Exercise 4.5.A

Read the passage and answer the question below. Then listen to the recording and answer the rest of the questions.

Reading Time – 3 minutes

The discovery of penicillin and other antibiotic drugs was the most dramatic medical development of the twentieth century. These new drugs quickly became known as “wonder drugs” because of their ability to cure major forms of bacterial infection quickly and completely. Antibiotics made it possible for hospital patients to survive during and after surgery. No longer did patients have to depend largely on their body’s own immune system to fight off infections. These infections could be attacked directly with antibiotics.

Antibiotics have given the medical profession powerful tools to fight a wide range of specific diseases. The development of antibiotics in the 1930s rested on the belief in the existence of certain chemicals that had the power to destroy specific microorganisms without injuring the human body at the same time. Advances in chemistry and in the study of bacteria quickened the discovery of such chemical wonders. The development of penicillin in the 1940s laid the foundation for even more powerful weapons against specific diseases. Since that time, researchers have identified hundreds of antibiotic substances that are effective against one or another type of bacteria.

Among the most spectacular effects of antibiotics are reductions in the number of deaths from pneumonia and tuberculosis. Penicillin, one of the earliest of the wonder drugs, is a highly successful cure for pneumonia. Just ten thousand units of penicillin four times a day will be enough to cure bacterial pneumonia in most patients. Another important antibiotic is streptomycin, which is potent against tuberculosis. As a result, tuberculosis is no longer the life–threatening illness it once was.

1. What is the main idea of the passage? What points support the main idea?

Now listen to the recording. Take notes on the important information.

Summarize the points made in the lecture, being sure to explain how they cast doubt on specific points made in the reading passage.

  1. What are the major points made in the lecture?
  2. How do the key points in the lecture cast doubt on specific points in the reading?

1. Main idea of the passage:
The discovery of antibiotics was the most dramatic medical development of the twentieth century.

Supporting points:

•Antibiotics became known as wonder drugs because of their ability to cure major forms of bacterial infection quickly and completely.
•Antibiotics have given the medical profession powerful tools to fight a wide range of specific diseases.
•The most spectacular effects of antibiotics include reductions in the number of deaths from pneumonia and tuberculosis.

2. Major points in the lecture:
•As soon as antibiotics were developed, new strains of bacteria appeared that were resistant to the drugs.
•Bacteria can create very effective weapons against antibiotics.
•Antibiotics are no longer effective cures for some infections.

  1. Generally, the key points in the lecture refute the idea that antibiotics are wonder drugs. The lecture casts doubt on the reading by presenting examples of antibiotic resistance, including the rise in drug–resistant hospital infections, the resistance of pneumonia bacteria to penicillin, and the reappearance of tuberculosis as a major illness.

Exercise 4.5.B

Read the sample responses to the writing task in Exercise 4.5.A. Evaluate each response according to the description of the five score levels on the previous page. What score should each response receive? Why?

Score: ______

The lecture casts doubt on the main idea of the reading, which states that antibiotics are wonder drugs.

The professor discusses resistance to antibiotics. He makes the point that new types of bacteria appeared soon after hospitals started to use antibiotics. There has a rise in hospital infections, which means that antibiotics are not wonder drugs. However, the passage states the antibiotics have made it possible for hospital patients to survive during and after surgery because antibiotic are wonder drugs.

The professor explains how bacteria develop resistance to antibiotics. If you use an antibiotic, it will kill the bacteria. However, a few cells will not killed because they carry a gene, which the bacteria resistant to the drug. However, the passage states that antibiotic are powerful tools to fight disease. They are chemicals with the power to destroy specific microorganisms.

Finally, the professor states that resistance has caused several diseases to return. Two examples are pneumonia and tuberculosis. Penicillin is no longer a cure for pneumonia. You can give a patient a large amount of penicillin, but he might die anyway. However, the passage states that just ten thousand units of penicillin four times a day will cure pneumonia in most patients.

Score: ______

I will describe how the resistance of bacteria to antibiotics.

First, it’s big problem in the hospitals. Hospitals used antibiotics in 1950, but resistance appearing a problem. The reason is danger of hospital infection is very bad so people had better stay home.

Second, penicillin was a wonder drug in the past. You gave a man 10 thousand penicillin and he cured the disease. But today you give 24 millions penicillin but he might die. The reason is resistant so very difficult treat pnemunia. Several people die – because the resistance of the bacteria to antibiotics.

Third, how does this happen is you dose a bacteria with antibiotic. The colony killed except a few cells. This is a dangerous problem in a hospital because people may die. Doctors think tuberculosos was a defeated disease but the increase is by 20%. The changes the view of antibiotics as wonder drugs by resistance of bacteria to antibiotics. It’s a big problem today and doctors can’t find drugs to cure the disease such as tuberculoses. Penicillin and other antibiotic drugs were wonder drugs in 1940s but necessary to have a
different view of antibiotics today

Score: ______

Professor talk about antibiotics. These new drugs as wonder drugs saving many lifes many people who very sick the diseases. Professor he describe penicilin as wonder drug it causing many people cure after sick. The discovery of penicillin and other antibiotic drugs was the most dramatic medical development of the twenteth century quickly become known as ‘wonder drugs. Antibiotics given the medical profession powerful tools to fight a wide range of specific diseases. Professor he gave example the antibiotics make to survive during and after surgery. For example, infections, pneumonia and tuberculosis. As a result, reductions in the number of death.

Score: ______

In general, the lecture contradicts the idea that antibiotics are “wonder drugs” as the reading states. On the contrary, antibiotics are not wonder drugs because the resistance of bacteria to antibiotics.

According the lecture, bacteria have developed effective wepons against some drugs, for example, penicillin. They create resistance against antibiotics. It happens when a few cells of bacteria survive because they have the resistance. Then new strains of bacteria appeared.

After that, antiboitics may attack but they do not kill all disease infections. This serious problem today is the resistance of bacteria to antibiotics. According to the reading, the discovery of penicillin and other antitiotic drugs saved many lives that were threatened by dangerous diseases such a penumonia and tuberculosis. In the twentieth century, penicillin was first a wonder drug because it can cure pneumonia. In addition, streptomycin is potent against tuberculosis. However, the lecture made the point that this is not true today. Tuberculoss is a major illness again because the new strain of bacteria is resistant to antibiotics.

In the past, antibiotic drugs could attack and kill diseases, but this is not true today. Therefore, it is necessary to develop new wonder drugs to fight disease.

Score: ______

The resistance of bacteria to antiobiotics changes the view of wonder drugs. One example is penicillin. The discovery of penicillin the foundation for even more powerful drugs, for example, antiobiotics. Another example is streptomycin, against tuberculosis. Many diseases cured by penicillin.

The resistance of bacteria to antiobiotics to some of the drugs. First example is pnemonia. In the past penicillin cure him, however today he still die.

Click for the answersSecond example is tuberculosis. The most effects of antibiotics were reductions in the number of deaths, however, since tuberculosis increase 20 precent deaths. It describes the resistance of bacteria to antiobiotics. In the past, it was no problem, however, today it is serious problem. It’s changes the view of antiobitics as wonder drugs which saved so many lives. Because today people can still die in a hospital.

Response A: Score: 5

The response accurately conveys relevant information from the lecture and the reading. It is well organized and coherent and contains only minor language errors. It effectively links points from the lecture to those in the reading, including the following key points:

•The lecture states that as soon as antibiotics were developed, new strains of bacteria appeared that were resistant to the drugs. The rise in dangerous hospital infections is evidence that antibiotics are not the wonder drugs they used to be. This casts doubt on the point in the reading that antibiotics are wonder drugs that can cure major forms of infection quickly and completely.
•The lecture states that bacteria can create effective weapons against antibiotics. This casts doubt on the point in the reading that antibiotics have given the medical profession powerful tools to fight a wide range of specific diseases.
•The lecture states that antibiotics are no longer effective cures for pneumonia and tuberculosis. This casts doubt on the point in the reading that antibiotics have reduced the number of deaths from pneumonia and tuberculosis.

Response B: Score: 3

The response contains some relevant information from the lecture, but some points are incomplete, inaccurate, or vague, particularly in the second and third paragraphs. The response contains errors of grammar and usage that result in vagueness.

Response C: Score: 1

The response contains little relevant content from the lecture. It includes some information from the reading, but fails to connect points from the lecture and reading. It contains numerous language errors, such as run–on sentences and incorrect word forms, which greatly obscure meaning.

Response D: Score: 4

The response generally conveys relevant information from the lecture. It is generally good in relating information from the lecture to that in the reading, but some points are vague. The response is generally well organized. The grammar is generally accurate, but some minor language errors result in occasional lack of clarity.

Response E: Score: 2

The response contains some relevant information from the lecture but has significant omissions, such as an explanation of how bacteria became resistant to antibiotics. It contains language errors, such as incomplete sentences and incorrect word forms, which largely obscure the meaning of key ideas.

Now listen to part of a lecture on the topic you just read about.

Several facts refute the idea that antibiotics are wonder drugs. First, as soon as we developed antibiotics, new strains of bacteria appeared that were resistant to some or all of the drugs. For example, hospitals started using antibiotics in the 1950s, but today many drug–resistant hospital infections make it safer for some people to stay home than go to the hospital. The rise in dangerous hospital infections is clear evidence that antibiotics are not the wonder drugs they used to be.

Second, bacteria can create very effective weapons against antibiotics. It happens like this. If you douse a colony of bacteria with an antibiotic, the colony will be killed—that is, all except for a few cells that carry a resistance gene for that particular antibiotic. The surviving cells quickly multiply, and soon you have a new strain of bacteria that’s resistant to that drug. Some bacteria develop enzymes to counteract every antibiotic we throw at them. So, no matter what antibiotic we use, the bacteria will come up with a way to make it useless.

Third, antibiotics are no longer effective cures for some infections. For example, today you could treat a pneumonia patient with 24 million units of penicillin a day, but the patient might still die. This is because several strains of bacteria are now completely resistant to penicillin. Another consequence is the reappearance of tuberculosis as a major illness. Twenty years ago, doctors thought tuberculosis was a defeated disease. Since then, however, new cases of tuberculosis have increased by 20 percent, and several strains of the disease are resistant to any drug we attack them with.

Summarize the points made in the lecture, being sure to explain how they cast doubt on specific points made in the reading passage.

Extension

1

Study the descriptions of the five score levels on the previous page. Make sure you understand the description for each level. Check your understanding of the meaning of these words and phrases:

effectively addresses

accurately relates

coherent

occasional

minor omissions

inaccuracies

vagueness

lack of clarity

significant omissions

misrepresents

obscure meaning

writing proficiency

2

Review the responses you wrote for units 4.1 through 4.3. Evaluate each response according to the descriptions of the five levels on the previous page. What are the areas of strength in your writing? What are your most serious problems? What can you do to improve your writing and earn a high score for the integrated writing task on the TOEFL?



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