TOEFL iBT | Reading | Anglo-Saxons

We’re back with a TOEFL iBT reading! In this blog, you’ll have a set of questions to answer followed by the answers which will be on page 2. In the video, I will break down 5 questions and show you how NOT to overanalyze. Although this could be difficult at first glance, by watching me break it down, you will gain confidence in answer the question. So, without further ado, let’s get into it!

[1] In the fifth century AD, Britain was being attacked by the Irish, Pict and Germanic people from southern Denmark and Germany. These invaders were called Saxons. The term Anglo Saxon was developed in the eighth century. It was coined to distinguish between the British (Anglo) and the Germanic people (Saxons). The Roman-Britano leaders defended the land as best they could, but the invaders eventually began to settle into Britain. Irish kingdoms settled in both the west and north of the country. Meanwhile, the Angles, Saxons and Jute tribes took over the east part of Britain.

[2] Most of the information we have gathered about the Anglo-Saxons has been collected from cemeteries where personal possessions were placed. A graveyard in Suffolk is considered to be a royal cemetery of the East Anglian kings. A large oak ship was discovered here along with objects suggesting that the Swedes settled in this area.

[3] Although the Christian church suffered greatly from the invasions, it survived in the areas of Roman Britain that were not invaded by the Anglo-Saxons. Two missionaries came out of that church: Saint Nina from Scotland and Saint Patrick. Nina founded a church at Whithorn. Patrick is thought to have come from Wales where he was captured by Irish raiders. Having escaped home from slavery, he returned again to Ireland where he introduced Christianity to the Irish population. It is thought that he was buried in County Down in the late fifth century. St Columba was a later missionary who founded Derry and Durrow in Ireland. In 565 AD, he founded the monastery of Iona on an island west of the Isle of Mull in Scotland.

[4] One important source of sixth to eighth-century British history is the ‘Ecclesiastical History of the English People’, written by a monk, Venerable Bede. In his work, he explains how Pope Gregory (pope from 590 to 604 AD) sent a missionary called Augustine to England to found major churches in London and York. Augustine met Æthelberht, king of Kent, in 597AD who gave him land in Canterbury to build a church. Thus, Canterbury became the main center for English Christianity. Æthelberht and Edwin, king of Northumbria, both converted to Christianity.

[5] Britain was now divided into the kingdoms of Diera (Yorkshire), Bernicia (north)South Saxons (Sussex), East Angles (East Anglia), West Saxons (Wessex) and Mercians in the Midlands. Cornwall, Devon and Wales were independent and in Northern Ireland, there were smaller kingdoms. Some British kingdoms remained independent, including Cornwall and Devon in the south west, Gwynedd and Powys in modern Wales, and Strathclyde, in what is now the region of Glasgow.

[6] At this time, the Irish missionaries founded churches along the west coast of Scotland. Converts remained loyal to the Iona church, founded by Columba. However, a disagreement over the Christian calendar arose. King Oswiu decided for the Roman calendar over the Ionan calendar. From that point, Irish influence on the England church began to wane. Archbishop Theodore of Canterbury was appointed in 668 AD by Pope Vitalian. Theodore introduced Greek and established new dioceses.

[7] Irish and English missionaries continued to travel and convert in France, Italy and Germany. Great English missionaries included Egbert and Boniface who reorganized the church in Germany and Bavaria. The Northumbrian empire began to decline after 685AD. However, Northumbria remained a cultural crossing point between Rome, England and Ireland. Sculptor, poetry and a library of works remains from Northumbrian culture.

1 Paragraph 1 supports which of the following statements about the word Anglo-Saxon:

  • The word Anglo-Saxon derives from two words, meaning British-German.
  • The word Anglo-Saxon derives from the British term Saxon for invaders.
  • The word Anglo-Saxon derives from the German word Saxon for the British.
  • The word Anglo-Saxon derives from the Irish term Saxon for invaders.

2 According to paragraph 3, all of the following statements are true about the work of missionaries, EXCEPT:

  • Saint Nina was a Scottish missionary.
  • Saint Patrick was an Irish missionary who converted the people of Northern Ireland.
  • Saint Patrick may have been buried in Country Down in the fifth century.
  • Saint Columba established the Ionan monastery.

3 Which of the following can be inferred from paragraph 3 about Christianity?

  • Christianity disappeared from Britain after the invasions.
  • Christianity did not survive in the areas not invaded by the Anglo-Saxons.
  • Christianity survived only in the areas not invaded by the Anglo-Saxons, but moved to Iona in 565 AD.
  • Christianity survived only in the areas not invaded by the Anglo-Saxons, and important missionaries came from those areas.

4 In paragraph 4, why does the author mention the ‘Ecclesiastical History of the English People’, written by a monk, Venerable Bede?

  • Because it sheds light on the invasions of the Anglo-Saxons in Britain.
  • Because it sheds light on the history of Britain between the sixth and eight centuries.
  • Because it explains the work of the missionaries.
  • Because it describes the rise of the Canterbury church.

5 According to paragraph 5, what happened in Britain after 597 AD?

  • Britain was divided into several kingdoms, all dependent on one another.
  • Britain was divided into several kingdoms, all independent.
  • Britain was divided into several kingdoms and some remained independent.
  • Britain was united into one kingdom.

6 The word ‘decline’ in paragraph 7 is closest in meaning to:

  • Increase
  • Decrease
  • Get worse
  • Improve

7 Which of the sentences below best expresses the essential information in the following sentence?

However, a disagreement over Christian calendar arose.

  • But a conflict emerged related to the Christian calendar.
  • But a conflict started over the Christmas calendar.
  • However, an agreement over the Christian calendar was impossible.
  • However, a dispute over the Christian calendar raged.

8 Which of the following is true, according to the passage?

  • The Christian church in Britain faced many challenges between the sixth and eighth centuries, but disintegrated after this time.
  • The Christian church worldwide faced many challenges between the sixth and eighth centuries, but continued to thrive.
  • The Christian church in Britain had many achievements between the sixth and eighth centuries, but disintegrated after this time.
  • The Christian church in Britain faced many challenges between the sixth and eighth centuries, but continued to thrive.

9 Examine the four █ in the selection below and indicate at which block the following sentence could be inserted into the passage:

Ionan followers became more isolated from the king whose allegiance was with the Roman church.

█ [A] However, a disagreement over the Christian calendar arose. █ [B] King Oswiu decided for the Roman calendar over the Ionan calendar. █ [C] From that point, Irish influence on the England church began to wane. █ [D] .

  • [A]
  • [B]
  • [C]
  • [D]

10Directions: An introductory sentence for a brief summary of the passage is provided below. Complete the summary by selecting the THREE answer choices that express the most important ideas in the passage. Some sentences do not belong in the summary because they express ideas that are not presented in the passage or are minor ideas in the passage. This question is worth 2 points.

One important source of sixth to eighth century British history is the ‘Ecclesiastical History of the English People’, written by a monk, Venerable Bede.

  • A.The ‘Ecclesiastical History of the English People’ by Venerable Bede is the most important book in British history.
  • B.Bede’s work sheds important light on British history between the sixth and eighth centuries.
  • C.Augustine was sent by the pope to establish new churches in Britain.
  • D.Because of his conversion to Christianity, King Æthelberht agreed to give Augustine the land for the church.
  • E.Augustine established the Canterbury church which became the hub of English Christianity.
  • F.The Canterbury Church became the seat of the British Monarchy.

Answers on next page!

Arsenio’s Business English Podcast | Season 6: Episode 24 | Car Hire & Tips for Renting a Car

In any country, it’s always important to understand the things you need before picking up a car at the airport. Whether you need an international driving permit or insurance.  The only time I had hired a car was back in Honolulu, Hawaii in 2013 — but that was in the USA.

However, if you hire a car in Myanmar, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, the bureaucracy that follows could be horrendous. At the airport is fine, but under the table could be dangerous. So, let’s dive into the tips!


{Patreon Special} TOEFL iBT Reading | The History of Native American Trade

We’re back with some TOEFL iBT Reading! Document is down below, and it’s about the History of Native American Trade! This will be very useful to test and see if you can do the difficult passages. Answers are on the last page! 18 minutes to complete the passage! If you’re on my TOEFL iBT Badge, you get access to this and dozens more!


TOEFL iTP | Reading – Intermediate | Algae

Welcome back to another super special! Very sorry to all my TOEFL iTPers out there, but I’ve been focusing heavily on iBT which is a good 30-50% of what you would see on your reading test. Good practice on those blogs, too! Nonetheless, what we have here today is an intermediate-level reading passage and I’ll make it into a video/podcast, too, so look down below for the links!

Algae is a primitive form of life, a single-celled or simple multiple-celled organism that is able to conduct the process of photosynthesis. It is generally found in water but can also be found elsewhere, growing on such surfaces as rocks or trees. The various types of algae are classified according to their pigmentation, or coloration.

Blue-green algae, or Cyanophyta, can grow at very high temperatures and under high-intensity light. This is a microscopic type of algae, and some species consist of only one cell. Blue-gree algae are the oldest form of life with photosynthetic capabilities and fossilized remains of this type of algae more than 3.4 billion years old have been found in parts of Africa.

Green algae, or Chlorophyta, is generally found in freshwater. It reproduces on the surfaces of enclosed bodies of water such as ponds or lakes and has the appearance of a fuzzy green coating on the water. In large quantities, this type of algae may reproduce enough to give a green color to an entire lake.

Brown algae, or Phaeophyta, grows in shallow, temperate water. This type of algae is the largest in size and is most recognizable as a type of seaweed; kelp is a type of brown algae that has grown to lengths of up to 200 feet. Its long stalks can be enmeshed on the ocean floor, or it can float freely on the ocean’s surface.

Red algae, or Rhodophyta, is a small, delicate organism found in the deep waters of the subtropics, where it often grows with coral. This type of algae has an essential role in the formation of coral reefs: it secrets lime from the seawater to foster the formation of limestone deposits.

  1. What is the author’s main purpose?
  • to show what color algae is
  • to differentiate the various classifications of algae
  • to describe where algae is found
  • to clarify the appearance of the different types of algae

2. Which of the following is NOT true about algae?

  • all types have only one cell
  • it can be found out of water
  • it can use photosynthesis
  • it is not a relatively new form of life

3. the word “pigmentation” in line 4 means

  • size
  • shape
  • composition
  • color

4. The word “microscopic” in line 6 is closest in meaning to

  • mechanical
  • tiny
  • visual
  • bacterial

5. Algae remnants found in Africa are

  • still flourishing
  • photogenic
  • extremely old
  • red in color

6. Green algae is generally found

  • on the ocean floor
  • on top of the water
  • throughout ponds and lakes
  • surrounding enclosed bodies of water

7. The word “coating” in line 10 could best be replaced by

  • clothing
  • covering
  • warmth
  • sweater

8. Brown algae would most likely be found

  • on trees
  • near green algae
  • on rocks
  • in the ocean

9. According to the passage, red algae is

  • study
  • huge
  • fragile
  • found in shallow water

10. it can be inferred from the passage that limestone deposits serve as the basis of

  • coral reefs
  • red algae
  • subtropical seawater
  • secret passages

11. How is the information in the paragraph organized

  • various details supporting a theory are explored
  • various classifications of a specific life form are described
  • various stages of the chronological development of a life form are presented
  • various elements that compose a certain life form are outlined

12. This passage would most probably be assigned reading in a course on

  • chemistry
  • physics
  • botany
  • zoology

Answers on page 2

Podcast – Coming soon

YouTube – Coming Soon

Arsenio’s Business English Podcast | Season 6 | Investment | Tips for Saving Money

Here’s a pre-investment podcast — podcast — for all of you out there. I came across a very informational video that brought the spotlight on my money and finances, especially over the year.  As you probably know, shutdowns had begun early last year and the majority of the world was caught-off-guard, including me. So, instead of being proactive, I was reactive. I didn’t have an emergency fund of 3-6 months worth of rent saved up. I didn’t have travel expenses saved up, or even the stipend for a pretty expensive visa. So, I had to work in overdrive to cover expenses and that was three months of stress.

After watching this video and in the midst of the second shutdown, I’m very excited about the “how to” save for a rainy day. Tune into the podcast before we dive into the beginning stages of investing!


IELTS | Speaking | 1 on 1 Coaching | Full Consultation on Speaking Parts 2 & 3

Happy March, everyone! This was a consultation I had done back in December of last year and it was FIRE! To hear the golden nuggets that my student had given me can really be useful for a lot of you out there. So, please tune in to this podcast, have your notepad and stuff ready, and get ready to be amazed!

Update: As of December 15th, Bruna received the following scores.

Overall: 8.0
Listening: 8.0
Reading: 7.5
Writing: 7.0
Speaking: 8.5


TOEFL iBT | Listening | Lecture | The Bronze Age

We’re back with a pretty good one today. I’ve always been intrigued by the Bronze Age, and today is going to be a lecture on it! Are you ready for some note-taking and answering of questions? Again, view the blog (if you’re reading this on Facebook) on page 2 (down below if you’re reading this on the blog) to check your answers!


Bronze popular item to trade

trade commerce, learned that 3k years ago between med sea was popular

other materials out of bronze, including glass

excavation in egypt on Nile, discovered ancient glass factory

importing unfinished, not true

Meso region consisting of middle Eastern countries

glass in Meso, oldest glass comes from

two productions: first stage — discs of raw glass

second, melted raw glass, discs, and created objects

Several processes involved, took corts, crushed it.

Then, mixed it with plant ash

ashes left after you burn plant material

low temperature in small containers like jars that were made out of clay

grassy material grounded into powder and die to color

dye *

Once cooled, broke the molds

inside were discs

Second stage

Discs were reheated

shaped into decorative objects

Most common: beads

Imitating precious stones

looked liek pearls and emeralds and difficult to distinguish

created vessels with narrow necks

probably valuable so not common to hold common food items

mostly red, used copper

any glass was popular, red bottles owned by thee wealthy

so difficult to make, mysterious, produced for royal family

beautiful objects made great gifts

strengthen political alliances

exporting glass, too

mutual trade with Meso because it was usually white or yellow

two white discs for two red discs


 What is the lecture mainly about

  • Different types of glass objects made by Egyptians
  • Whether Egyptians or Mesopotamians were the first to make glass
  • The history of glass production
  • New information about glass making and the use in ancient Egypt

2 What is the process for making glass disks? Put the steps below in the correct order

  • a. Glass-like material is ground up and dyed blue or red.
  • b. Powdered material is heated at very high temperatures
  • c. Crushed quartz and plant ash are heated at low temperatures.
  • d. Containers are broken to remove glass disks.

3 What is the importance of the archaeological evidence recently found in Egypt?

  • It supports the theory that ancient Mesopotamians imported glass from ancient Egypt.
  • It shows that ancient Mesopotamians were producing raw glass.
  • It proves that ancient Egyptians imported glass from Mesopotamia.
  • It shows that ancient Egyptians were able to produce raw glass.

4 Using raw glass and the glass disks, what were the Egyptians able to create?

  • Cooking utensils
  • Artwork
  • Paper
  • Decorative objects

5 What are two kinds of glass objects that were valued in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia?

  • Cooking utensils
  • Beads
  • Containers
  • Stones

6 According to the professor, what are two reasons why ancient Egyptians exported glass? Click on 2 answers

  • To acquire stones such as emeralds and pearls from other countries
  • To acquire colors of glass not made in Egypt
  • To get bronze tools from other countries
  • To build relationships with foreign leaders

TOEFL iBT | Independent Essay | Coal Burning | Evaluating an Essay #3

We’re back with another awesome segment! So, in today’s segment, you’re going to have a couple of phases.

First, you’ll need to take notes on the reading (down below for 3 minutes).

After that, tune into this podcast here and listen to the Coal Burning audio. You will take notes and start writing your essay.

Then, watch the video down below and see the feedback I give my wonderful student who I’m coaching.

Let’s go!

Reading – Coal Burning

The coal industry has had a large environmental impact from land use, waste management, water and air pollution caused by coal mining, processing, and using coal. Not only does it cause atmospheric pollution, but coal burning also produces millions of tons of solid waste products. Burning coal comes with severe health effects and is estimated to shorten approximately 1,000,000 lives worldwide every year. The following are three methods for reducing the pollution produced by coal burning.

One method is to improve the reaction efficiency.  By improving the reaction efficiency, air pollution can be reduced. It will not be an immediate impact, but over the long term it will have a significant impact.

Another method is to use water to flush the coal and remove sulfides to prevent the creation of sulfur dioxide.  This would help to reduce the level of pollution created by the sulfides reacting with the air.

A third method is to collect the emitted carbon dioxide. This would prevent the gases from reaching the atmosphere. Pollution levels from carbon dioxide would drop significantly over time as this technology is expanded.


{Patreon Special} TOEFL iBT | Reading | Early Capitalism

Another reading is here on my Patreon! I have a question down below for you as a teaser.

1 The word ‘it’ in the paragraph down below refers to:

• agricultural work
• planting
• work for the merchants
• raw materials

Before the industrial revolution, the making of textiles (or cloth) was accomplished through what is known as “cottage industry.” Merchants acted as economic coordinators in this system. They responded to demand for textiles by “putting out” the work to skilled workers. The merchants, who had access through their trade channels to different resources, would buy the raw materials for the articles they wanted. They would then distribute these materials – such as cotton and wool – to rural workers, who would spin wool or thread, weave, or bleach or dye the cloth. They worked at home, by hand, using tools such as spinning wheels and hand looms. The workers were typically engaged in agricultural work during planting and harvest season. Thus their work for the merchants was supplemental; that is, it was not their primary source of income.