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Martha was a very unlucky woman. She had been a pupil at St Monica's missionary school. Most of her schoolmates of those days had married young teachers. But Martha married a young carpenter.

After years of marriage, her husband died from a disease and left her in poverty. She had to take care of her children. Thus, she spent all hours of the day on the farm and on market day, in the market. Martha's first daughter Veronica was ten years old; she loved school. But she was obliged to abandon it because her mother could not pay for her school fees. So, she stayed home to look after her younger brothers and sisters.

Soon after Veronica left school, Mr. Mark Emenike, the big government man of their village who lived in town, came to see Veronica's mother. He told her: "We have been looking for a girl to take care of our new baby".

At first Martha was reluctant, but when the great man offered her a good salary for the girl's services in the year in addition to feeding and clothing and other things, she accepted.

"Of course, it is not the money I am concerned about" she said, "but whether any daughter will be well-cared for".

"You don't have to worry about that, mother. She will be treated like our own children", he said.

Adapted from Girls at War and other Stories, by Chinua Achebe.

Schoolmate: camarade de classe
School fees: frais de scolarité


I. Comprehension (8 points)

A) Read the text and write the letter corresponding to the correct answer (2 pts)

1) Martha lived ...

a) in a village.
b) in the city.
c) in the bush
d) in town.

2) After the death of her husband, Martha ...

a) stopped working.
b) married another man.
c) worked as a farmer and a seller.
d) became a teacher.

3) Martha had ...

a) one child.
b) many children.
c) no child.
d) two children.

4) Veronica abandoned school because ...

a) she was not intelligent.
b) her school was very far.
c) her mother did not have money.
d) she did not like studying.

B) Read the text and write true (T) or false (F) in front of each sentence (2 pts)

1) Martha was as fortunate as her schoolmates.
2) Martha's husband was a wood worker.
3) Mr. Mark Emenike forced Veronica to abandon school.
4) Mr. Mark Emenike promised to treat Veronica properly.

C) Read the text and answer the following questions: (4 pts)

1) Why can we say that Martha is a hard-working-woman ? (2 pts)
2) What was Veronica doing at home after she left school ? (1 pt)
3) What did Veronica's mother tell Emenike ? (1 pt)

II. Vocabulary (2 points)

1) Find in the text the appropriate word or expression to complete the sentences below. (1 pt)

a) When you hesitate to do something you are ----- to do it (paragraph n°4)
b) Paul is often absent from classes, so his parents ----- his exam. (paragraph n°5)

2) Find in the text the masculine or the feminine of the following words. (1 pt)

a) wife
b) son

III. Grammar (6 points)

A. Find in the text two verbs conjugated in the past perfect tense. (1 pt)

B. Complete the sentences below with "since", "for", or "ago". ( 1pt)

1) We have worked .... two hours.
2) I went to my village one week ...

C. Put the verbs in brackets into the correct tense. (1 pt)

1) If I were rich, I (buy) a new car.
2) You will succeed if you (work) hard.

D. These sentences are incorrect. Correct them. (1 pt)

1) My brother has ten years old.
2) Two mice was found running in the house.

E. Rewrite the following statements into their negative forms. (1 pt)

1) We start classes at seven.
2) My friend studies his lessons every day.

F. Choose the appropriate letter and fill in the blanks in the following sentences. (1 pt)

1) Ali likes ... to school.

a) walks
b) walked
c) walk
d) walking

2) As soon as his mother ... cooking, he will eat.

a) finished
b) finishes
c) will finish
d) finish

IV. Writing (4 points)

Is it good to permit children to work for money ? Give two reasons to justify your answer. (40 or 50 words)

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