Package holidays (1993) Package holidays, covering a two-weeks stay in an attractive place, are increasingly popular. Once you get to the airport, it is up to the tour operator to see that you get safely to your destination. Everything is laid on for you. There is in fact no reason for you to bother to arrange anything yourselves. You make friends and have a good time. But there is very little chance that you will get to know the local people. This is even less likely on a coach tour when you spend almost your entire time traveling. Of course, there are carefully scheduled stops for you to visit historic buildings and monuments. You may visit the beautiful, the historic, the ancient. But time is always short. There is also the added disadvantage of having to spend your holiday with a group of people you have never met before.?146w The American Family (1994) The American family unit is changing. There used to be mainly two types of families, the extended and the nuclear. The former included mother, father, children, and some other relatives such as grandparents, living in the same house or nearby. Then as the economy progressed from agricultural to industrial, people began moving to different parts of the country in order to search for job opportunities. These moves split up the extended family.? The nuclear family consisting of only parents and children, has therefore become far more wide spread. Today’ s family, however, can be composed of diverse combinations. With the divorce rate nearly one in two, there’s an increase in single-parent homes—a father or mother living with one or more children.? Blended families occur when divorced men and women remarry and combine the children from former marriages into a new family. On the other hand, there is an increase in childless couples while one in rive Americans lives alone.? The concept of family life has changed considerably over the years. / In earliest times, several generations lived together in clans, / which consisted of all living descendents and their husbands or wives. / These clans were almost totally self-sufficient, / every member contributing in some way toward the survival of the group. / The men hunted and fished for food or sometimes maintained flocks of sheep or goats. / The women baked bread and roasted the meat their men provided. / Special members of the community were selected to make products like pottery, baskets and home weapons. / But with the development of greater varieties of food, clothing and shelter, / a single clan could no longer develop all the individual skills the group required. / Clans merged into larger societies and at the same time broke into smaller units consisting of married couples and their children. / Later the Industrial Revolution brought about even more important changes in family life. / New inventions brought shorter working hours for men and easier housekeeping routines for women. / Today a productive family life suggests not the group's cooperative efforts of working together, / but the pleasant and meaningful sharing of its leisure. Unidentified Flying Objects (1995) There are many explanations for why UFOs visit the Earth. / The most popular one is that they may contain visitors from other planets./ To fly such an aircraft, their builders must develop different forms of aviation,/because they seem to fly much faster than normal aircraft./ The UFOs, it is believed, must contain scientists/ from other planets who are studying life on earth./ It is even believed that several such aircraft may have landed on earth/ and the space visitors may be living amongst us./But there are also less fantastic explanations available./ Although some sightings of UFOs are difficult to explain, most can be explained quite easily./ In many cases the observers might have made a mistake./ They might have seen a weather balloon or an aircraft./ Or the light

they saw in the sky might have been light from the ground,/ reflected on to the clouds./ However, the exact cause of many sightings still remains a mystery. The Indian Medicine Man (1996) Among the Indians of North America, the medicine man was a very important person. He could cure illness and he could speak to the spirits. The spirits were the supernatural forces that controlled the world. The Indians believed that bad spirits made people ill. So when people were ill, the medicine man tried to help them by using magic. He spoke to the good spirits and asked for their help. Many people were cured, because they thought the spirits were helping them, but really these people cured themselves. Sometimes your own mind is the best doctor for you. The medicine men were often successful for another reason, too. They knew about plants that really can cure illness. A lot of medicine are made from the plants that were used by medicine men hundreds of years ago. Legal Age for Marriage (1997) Throughout the United States, the legal age for marriage shows some difference. The most common age without parents' consent is 18 for both females and males. However, persons who are under age in their home state can get married in another state, and then return to the home state legally married. Each state issues its own marriage license. Both residents and non-residents are qualified for such a license. The fees and ceremonies vary greatly from state to state. Most states, for instance, have a blood test requirement, but a few do not. Most states permit either a civil or religious ceremony, but a few require the ceremony to be religious. In most states a waiting period is required before the license is issued. This period is from one to five days depending on the state. A three-day-wait is the most common. In some states there is no required waiting period. The Railways in Britain (1998) The success of early railways, such as the lines between big cities,/ led to a great increase in railway building in Victorian times. / Between 1835 and 1865 about 25000 kilometres of track were built,/ and over 100 railway companies were created. /Railway travel transformed people's lives. / Trains were first designed to carry goods. / However, a law in the 19th century forced railway companies to run one cheap train a day / which stopped at every station and cost only a penny a mile. / Soon working class passengers found they could afford to travel by rail. / Cheap day excursion trains became popular and seaside resorts grew rapidly. / The railways also provided thousands of new jobs:/ building carriages, running the railways and repairing the tracks. / Railways even changed the time. / The need to run the railways on time meant that local time was abolished/ and clocks showed the same time all over the country. / United Nations Day ?(1999) The 24th of October is celebrated as United Nations Day. It is a day that belongs to everyone. And it is celebrated in most countries of the world. Some countries celebrate for a week instead of a day. In many parts of the world, schools have special programs for the day. Boys and girls in some communities decorate a UN tree. In other communities, young people put on plays about the UN. Some libraries exhibit children's art works from around the world. Schools celebrate with the songs and dances of other countries or give parties where foods of other countries are served. No matter how the day is celebrated, the purpose of these celebrations is to help everyone understand the UN, and the important roles it plays in world affairs. The UN encourages people to learn about other lands and their customs. In this way, people can gain a better understanding and appreciation of peoples all over the world.?

What We Know About Language ?(2000) 1B13:45 Many things about language are a mystery and will remain so. However, we now do know something about it. First, we know that all human beings have a language of some sort. No human race anywhere on earth is so backward that it has no language of its own at all. Second, there is no such thing as a primitive language. There are many peoples whose cultures are undeveloped but the languages they speak are by no means primitive. In all the languages existing in the world today, there are complexities that must have been developed for years. Third, we know that all languages are perfectly adequate. Each is a perfect means of expressing its culture. And finally, we know that language changes over time, which is natural and normal if a language is to survive. The language which remains unchanged is nothing but dead.? Characteristics of A Good Reader ?(2001) To improve your reading habits, you must understand the characteristics of a good reader. First, the good reader usually reads rapidly. Of course, he does not read every piece of material at the same rate. But whether he is reading a newspaper or a chapter in a physics text, his reading rate is relatively fast. He has learned to read for ideas rather than words one at a time. Next, the good reader can recognize and understand general ideas and specific details. Thus he is able to comprehend the material with a minimum of effort and a maximum of interest. Finally, the good reader has at his command several special skills, which he can apply to reading problems as they occur. For the college student, the most helpful of these skills include making use of the various aids to understanding that most text books provide and skim-reading for a general survey. Disappearing Forests ?(2002) The world's forests are disappearing. As much as 1/3 of the total tree cover has been lost since agriculture began some 10,000 years ago. The remaining forests are home to half of the world's species, thus becoming the chief resource for their survival. Tropical rain forests once covered 12% of the land of the planet, as well as supporting at least half of the world's species of plants and animals. These rain forests are home to millions of people. But there are other demands on them. For example, much has been cut for timber. An increasing amount of forest land has been used for industrial purposes or for agricultural development such as crop-growing. By the 1990' s less than half of the earth' s original rain forests remained, and they continued to disappear at an alarming rate every year. As a result the world's forests are now facing gradual extinction.? Salmon (2003) Every year, millions of salmon swim from the ocean into the mouths of rivers and then steadily up the rivers. Passing through waters, around rocks and waterfalls, the fish finally reach their original streams or lakes. They dig out nests in the riverbed and lay their eggs. Then, exhausted by their journey, the parent salmon die. They have finished the task that nature has given them. Months, or years later, the young fish start their trip to the ocean. They live in the salt water from 2-7 years, until they, too are ready to swim back to reproduce. Their life cycle helps man provide himself with a basic food-fish. When the adult salmon gather at the river mouths for the annual trip up the rivers, they are in the best possible condition, and nearly every harbor has its salmon fishing fleet ready to catch thousands for markets. Money (2004) Money is accepted across the world as payment for goods or services. People use money to buy food, clothes and hundreds of other things. In the past, many different things were used as money. People on Pacific islands once exchanged shells for goods. The Chinese used cloth and knives. In Africa, elephant tusks or salt were used. Even today, some people in Africa are still paid in salt. Coins were first invented by the Chinese. Originally, they were round pieces of metal with

a hole in the center, so that a piece of string could keep them together. This made doing business much easier, but people still found coins inconvenient to carry when they wanted to buy something expensive. To solve this problem, the Chinese again came up with the solution. They began to use paper money for coins. Now paper notes are used throughout the world. The Wrist Watch (2005) It’s generally believed that wrist watches are an exception to the normal sequence in the evolution of man’s jewellery. Reversing the usual order, they were first worn by women, and then adopted by men. In the old days, queens included wrist watches among jewellery. Later, they were worn by Swiss workers and farmers. Until World War I, Americans associated the watch with fortune hunters. Then many officers discovered that the wrist watch was most practical for active combat. Race car drivers also loved to wear wrist watches, and pilots found them most useful while flying. Soon men dared to wear wrist watches without feeling self-conscious. By 1924, some 30 percent of man’s watches were worn on the wrist. Today, the figure is 90 percent. And they are now worn by both men and women for practical purposes rather than for decoration.142w Internet (2006) The Internet is the most significant progress in the field of communications. /Imagine a book that never ends, a library with a million floors, /or imagine a research project with thousands of scientists /working around the clock forever. / This is the magic of the Internet./ Yet the Internet has the potential for good and bad./ One can find well-organized information-rich websites./ At the same time, one can also find wasteful websites. /Most websites are known as different Internet applications. /These include online games, chartrooms and so on. /These applications have great power, too. /Sometimes the power can be so great/that young people may easily become victims to their attraction./ So we need to recognize the seriousness of the problem. /We must work together to use its power for better ends./ 135w Advertising (2007) .(出自大一公共英语课本第一册 第 11 课。部分内容有改动。 美音 ) Advertising has already become a very specialized activity in modern times. /In today’s business world, supply is usually greater than demand. /There is great competition between manufacturers of the same kind of product /because they want to persuade customers to buy their particular brand. /They always have to remind their customers /of the name and qualities of their products by advertising. /The manufacturer advertises in newspapers and on the radio. /He sometimes employs sales girls to distribute samples of his products. /He sometimes advertises on the Internet as well. /In addition, he always has advertisements put into television programs that will accept them. /Manufacturers often spend huge sums of money on advertisements. /We buy a particular product because we think that is the best. /We usually think so because the advertisements say so. /People often don’t ask themselves if the advertisements are telling the truth /when they buy advertised products from shops./151 词 Choosing a Career (2008) When students graduate from college, /many of them do not know how they want to spend their working lives /and they sometimes move from job to job /until they find something that suits them /and of equal importance to which they are suited. /Others never find a job in which they are really happy. /They remain all their lives square pegs in round holes. /When we choose our careers, we need to ask ourselves two questions: /First, what do we think we would like to be? /Second, what kind of people are we? /The idea, for example, of being a painter or a musician may seem very attractive. /But unless we have great talent and are willing to work very hard, /we are certain to fail in these occupations. /And failure will lead to unhappiness in life. /So it is important to

assess our suitability for a certain career in job search. (153 words) New Year’s Eve(2009) For many people in the west, New Year’s Eve is the biggest party of the year. It’s time to get together with friends or family and welcome in the coming year. New Year’s parties can take place in different places. Some people hold a house party; others attend street parties, while some just go for a few drinks with their friends. Big cities have large and spectacular fireworks displays. There is one thing that all New Year’s Eve parties have in common, the countdown to midnight. When the clock strikes 12, people give a loud cheer and sing songs. It’s also popular to make a promise in the New Year. This is called a New Year’s resolution. Typical resolutions include giving up smoking and keeping fit. However the promise is often broken quite quickly and people are back into their bad habits within weeks or days.(146 words) Freshmen’s Week(2010)<摘自 BBC 报道> ( ) Britain has a well-respected higher education system / and some of the top universities and research institutions in the world. / But to those who are new to this system, it can sometimes be confusing. / October is usually the busiest month in the academic calendar. / Universities have something called Freshmen’s Week for their newcomers. / It’s a great opportunity to make new friends, / join lots of clubs and settle into university life. / However, having just left the comfort of home and all your friends behind, / the prospect of meeting strangers in classrooms and dormitories can be worrying. / Where do you start and who should you make friends with? / Which clubs and societies should you join? / Luckily, there will be thousands of others in the same boat as you. / They worry about starting their university social life on the right foot. / So just take it all in slowly. / Don’t rush into anything that you’ll regret for the next three years./ (155 words) British holidaying habits(2011) In the late 1970s, air travel became affordable for the average family in the UK,/ and more people started travelling abroad for their summer holidays. /After all, the British weather wasn’t very good, even in summer, /so a lot of people left the country for a vacation./ In the 1980s and 1990s, young people in the UK became wealthier on average. /As a result, they started to go abroad in groups, /to places such as Spain and Greece. /Once they arrived at their destination, /they met with other groups of young people and had one long party./ British holidaying habits have begun to change, however. /Climate change means that the UK now has a hotter climate, /so people do not need to go overseas to find good weather. /Also, going abroad is more expensive. /As a result, more British people are choosing to spend their summer holidays in the UK./ (150 words)


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