Competencies a: listening



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UNIT V

COMPETENCIES

A: LISTENING:

Listening to dialogues – 207.

B: SPEAKING:

Giving short speeches – 208.

C: READING:

Understanding text organization. Understanding different registers. Understanding graphs, tables, charts, etc. – 210.

D: VOCABULARY:

Using/identifying words foclipping and blending. Building words with particular suffixes. Using eponyms, euphemisms and cliché remade by – 225.

E: STUDY SKILLS:

Making notes - 233.

F: GRAMMAR:

defining Using relative clauses – defining and non-defining clauses – 235.

G: WRITING:

Writing with correct punctuation – 238.

H: OCCUPATIONAL COMPETENCY:

Writing advertisements – 244.

I: STRATEGIC COMPETENCY:

Taking risks confident enough to try out something in English) (Feeling) – 248.

J: CREATIVE COMPETENCY:

Preparing the coan advertisement concept for – 249.


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A. Listening

Task 1: The teacher will read a short dialogue. Listen carefully

and answer the questions given below:


(The teacher reads)

1. Name the two commuters speaking to each other.

2. How long has the bus been trapped in the traffic jam?

3. At what time was Ramu to have his presentation?

4. On which street do the two commuters work and in which offices?

5. Who suggested walking to their work places?

6. How long would it take to reach the office if they walked the distance?

7. Is there any mention of the reason for the traffic jam?


Task 2:

Suresh and Ramu meet again the next day at the bus stop. Listen to the teacher read the dialogue between them and answer the questions that follow:

(The teacher reads)

1. How did Ramu’s presentation go off?

2. What caused the previous day’s traffic jam?

3. Where were the children being taken?

4. What distracted the van driver, according to the report?

5. Were there any casualties?


Task 3:

The teacher will read a dialogue between a parent and a teacher. Listen to the dialogue and fill in the blanks in the statements given below.

(The teacher reads)

1. According to Vijay’s mother, Vijay has not ……. and is ……..

2. Vijay’s mother wants him to do ……………...
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3. ............. are not the indicators of one’s..........

4. Vijay has ……………… competency.

5. Vijay has …………….

6. Vijay has a ……………… imagination.

7. Vijay has …………. in expression.

8. Vijay is extremely good in ………… presentation.

9. The teacher feels that Vijay can make it big in ……….

10. The teacher believes that success …………..
B. Speaking

(i) The following is an address of welcome by the School Pupil

Leader of your school on the occasion of the Annual Day

Celebrations.

“Honourable Chief Guest Dr. Kamala Sriram, Director,

Institute of Environmental Studies; Mr. Nagaraj, Director, SPCA,

respected members of the PTA, respected Principal, teachers and

my dear friends. It’s my proud privilege to extend a hearty welcome

to you all. (Turning to the Chief Guest) Madam, we are happy to

have you here to grace this occasion. (Turning to Mr. Nagarajan)

Sir, we are equally happy to have you in our midst to share with us

your experiences in the SPCA. We hope you will stay with us

through the programme to carry with you pleasant memories of

the evening.

Thank you!
Task 1:

Practise the above speech.


Task 2:

Imagine you are the Principal of your school and welcome the gathering at the flag hoisting ceremony on Independence Day.

(ii) The following is a Vote of Thanks proposed by the Science

Club Secretary at the Valedictory function of the Science


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Project Day.

It gives me immense pleasure to propose the vote of thanks

on behalf of the Science Club of our school. I express my gratitude

to the chief guest for having delivered a thought- provoking lecture.

It will go a long way in inculcating in us the much needed scientific

temper. I am thankful to our Science teachers for their constant

guidance. Without their valuable suggestions this project would

not have been possible. I’d like to thank our friends who man the

laboratory for providing us with the necessary equipment and

specimens. I thank the parents and visitors for their active

participation. I also thank all those who have recorded their

comments and suggestions in the visitor’s book.

Finally I thank my fellow-members of the club for their untiring

work in making this a big show.

Thank you once again!


Task 1:

Read the speech aloud and practise it.


Task 2:

Prepare a vote of thanks for the Annual Day celebrations in your School. Use the following phrases:

1. It gives me great/immense pleasure ………….

2. I am extremely thankful to …………

3. Our thanks in full measure goes to …………….

4. I’d like to thank ………………..


Task 3:

Prepare a Vote of Thanks for the Teachers’ Day celebrations organised by the Student Council.


C. Reading

Pre-reading questions

1. Write down the unforgettable day of your middle school life.
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2. Narrate it to the class.

3. Have you at anytime done something for fun or just to feel important, but found yourself in trouble instead?

4. What is your opinion about dissecting living creatures for research purposes in labs?

5. What creature are you most afraid of? Is it a walking, flying, creepy or crawly creature? Why are you afraid of ‘it’?
THE MARK OF VISHNU

-Khushwant Singh

“This is for the Kala Nag,” said Gunga Ram, pouring the

milk into the saucer. “Every night I leave it outside the hole near

the wall and it’s gone by the morning.”

“Perhaps it is the cat,” we youngsters suggested.

“Cat!” said Gunga Ram with contempt. “No cat goes near

that hole. Kala Nag lives there. As long as I give him milk, he will

not bite anyone in this house. You can all go about with bare feet and play where you like.”

We were not having any patronage from Gunga Ram.


“You’re a stupid old Brahmin,” I said. “Don’t you know

snakes don’t drink milk? At least one couldn’t drink a saucerful

every day. The teacher told us that a snake eats only once in several days. We saw a grass snake which had just swallowed a frog. It

stuck like a blob in its throat and took several days to dissolve and

go down its tail. We’ve got dozens of them in the lab in methylated

spirit. Why, last month the teacher bought one from a snake-charmer


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which could run both ways. It had another head with a pair of eyes

at the tail. You should have seen the fun when it was put in the jar.

There wasn’t an empty one in the lab. So the teacher put it in one

which had a Russels viper. He caught its two ends with a pair of

forceps, dropped it in the jar, and quickly put the lid on. There was

an absolute storm as it went round and round in the glass tearing

the decayed viper into shreds.”


Gunga Ram shut his eyes in pious horror.
“You will pay for it one day. Yes, you will.”
It was no use arguing with Gunga Ram. He, like all good

Hindus, believed in the Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Siva – the

creator, preserver, and destroyer. Of these he was most devoted to

Vishnu. Every morning he smeared his forehead with a V mark in

sandalwood paste to honour the deity. Although a Brahmin, he

was illiterate and full of superstition. To him, all life was sacred,

even if it was of a serpent or scorpion or centipede. Whenever he

saw one he quickly shoved it away lest we kill it. He picked up

wasps we battered with our badminton rackets and tended their

damaged wings. Sometimes he got stung. It never seemed to

shake his faith. The more dangerous the animal the more devoted

Gunga Ram was to its existence. Hence the regard for snakes;

above all, the cobra, who was the Kala Nag.
“We will kill your Kala Nag if we see him.”

“I won’t let you. It’s laid a hundred eggs and if you kill it all the

eggs will become cobras and the house will be full of them. Then what

will you do?”

“We’ll catch them alive and send them to Bombay. They

milk them there for anti-snake-bite serum. They pay two rupees

for a live cobra. That makes two hundred rupees straightaway.”
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“You doctors must have udders. I never saw a snake have

any. But don’t you dare touch this one. It is a phannyar – it is

hooded. I’ve seen it. It’s three hands long. As for its hood!”

Gunga Ram opened the palms of his hands and his head swayed

from side to side. “You should see it basking on the lawn in the

sunlight.”
“That just proves what a liar you are. The phannyar is the

male, so it couldn’t have laid the hundred eggs. You must have laid

the eggs yourself.”
The party burst into peals of laughter.

“Must be Gunga Ram’s eggs. We’ll soon have a hundred Gunga

Rams.”

Gunga Ram was squashed. It was the lot of a servant to be

constantly squashed. But having the children of the household make

fun of him was too much even for Gunga Ram. They were

constantly belittling him with their new-fangled ideas. They never

read their scriptures. Nor even what the Mahatma said about nonviolence. It was just shotguns to kill birds and the jars of methylated

spirit to drown snakes. Gunga Ram would stick to his faith in the

sanctity of life. He would feed and protect snakes because snakes

were the most vile of God’s creatures on earth. If you could love

them, instead of killing them, you proved your point.

What the point was which Gunga Ram wanted to prove was

not clear. He just proved it by leaving the saucerful of milk by the

snake hole every night and finding it gone in the mornings.

One day we saw Kala Nag. The monsoons had burst with all

their fury and it had rained in the night. The earth which had lain

parched and dry under the withering heat of the summer sun was

teeming with life. In little pools frogs croaked. The muddy ground
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was littered with crawling worms, centipedes and velvety lady-birds.

Grass had begun to show and the banana leaves glistened bright

and glossy green. The rain had flooded Kala Nag’s hole. He sat in

an open patch on the lawn. His shiny black hood glistened in the

sunlight. He was big – almost six feet in length, and rounded and fleshy,

as my wrist.
“Looks like a King Cobra. Let’s get him.”
Kala Nag did not have much of a chance. The ground was

slippery and all the holes and gutters were full of water. Gunga

Ram was not at home to help.
Armed with long bamboo sticks, we surrounded Kala Nag

before he even scented danger. When he saw us his eyes turned a

fiery red and he hissed and spat on all sides. Then like lightning

Kala Nag made for the banana grove.


The ground was too muddy and he slithered. He had hardly

gone five yards when a stick caught him in the middle and broke his

back. A volley of blows reduced him to a squishy-squashy pulp of

black and white jelly, spattered with blood and mud. His head was

still undamaged.
“Don’t damage the hood,” yelled one of us. “We’ll take Kala

Nag to school.”


So we slid a bamboo stick under the cobra’s belly and lifted

him on the end of the pole. We put him in a large biscuit tin and

tied it up with string. We hid the tin under a bed.
At night I hung around Gunga Ram waiting for him to get his

saucer of milk. “Aren’t you going to take any milk for the Kala


Nag tonight?”
“Yes”, answered Gunga Ram irritably. “You go to bed.”
He did not want any more argument on the subject.
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“He won’t need the milk any more.”

Gunga Ram paused.

“Why?”


“Oh, nothing. There are so many frogs about. They must
taste better than your milk. You never put any sugar in it anyway.”

The next morning Gunga Ram brought back the saucer with


the milk still in it. He looked sullen and suspicious.
“I told you snakes like frogs better than milk.”
Whilst we changed and had breakfast, Gunga Ram hung
around us. The school bus came and we clambered into it with the

tin. As the bus started we held out the tin to Gunga Ram.


“Here’s your Kala Nag. Safe in this box. We are going to

put him in spirit.”


We left him standing speechless, staring at the departing bus.
There was great excitement in the school. We were a set of four

brothers, known for our toughness. We had proved it again.


“A King Cobra.”

“Six feet long.”

“Phannyar.”

The tin was presented to the science teacher.


It was on the teacher’s table, and we waited for him to open

it and admire our kill. The teacher pretended to be indifferent and

set us some problems to work on. With studied matter-of-factness

he fetched his forceps and a jar with a banded Krait lying curled in

muddy methylated spirit. He began to hum and untie the cord

around the box.


As soon as the cord was loosened the lid flew into the air,
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just missing the teacher’s nose. There was Kala Nag. His eyes

burnt like embers and his hood was taut and undamaged. With a

loud hiss he went for the teacher’s face. The teacher pushed himself

back on the chair and toppled over. He fell on the floor and stared

at the cobra, petrified with fear. The boys stood up on their desks

and yelled hysterically.
Kala Nag surveyed the scene with his bloodshot eyes. His

forked tongue darted in and out excitedly. He spat furiously and

then made a bid for freedom. He fell out of the tin onto the floor

with a loud plop. His back was broken in several places and he

dragged himself painfully to the door. When he got to the threshold

he drew himself up once again with his hood outspread to face

another danger.
Outside the classroom stood Gunga Ram with a saucer and a

jug of milk. As soon as he saw Kala Nag come up he went down

on his knees. He poured the milk into the saucer and placed it near

the threshold. With hands folded in prayer he bowed his head to

the ground craving forgiveness. In desperate fury, the cobra hissed

and spat and bit Gunga Ram all over the head – then with great

effort dragged himself into a gutter and wriggled out of view.
Gunga Ram collapsed with hands covering his face. He

groaned in agony. The poison blinded him instantly. Within a few

minutes he turned pale and blue and froth appeared in his mouth.

On his forehead were little drops of blood. These the teacher wiped

with his handkerchief. Underneath was the V mark where the Kala

Nag had dug his fangs.


Glossary

contempt /kEn'tempt/ : total lack of respect

patronage /'pGtrEnIdZ/ : support or encouragement
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methylated spirit : type of alcohol used for

/meTIleItId 'spIrIt/ preserving dead insects and

animals in the lab

Russels viper /'rVslz vaIpE/ : a type of poisonous snake

forceps / 'fC:seps/ : pincers or tongs used for gripping things

battered /'bGtEd/ : hit hard and often

anti-snake-bite serum : a medicine for treating snake/GntI sneIk baIt sIErEm/ bite victims produced with the help of the snake’s poison

udders /'VdEz/ : bag-like organs of a cow or female goat which produce milk

basking /'bA:skIN/ : sitting or lying enjoying warmth

squashed /'skwBLt/ : silenced or subdued

belittling /bI'lItlIN/ : making one seem unimportant or worthless

new-fangled /'nju: fGNgld/ : newly introduced into fashion

sanctity /'sGNktItI/ : holiness

vile /vaIl/ : evil

parched /pA:tLd/ : very dry and hot

teem /ti:m/ : be present in great numbers

littered /'lItEd/ : scattered

slithered /'slIQEd/ : slided unsteadily

squishy-squashy

/skwILI skwBLI/ : squeezed and smashed

spattered /'spGtEd/ : splashed, scattered or sprinkled in drips

sullen /'sVlEn/ : silent, bad-tempered
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suspicious /sEs'pILEs/ : showing doubt or mistrust

clambered /'klGmbEd/ : climbed with difficulty

indifferent /In' dIfErEnt/ : showing no interest

banded /'bGndId/ : striped

krait /kraIt/ : a type of poisonous snake yellow in colour with black spots

embers /'embEz/ : small pieces of burning or glowing wood or coal in a dying fire

petrified /' petrEfaId/ : motionless with fear hysterically /hI'sterIkElI/ : with uncontrollable emotion

surveyed /sE'veId/ : looked carefully from a distance

plop /plBp/ : sound of a smooth object dropping onto the floor


Match the italicised word in the sentence to the appropriate synonym in the given responses.

1. He picked up wasps we battered with our badminton rackets.

a) The Queen of hearts thrashed the knave of hearts for

stealing her tarts

b) The carpenter hammered the nail into the wood.

c) The batsman struck the ball for a sixer.

2. Snakes were the most vile of God’s creatures.

a) The terrorists are cruel people.

b) The robber was so stealthy that even though the inmates

were awake, they did not hear him.

c) Socrates’ wife had a bad and evil temper.
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3. He fell on the floor and stared at the Cobra, petrified with

fear.

a) The boy trembled with fear when he was caught copying



in the test.

b) The child screamed with fear when she saw the man with

a mask.

c) The elephant suddenly charged at the mahout who stood

immobile with fear.
In the sentences below fill in the blanks with words from the

lesson which are opposite in meaning to the words italicised.


1. While Brahma is the creator, Shiva is the ………….

2. Our teacher is interested in monitoring those students who

are …………… to studies.

3. Though the employer trusted the authenticity of his

certificates, he was …………… of his capabilities.

4. There are many people who despise the snake but there are

as many who ……………. it.

Comprehension:


I. Level I

Answer the following questions briefly:

1. Who was Gunga Ram?

2. Why did the author consider Gunga Ram as a stupid old

Brahmin?

3. What was Gunga Ram’s opinion about the narrator and his

brothers?

4. Why did Gunga Ram never hurt animals?

5. How did the narrator and his brother manage to capture the

Kala Nag?


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6. When did Gunga Ram realise that the boys had captured the

Kala Nag?

7. Narrate briefly the incident in the classroom.

8. How did Gunga Ram show his devotion to Kala Nag when

he realised that it had been captured?

9. Why did the Kala Nag bite Gunga Ram?

10. Do you think the snake recognised Gunga Ram as the one

who had been feeding it every day? Give reasons for your

answer.

II. Level II

1. This story brings out certain differences of opinion between

the young and the old, the liberal and the conservative, and

the rational and the superstitious. Highlight them in the context

of the narration.

2. Gunga Ram’s death was ironical. Do you agree? Support

your answer with details from the narration.

III. Write a paragraph on:

1. The capture of the Kala Nag.

2. Gunga Ram’s regard for snakes.

IV. Write an essay on:

Gunga Ram’s Kala Nag


I. Understanding Text Organisation:

As the story unfolds you see Gunga Ram’s reactions at every

stage. It starts with his contempt at the youngster’s suggestion that

it was a cat which drank the milk every night.


Task 1: Given below in Column A are Gunga Ram’s various

reactions. Arrange his reactions in the order of

sequence and match the reaction to the situation in

Column B.


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Column A


Column B
1. Dismay When he told the children that he

would not let them kill Kala Nag


2. Contempt When the saucer still contained milk

next morning


3. Remorse At the suggestion that the cat, not

Kala Nag drank the milk


4. Derision When he placed the saucer of milk

at the threshold


5. Confidence At what was done to the snakes in

the laboratory


6. Suspicion That the snake had been attacked by

the children


7. Horror When the boys talked about milking

the snakes for anti-snake-bite serum


Task 2: The following is D.H. Lawrence’s observation when

he gave his mother a book that he had written. He

describes his mother’s reaction. The sentences

however, are jumbled. Rearrange the sentences to

make a sensible paragraph.
1. She looked at the outside, and then at the title-page, and

then at me with darkening eyes.

2. Somewhere, in the helpless privacies of her being, she had

wistful respect for me.

3. And though she loved me so much, I think she doubted

whether it could be much of a book since no one more

important than I had written it.

4. The very first copy of the “The White Peacock” that was

ever sent out, I put into my mother’s hands when she was

dying.


5. But for me in the face of the world, not much.
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II. Understanding different registers:

You learnt about different registers in Std XI. The following

passages are taken from various sections of ‘The Hindu’. Note the

registers used under each section.
1. “The vitality of the music of Sanjay Subramanian is to stress

the depths and foundations of Carnatic music at the cost of

Sangita Sowkhyam. In the raga alapanas, there were

expressions with occasional vocal exaggeration and with a

catchy technique of presentation (Magazine section, Friday

Review - Arts and Fine Arts).

2. He drew the attention of academics to the new paradigm,

whereby higher education was getting “transformed from

being faculty-centred to student–centred like the Montessori

system,” that too in a media-rich environment. Learning was

becoming life-long, interactive, and ubiquitous ‘for both

students and faculty’ (News: Education)

3. Sharapova breezed through the first set in 30 minutes and

then held off Osterloh who had a break point at 4 – 3.

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