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Sino-Canadian International College, Guangxi University, Online English Lesson Plans, Lesson Material and Ideas
for Semester 2 Reading Lessons...
Reading: Speed Reading
To practice and increase rate of reading.
the following text using various methods of speed reading to increase your
Reading Rate: "The Choking Dog"
"Come on, come on,
move it, idiot!"
Joanne beat impatiently
on the steering wheel of her Mercedes sports car. How stupid to get caught
up in the rush hour! She had planned to leave work early this afternoon, at
three o'clock, to give herself a chance to relax and have a bath before
going out to a meeting of her local tennis club. But just at ten to three a
client had arrived, and it was two hours before she had finished dealing
with the man. When she came out of her office, all the other staff in the
Highlight Advertising Agency had already left. Now she was stuck in a
traffic jam in central Birmingham at 5:30, and at 6:30 she was expected to
be chairing a meeting of the tennis club. There would be no time for any hot
Ahead of her, the
traffic was moving at last, and she swung quickly out into the centre lane
to turn right, and raced the last half-mile through the quiet suburban
streets to her house. Pulling up on the driveway, she leapt out of the car
and ran for the house. As she opened the door, she nearly tripped over
Sheba, who was standing behind it.
hello," she said, bending down to stroke the large alsatian dog's head,
"I've got no time for you now, but I'll take you out as soon as I get
back from the tennis club."
It was then that she
noticed something worrying about the dog. Sheba seemed to be coughing or
choking, her stomach pumping repeatedly as if she was trying to vomit
something up. She was obviously in real discomfort and could hardly breathe;
her sad eyes gazed up at Joanne helplessly.
"Oh damn, this is
all I need now," said Joanne to herself, dropping her briefcase and
bending down to take a closer look, "a sick dog, today of all
days!" On closer examination, Sheba did look very sick, and Joanne
realised she would have to take her down to the vet immediately. Luckily,
the vet's surgery was only a few streets away, and Joanne quickly loaded the
dog, still coughing and choking, into her car for the short drive.
When she got there, the
surgery was just about to close for the day. Luckily, Dr. Sterne had not
left yet, and when he saw the state of Sheba, he brought her quickly into
"It looks like
something is stuck in her throat," said Dr. Sterne. It shouldn't take
me too long to get it out."
I'm really in a rush to get to a meeting -- can I leave her with you, and go
and get changed? I'll be back in ten minutes to pick her up, then I'll take
her on to the meeting with me. Is that OK?"
the doctor. "You get going. I'll see you in ten minutes."
Joanne jumped back into
her car again, and made the quick trip round to her house in a couple of
minutes. As she was once more entering the hallway, the phone on the table
by the door began to ring. She picked it up, annoyed by this additional
interruption to her plans.
"This is Dr. Sterne,"
said an anxious voice. "Is that you, Joanne?"
"Of course it's
me," said Joanne, surprised at the sound of his voice, "no-one
else lives here."
"I want you to get
right out of that house immediately," said the doctor's voice.
"Right now. I'm coming round right away, and the police will be there
any time now. Wait outside for us." The phone went dead. Joanne stared
at it. She was confused, but she was also a little frightened by the obvious
fear in the voice of the doctor. She replaced the receiver, then quickly
backed out of the door and ran into the street.
At that moment, a police
car with its lights flashing swung round the corner and screeched to a stop
outside the house. Two policemen got out. After briefly checking that she
was the owner of the house, they ran into the house through the still open
door, without explaining anything. Joanne was by now completely confused and
very frightened. Then the doctor arrived.
"Where's Sheba? Is
she OK?" shouted Joanne, running over to his car.
Joanne. I extracted the thing which was choking her, and she's OK now."
"Well what's this
all about? Why are the police in my house?"
Just then, the two
policemen reappeared from the house, half-carrying a white-faced figure, a
man in a dark grey sweater and jeans, who, it seemed, could hardly walk.
There was blood all over him.
"My God," said
Joanne, "how did he get in there? And how did you know he was
"I think he must be
a burglar," said the doctor. "I knew he was there because when I
finally removed what was stuck in Sheba's throat, it turned out to be three
human fingers. I don't think he's a very happy burglar."
Complete the following
questions to check your understanding of the reading:
1. Where did Joanne
a) an advertising
b) a vet's surgery
c) a Mercedes dealer's
d) the text does not
2. Why was she angry at
the beginning of the story?
a) She was lost.
b) She had lost a
client at work.
c) She was stuck in a
d) Her dog was sick.
3. Why did she take the
dog to Dr. Sterne's surgery?
a) It was time for
b) The dog couldn't
c) She wanted to get
her out of the house.
d) The doctor had
asked to see her.
4. Why did she leave the
dog at the surgery and drive home again?
a) She wanted to catch
b) The dog was too
sick to come home.
c) The doctor wanted
to keep her.
d) Joanne wanted to
change her clothes.
5. How long did it take
Joanne to drive home from the surgery?
a) two minutes
b) ten minutes
c) an hour
d) the text does not
6. What happened as she
arrived home for the second time?
a) The police arrived.
b) The phone rang.
c) The dog died.
d) A burglar was just
7. Why did the doctor
tell her to get out of the house?
a) There was a
dangerous dog in there.
b) It was on fire.
c) He knew there was a
d) He wanted to meet
8. Why did the burglar
look very sick?
a) The police had
caught him, and he would probably have to go to prison.
b) He had caught a
disease from the dog.
c) He hadn't found any
valuable things to steal.
d) The dog had bitten
off his fingers.
9. The story says that
the dog "gazed up at Joanne helplessly". "Gazed" means
10. A "vet's
surgery" is probably
a) a serious operation
b) a minor operation
c) an animal doctor's
d) a police station