Interactive English: Reception

Reading and Listening

Achievement Check 2

on July 4, 2012

On July 10th we have our second Achievement Check. During the test we will listen to a radio program from the series called This American Life. Check out the website for the series HERE and in the comments tell us something interesting you find.

When you read the final pages of The Curious Incident, please answer all these questions in your journal and don’t forget to keep a list of characters!

1. What do you think the “John Lewis” is on pg.245? (You don’t need to look this up – just guess.)

2. Why was Christopher frightened of Mr. Shears?

3. What does Christopher’s mom mean when she says, “I’m getting it in the neck from Roger”?

4. What does Mr. Shears mean when he says, “Well, it’s nice to know my contribution is appreciated”?

5. Why did Christopher and his mother leave London?

6. What do you think Christopher will do with his life in the future?

7. Tell us what you liked and what you didn’t like about this book.

Also don’t forget to do your final Book Review!


13 responses to “Achievement Check 2

  1. Satomi Togari says:

    Ni3 hao3!

    I picked the Americans in China programme (surprise, surprise!)
    It was interesting that they featured “Americans” in China,
    rather than “Chinese Americans living in the US”, which caught my

    I learned that foreigners in China were occasionally brought on
    talkshows and Chinese versions of “American Idol”. Some were adorned
    with traditional clothes, asked to speak strange Chinese or
    sing on the show for the viewers’ entertainment, and a man
    living in China told the show that along with children and
    baby animals, foreigners are considered “cute and adorable” in China.
    I think in some aspects,the same feeling prevails in Japan too,
    as I know some people are especially attracted to Western people
    for the same reason “Foreginers are cute”. I also remember
    a girl from Hong Kong I met in the UK who said that she wanted to
    marry a German bloke; for some reason she was convinced that
    all Germans are breath-takingly handsome.
    Also the show told us that while China is now considered one of
    the most developed countries in the world, the Chinese feel that
    they are still “weak”; but who asked them that?

    Zai4 jian4! for now!

  2. Wataru Okubo says:

    My first thought: “Podcast again?” My second thought: “Wow, what a huge stock of stories… This must be a great time-killing website for my summer hibernation!”
    After the last class I decided that I should make time to practice listening. And this seems to perfectly help me because the content sounds interesting and funny. The speed is fast for me but I thought perhaps it will be a good practice. Not sure how many weeks it lasts, though, because I haven’t achieved anything and I’m not as confident as Christopher, and writing a resolution in the comment doesn’t mean (sadly) I can do anything.
    So, I randomly tried several ones. My favorite was “Blackjack.” My experience with gamble never went beyond playing online casino games but I’ve always liked to watch the poker tournaments and gambling scenes in movies.
    Andy Bloch, who played for the MIT blackjack team(the model of the movie “21”), explained how to do “card-counting.” Blackjack’s rule is simple: the player whose hand value is closest to 21 and who doesn’t bust, exceeding 21, wins. And that makes you think it’s winnable. Card counting is a strategy to change the odds of winning and Ira says you don’t have to be a Rain Man to do it. The principle of card counting is also simple: keep a tally starting at 0; add one on the tally when a low card is dealt; subtract one when 10s(10, J, Q, K are counted as 10 points) and Aces(counted as 1 or 11 point(s)) are dealt. When the number gets higher, that means the deck contains a relatively big number of 10s and Aces and there is a big possibility of getting them. Thus, you have a good chance of winning. But if you got caught doing it at a casino, you would be asked to leave, so be careful!!

    • tufsmatt says:

      Hey Wataru,
      I’m not sure, but I think that somewhere on the website you can find the tapescripts of the shows. If you listen and read at the same time, it makes it easier but it’s still a great way to practice listening!

  3. Ayumi Sugaya says:

    When I jumped to the website, I was puzzled about which broadcast I should listen,
    so I first checked the page”about us.” The page said that starting at “favorites “page would
    be a good way, so I moved to the page “listners favorites” and chose the broadcast named
    “The Invention of Money.” The theme of this story is what is money and where it goes.
    I was interested in the episode of inflation of Brazil in 1990’s. In that time, the inflation went on
    80% per month. In stores, prices of products rose everyday, and people tried to tear the price seal and to buy it in the lower price.
    If we have a likely situation here in Japan, people will be so confused.
    I think we should always remember that money is fiction, and it is just the idea produced by us.

  4. Kei Inamura says:


    At first when I jumped to that site I was overwhelmed to find there were so many podcasts. So I jumped to the Favourites page and listened to a story named “Petty Tyrant”. This is a story about a school maintenance man named Steve Raucci. He worked seriously for 30 years, however, when he became in charge of maintenance department he started messing with his employees. I wondered why he behaved like that after a long time of good career.

  5. Mina says:

    Hi, this is Mina.
    I heard the story “What I did for love.” I heard only first of series of stories,but It was very interesting, especially the part where a woman who were dumped by her boyfriend writed his phone number on bathroom walls across the United States, and asked other women to call him that she missed him.
    The speed of talking was very fast, so I’m a little nervous about the acheaving test.

  6. Masato Kurosawa says:


    I was surprised that all the radio archives from 1995 to 2012 were available online. It seems good for us, English learners, because we can use real English radio programs whenever we want to listen to. I heard the oldest archive which was its very first broadcast, but I cannot understand most of the program. I’m worried if I can get a good score for the coming achievement check;P


  7. saya says:

    Hi, I found ‘This American Life’ is a very good website to practice English as Wataru said. It has transcripts so I can check where I couldn’t hear. These days I am busy studying Chinese and I have no time studying English: ( My poor English is becoming poorerererer.
    So summer holiday will be a good time to recover my English ability!! I will study English with this wonderful website, I promise.
    I heard”449 Middle School”. It was a programme in which a radio personality Ira talks with a girl, a writer, and a teacher and asks what the situation in middle school is really like. I was shocked by the dissapointing words by the girl who has been teased. She started smoking because she could no longer bear beaing bullied for behaving herself. She lost all hope for middle girl and nobody can do anything to change the middle school. Bullying is a world-wide problem. Also in Japan there are many students who kill themselves because of it.Recently there was a news about bullying in Otsu. I imagined what would I do if I were a target or if my future children were bullied. Terrible.

  8. Takumi Nakanishi says:

    I found “The Invention of Money” very interesting.
    It is literally about money. What is money? Where is money? etc.

    It goes without saying that money is an alternative to goods.
    Now, the alternative is regarded as if it had values in itself.
    That is, money which was supposed to be an alternative to goods has taken the place of goods.
    This paradox is interesting. By the way, a book written by a Japanese economist says almost the same thing. And it says money has spread nationwide because it was regarded as obviously different from goods. Fake money is fake as long as people make it closer to real money. To make real money, you should create an alternative to money and make it spread nationwide.

    Anyway, I believe money alone will never make you happy. Of course I need enough money to live a frugal life, though.

  9. Jiin Choi says:

    Oh this is one of my favorite podcast I used to listen to 🙂 (I haven’t listened to for quite a long time though)
    Anyway, I listened to the episode titled “Party School”.
    First time I saw the title, I guessed this might be about students’ “parties” and as I expected, it was. It started with the interviews and the host and the producer’s visiting the American Number 1 Party School. I wasn’t really sure what “Party School” means at the first time so I googled it and it said it refers college or university that is famous for heavy alcohol and drug use or a general culture of licentiousness.
    I found it very interesting because it it said that the party culture is spread more widely in America but I don’t know whether indeed it is or not. And I also found out an interesting word “frackets” which means jackets that you wear to frat not worrying about getting dirty!
    I didn’t listen to the whole but I’m getting to want to listen to some episodes later :))!

  10. Shogo Inoue says:

    It was interesting to see the website that had so many podcasts. The story that you could listen to had various subject and it is good for everybody to enjoy. I was surprised at the amount of radio program that was in the archive. I hope I dogwood on the archeivement check.

  11. Akira Nemoto says:

    Hi. This is Akira.
    I found 457 What I did for love very interesting.
    Because I’ve seen those who went extreme for winning love.
    I would lIke to know wheather eagerness for love is universal or not. Moreover there must be some characteristics depending on countries.

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