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Reading Exercises For Beginners

When a child begins to read English and understand, it is important to give him/her opportunities to get more and more acquainted with the language. The best way to do this is to immerse the learner in the target language environment. However, often this is not possible due to logistical reasons. What is doable however, is to give the learner short passages to read and understand, and to display their understanding by answering questions, as given below.

Passage 1

Once upon a time, there was a fisherman called Suhaimi. Every day he went out in his boat to catch fish, which he sold in the market. With the money he earned, he bought food and clothes for himself and his parents, who were too old to work.

Suhaimi loved fishing, and he loved the sea. He liked to lie back in his boat with his fishing line in the water and listen to the sound of the waves as they splashed against the sides of his boat. Sometimes he would lean over the side of the boat for hours, just watching the fish swimming past underneath, and the seaweed dancing to the movement of the sea. But Suhaimi was not a lazy man. He was the best fisherman in the village, and he brought home baskets of fine, fat fish every evening.

One day he was walking home along the beach, carrying his basket of fish under his arm, when he saw five boys beating a turtle. They were pulling it first one way and then another, hitting it with sticks and throwing stones at it.

Suhaimi felt very sorry for the turtle and said, “Don’t do that! If you go on beating the turtle, it will die.”

But the boys would not stop beating the turtle. The poor turtle was in agony.

“Go away,” shouted one of the boys, “We can do anything we like with this turtle because we caught it. It is ours.”

“Then I will give you some money for the turtle. Will you sell it to me?” asked Suhaimi. At last the boys said, “Very well. We’ll release the turtle if you pay us for it.”

So Suhaimi gave each boy a 50 cent coin and watched as they ran off laughing and joking with one another. Then he looked down at the turtle. “You were almost killed by those naughty boys, turtle. You had better stay away from this beach from now on.” He picked up the turtle, carried it to the sea, and let it go. The turtle was happy to be back in the water in safety. It turned its head and seemed to look at Suhaimi as though in gratitude and then swam away into the distance.


  • When did the story happen?
    a) Long ago
    b) last week
    c) a couple of days back
    d) don’t know
  • The word ‘release’ means
    a) Sell
    b) set free
    c) kill
    d) give away
  • We know that Suhaimi
    a) Used a net for fishing
    b) was married
    c) lived with his parents
    d) never went to school
  • Which of the following sentences is true?
    a) Suhaimi went fishing with his father
    b) Suhaimi sold his fish to buy food and clothes
    c) Suhaimi bought the turtle because he wanted to sell it
    d) Suhaimi felt sorry for the boys who were beating the turtle.
  • How much did Suhaimi pay for the turtle?
    a) A basket of fish
    b) A fifty-cent coin
    c) Five fifty-cent coins
    d) We don’t know
  • Which sentence is not true?
    a) Suhaimi was a successful fisherman.
    b) Suhaimi caught a lot of fish every day
    c) Suhaimi liked fishing
    d) Suhaimi was a lazy man
  • What happened to the turtle?
    a) Suhaimi let it go
    b) The boys killed it
    c) The boys put it back into the water
    d) Suhaimi killed it.
  • How would you describe Suhaimi?
    a) Successful and kind
    b) Successful and lazy
    c) Lazy and kind
    d) Rich and unkind
  • In the last paragraph, the word gratefulness can be replace by
    a) Understanding
    b) Friendliness
    c) Politeness
    d) Thankfulness

Answer key

  • a)
  • b)
  • c)
  • b)
  • c)
  • d)
  • a)
  • a)
  • d)

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