Skimming and scanning in IELTS – exercise 1

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Skimming and scanning in IELTS – exercise 1

Before trying this exercise, we recommend reviewing the information in the Skimming and scanning lesson.

Skim the text and answer the questions that follow. You should take no more than 60 seconds to skim the text.

Questions 1 and 2 are skimming questions. Questions 3 and 4 are scanning questions.

Champions of colour blind justice

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During the past century, as the United States of America has wrestled with the problem of inequality between blacks and whites, two names remain paramount in the struggle – Martin Luther King and Malcolm X.

Skimming and scanning in IELTS - exercise 1Although there were some surface similarities. Both started their own movements, organised rallies and gave many speeches both in America and abroad, yet their approaches and beliefs were radically different. King believed in peace, encouraging only a ‘passive resistance’ with the eventual aim of black and white people integrating and living together peacefully. While King tried to unite the races through peace, Malcolm X, on the other hand, adopted a more direct, aggressive approach. Unlike King, he did not support the idea of integration but separatism, encouraging his listeners to recognise the suffering whites had caused blacks and to live apart in their own communities.

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These men were different not only in their approaches to the problem, but also in the religious convictions that motivated them. Martin Luther King’s philosophy of peace and positive reasoning was influenced by Christianity. He was active in the Church and was the leader of the Christian Leadership Conference. Malcolm X started many Muslim groups which practised a violent form of defence against any white oppression, real or imagined.

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Despite their very different perspectives, there is one more similarity between these two men Ð both were assassinated. Malcolm X was shot in 1965 at a rally in Harlem, victim of former supporters who had taken his doctrine of violence to heart. On 4 April 1968 King was shot as he was organising a demonstration in Memphis, but little is known of his assassin.

In the current racial climate of America, it could be said that both men succeeded, at least to a degree. There are still racial tensions, but not to the same degree. Whether Malcolm X would have approved or King would be satisfied today is another question.

Skimming and scanning practice

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