Native Pronunciation Reading Practice

Level 1 Reading

The tomato is from South America. When the tomato came to Europe, people did not eat it. Doctors said it would make them sick. So people just grew tomatoes because they looked nice. Now people from all over the world eat tomatoes.

Tomatoes are used in sauce, soup, juice, salsa, and ketchup. The tomato is very good for you. Only a tomato leaf or stem will make you sick.

Some people do odd things with tomatoes. People grow tomatoes in space. There is a big tomato fight every year in Spain. A long time ago, people would throw tomatoes when they saw a show they did not like.

Most farms pick tomatoes before they are ripe. They last longer this way. But these tomatoes do not taste as good. So lots of people grow their own tomatoes. Tomatoes that you grow are better than ones that you buy. You can grow tomatoes inside if you do not have a garden.

To grow your own tomatoes indoors you will need some tomato seeds, a big pot and potting soil. Fill the pot with potting soil. Pack the soil down a little bit. Put a seed on top of the soil. Add a bit more soil on top. Next, add water. The soil must always be a bit wet. Seeds like to be warm. Put your pot in a warm place. It does not need sun yet.

The plant will grow above the soil. Put the plant by a window. The plant needs four hours of sun a day. You can tie the stem to a stick to help the plant stay up. Remember to always keep the soil a bit wet. Pick the tomatoes when they are the same red color top to bottom. Enjoy!

Level 2 Reading

Dave Farrow is a Canadian who holds the world record for having the greatest memory. As a student, Dave had a learning disability which made reading and writing difficult. But Dave found ways to improve his memory. In 2008, he set a world record by memorizing the order of 59 decks of playing cards. How did his brain store all of this information? According to Dave, anybody’s brain can do it, but it helps to understand how memory works.

Your short-term memory can only hold information from 15 seconds to a few minutes. In addition, short-term memory can only hold about seven things at one time. Dave uses a few tricks to help him remember information.

One trick is to look at the first letter of every word you want to memorize. Then, create your own word, phrase or sentence using all of those letters. For example, to remember the colors of the rainbow—red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet—just think of the name Roy G. Biv.

Another trick is to organize information into chunks. Whenever you learn a new word, study words that share the same meaning. This way, you learn several new words at the same time and you only need to memorize one definition. Such words are called synonyms. For example, synonyms for the word big are huge, enormous, gigantic, large and massive.

If you don’t keep using the information, your brain throws it away. If you keep reviewing the information, it will go into your long-term memory. Try these tips the next time you need to remember a phone number, a new word or something for school.

Level 3 Reading

What kind of ice cream do you like? Does vanilla tickle your fancy or is chocolate more your taste? Maybe you savor something more exotic like jamoca or pralines ‘n cream? They’re all delicious! But what if I told you that which ice cream flavor you prefer reveals the inner workings of your mind? That’s right, experts say that a person’s choice of ice cream can tell us what kind of personality they have!

According to the experts, if you love vanilla the best you’re more likely to be impulsive, easily suggestible and an idealist. If your favorite flavor is chocolate, you’re more likely to be dramatic, charming, flirtatious and seductive. Do you have a craving for very berry strawberry? Well, then you are probably tolerant, devoted and an introvert.

“We uncovered quite a few surprising findings when investigating what a person’s favorite ice cream flavor says about their personality,” said Dr. Alan Hirsch, a nationally recognized smell and taste expert. “It was amazing to discover how distinct personalities corresponded with ice cream flavors.”

What if your favorite flavor is rainbow sherbet? Does that mean you are invariably happy? On the contrary, rainbow sherbet lovers tend to be pessimists.
Even though personality types might gravitate to a particular flavor, Hirsch can’t explain why.

“Very simply, you can’t make yourself a better or worse person by switching your favorite flavor ice cream,” he said. “But wouldn’t it be nice if it were that easy.”