Interactive English: Reception

Reading and Listening

Achievement Check Practice

on May 3, 2014

On May 20th we will have our first Achievement Check so in the next lesson (5/13) 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.

These vocabulary words will be important for the lesson: a spy, a kitty, the Soviet Union / a Soviet, Australian English, a branch (of a store)


28 responses to “Achievement Check Practice

  1. Hiroshi Yoshida(T4) says:

    I think in “Spy kitty vs. the Soviet”, we’ll hear the story of the battle of the U.S. and the Soviet Union. Soviet had always conflicted with U.S., so when I hear the words “Soviet” and “vs”, I associate the America. Maybe American woman spy try to steal the important information of the Soviet, and Soviet Guardian (like GPU or something) try to protect the information in the story.

    Next, the article “Sunday Morning at Bill’s Cafe”, I can’t guess the content from the title. If it is again the historic-based story, I think there is a soldier and he have a rest on Sunday. He would talk to his friend about the tragedy at Battlefield he went. Or other, a man would just go to the cafe and relax all day, I think maybe.

  2. Akira Katagata says:

    I think that the story “Spy Kitty vs. The Soviets” is one during The Cold War. In the story,US probably sent a kitty to Soviet Union to get some secret information. On the other hand, Soviet tried to protect imporant deta against US. So, it shows a struggle between US and Soviet.

    I guess that in the magazine article titled ” Sunday Morning at Bill’s cafe” ,there is a discussion about a social problem in a cafe. If not, this article may say only about writer’s daily life .

    I look forward to read and listen to these two stories!

  3. Shota Nihi(T4) says:

    I think that this story is based on The Cold War and the author who wrote this story treats the kitty as the American spy. I can’t understand details,but it’s seems like a fable for little children.It is difficult to teach the histrical facts in elementary schools since explaining history is too complicated for little children. Thus, I think it was for education that this story was made.

    If my guess is right, I’m interested in the end of this story. Most people think the war doesn’t have the right answer and winning is the justice.In the real facts,the Soviets was broken and America announced own victory.As time passes,however, a lot of ideas about the war are appeared.Some people even said America didn’t win the war.

    I think we should not force children to have the fixed idea about the war. And we must let them think the war for themselves.So,I have a intrest in which country wins in this story, “Spy Kitty vs. The Soviets.” I’m looking forward to the next lesson!

  4. Natsuko Nishida says:

    In “Spy Kitty vs. the Soviets” we may be going to hear the story that in Soviets where people could not talk what they actually thought,American spies tried to collect information about Soviet. The reason that why America wanted information about Soviet is the cold war.The cold war was a war between Communism which Soviets represented and Democracy which America represented.Both countries had nuclear weapons and they also knew that if they used them,the world could be destroied easily. So they wanted information about the other’s weak points and beat the other’s country without useing nuclear weapons.

    In “Sundy Morning Bill’s Cafe” we will read the story whose hero is Bill.Bill is running the cafe in a small city. He has dreamed of running his own cafe since he was a child.After he worked a company to save money, he opened his cafe.And he fall in love with the beautiful girl who always visit his cafe on every Sundays .In the end , he get married to the women and lead a happy life.

  5. Nanami Ozaki (T4) says:

    I think “Spy Kitty vs the Soviets” is a story about the Cold War. Spy Kitty means someone who was an American spy or an American government official. In the time of the Cold War, American government wanted to know what the Soviet thinks and does, so, they sent a spy and he investigated.

    I guess the contents of “Sunday Morning at Bill’s Cafe” from Vocabulary Words. Bill was a man who came from Australia to the U.K. He ran his very very small cafe in a small town of the U.K. One Sunday morning, a man who speaks Australian English came to his cafe. The man began to come to the cafe every Sunday morning. Bill and the man came to good friends with each other and talked a lot , because they were far from their country and glad to meet person who have the same nationality. One day, the man suggested to open branches of Bill’s cafe to Bill and he actually opened them in cities. Then, the cafe became very popular and Bill lives happy life now.

  6. Shintaro Murakami(T4) says:

    I think ”spy kitty VS the Soviet ” is a story about an American spy. In the Cold War age , America send a femail spy to the Soviet Union . And I think this is a story about her.

    ”Sunday morning at the Bill ‘s caffe ” might be an article about the incident which was happened to peaceful and totally common Bill’s caffe. I think it causes another problem and Bill’s life changes suddenly and rapidly.

  7. tufsmatt says:

    I’m loving these comments… You guys have fantastic imaginations!!

  8. Risako Ohata says:

    I think “Spy Kitty vs. the Soviets” is a story related to the Cold War.In 20th century,the two powers,America and Soviets,were in a state of cold war,so they both needed to research each other. I think Spy Kitty is the American spy and the spy could collect information about Soviets smartly like cats.Maybe this story tells us the battle between American spy and Soviets not so seriously by comparing the spy with kitty.

    Next,”Sunday Morning at Bill’s Cafe”, we can have various images only from the title.I guess the contexts of it from vocaburary words and I think this story’s hero is the man “Bill” who speaks Australian English and runs the cafe in Australia. One sunday morning,a strange man visited his cafe and asked him whether he wanted to run his cafe in America.Maybe this is the big chance to change his life! I think he started to run the cafe in America later and he spend hard but happy days there.
    I am looking forward to next lesson so much!

  9. chihiro uchiyama says:

    As like most of the comments above, I think too that ”spy kitties” are something related to America in the cold war era. Probably, in order to get infomation from the Soviets, the Americans sent in kittens with redcording and GPS devices. I thought it might be a story about animal rights or something, but as from the title, that might not be appropriate.
    In ”Sunday morning at Bills cafe”, I think Bill is an Australian man who recently opened a cafe somewhere in America. From his accent, he might be seen as a wierd stranger first but gradually, he gets accepted in the neighborhood.

  10. Miho Hashimoto (T4) says:

    The title “Spy Kitty vs. the Soviets” , it reminds me of the image of Russia in 20th century.
    I think this is a story of genius cats. They are actually members of an army of a hostile country.They watch everything the soldiers of Soviet doing, and hearing everything what they are speaking and tell some important information to their boss without being noticed.
    One day however, their identity was leaked by someone and barely caught by enemy.
    Since then the chase between cats and Soviet soldiers started.

    I think “Sunday Morning at Bill’s Cafe” is a story of a regular customer of “Bill’s Cafe”.
    First the main character of this story was very hard to get along with, but he or she meets many kind people at the cafe and change its mind. Eventually he or she notices the importance of friendship and relation with people.

  11. Ryo(Ryohei Kamiya), T4 says:

    I think that in the “Spy Kitty vs. Soviet”, we might hear about the conflict between the Soviet Union and the U.S in the Cold War, and the spy the U.S sent to the Soviet. Cats are usually tiny, cute and not associated with spy. So I guess that the spy looked not likely to be a spy.
    In the “Sunday Morning at Bill’s Cafe”, I think we will hear about daily lives of the customers coming to the Bill’s Cafe. The words “Sunday Morning” make me think about ordinary lives with something like a cup of coffee or talk with someone.

  12. Kentaro Ando says:

    I think “Spy Kitty vs. the Soviets” is the story during the cold war. After WW2 ended, America and the Soviet Union were in a state of confrontation. This confrontation is called “the Cold war”. So, I can guess spy kitties were American spies and they tried to get information about the Soviet Union. But I don’t think this strategy had succeeded because cats are animals so they can’t move just as we want.
    In “Sunday Morning at Bill’s Cafe”, I think we will hear about differences between British and Austrarian English. In fact, there are many differences such as pronounciation and spelling. I expect I will hear about these things.

  13. Tao Ichino,T4 says:

    Maybe, “Spy Kitty vs. the Soviets” is a story during the Cold War.
    A kitty is a young cat. Young cats are very cute!
    “Cute” is usually used for praising women.
    So I think Spy Kitty means Spy Woman.
    In the next class, we may learn about women who spied on the Soviet.
    Different from men, women tend to be overlooked.
    Then I think women served as spies.

  14. Mika Yamamori(T4) says:

    I think that ” Spy Kitty vs. the Soviets” is the story related to The Cold War. And it reminds me of the battle between the United States and the Soviets. I think that “Spy Kitty” is a trained cat ( like a police dog) by an American organization to get top secrets of the Soviets. For example, the Americans related to the CIA sent pretty kitties trained by the organization to the Soviet and the United States tried to get weak points of the Soviets by making use of the kitties to win The Cold War.

    And I think that ” Sunday Morning at Bill’s Cafe” is the story related to “English” as one language . I think that a person who speaks Australian English was transferred to a branch in the United States or in the United Kingdom. The person lived in the foreign country, and he/she came to be interested in the difference of each English such as American English,British English and Australian English.

  15. TANAKA KOTARO(T4) says:

    My grandfather told me that “in the cold war, the United States used carrier pigeons to get the Soviets information.”(But possibly pigeons user country was the Soviets, for I heard this story when I was 5 or 6 years, so I don’t remember clearly.) From this, I guess the United States or the Soviets used cats too, and “Spy Kitty vs. the Soviets” tells successful of these cats as spy.

    Next I think “Sunday Morning at Bill’s Cafe” is a story caused by owner Bill and regular customers of his cafeteria. I think they are so unique that many troubles are caused at there. At first I think so, but after finding this word “Australian English”, I think that this story is about various kinds of English, especially Australian English.

  16. Ayano sato (T4) says:

    I think “Spy kitty vs. the Soviet” is a story about the Cold War. I don’t know whether “kitty” means real cats or metaphor, we will listen to a episode about spy’s action during the Cold War.
    It’s difficult to guess from only a title “Sunday morning at Bill’s cafe”. I think this article is a short story about a happening at Bill’s cafe or a essay which is related with the cafe.

  17. Mayu Morimoto (T4) says:

    I think ”Spy kitty vs. the Soviet” is a story which is written about the Cold War. Maybe ”Spy kitty” is not a real one, it is a secret word for American spy. Cats usually move very silently, and spies have to work secretly and silently. Considering this, the word ”Spy kitty” may refers how good the American spy is. I may be able to listen how ”Spy kitty” achieve his/her tasks during the Cold War.

    The story ”Sunday morning at Bill’s cafe” should be the one which is about troubles happened at Bill’s cafe. Guessing from the words which are given, troubles are caused by someone who speaks Australian English. Maybe Bill is American, and he takes wrong orders because of his customer’s ”different” English.
    I wonder I can learn some differences between American English and Australian English in a next lesson.

  18. Suzuki Kana(T4) says:

    I think we will listen a story that American women worked as spies in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. I couldn’t imagine real little cats fighting as spies against the Soviet. So I thought “Kitty” is a metaphor for something and I associated “Kitty” with young women. And the reason why I thought the spies may be American is the US and the USSR had the Cold War. The spies might have succeeded in their mission because people wouldn’t think woman spies entered the Soviets.

    And then, when I read this blog, I was excited! “Bill’s cafe” is that cafe which is famous for its pancakes, right? I love the pancake! The cafe is a very very popular one and its breakfast is called “the best breakfast in the world.” This is why the cafe is probably so busy at Sunday morning. However, what happen at the shop? I think we will read about the state of the awfully busy cafe.

  19. Tamako(T4) says:

    I’m a little surprised that almost everyone guesses that this article is the metaphor of the Cold War. As a few people mention, I associated ‘kitty’, a small cat, with a young and competent spy woman. But isn’t it possible that this story is inside Soviet Union, for example- I think we should come up with not only one idea when we guess-. However, it also seems appropriate that it indicates the Cold War, thinking of the word ‘history’ and ‘English’. Then I wonder how ‘Australian’ came to be concerned with this matter.

  20. Chinatsu Fukunaga(T4) says:

    I think ”spy kitty vs. the Soviets” is a story that the government of America use cats with cameras, voice recorders and other machines in order to get a lot of information about Soviets.
    The cats infiltrate in the buildings without being doubted and steal something important.
    ”Sunday morning at Bill’s cafe” is a talking about every interesting things which happened during the week, and Bill talk them with fun.

  21. Akane Okumura says:

    I think “Spy Kitty vs. the Soviets” is the story about two smart kitties spying on Soviets sent from West Europe or America. People usually do not think sweet little kitties are actually spys so west countries decide to send kitties to Soviets and kitties spy with a wiretap attached to their neck.
    “Sunday Morning at Bill’s cafe” is a diary written by a waitress work at Bill’s cafe.It may be about what she experienced while she was working in Sunday morning.

  22. Wataru Yamamura(T4) says:

    In my opinion,“Spy Kitty vs. the Soviets” is related to the Cold War.The United States opposed to the Soviet Union at that time and sent a spy.In this story,it seems that Spy Kitty is an American female spy.This story appears to be interesting.
    “Sunday Morning at Bill’s cafe” describes Bill’s daily life and something special happens on the day.

  23. Emi Enomoto(T4) says:

    I guess the first story is related to the Soviet Union during World WarⅡor the Cold War. The name Kitty, which means a little cat, is that of a girl, and a spy, I think. So it sounds like thrilling and dangerous.
    The second one is, in my guess, a kind of interesting or funny story in a cafe. There is a word ‘a branch’ in important vocabulary words, and I think this will be used in this story. It’s like Bill’s cafe is a branch and something interesting will happen there.

  24. Shizuka Abe(T4) says:

    Like everyone, I think that “Spy Kitty vs the Soviets” is a story of the Cold War. “the Soviets” means the Soviet Union, so I think maybe “Spy Kitty” means America. “kitty” means baby of cat or loose young girl, then I think that “kitty” in this story means a naughty girl who is American or American side.

    Next, I think that “Sunday Morning at Bill’s Cafe” give me peaceful image. According to the vocabulary words, I think that this story may be involved in Australian English and a branch of a store. I think Bill is Ausiralian and he is a store manager of a branch of a store.


    I think that the story, ” spy kitty vs the soviets ” is related to ” cold war “. After WW2, capitalism countries competed with communism countries. And the story , I predict , might be that a major country of capitalism , USA sent better trained kitties to Soviet Union to get information about communism country.
    We can imagine many things from the title, ” Sunday Morning at Bill`s Cafe “. So I will predict the story very roughly. I think that a man called Bill is running his cafe and in one sunday morning his life changes dramatically by happening something.

  26. Wataru Kaneto(T4) says:

    I think “Spy Kitty vs. the Soviets” indicates a fight between a female spy like a cute naughty kitten and the Soviet Union, as most of you expect. The Soviet started the freedom of information system, Glasnost, after Chernobyl’ accident in 1986. That is, the Soviet didn’t go public with its information until the accident. So I guess that Kitty tries to sneak into the core of the Soviet in order to steal its classified matters. But I don’t know where or what she is from. Whether my prediction is right or not, this story will be very difficult to listen to and understand.

    “Sunday Morning at Bill’s Cafe” seems to me like a peaceful comedy. An Australian man Bill, who runs a cafe, has difficulty making himself understood with his Australian English, and what is worse, people misunderstand what he says and it causes some funny trouble…. That is all of my predictions.

  27. Minami Iwakiri(T4) says:

    I think the historical story and the article might focus on some political conflicts, and somehow kitties play an important role in those conflicts.
    I tried to imagine what a kitty can do as a spy, but nothing occurred to me.

  28. Ayaka Sakuma says:

    In “Spy Kitty vs. the Soviets” I think we might hear about the history of Cold War. Because my life in Japan is peaceful, I cannot imagine how spy is. So it will be difficult for me to listen the story, but I’ll do my best.
    And I think we will know about an incident happened in one cafe from the magagine, “Sunday Morning at Bill’s Cafe.” It sounds interesting and I’m looking forward to reading it!

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