Answer key: Elephants & Language

Lesson Plan: Elephants Can Recognize Human Languages

II. While Reading Activities


Word Inference

  1. differentiate ˌdifəˈrenSHēˌāt| verb [ with obj. ] recognize or ascertain what makes (someone or something) different: children can differentiate the past from the present. [ no obj. ] (differentiate between) identify differences between (two or more things or people): he is unable to differentiate between fantasy and reality.
  2. habitat |ˈhabiˌtat| noun-the natural home or environment of an animal, plant, or other organism: wild chimps in their natural habitat.
  3. herd |hərd| noun-a large group of animals, esp. hoofed mammals, that live, feed, or migrate together or are kept together as livestock: a herd of elephants
  4. conflict |ˈkänˌflikt|  verb- be incompatible or at variance; clash: parents’ and children’s interests sometimes conflict .
  5. clashes |klaSH| noun-a violent confrontation: there have been minor clashes with security forces.
  6. tended |tend| verb – regularly or frequently behave in a particular way or have a certain characteristic: | her hair tended to come loose.
  7. decipher |diˈsīfər| verb- succeed in understanding, interpreting, or identifying (something): an expression she could not decipher came and went upon his face.
  8. sophisticated |səˈfistiˌkātid| adjective- (of a person or [animal] their thoughts, reactions, and understanding) aware of and able to interpret complex issues; subtle: discussion and reflection are necessary for a sophisticated response to a text.
  9. matriarchs |ˈmātrēˌärk| noun-a female who is the head of a family or tribe.
  10. juveniles |ˈjo͞ovəˌnīl, -vənl| noun- a young bird or other animals.

Source: New Oxford American Dictionary

Reading Comprehension

True /False/NA-Statements

  1. T- African elephants can differentiate between human languages.
  2. F- African elephants  are the largest land animals on Earth.
  3. F- The local Maasai men sometimes come into conflict with elephants.
  4. T- The recorded voices were played for hundreds of elephants.
  5. NA-Baby elephants are born with little tusks.
  6. F-When elephants heard females, boys, or adult male Kamba speakers, they did not show concern.
  7. F-The ability to distinguish between Maasai and Kamba men is not the same as understanding what the words mean.
  8. T-Their response to hearing Maasai men talking was to be alert, to move away, but not to run away in fear.
  9. T-Elephant groups with older matriarchs in their midst did best at assessing the threat from different speakers.
  10. T-According to researchers, we have become a formal enemy of the elephants.

IV. Listening Activity   

Video ClipElephants Can Tell Gender, Ethnicity in Human Voices by AFP

 While Listening Activities

True /False/NA-Statements

  1. F- The study was done in Kenya.
  2. T-The elephants were able to distinguish between two different languages.
  3. T- The messages were played over a loud speaker.
  4.  F- The other mammals mentioned in this  report were dolphins.
  5. F- Elephants were not afraid of the voices of women and children.
  6. T- Elephants were able to recognize a female voice even when the pitch was lowered.
  7. NA-The bull elephants always charge first when the herd is in danger.
  8. T- Elephants can also distinguish between portraits on canvas.
  9. F- The narrator stated that elephants should not be kept in zoos.
  10. NA-A similar study with elephants was done in India.