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  Unit 5

  Part II Reading Comprehension

  (35 minutes)

  Passage One

  Questions 21 to 25 are based on the following passage.

  Our culture has caused most Americans to assume not only that our language is universal but that the gestures we use are understood by everyone. We do not realize that waving good-bye is the way to summon a person from the Philippines to one’s side, or that in Italy and some Latin-American countries, curling the finger to oneself is a sign of farewell.

  Those private citizens who sent packages to our troops occupying Germany after World War II and marked them GIFT to escape duty payments did not bother to find out that “Gift” means poison in German. Moreover, we like to think of ourselves as friendly, yet we prefer to be at least 3 feet or an arm’s length away from others. Latins and Middle Easterners like to come closer and touch, which makes Americans uncomfortable.

  Our linguistic (语言上的) and cultural blindness and the casualness with which we take notice of the developed tastes, gestures, customs and language of other countries, are losing us friends, business and respect in the world.

  Even here in the United States, we make few concessions to the needs of foreign visitors. There are no information signs in four language on our public buildings or monuments; we do not have multilingual(多语的)guided tours. Very few restaurant menus have translations, and multilingual waiters, bank clerks and policemen are rare. Our transportation systems have maps in English only and often we ourselves have difficulty understanding them.

  When we go abroad, we tend to cluster in hotels and restaurants where English is spoken. The attitudes and information we pick up are conditioned by those natives—usually the richer—who speak English. Our business dealings, as well as the nation’s diplomacy, are conducted through interpreters.

  For many years, America and Americans could get by with cultural blindness and linguistic ignorance. After all, America was the most powerful country of the free world, the distributor of needed funds and goods.

  But all that is past. American dollars no longer buy all good things, and we are slowly beginning to realize that our proper role in the world is changing. A 1979 Harris poll reported that 55 percent of Americans want this country to play a more significant role in world affairs; we want to have a hand in the important decisions of the next century, even tough it may not always be the upper hand.

  21. It can be inferred that Americans being approached too closely by Middle Easterners would most probably .

  A) stand still

  B) jump aside

  C) step forward

  D) draw back


  22. The author gives many examples to criticize Americans for their .

  A) cultural self-centeredness C) indifference towards foreign visitors

  B) casual manners D) arrogance towards other cultures

  23. In countries other than their own most Americans .

  A) are isolated by the local people

  B) are not well informed due to the language barrier

  C) tend to get along well with the natives

  D) need interpreters in hotels and restaurants

  24. According to the author, American’s cultural blindness and linguistic ignorance will .

  A) affect their image in the new era

  B) cut themselves off from the outside world

  C) limit their role in world affairs

  D) weaken the position of the US dollar

  25. The author’s intention in writing this article is to make Americans realize that .

  A) it is dangerous to ignore their foreign friends

  B) it is important to maintain their leading role in world affairs

  C) it is necessary to use several languages in public places

  D) it is time to get acquainted with other cultures

  Passage Two

  Questions 26 to 30 are based on the following passage.

  In department stores and closets all over the world, they are waiting. Their outward appearance seems rather appealing because they come in a variety of styles, textures, and colors. But they are ultimately the biggest deception that exists in the fashion industry today. What are they? They are high heels—a woman’s worst enemy (whether she knows it or not). High heel shoes are the downfall of modern society. Fashion myths have led women to believe that they are more beautiful or sophisticated for wearing heels, but in reality, heels succeed in posing short as well as long term hardships. Women should fight the high heel industry by refusing to use or purchase them in order to save the world from unnecessary physical and psychological suffering.


  For the sake of fairness, it must be noted that there is a positive side to high heels. First, heels are excellent for aerating(使通气) lawns. Anyone who has ever worn heels on grass knows what I am talking about. A simple trip around the yard in a pair of those babies eliminates all need to call for a lawn care specialist, and provides the perfect-sized holes to give any lawn oxygen without all those messy chunks of dirt lying around. Second, heels are quite functional for defense against oncoming enemies, who can easily be scared away by threatening them with a pair of these sharp, deadly fashion accessories.

  Regardless of such practical uses for heels, the fact remains that wearing high heels is harmful to one’s physical health. Talk to any podiatrist(足病医生), and you will hear that the majority of their business comes from high-heel-wearing women. High heels are known to cause problems such as deformed feet and torn toenails. The risk of severe back problems and twisted or broken ankles is three times higher for a high heel wearer than for a flat shoe wearer. Wearing heels also creates the threat of getting a heel caught in a sidewalk crack or a sewer-grate(阴沟栅)and being thrown to the ground—possibly breaking a nose, back, or neck. And of course, after wearing heels for a day, any woman knows she can look forward to a night of pain as she tries to comfort her swollen, aching feet.

  26. What makes women blind to the deceptive nature of high heels?

  A) The multi-functional use of high heels. C) The rich variety of high heel styles.

  B) Their attempt to show off their status. D) Their wish to improve their appearance.

  27. The author’s presentation of the positive side of high heels is meant .

  A) to be ironic C) to be fair to the fashion industry

  B) to poke fun at women D) to make his point convincing

  28. The author’s presentation of the expression “those babies’ (Line 3, Para. 2) to refer to high heels .

  A) to show their fragile characteristics C) to show women’s affection for them

  B) to indicate their feminine features D) to emphasize their small size

  29. The author’s chief argument against high heels is that .

  A) they pose a threat to lawns

  B) they are injurious to women’s health

  C) they don’t necessarily make women beautiful

  D) they are ineffective as a weapon of defense


  30. It can be inferred from the passage that women should .

  A) see through the very hature of fashion myths

  B) boycott the products of the fashion industry

  C) go to a podiatrist regularly for advice

  D) avoid following fashion too closely

  Passage Three

  Questions 31 to 35 are based on the following passage.

  It is hardly necessary for me to cite all the evidence of the depressing state of literacy. These figures from the Department of Education are sufficient: 27 million Americans cannot read at all, and a further 35 million read at a level that is less than sufficient to survive in our society.

  But my own worry today is less that of the overwhelming problem of elemental literacy than it is of the slightly more luxurious problem of the decline in the skill even of the middle-class reader, of his unwillingness to afford those spaces of silence, those luxuries of domesticity and time and concentration, that surround the image of the classic act of reading. It has been suggested that almost 80 percent of America’s literate, educated teenagers can no longer read without an accompanying noise(music) in the background or a television screen flickering(闪烁)at the corner of their field of perception. We know very little about the brain and how it deals with simultaneous conflicting input, but every common-sense intuition suggests we should be profoundly alarmed. This violation of concentration, silence, solitude(独处的状态)goes to the very heart of our notion of literacy, this new form of part-reading, of part-perception against background distraction, renders impossible certain essential acts of apprehension and concentration, let alone that most important tribute any human being can pay to a poem or a piece of prose he or she really loves, which is to learn it by heart. Not by brain, by heart; the expression is vital.

  Under these circumstances, the question of what future there is for the arts of reading is a real one. Ahead of us lie technical, psychic(心理的), and social transformations probably much more dramatic than those brought about by Gutenberg, the German inventor in printing. The Gutenberg revolution, as we now know it, took a long time; its effects are still being debated. The information revolution will touch every facet of composition, publication, distribution, and reading. No one in the book industry can say with any confidence what will happen to the book as we’ve known it.


  31.The picture of the reading ability of the American people, drawn by the author, is .

  A) rather bleak C) very impressive

  B) fairly bright D) quite encouraging

  32. The author’s biggest concern is .

  A) elementary school children’s disinterest in reading classics

  B) the surprisingly low rate of literacy in the U.S.

  C) the musical setting American readers require of reading

  D) the reading ability and reading behavior of the middle class

  33. A major problem with most adolescents who can read is .

  A) their fondness of music and TV programs

  B) their ignorance of various forms of art and literature

  C) their lack of attentiveness and basic understanding

  D) their inability to focus on conflicting input

  34. The author claims that the best way a reader can show admiration for a piece of poetry or prose is .

  A) to the able to appreciate it and memorize it

  B) to analyze its essential features

  C) to think it over conscientiously

  D) to make a fair appraisal of its artistic value

  35. About the future of the arts of reading the author feels .

  A) upset B) uncertain C) alarmed D) pessimistic


  Passage Four

  Questions 36 to 40 are based on the following passage.

  For centuries, explorers have risked their lives venturing into the unknown for reasons that were to varying degrees economic and nationalistic. Columbus went west to look for better trade routes to the Orient and to promote the greater glory of Spain. Lewis and Clark journeyed into the American wilderness to find out what the U.S. had acquired when it purchased Louisiana, and the Appolo astronauts rocketed to the moon in a dramatic show of technological muscle during the cold war.

  Although their missions blended commercial and political-military imperatives, the explorers involved all accomplished some significant science simply by going where no scientists had gone before.

  Today Mars looms(隐约出现) as humanity’s next great terra incognita(未探明之地). And with doubtful prospects for a short-term financial return, with the cold war a rapidly fading memory and amid a growing emphasis on international cooperation in large space ventures, it is clear that imperatives other than profits or nationalism will have to compel human beings to leave their tracks on the planet’s reddish surface. Could it be that science, which has long played a minor role in exploration, is at last destined to take a leading role? The question naturally invites a couple of others: Are there experiments that only humans could do on Mars? Could those experiments provide insights profound enough to justify the expense of sending people across interplanetary space?

  With Mars the scientific stakes are arguably higher than they have ever been. The issue of whether life ever existed on the planet, and whether it persists to this day, has been highlighted by mounting evidence that the Red Planet once had abundant stable, liquid water and by the continuing controversy over suggestions that bacterial fossils rode to Earth on a mctcorite(陨石) from Mars. A more conclusive answer about life on Mars, past or present, would give researchers invaluable data about the range of conditions under which a planet can generate the complex chemistry that leads to life. If it could be established that life arose independently on Mars and Earth, the finding would provide the first concrete clues in one of the deepest mysteries in all of science: the prevalence of life in the universe.

  36.According to the passage, the chief purpose of explorers in going to unknown places in the past was .

  A) to display their country’s military might C) to find new areas for colonization

  B) to accomplish some significant science D) to pursue commercial and state interests


  37.At present, a probable inducement for countries to initiate large-scale space ventures is .

  A) international cooperation C) scientific research

  B) nationalistic reasons D) long-term profits

  38. What is the main goal of sending human missions to Mars?

  A) To find out if life ever existed there.

  B) To see if humans could survive there.

  C) To prove the feasibility of large-scale space ventures.

  D) To show the leading role of science in space exploration.

  39. By saying “With Mars the scientific stakes are arguably higher than they have ever been” (Line 1, Para, 4), the author means that .

  A) with Mars the risks involved are much greater than any previous space ventures

  B) in the case of Mars, the rewards of scientific exploration can be very high

  C) in the case of Mars, much more research funds are needed than ever before

  D) with Mars, scientists argue, the fundamental interests of science are at issue

  40. The passage tells us that proof of life on Mars would .

  A) make clear the complex chemistry in the development of life

  B) confirm the suggestion that bacterial fossils travelled to Earth on a meteorite

  C) reveal the kind of conditions under which life originates

  D) provide an explanation why life is common in the universe


  Unit 5

  21.D 22.A 23.B 24.C 25.D 26.D 27.A 28.C 29.B 30.A

  31.A 32.D 33.C 34.A 35.B 36.D 37.C 38.A 39.B 40.C


  Unit 6

  Part II Reading Comprehension

  (35 minutes)

  Directions: There are 4 passages in this part. Each passage is followed by some questions or unfinished statements. For each of them there are four choices marked A), B), C) and D). You should decide on the best choice and mark the corresponding letter on the Answer Sheet with a single line through the centre.

  Passage One

  Questions 21 to 25 are based on the following passage.

  Navigation computers, now sold by most car-makers, cost $2 000 and up. No surprise, then, that they are most often found in luxury cars, like Lexus, BMW and Audi. But it is a developing technology—meaning prices should eventually drop—and the market does seem to be growing.

  Even at current prices, a navigation computer is impressive. It can guide you from point to point in most major cities with precise turn-by-turn directions—spoken by a clear human-sounding voice, and written on a screen in front of the driver.

  The computer works with an antenna(天线)that takes signals from no fewer than three of the 24 global positioning system(GPS) satellites. By measuring the time required for a signal to travel between the satellites and the antenna, the car’s location can be pinned down within 100 meters.

  The satellite signals, along with inputs on speed from a wheel-speed sensor and direction from a meter, determine the car’s position even as it moves. This information is combined with a map database. Streets, landmarks and points of interest are included.

  Most systems are basically identical. The differences come in hardware—the way the computer accepts the driver’s request for directions and the way it presents the driving instructions. On most systems, a driver enters a desired address, motorway junction or point of interest via a touch screen or disc. But the Lexus screen goes a step further: you can point to any spot on the map screen and get directions to it.

  BMW’s system offers a set of cross hairs(瞄准器上的十字纹)that can be moved across the map (you have several choices of map scale) to pick a point you’d like to get to. Audi’s screen can be switched to TV reception.


  Even the voices that recite the directions can differ, with better systems like BMW’s and Lexus’s having a wider vocabulary. The instructions are available in French, German, Spanish, Dutch and Italian, as well as English. The driver can also choose parameters for determining the route: fastest, shortest or no freeways(说,高速公路), for example.

  21. We learn from the passage that navigation computers .

  A) will greatly promote sales of automobiles B) may help solve potential traffic problems

  C) are likely to be accepted by more drivers D) will soon be viewed as a symbol of luxury

  22. With a navigation computer, a driver will easily find the best route to his destination .

  A) by inputting the exact address B) by indicating the location of his car

  C) by checking his computer database D) by giving vocal orders to the computer

  23. Despite their varied designs, navigation computers used in cars .

  A) are more or less the same price B) provide directions in much the same way

  C) work on more or less the same principles D) receive instructions from the same satellites

  24. The navigation computer functions .

  A) By means of a direction finder and a speed detector

  B) Basically on satellite signals and a map database

  C) Mainly through the reception of turn-by-turn directions

  D) By using a screen to display satellite signals

  25. The navigation systems in cars like Lexus, BMW and Audi are mentioned to show .

  A) the immaturity of the new technology

  B) the superiority of the global positioning system

  C) the cause of price fluctuations in car equipment

  D) the different ways of providing guidance to the driver


  Passage Two

  Questions 26 to 30 are based on the following passage.

  “The world’s environment is surprisingly healthy. Discuss.” If that were an examination topic, most students would tear it apart, offering a long list of complaints: from local smog(烟雾)to global climate change, from the felling(砍伐)of forests to the extinction of species. The list would largely be accurate, the concern legitimate. Yet the students who should be given the highest marks would actually be those who agreed with the statement. The surprise is how good things are, not how bad.

  After all, the world’s population has more than tripled during this century, and world output has risen hugely, so you would expect the earth itself to have been affected. Indeed, if people lived, consumed and produced things in the same way as they did in 1900 (or 1950, or indeed 1980), the world by now would be a pretty disgusting place: smelly, dirty, toxic and dangerous.

  But they don’t. The reasons why they don’t, and why the environment has not been ruined, have to do with prices, technological innovation, social change and government regulation in response to popular pressure. That is why today’s environmental problems in the poor countries ought, in principle, to be solvable.

  Raw materials have not run out, and show no sign of doing so. Logically, one day they must: the planet is a finite place. Yet it is also very big, and man is very ingenious. What has happened is that every time a material seems to be running short, the price has risen and, in response, people have looked for new sources of supply, tried to find ways to use less of the materials, or looked for a new substitute. For this reason prices for energy and for minerals have fallen in real terms during the century. The same is true for food. Prices fluctuate, in response to harvests, natural disasters and political instability; and when they rise, it takes some time before new sources of supply become available. But they always do, assisted by new farming and crop technology. The long-term trend has been downwards.

  It is where prices and markets do not operate properly that this benign(良性的)trend begins to stumble, and the genuine problems arise. Markets cannot always keep the environment healthy. If no one owns the resource concerned, no one has an interest in conserving it or fostering it: fish is the best example of this.

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