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The Benefits Of Being Bilingual Reading Answers: IELTS Reading Practice Test

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Updated on Jul 02, 2024, 11:57

The IELTS Reading Section is designed to assess a wide range of reading skills, from your ability to understand the main ideas and details in a passage to your capacity to grasp the implied meanings and the writer’s opinions. In this section, you will encounter three passages, each with increasing difficulty, drawn from books, magazines, journals, and newspapers. The content is academic and covers various topics of general interest, making it accessible and relevant for test takers aiming to pursue higher education or professional registration.
 

Key Highlights of the IELTS Reading section:
 

  • The IELTS Reading Section comprises 40 questions based on three reading passages.
  • You have 60 minutes to complete the entire section, with no extra time allocated for transferring answers.
     

In the passage "The Benefits of Being Bilingual," you will explore the cognitive, social, and professional advantages of speaking more than one language. This text delves into how bilingualism enhances mental agility, improves communication skills, and opens up diverse career opportunities.

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1. The Benefits Of Being Bilingual Reading Passage

You should spend approximately 20 minutes answering Questions 1 - 14 based on the Reading Passage below. This approach can help manage time effectively during a reading comprehension activity or exam. 

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2. The Benefits Of Being Bilingual Reading Question & Answers

Discover exciting and informative IELTS reading answers about The Benefits Of Being Bilingual

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1.

The Benefits Of Being Bilingual Reading Passage

General Information

  • Read Instructions: Understand each question before answering.
  • Manage Time: Spend about 20 minutes per passage.
  • Skim and Scan: Quickly get the main idea and find specific information.
  • Highlight Key Info: Underline essential words or phrases.
  • Answer All Questions: Attempt every question; no penalty for wrong answers.
  • Stay Focused: Avoid distractions and keep your attention on the task.
  • Check Spelling: Ensure correct spelling and grammar.
  • Transfer Answers Clearly: Write answers neatly on the answer sheet.
  • Don’t Dwell: Move on if stuck and return later.
  • Review: If time allows, review your answers.

 

 

 

 

 The Benefits Of Being Bilingual Reading Passage


 

 

Paragraph A

The majority of people on earth are now bilingual or multilingual, having grown up speaking two or more languages, according to the most recent statistics. When compared to their monolingual peers, such kids were once thought to be at a disadvantage. However, during the last few decades, technological advancements have made it possible for researchers to examine how bilingualism interacts with and alters the cognitive and neurological systems in greater detail, leading to the identification of several distinct advantages to being bilingual.

 

Paragraph B

According to research, a multilingual person employs both languages simultaneously when using one. When we hear a word, the sounds come in sequential order; we don't hear the complete word at once. The language system in the brain starts to make predictions about what the word might be even before it is finished. At least during the initial phases of word recognition, if you hear the word "can," you probably also activate words like "candy" and "candle." Auditory input activates corresponding words regardless of the language to which they belong, in the case of bilingual people, who do not only activate words in one language. Studying eye movements provides some of the strongest support for this 'language co-activation phenomenon. A Russian-English bilingual person who was asked to "pick up a marker from a group of objects" would look more at a stamp than someone who doesn't know Russian since the Russian word for "stamp," a mark, sounds close to the English word he or she heard, "a marker." In circumstances like this, linguistic co-activation occurs because what the listener hears may map into words in either language.

 

Paragraph C

However, dealing with this ongoing linguistic competition can be challenging. For example, speaking in more than one language might slow down speech and increase "tip-of-the-tongue states," in which you can almost think of a word but can't quite. Because of the constant juggling of two languages, it becomes necessary to limit the amount of time a person spends using each language. As a result, bilingual people usually perform very well in jobs that need efficient conflict management. In the conventional Stroop task, participants are asked to name the colour of the word's font after seeing it. When the colour and the word match (for example, when the word "red" is printed in red), people correctly identify the colour more quickly than when they don't (i.e. when the word "red" is printed in blue). This happens because the colour of the word's font (blue) and the word's actual colour (red) clash. Bilingual people frequently perform well on tasks like this because they can ignore competing demands on perceptual information and concentrate on the pertinent elements of the input. Additionally, bilinguals perform two tasks more quickly than monolinguals, demonstrating better cognitive control when making quick changes in strategy. For instance, when bilinguals must switch from categorising objects by colour (red or green) to shape (circle or triangle), they do so more quickly than monolinguals.

 

Paragraph D 

Additionally, it appears that the neurological underpinnings of the multilingual advantage include brain regions more commonly than linked to sensory processing. Teenagers who are monolingual and bilingual have remarkably similar brain stem reactions when listening to simple speech sounds without any background noise. However, when the same sound was played to both groups while background noise was present, bilingual listeners' neural responses were noticeably larger. This difference is due to their improved encoding of the sound's fundamental frequency, a component of sound that is closely related to pitch perception.

 

Paragraph E 

Such enhancements in cognitive and sensory processing might facilitate a bilingual person's processing of environmental information and contribute to the explanation of why bilingual adults learn a third language more quickly than monolingual adults who master a second language. This benefit might be attributed to the ability to concentrate on language-specific information while minimising distraction from the languages they currently know.

 

Paragraph F 

Additionally, research suggests that learning another language may assist in maintaining cognitive function by enlisting additional brain networks to make up for those that deteriorate with ageing. Older bilinguals have better memories than monolinguals, which can have a positive impact on their physical health. Bilingual patients reported experiencing the disease's first symptoms on average five years later than monolingual patients in a study of more than 200 people with Alzheimer's disease, a degenerative brain disease. Researchers analysed the brains of bilingual and monolingual patients who were matched for the severity of Alzheimer's symptoms in a subsequent study. Even while the bilinguals' outward behaviour and talents were the same as those of their monolingual counterparts, their brains surprisingly showed higher physical indicators of disease. Bilingualism might enable the brain to operate more efficiently with the same quantity of fuel if it were an engine.

 

Paragraph G

Furthermore, the advantages of bilingual experience appear to begin very early. In one study, researchers showed seven-month-old infants raised in bilingual or monolingual families that a puppet would emerge on one side of a screen when they heard a tinkling sound. The puppet started to appear on the other side of the screen about halfway through the research. Only the bilingual newborns were able to successfully acquire the new rule, which required them to modify the rule they had previously learned to receive a reward. This shows that negotiating a multilingual environment confers advantages that transcend far beyond language, both for very young children and elderly people.

2.

The Benefits Of Being Bilingual Reading Question & Answers

Discover exciting and informative IELTS reading answers about The Benefits Of Being Bilingual

Questions and Answers 1-5
  • Complete the table below.
  • Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the passage for each answer.
  • Write your answers in boxes 1-5 on your answer sheet.

 

 

Test

Findings

Observing the 1 __________   of Russian-English bilingual people when asked to select certain objectsBilingual people engage both languages simultaneously: a mechanism known as 2 __________ 
A test called the 3__________, focusing on naming coloursBilingual people are more able to handle tasks involving a skill called 4__________
A test involving switching between tasksWhen changing strategies, bilingual people have superior 5 __________

 

 

The Benefits Of Being Bilingual Reading Answers with Explanations (1-5)


 

Type of question: Completing a table

 

Under this task, you are required to fill in missing information in a table based on the information provided in the passage. These questions typically appear as part of the matching information or summary completion tasks.

 

How to answer: 

 

  • Quickly skim the passage for the main idea and relevant details.
  • Note keywords or headings in the table to place missing information.
  • Read surrounding sentences carefully for specific details.
  • Use accurate and grammatically correct information from the passage.
  • Verify and finalise your answers.

 

 

1. Eye movements

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph B: Some of the most compelling evidence for this phenomenon, called ‘language co-activation’, comes from studying eye movements. A Russian-English bilingual asked to ‘pick up a marker’ from a set of objects would look more at a stamp than someone who doesn’t know Russian because the Russian word for ‘stamp’, marka, sounds like the English word he or she heard, ‘marker’.

 

Explanation

This line highlights how the study of eye movements in Russian-English bilingual individuals supports the concept of language co-activation.


 

2. Language co-activation

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph B: A Russian-English bilingual asked to ‘pick up a marker’ from a set of objects would look more at a stamp than someone who doesn’t know Russian because the Russian word for ‘stamp’, marka, sounds like the English word he or she heard, ‘marker’. In cases like this, language co-activation occurs because what the listener hears could map onto words in either language.
 

Explanation

This statement emphasises the role of language co-activation in studying communication through both verbal and eye movement channels.


 

3. Stroop task

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph C:  “In the conventional Stroop task, participants are asked to name the colour of the word's font after seeing it.”
 

Explanation

This line explains the nature of the Stroop task, which involves naming colours based on the font of a word, as discussed in the paragraph.


 

4. Conflict management

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph C: "Because of the constant juggling of two languages, it becomes necessary to limit the amount of time a person spends using each language. As a result, bilingual people usually perform very well in jobs that need efficient conflict management."
 

Explanation

This line illustrates how bilingualism enhances conflict management skills, which are crucial for performing certain tasks effectively.


 

5. Cognitive control

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph C: “Additionally, bilinguals perform two tasks more quickly than monolinguals, demonstrating better cognitive control when making quick changes in strategy. For instance, when bilinguals must switch from categorising objects by colour (red or green) to shape (circle or triangle), they do so more quickly than monolinguals.."

 

Explanation

This line elucidates how bilingual individuals demonstrate superior cognitive control compared to monolinguals, especially in tasks requiring quick adaptation to changing strategies.

Questions and Answers 6-9
  • Reading Passage has seven paragraphs: A-G.
  • Which paragraph contains the following information?
  • Write the correct letter, A-G, in boxes 6-9 on your answer sheet.

 

 

6. an example of how bilingual and monolingual people’s brains respond differently to a certain type of non-verbal auditory input
7. a demonstration of how a bilingual upbringing has benefits even before we learn to speak
8. a description of the process by which people identify words that they hear
9. references to some negative consequences of being bilingual


 

The Benefits Of Being Bilingual Reading Answers with Explanations (6-9)

 

Type of question: Matching information

In this question type, you will be asked to match specific pieces of information, often dates, names, or events, from the reading passage with corresponding options provided in the question.

 

How to best answer: 
 

  • Read each statement carefully to understand the specific information being asked for.
  • Scan the passage for relevant dates or events in the reading passage that corresponds to each statement.
  • Eliminate incorrect options that do not match the information found in the passage.
  • Match the remaining options based on the information provided in the passage.
  • Verify your answers to ensure they match the information in the passage before finalising them.


 

6. D

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph D: "Additionally, it appears that the neurological underpinnings of the multilingual advantage include brain regions more commonly than linked to sensory processing. Teenagers who are monolingual and bilingual have remarkably similar brain stem reactions when listening to simple speech sounds without any background noise."

 

Explanation

This paragraph specifically discusses the neurological differences in response to non-verbal auditory input between monolingual and bilingual individuals, highlighting how bilingualism impacts sensory processing.


 

7. G

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph G: "Furthermore, the advantages of bilingual experience appear to begin very early. In one study, researchers showed seven-month-old infants raised in bilingual or monolingual families that a puppet would emerge on one side of a screen when they heard a tinkling sound."

 

Explanation

This paragraph highlights the benefits of a bilingual upbringing even before language acquisition, as demonstrated by a study involving infants raised in bilingual environments.


 

8. B

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph b: "According to research, a multilingual person employs both languages simultaneously when using one. When we hear a word, the sounds come in sequential order; we don't hear the complete word at once. The language system in the brain starts to make predictions about what the word might be even before it is finished."

 

Explanation

The paragraph details how bilingual individuals identify words they hear by simultaneously activating words from both languages, demonstrating the phenomenon of linguistic co-activation.


 

9. C

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph C: "For example, speaking in more than one language might slow down speech and increase "tip-of-the-tongue states," in which you can almost think of a word but can't quite."

 

Explanation

This paragraph discusses some negative consequences of bilingualism, such as slower speech and increased difficulty in word retrieval, attributed to the constant juggling of multiple languages.

Questions and Answers 10-14
Do the following statements agree with the information given in the Reading Passage?
In boxes 10-14 on your answer sheet, write

  • TRUE if the statement agrees with the information
  • FALSE if the statement contradicts the information
  • NOT GIVEN if there is no information on this in the passage

 

 

10. Attitudes towards bilingualism have changed in recent years.
11. Bilingual people are better than monolingual people at guessing correctly what words are before they are finished.
12. Bilingual people consistently name images faster than monolingual people.
13. Bilingual people’s brains process single sounds more efficiently than monolingual people in all situations.
14. Fewer bilingual people than monolingual people suffer from brain disease in old age.

 

The Benefits Of Being Bilingual Reading Answers with Explanations (10-14)

 

Type of question: True/False/Not Given

 

In this question type, you are required to determine whether the statements provided agree with, contradict, or are not mentioned in the reading passage. 

 

How to best answer: 

 

  • Understand what information is being presented and what is being asked.
  • Find relevant information in the reading passage that relates to the statement.
  • Determine if the statement agrees with, contradicts, or is not mentioned in the passage.
  • If the information is not explicitly provided in the passage, select 'Not Given' rather than making assumptions.
  • Base your answers solely on the information presented in the passage, avoiding personal opinions or outside knowledge.


 

10. True

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph A: "However, during the last few decades, technological advancements have made it possible for researchers to examine how bilingualism interacts with and alters the cognitive and neurological systems in greater detail, leading to the identification of several distinct advantages to being bilingual."

 

Explanation

Attitudes towards bilingualism have changed, as mentioned in Paragraph A, where it states that technological advancements have led to the identification of several distinct advantages to being bilingual, implying a shift in perception.


 

11. Not Given

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph: N.A.

 

Explanation

The passage does not provide information regarding whether bilingual people are better at guessing words before they are finished. Hence, it cannot be determined whether the statement is true or false.


 

12. False

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph C: "For example, speaking in more than one language might slow down speech and increase "tip-of-the-tongue states," in which you can almost think of a word but can't quite."

 

Explanation

Paragraph C indicates that bilingual people might experience speech slowdowns due to linguistic competition, suggesting they may not consistently name images faster than monolinguals, which contradicts the statement.


 

13. False

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph D: "Teenagers who are monolingual and bilingual have remarkably similar brain stem reactions when listening to simple speech sounds without any background noise."
 

Explanation

Paragraph D mentions that in situations without background noise, both monolinguals and bilinguals show similar brain stem responses, indicating that bilingual people's brains do not process single sounds more efficiently than monolinguals in all situations.


 

14. Not Given

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph: N.A.
 

Explanation

The passage does not mention the relevant information regarding the statement.

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FAQs

Q. Is there a break between the sections of the IELTS Reading test?

Ans. No, there is no break between the sections. You'll move seamlessly from one section to the next, so it's essential to manage your time effectively and stay focused throughout the 60-minute duration of the test.

Q. How can I improve my reading speed for the IELTS Reading test?

Ans. To improve your reading speed, it's important to practise regularly. Start with shorter passages and gradually move on to longer, more complex texts. You can also try techniques like skimming and scanning to quickly find key information in the passages.

Q. Can I go back and check my answers for the IELTS reading test?

Ans. Yes, you can go back and review your answers during the test if you have time remaining. It's a good idea to double-check your answers for accuracy and ensure you haven't missed anything. However, make sure to prioritise completing all questions within the allocated time.