English Reading Tests

English reading for Japanese high school students: the Common Test for University Admissions in 2014 DAY 1

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Part 5

The Spanish painter Salvador has a grandson named Chitose, who was born in Japan and used to take painting lessons from Salvador. The following text is from Salvador’s diary and a letter Chitose wrote to him. Read the sentences and choose the most appropriate answer to the questions below (Question 1-5) from (1) to (4), respectively.


Salvador’s Diary
March 30, 2012

Our last lesson was a disaster. Chitose and I had a huge fight. She arrived at the studio smiling and said, “Look Grandpa, I painted this portrait of you.” The man in the portrait had a lot of hair, stood straight, looked young, and smiled. She might be talented enough to attend an art college in France, but she has a big weakness as an artist. When she paints a person, too often she paints an idealized image rather than the real person. I had been explaining this point to her for several months, but she just wouldn’t listen. I got a little angry and said to her, “This is not me, and you are not a real artist.” She got angry too and said she didn’t care because she didn’t need me as a teacher anymore. I then showed her the portrait I had painted as her farewell gift and said, “This is the real you!” She took one look at it, said, “No, it isn’t!” and left.

I gave the portrait of Chitose to her parents thinking they would appreciate it. I had done the portrait a couple of months before Chitose started changing her style, and I think it shows the high school student I taught for two years. When I painted it, she still had her natural curly hair, not her straight perm. She was not wearing all the accessories she has now, including the ring-shaped earrings she loves. She also never wore makeup then. This was a Chitose with a fantastic future who knew she was still an amateur artist. I understand that she is getting older and wants to act and look more like an adult. However, she seems to think that being an adult means that you stop listening to others. She will never become a great artist if she stops learning.

A Letter to Salvador
March 25, 2013


Dear Grandpa Sal,

I know this is late but I wanted to say that I am sorry for what happened the last time we met. In our last lesson, I didn’t listen to you because I thought that you still saw me as a kid. I looked at how you painted me in the portrait and this confirmed my belief. I was so hurt that I just left without taking your gift.

You don’t know this, but Mom secretly put the portrait into one of my suitcases when I left home for France. When I found it, I was still upset so I hid it in my closet. I didn’t think about the portrait for a while, but I rediscovered it by chance a couple of months ago. Looking at it, I saw a Chitose who was willing to listen in order to improve her art. I realized that the Chitose I’d become was different. She wanted to prove to everyone that she was an adult and had stopped listening to others. Until then, I’d been really struggling in my art classes, but after I realized my weakness, I started learning again and my art got much better. You will always be my teacher, Grandpa.

I remember the portrait I showed you in our last lesson. You didn’t like it and told me to paint you as I saw you. What you taught me that day makes sense to me now. I should paint things as they actually are and then their true beauty will shine.

I’ve painted a portrait of us and am sending you a photo of it. It actually won first prize in my city’s young artists competition. As you can see, I’ve painted myself like you did, as Chitose the high school student with a lot of potential. I’ve also painted you as I really see you. Your wrinkles are proof of your wisdom. The cane shows your will to overcome your physical challenges. Your bent back shows that you have poured all your strength into what you love the most: your art and me. Thank you, Grandpa.

Love,
Chitose


Question 1: Salvador wanted Chitose to [42].

(1) appreciate things for how they are
(2) dress more like an artist
(3) find another art teacher
(4) paint young-looking people

Question 2: In the last lesson, Chitose didn’t accept the portrait because she believed her [43].

(1) family would appreciate it more than she would
(2) family would not like her style
(3) grandfather did not respect her as an adult
(4) grandfather was not a very good artist

Question 3: Which of the following is true? [44]

(1) Chitose gave the portrait made by Salvador to her parents.
(2) Chitose painted the new portrait before writing the letter.
(3) It took Salvador two years to make Chitose’s portrait.
(4) Salvador painted the portrait after Chitose changed her appearance.

Question 4: What is the most likely reason for the improvement in Chitose’s art? [45]

(1) She learned a lot from entering the competition.
(2) She started to be open to other people’s ideas again.
(3) She stopped wearing makeup and earrings.
(4) She tried to influence other adults’ opinions.

Question 5: Which of the following pictures best matches the description of the portrait in the photo Chitose sent to her grandfather? [46]

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

Answer

Question 1 [42] (1)
Question 2 [43] (3)
Question 3 [44] (2)
Question 4 [45] (2)
Question 5 [46] (1)

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