffee. I don’t know any further.

    Bye and see you tomorrow!

  11. Jay says:


    “spy kitty vs the soviets” – How a young American undercover agent with the code name ‘kitty’ obtained information from communists during the Cold War. The only thing I know about Soviet is Yakov Smirnoff and his Soviet Russia jokes/memes (In America, you assassinate presidents. In Soviet Russia, presidents assassinate you!) so you know I have no idea. *no offense intended

    “Sunday morning at Bill’s cafe” I guess it’s not about work or school since its Sunday. Maybe it’s like the Colbert Report, picking certain news that happened in one day or week and featuring it in one article.

  12. Mayu says:


    I think the kitten may do some directive work for the Soviet… I don’t know how the kitten does that though.
    Unlike the story above,Sunday morning at Bill’s cafe sounds fun story. Perhaps it may be love story!
    Looking forward to reading them!

  13. Akira Nemoto says:

    The title “spy kitties vs the soviets” sounds very interesting and funny.
    I predict that spy kitties are American cats and spying out USSR. They are unlikely to be found out, because they are not humanbeings but cats!
    Next, “Sunday morning at Bill’s cafe” sounds fashionable. It reminds me of the great novel, “Breakfast at tiffany’s” .
    So, there must be cool guys and beautiful women, and possibly romance.
    No beauty, No story !

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