日期:12-15| http://www.59wj.com |历年真题|人气:327


Stage 3

Opinions on issues

1. What is your opinion of the one child-policy?

A I agree with China‘s one-child policy. I think that China needs to control its population right now. How else can we make China strong and provide enough food and education for all the people? Perhaps in the future when our country is more developed, we can allow people to have more children. But for now, the government‘s policy on family planning is necessary.

B I disagree with the one-child policy. I think people should be allowed to have as many children as they want. There are a lot of families who need more than one child in order to take care of their farmlands. The peasants are the ones who are suffering the most, because in the past, they used to be able to have more than one child to help with the work. In the city, many families only want to have one child anyways. I do hope that this policy will change very soon, because it‘s not a fair policy.

2. Do you think smoking is a problem that needs special attention?

Does smoking need special attention? That‘s an interesting question. I suppose it does. A lot of people in China aren‘t aware of the health consequences of smoking. They just smoke because it‘s socially acceptable to do so. If more people knew they could get cancer from smoking, they‘d probably stop, or at least smoke less. I know that the tobacco industry is big business, and if we tried to get rid of smoking, we‘d also be getting rid of jobs, but at the very least, people should be told about the potential dangers of smoking. That way they can make an informed choice about whether to smoke or not.

3. Do you think China‘s membership in the WTO will benefit China?

Well, it‘s a big issue and a lot of people are thinking about it. I‘m quite sure it‘ll benefit China and other WTO members as well if China becomes a member of the WTO. The common Chinese consumer will benefit most from it because prices of imported products will go down. Also, the quality and after-sales services of national products will be improved. I guess the main danger we have to face is the new competition to our national industries but I think they‘re up to the challenge.

4. What do you think of the unemployment problem in China?

I think the unemployment problem is getting more and more serious now. China‘s a country with a large population and there has always been more labour than required. It was not a big problem in the past under the- planned economy system, but now enterprises can not afford the burden of a surplus labour force and many workers in state owned enterprises are being laid off. Something must be done about it before more serious problems arise.

5. What do you think is the most serious social problem in China?

A The most serious? Well, I‘m no expert to say for sure, but I‘d probably say it‘s unemployment. There are a lot of people who have recently been laid off work. They have little income and many have a family to support. I think they should be given a chance to get another job-maybe by giving them more training or something like that. Perhaps if the government were to provide re-training to people who‘ve been laid off...that might help the problem.

B That‘s difficult to say, but- I‘d guess it‘s overpopulation, even though we‘ve made a lot of progress. Although China has a strict family-planning policy with one family having only one child, the population is already over 1.2 billion and it‘s still growing. It not only causes a shortage of food and shelter but it causes a lot of other problems like unemployment and crime. We can be flexible with this policy, but I think, in general, we need to enforce this policy quite strictly.

6. What do you think about the environmental problems in China?

 . The environment is getting more and more serious as a problem. Well, as far as I‘m concerned, I think these problems are solvable if we work together. I think also that people should be more vocal to press for change and I think that people should try to set good examples. The process is beginning to occur but the problem is that we have only scratched the surface of the problem. If we don‘t pay more attention to it then we will have an unbearable quality of life.

7. What do you think of using science in food production?

A I know many people think it‘s bad because it‘s not natural but I think it‘s probably quite necessary because our population is growing fast. If we just depend on regular crops we‘re going to have a difficult time feeding everyone. We need to use such technology to take care of our needs or otherwise we will be consuming an unfair percentage of the world‘s resources, while the underdeveloped countries are left to starve.

B While some argue that it‘s necessary, I think it‘s dangerous. We need natural crops to regenerate the soil and when we start playing around with nature we may run into trouble. I think we are getting to a state where we will be dependent totally on our unnatural food processes, and when we have no ability to even use artificial ways to produce food then we will face starvation.

8. What do you think of advertising in sports and entertainment events?

Well there are two sides to this issue. On the one hand people say that to have sports you must allow them to find ways to make money. After all, we can‘t have every athlete only sponsored by the government. On the other hand, when we let advertisements into sports we are allowing big companies to control events.

9. What do you think of violence on TV and in films?

A The number of violent TV programs is rising, even here in China. But I think it‘s quite natural to watch shows with a bit of violence because it makes it more exciting. Usually the violence in Chinese movies involves Gong Fu, except when they come from Hong Kong or Taiwan. Our violence is more just hand to hand fighting. I mean, look at all the societies with no violence on TV and they are just as violent. I don‘t think there is much of a relationship between violence on TV and violence in society.

B I‘m very concerned about the violence on TV. It‘s pretty bad now and I think it affects the

way people think. Children get more aggressive and they use these characters as models. I think the worst thing it teaches people is that justice can only come by force. In that case, how can we ever trust the processes of negotiation and diplomacy?

10. What do you think of the problem of piracy?

A I think it‘s a serious issue that we‘d better start addressing because a lot of companies are hurt by it and it affects our foreign investment. I still see a lot of it going on in the streets and sometimes they can get quite pushy. I mean if! were involved in the clothing industry or music or film industry I wouldn‘t want to sell my things in a place where the danger of having my stuff copied is too high. So we‘d better tackle this problem before we get countries complaining about us to the WTO.

B I think the issue is not very important and has been over-exaggerated. A lot of companies are trying to sell their products at too high a price here in China and that only invites people to copy it. For example, a video in America is worth about 12 US dollars. That‘s about a hundred RMB in China. Why should we pay that much for a video? Also the authorities are doing a good job trying to stop it from occurring, but since it‘s really just a petty crime, why should we pay as much attention to it as more serious crimes?

Opinions on various institutions and policies

11. What do you think of the media in your home country?

A I think it does a good job of giving us the up to date news and providing us with entertainment. It‘s certainly improved over the years and its getting more and more sophisticated. For example, there are now a greater range of programs like talk shows, documentaries, comedies and even movies on them. There are even now a lot of investigative journalism programs that expose the wrongdoings of companies or developers. I think the best improvements have come in the television area. Newspapers are probably pretty similar to how they‘ve been operating for some time but they are also now offering a better range of services.

B I think the media needs more improvements. It needs to have more services and start getting more specialized because I know many people are bored with what they currently offer. Also, people would like 1:0 see more in-depth coverage of issues and more feedback from a wide section of society. Also, I know many people who think there should be more coverage of events that occur outside of China in the newspapers. Also, I think there should be more channels. For example, I‘ve heard that in some cities in North America there are over a hundred channels with many specialized channels. I think we should have that kind of situation.

12. What do you think of the transportation system in your hometown?

A I think the transportation system in my hometown is quite good. Compared to many other cities, the bus system is quite cheap and clean and because there are enough lines they are usually not too crowded. The roads are well designed and they are wide enough for people to pass through without any major jams. Another thing I think is good are the bicycle lanes, which are just wide enough for people to get through. I think the main reason our transportation system is so good is because we have good city management. They seem to know exactly what we need and want.

B I think the transportation in my hometown is terrible. The buses are just too old and need to be upgraded. For example, it‘s not that unusual to see a lot of buses broken down on the roads. As for the road system, it‘s obvious that the roads are not well planned. They make the roads wide enough but don‘t give enough room to let cars exit the main roads. The side lanes are always congested and sometimes you can get stuck in a traffic jam for over 40 minutes.

13. What do you think of the education system in your hometown?

A In my opinion, it does a wonderful job. I say this because it produces some very successful people. You know there are lots of people who have become successful in business, government and the sciences. Also, when I compare the quality of my English to people who took English courses in other places, I find my level is not too bad. I think the best thing about the education in my hometown is that the teachers are all very honest and they really emphasize a lot of personal development rather than just trying to get us to pass tests.

B In China, going to university can help me get a good job. But, many courses are too old and not very useful. The professors often have just recently graduated or are very new in their field, or they are older and not very up to date with new developments. Also, we have to take all sorts of courses that are not directly related to our field. This, I feel, is a complete waste of time. We could be learning much more in our own field, instead of spending time learning courses that have no use for our future.

14. What do you think of key schools in China?

A I think it‘s a good system because it helps the brighter students receive the educational challenges they need. When the students are streamed by ability level, it allows the schools to pick up the pace of instruction and the bright students never feel bored in school.

B I think it‘s an old system that needs changing. Not every intelligent student is accepted to a key school, even if they are academically able. Also, intelligent students shouldn‘t be segregated. They need to learn to deal with all kinds of other students. Segregating bright students doesn‘t provide them with the skills they need to communicate and interact with others, which is what they‘ll need to do once they start working.

15. What do you think of fast food restaurants in your country?

A As far as I‘m concerned, the fast food restaurants are doing our country a favour because they help us learn the service techniques that are very successful. I mean take McDonalds for example. They _e such a huge success and their success has a reason. I mean, it‘s fast and efficient and clean. Also, the marketing techniques of these kinds of restaurants are quite sophisticated. I think we can learn form these restaurants even if we don‘t like fast food. If we were to stop them from being in our country, we might miss out learning from some of the most successful corporations in the history of the world.

B Personally I can‘t stand them and think there are now too many in our country. I mean take Beijing now. There are currently over a hundred of them and I think we don‘t need that many. The food is not very nutritious and to be frank it‘s expensive as well.


16. What do you think of the 3 Gorges project?

I think there are two sides to this issue. On the one hand it will probably provide a lot of needed electrical energy. I mean take the area of Chongqing. It‘s a growing city but it‘s hampered by a lack of energy and it needs to be able to feed more electrical energy to some of the poorer provinces to the west of it, particularly Tibet. Also I think it will make navigation easier along the Changjiang river and that will be good for our industries.

On the other hand, I think it creates some hardships for those people living in that region, since they must be relocated and they are giving up the area that they have lived in for so long. Also, we must be very careful to make sure there is no environmental damage since there is a lot of precious life that depends on the river.

17. What do you think of the Olympic Games? Are they necessary for the world?

A From my point of view, the Olympics are very good because they allow nations to come together and bring their best athletes together to compete. I mean if you have international competitions in special- events that‘s OK, but they can‘t take the place of the Olympics. The Olympics also does a lot for the pride of the place that hosts it and it makes the place very exciting. I am looking forward very much to the Olympics in the 2008. I think it will help out the economy immensely. For example, there will be a lot of people who can make extra income from souvenirs and as interpreters.

B I don‘t like the Olympics. As far as I‘m concerned they are a waste of time and money. There is just too much nationalism and pressure on the athletes. For example in the last winter Olympics you had countries threatening to boycott them or pull out for all kinds of reasons, and you had some unethical judging going on. I think also that they have become too commercialised and that they‘ve been taken over by big companies.

18. What do you think of the popularity of English in China?

Well it‘s quite natural don‘t you think? I mean the world is getting closer and closer and I think it‘s natural that the world begins to use a common language. Well, that means that if you want to do well in business you should at least know a little English. Take the Internet for example. I mean, there are lots of Chinese websites, but as far as I‘m concerned, you can get a much better range of knowledge if you can understand English. Some of the best industries in the future will involve international trade so if you are reasonably good at English you will be in demand. So the popularity of English is really for practical reasons. You can get a better job and you can probably have more opportunities.

19. What do you think of school uniforms?

I personally think they are a good thing. I mean it‘s fine for other countries to let their children have a lot of freedom with their clothing but I think that it only creates problems in many other places. I mean I read somewhere that there is a lot of bullying that takes place in North American schools and that some kids are laughed at because too often their clothes are shabby. Another thing I think you have to understand is that we stress more harmony and unity among our students. It‘s important for students to have this sense of unity or otherwise our nation will fall apart.

20. Should children be punished in school?

In my opinion children should be punished but not too often. I think the best way to deal with children is to guide them through their mistakes and to try to help them see their own errors. I mean, punishment should be used, but only when the children believe that they can get away with something that they shouldn‘t do. Punishments also cannot be the only way a child learns not to do something or otherwise he or she will only act out of fear of consequences without knowing whether it‘s truly right or wrong. For example, if a boy passes notes in class and is only punished, he may stop it only as long as the teacher is around. But when he comes to another class with a teacher who‘s not as strict, he might start doing it a gain. He hasn‘t realized why it‘s not the right thing to do.

Opinions On The Meaning Of Various Aspects

21. What does friendship mean to you?

Well, that‘s a tough issue, let me think. I think it means almost everything to me except perhaps my family. Friendship, in my mind, means having people who you know will help you if you are ever in trouble. I think it‘s also people who you feel you can actually tell things to and they will listen. Friends are people who you don‘t need to be so polite to when you‘re asking them to go somewhere - you can just phone them up and tell them "let‘s go somewhere" and you know they‘ll probably go. They are also people who have the same kind of sense of humour when you speak with them so that you will just laugh and laugh together.

22. What does happiness mean to you?

Well, it‘s a big topic. To me it means you live a carefree life, though I think it‘s impossible to be always carefree. That‘s why many people think of their childhood as being their time of true happiness because it was a time when they had little to worry about. Also, I think having a lot of very good friends is part of being very happy. It makes me happy to have some close friends who have a lot in common with me. I think happiness will double when it‘s shared with friends. Finally, I think happiness is knowing that you are useful, and knowing that you can help people when they need it. I feel happy to be able to help other people. I think it‘s pleasant to feel needed.

23. What‘s your definition of a natural beauty?

I think it‘s a place that shows something unique about nature, something that reminds you of a picture or art. I think it‘s a place that is not spoiled by human beings and it should be a place that gives you some view that extends beyond just a certain range. As an example, a great mountain or area that you can see hills all around are natural beauties. I also think that colour is a key thing as well. If you have some bright natural colours, this really helps to make a place look nicer in my opinion. Sometimes it‘s also a place that has a lot of peaceful patterns to it. For example, a place by the sea has a nice pattern of cliffs and ocean waves. I think this adds to the charm of a place.

24. What‘s your definition of a hobby?

In my mind, a hobby should be any activity that you like to do more than once. I think it should involve some skill but it doesn‘t have to be anything complicated. The main thing is that it shouldn‘t usually mean a competition in my view. I mean you could say that a sport is a hobby but I think of it as more of an activity. A hobby is something that requires you own self-development. For example, stamp collecting our painting could be a hobby because it‘s something you do for your own interest rather than for competitive purposes.

25. What is your definition of a perfect holiday?

A perfect holiday probably doesn‘t exist but I tend to think that it means a holiday where you are so moved by the place that you go to that you form an instant attachment to the place. It‘s a place that is in a beautiful area and it‘s a place that you don‘t feel rushed to see. Also, you can explore and do many things on your own without having to follow the plans of someone else. Also, I think Jt must be a holiday that allows you to learn something about another place, and that learning -experience will hopefully be with you for the rest of your life.

26. What do clothes mean to you?

I think they are a way of showing respect to the people that you have to meet everyday. If you dress too sloppily or cheaply I think you are essentially saying that you really don‘t care about others and that is a bad thing. To me clothes are a kind of presentation to the world and the clothes you wear are a kind of way that you present your character. If you present it with clothes that really don‘t match or have something unique to offer, you are not letting yourself have the best image that you can possibly have.

27. What do you think education really means?

What does education really mean? Well, it‘s difficult to say but I think that essentially anything that you are able to improve your understanding. It may be a skill or it may be some information to learn. I think it‘s also important to include any wisdom or moral lesson that can be learned. I think it‘s dangerous to concentrate too much on just skills because education to me also means something that gives you a way to shape your behaviour. For example if a student is very good at mathematics but has poor social skills he may use his skills to create some terrible weapons, rather than use them for peaceful purposes.

28. What is your definition of globalisation?

Well, I‘m no expert on this but I suppose that it means the whole trade that takes place within the rules that are set by trade organizations rather than by individual governments. I think it also means that people do business from country to country almost as easily as they do business within their own country. It seems that this word has a negative meaning for many. I guess it‘s because it means that big countries have less restrictions and less scrutiny. But I think it can have a good meaning if there are proper rules for business and those rules are not just set by large businesses.

29. What do you think ‘real love‘ means?

That‘s a difficult topic. I mean I don‘t know that much about this topic, but I suppose that it means that you would do everything you could for a person-even give up your life. I think real love is more than just passion. It must be a feeling that this person is so important to you that you would sacrifice everything you could for this person‘s well being.

30. What is your definition of a useful skill?

Well, let me think...1 suppose that it‘s something that you can directly apply once you have the chance. It must mean that you are able to do it better when given the chance than you could before. When you do it you feel you are more skilful and the time you take is faster and the quality that you have when you do it is much better. A good example of a useful skill is English because when I talk with a foreigner I can immediately test out my new skills in the language.

Stating your standards


31. What do you think the goal of an education should be and tell me why you feel that way?

Education should really be a time where you learn new ways of thinking and are challenged to go beyond what you know. But if I were to choose between learning useful things versus learning for enjoyment, I would definitely choose learning for enjoyment. I don‘t mean just learning when I feel like it. Rather, I mean studying things that interest me. If I am truly interested in a subject, I will really try harder to learn it. I think the goals of education should also be to produce a well-rounded person, I mean a person who is not just good in one or two areas but a person who can show knowledge in quite few areas.

32. What do you think is important in a friend?

That‘s an interesting question because I don‘t have that many strict standards. I prefer having a real variety of friends. I think it‘s important just to want to be my friend in a sincere way.

Friendship is extremely important to me. It‘s like being brothers or sisters, but even more than ‘that. I mean, I would do nearly anything for my friend, and I‘d expect that he‘d do the same for me. If he didn‘t help me when I was in need, then I would not consider him a good friend. I have a lot of different kinds of friends and there‘s not really just one type of friend that I am friends with. What qualities do you think a good journalist needs? A journalist must be responsible to his or her readers. Not only must a journalist be quick to react in any circumstance, but also he/she must always remember to uncover the real facts to the reader.

33. What qualities do you think a good teacher needs?

I think the basic qualities involve two things. First the teacher must understand the process of learning and the ways to make learning more efficient and effective. I also think that a teacher must have a good personality that motivates students to learn. I don‘t think its necessary for a teacher to have a perfect personality but at least they must show a passion for what they are teaching. The moment the students sense that the teacher just doesn‘t care about the subject then they also lose their enthusiasm for it. Patience is a key quality too because if there is no patience than students will be ignored.

34. What do you think the goal of travelling should be?

The goal of travelling? , Hmm. .. I‘ve never thought about that before. I guess the goal of travelling should be to enjoy yourself. For me, I think the goal I usually have is to have an experience that sticks in my mind for a long time and to give me a wider understanding of the world. I like to feel good about visiting a place and I like to think that the place made me a better person. I think often too many people travel just so that they feel they are adventurous and so they can boast to all their friends about all the places they have seen. But I think it is more important to truly relax and take your time exploring things without having to follow some rushed plan of things to see.

35. How should people be promoted at work? Through experience or performance?

This is a very big issue in a lot of companies. I‘m not sure how I feel about this issue because I think both experience and performance is important. I mean if you‘ve been working for a long time I think it‘s natural that you would expect better treatment. On the other hand, I don‘t think that it‘s right that experienced people should put little care into their job just because they think that their jobs are well protected because of seniority. In my opinion people should be promoted based on a combination of experience and performance. If they do not perform they may be demoted or even laid off, but if they do perform they will be promoted. Those people who perform well but have little experience should be promoted but not too high because this will only discourage those people who have worked in a company for a long time.

36. What qualities do you think are important for a successful or good film?

That‘s difficult to say. A good film doesn‘t have to follow a certain formula. I think there are all kinds of good films and they don‘t have to be a certain style. I think the basic qualities are commitment and professional acting. I can‘t stand those actors who start in movies with little concern about how to make their characters seem like real people. I think that the cinematography is quite important because without it you are just presenting images without concern for the meaning they convey. If there is no concern for the way it is shot then you might as well read a book, because the main features of films that make it pleasing are its setting and artistic filming. These days, I think the one criteria for a successful film seems to be just good special effects, but I don‘t care much about that.

37. What do you consider to be a good way to spend time with friends?

I think the best way to spend time with friends is to go hiking and camping with them. You know, when you go travelling with them you may get in many disputes because you never know what your friend really wants to do. Travelling can create conflict, and sometimes you rarely have a moment just to sit down and chat with your friend. In my view, it‘s better to go camping because when you‘re camping you are not in any rush to go somewhere and there are fewer choices. You can just enjoy what you‘re doing. On the other hand, you should make sure you‘re well organised when camping or you could have fights about what you should have done to prepare.

38. How do you define a good quality life?

This is just my opinion, but I think a good quality life involves no fear or thought that you are in danger, or being unfairly treated. I think it‘s a life where there are no serious health risks and there are opportunities to enjoy yourself without feeling worried about the consequences. I mean, if you‘re worried about the pollution in the water or you are worried about the crime in an area then it doesn‘t matter how rich you are because you have no opportunity to enjoy your surroundings. A good quality life can probably be found anywhere in the world but I think the conditions in some places make it easier than other places.

39. What is your standard of a good place to visit?

I think the place should first have opportunities to see something that you haven‘t seen very often. Also I think there should be some reasonable facilities there for you to enjoy. For example, there should be, at least, some decent roads to get in and out and some decent place to see. I think also that the place should be relatively safe and clean. I think also it should offer some opportunities to see things without getting charged for everything. I mean there are just too many places that charge you for every step you take and I think this is wrong because good places shouldn‘t be just anther kind of tourist trap.

40. What is your standard of success?

In my mind, success mean reaching the goals that you have for yourself, and it means you have achieved something that is not only good for yourself, but also good for others. I mean, if you have lots of money that doesn‘t necessarily mean you are a success. It could mean that this money just meant that you were lucky or you just happened to have the right talents. True success means meeting your goals, and if your goals just happen to be raising a happy family, well I think that also makes you a success.

Making Predictions

41. What do you think of the future of China if China keeps an open policy?

 I think China‘s future is very promising. The open policy has brought many benefits to the Chinese. For example, our standard of living has increased, China has become a stronger nation economically, and we‘ve learned a lot about the rest of the world. China needs to continue with an open policy in order for us to gain strength and respect as a world-class nation.

42. Do you foresee there being more advertisements in the future?

Yes, I believe so. We are getting more and more foreign advertisement, and as more investments are coming in, I think this is something unavoidable. The concept of advertising on TV, for example, is just beginning to catch on among the bigger companies and as more and more private businesses grow and increase their advertising budgets they may give TV a chance. Also, I think you‘ll see more and more advertising agencies start up in China that will specialize in making good advertisements and they will be in hot demand in the next few years.

43. How will the Internet change people‘s buying habits do you think, in the future?

I think the change will be incredible in the future. People rely so much on the Internet nowadays that they spend a lot of their time in front of the computer. More and more people are buying things over the Internet, and I think this trend will continue in the future. People will not get out of their houses, they‘ll just shop from the home. The key challenge before this happens is that the stores must find a good way of delivering things at a low cost. This has been the biggest problem in the past for a lot of e-commerce type companies but I have a feeling they‘ll become more skilled at it in the future.

44. Do you think that the Internet is going to change the way we get news?

Well, already we are seeing that. I get my latest news from the Internet. And I believe this will be the trend for the future if more and more people get wired up with the Internet. I‘m not sure in the future whether newspapers will survive if more people get the news from the Internet. I think the main way it‘ll change the way we get news is that we will get the events immediately. We can now get a variety of sources. Also, people will become more sophisticated about the things that are happening around the world and they will be able to make up their own minds about issues.

45. Can you imagine what transportation will be like in the future?

I think it will be fuelled by different energy sources because there is just no way that we can continue with petroleum for much longer. So I think that when new energy sources come out, you‘ll see different designed transportation. I also predict that some transportation will begin to use the air more often just for short heights because I think that the road systems cannot always be forever maintained and repaired. We need to find other ways, so I imagine our cars will probably be flying and maybe there will be flying bicycles too.

46. What would life be like without music?

What would life be without music? That‘s tough to say. I mean we just take it for granted that we‘ll always have music but I guess if there wasn‘t any music we‘d suffer in a very big way because we need music to create some higher form of pleasure. We need music to get in touch with some of our deeper emotions. If I had no music, I‘m sure I‘d go crazy because music relaxes me and it‘s a great way to hear some form of communication, which I might not have time for if I didn‘t put on a song or two.

47. Do you think the traffic problem will get better or worse in the future?

Well, I can‘t predict with any certainty but I have a feeling it will. It may be that the problem will get worse before it gets any better, but I think that there will be a time when something is actually done to tackle the problem. My feeling is that part of the problem will be solved when we actually start to regulate the number of cars on the roads. I think also that once the subway system is improved and can carry people to places they never used to be able to go, then the problem will also get a bit better.

48. Do you feel optimistic that environmental problems will be solved in the future?

I guess you could say I‘m optimistic, but only in the long term. I think it will, but only when people begin to realize that there‘s an actual crisis out there. I remember when it seemed that everyone was talking about the issue. Now a lot of people are just saying, "well, nothing can really be done about the problem." I think that people could do something about it if they really wanted to but the problem is that they keep delaying the solutions so I think when they realize they cannot delay the process any more then they will actually start doing something concrete about it.

49. How do you imagine people‘s lifestyles will change in the future?

I think there will be some big lifestyle changes in the future. I think our work life will change a lot so that we‘ll be mixing our work and free time more and probably make more of our own choices about when to work and when not to work. I think also that children will become more and more independent and also sophisticated and they will be shouldering more and more of the housework, as a growing number of households have two income earners. I think we‘ll also be experiencing more stress and more competition and I think we‘ll probably be making more and more friends from distant places.


50. How do you think housing will change in the future?

I think the housing situation will see a growing number of private developers and more and more housing that is built up high. I think apartment buildings will get much higher and I think the basic facilities of most Chinese housing will improve. Public housing will probably be upgraded and more responsibility will be placed on the owners to keep the housing clean and well maintained. But I think there will also be a large challenge in the future for public housing to keep pace for the growing demands of the middle-class in China.

Making suggestions or offering solutions

51. What do you think needs to be done to help farmers have a happier life?

Either they should be allowed to have a son, or the government should provide some sort of pension for farmers. I‘ve heard of pension plans where the government helps farmers to put away some money each year so that they will have money when they retire. In addition, if the government were to provide some money to retired farmers each month, this would ease the burden considerably. I also think that farmers should have better overall facilities and they should be managed under the control of the province, rather than locally because if they‘re run under the provinces, there might be better quality standards.

52. How do you think the unemployment problem can be solved?

 ‘Well, there is no‘ easy solution. I don‘t think the problem can be solved in the near future because there is a large number of laid off workers and not enough job opportunities. The government should try to create more job opportunities in the service sector industry, and on the other hand, laid off workers should put more effort into self-improvement in order to find better jobs. It might also help if the government actively promotes small businesses and inventors to get going with their ideas.

53. What do you think we should do to protect the environment?

I think the main challenge is to create a good staff to enforce the standards we have already set. The key thing about a good, clean environment is that the standards are enforced so that the laws have some teeth in them. J also think that its necessary to have good technical innovations so that the methods to do such things as water treatment can be developed. I also think it really takes a strong commitment by everyone to make sure that the environment is always the top priority in every new plan that is created

54. How do you think global warming can be prevented?

Well, there is no easy solution. As far as I know, global warming is caused by the Greenhouse Effect, which results from too much carbon dioxide in the air. I think the government should take measures to limit the number of private cars and make efforts to develop the public transportation system. Besides, we should try to replace fossil fuels with new, cleaner energy resources. Once we can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the air, the temperatures will likely stabilize and we can then feel safer that the situation is under control.

55. How can we preserve our history best?

I think the best way to preserve our history is to make sure that we protect all the symbols of our history, and that means that we try to set aside enough room for our old buildings and old sections of town to flourish. I think it‘s important to make sure that we also try to provide some re-enactments of history in our films, books and TV shows and also, if possible, though our tourist areas. I think another very important way is by keeping good records of the events that take place and by getting a variety of interpretations of history.

56. What should we do to prepare for a good trip to China?

In my opinion the thing you should get ready is a good phrase book that you can use if you need to get things done. You need a basic level of expressions that will help you to make your trip easier. You also have to be aware of some of the things to be careful of For example, you need to beware of possible dangers and people who are trying to cheat you. You also should really try to understand the history of China because that will make some of the places that you‘re going to more interesting. For example, if you watch a film or read a good book on the Forbidden Palace it will be that much more interesting to you when you wander around it.

57. What measures should be taken to reduce crime?

Well, to start with I think we should try to find the root of the crime problem. I mean you can‘t just scare crime away very easily. Sometimes it‘s because the gangsters have managed to scare everyone from doing anything about the problem. Other times it‘s just simply an issue that there are too many people who live in hopeless poverty and they feel they have no other way to make a living. Then I think it‘s important to increase your enforcement skills and that means getting more policemen and police women and trying to give them the best resources to deal with their job. I think finally, that there must be a justice system that‘s fair and won‘t treat anyone better than any other person. Once all of these things are done I think crime will decrease significantly.

58. How can traffic problems be best solved?

I think the best way to solve this problem is by trying to widen our roads and build more flyovers at the exits. Shanghai has successfully done this and now experiences fewer problems as a result. I think also that we may have to encourage people to take public transportation lines more often or simply ride their bicycles more. One more thing that should be done is to build better smaller roads that connect the bigger roads. One big problem in bigger cities is that a lot of the connecting roads are often blocked and so everyone has to squeeze into some exit road to get from one area to another.

59. How can the tourism industry be improved?

I think the first thing to do is to make it illegal for tour operators to collect commissions from various shops or stores and to simply increase the salaries of the tour operators. The second thing that needs to be done is there needs to be more control over the vendors in the famous sites to make sure they don‘t harass visitors. It can be very unpleasant when people follow you everywhere to buy their things. Finally, I think that there should be more opportunities to do independent travelling by setting up more campsites and clean hostels, to accept the backpacking crowds.

60. How can education be reformed to meet the future challenges?

I think the best reforms should be in the area of post secondary education and I think it would be good to pour a lot of money into upgrading the facilities and attracting better university professors to work. I also think there should be more community colleges and smaller universities that accept people from all walks of life. One more thing is that I think there should be more opportunities for distance learning programs from various universities around the world so that many Chinese can get the benefit of an overseas education without traveling so far to other countries.


Explaining reasons

61. What do you think are the main reasons for the gap between the rich and poor?

The main reason is because there are some fields that are in demand and there are short supplies of labour, while other fields have too many people in it and the demand may not be a great. Well, if you ask me, I don‘t think you can expect everyone to become rich at the same time. Some people say that under the market economy system it‘s only natural for the most capable people to make a fortune first. Life is competition after all. Well I can accept this partly but I think we should still do more to raise the standards of people who are struggling in life.

62. Why do people in China traditionally want to have a son?

Well in the past, sons were preferred because they carried the family name. Also, when they married, their wife would join the family. This means that the parents would gain a daughter-in-law. But when the daughter married, she would join her husband‘s family.

Nowadays there are a lot of daughters who keep their mother‘s family names. I think the bigger reason is that in the countryside, sons can help out more on the family‘s farm, just because they‘re stronger and have more endurance. There‘s still a sense that the son can earn more money and then take care of the parents better. I think this is changing because a lot of people are realizing that a daughter tends to take better care of her parents when they get older.

63. Why does advertising have such a powerful influence on what people buy?

Advertising is a very powerful tool and it‘s getting more and more popular these days. I think many people don‘t have any real knowledge about a product, so most of the time they rely on advertising for information, which they think is trustworthy. If there is no advertising, consumers will not realize certain products exist so they will not buy it. If you advertise your customers are introduced to your products and may be encouraged to make purchases.

64. Why do people like sports so much?

Well I‘m not really sure because I don‘t really like sports that much. I suppose it‘s because sports represent a safe, fun, and fair way to compete. Sometimes in work or in our studies we may feel things are not quite fair and even. Sports are fair and objective. There‘s also a social function of sports, getting together gives many Chinese a chance to establish and contact each other. Sports are fun and they keep both the body and the mind in shape.

65. Explain people‘s attitudes to old buildings.

Well, if! had to guess, I‘d say that generally speaking people feel fond of them and even nostalgic.

I mean they are part of our history and culture. But I think a lot of people are also impatient to see China develop and modernize quickly so our attitude towards the old buildings is often.. . well... preserve them if we can, but if a more modem building needs to be built why not build it?

66. Why are so many people buying cars these days in China?

 Well that‘s an interesting question that I‘ve wondered about myself. You know, I think it‘s mainly a face thing. It‘s as if riding a bicycle is a loss of face. I mean as soon as you buy a car people assume that you‘re doing well in life. We don‘t really need the car, and it doesn‘t really improve our actual quality of life, but it‘s nice to show others you have a car. There‘s also this sense of freedom you get when you drive a car. I don‘t know how to exactly explain it but it‘s the kind of feeling that you are master of your motion instead of some driver.

67. Why do people like travelling so much in your home country?

That‘s a good question. Sometimes I wonder why people just don‘t try to explore the places around them instead of trying to find paradise so far away. I think that people are just looking for an escape from their lives for a while and I think it‘s another status thing to say that you‘ve been to all these exciting places. That‘s why I think you find a lot of people taking so many pictures but not really stopping to really feel the places they are going to. I think there are some people who like it because they honestly enjoy learning and experiencing life in a different way but I think these people are a minority.

68. Do children know the difference between right and wrong?

Well, I don‘t know much about this issue because I‘m too young to be a parent and I‘m no longer a child. But my guess is that they don‘t really. I mean, I love children a lot but I think it takes a number of years before you can really learn to know the real reason why something is right or wrong and it takes a long time for people to really sympathize with others in a sincere way. One example of this is the kid that teases others. He doesn‘t really know it‘s wrong but he hears that his parents and teacher says it‘s wrong so he doesn‘t do it. Another reason he stops doing it is because he‘s afraid he might get teased. But does he really know it‘s wrong? I doubt it because he doesn‘t have the ability to know how to think and realize the hurt another person feels

69. Why is some art popular and other art not?

Well, let me think about this issue. Its hard for me to say because I‘m not an expert on art, but I think that the popularity of art depends on the deeper feeling a painting or work of art seems to generate. I mean if you look at art and feel nothing from it then it can‘t get very far. I think also, to be frank, that a lot of art is just fashion and also based on the fame or name of the artist. I mean most people don‘t really know the difference between one art or another so they rely on the name. Its like name-brand clothing, I guess you could say.

70. Why do so many people like fast food in China?

You know I can‘t figure out that myself. I mean it‘s not that convenient. Sometimes at lunch you could be waiting to get to the front ofthe line for quite some time. It‘s not peaceful, it‘s noisy. The food is overpriced and not very nutritious. I think the real reason is that the advertising and promotion is good and it has this kind of happy atmosphere that draws people in. People also like the idea of just getting some privacy to chat freely and not having to be controlled by some waiter or waitress. I also think a lot of people like to use their fingers to eat to just for a change.

Explaining situations

71.What is the population control situation like in China today?

It‘s better than before. At least things are pretty much under control, but there are still a lot of people in China. I think everyone accepts the fact that they can only have one child. Some of my friends are even thinking of not having any children at all. Most of them, though, are delaying having children, because they‘re focusing more on their careers right now.

72. What is the situation in the rural areas in China?

I think it‘s improving because more facilities are being built but there are some old problems that still persist. They have no pension and therefore must rely on their families to support them. If they have a son, by tradition, he must take care of his parents. But, if it‘s a daughter, she leaves to join her husband‘s family, and there is no one left to provide for the parents in their old age. It‘s really a terrible situation for farmers, because they work so hard all their lives, and if they don‘t have a son, they have no security when they get old.

73. What would you say women‘s conditions in China are like?

Well there‘s still some discrimination but I think it‘s much better now than any time in history. I‘ve heard of female students who have recently graduated from university having a hard time finding employment. Some employers even tell them they‘re just looking to hire males. Also, once a woman is working in a company, there‘s only so high she can move before she reaches what they call a "glass ceiling" , meaning she can‘t move to higher management positions. But I think, in many other companies, women have almost equal opportunity with men. In the countryside, however, women are sometimes treated almost like property. The less educated the woman is, the more likely she won‘t be treated well.

74. How aware do you think people are nowadays about environmental issues?

I think that many people are thinking about it, especially people who have to suffer from it on a day-to-day basis. I think that a lot of people still need to think about the issue further and realize that the problem is not some one else‘s to solve but that the ultimate responsibility lies with everyone. I also think that people are beginning to see that economic development cannot be so shortsighted, and that we cannot just keep treating our resources as if there were no end in sight to the amount we can use at any given moment in time.

75. What is the population control situation like in China today?

It depends which place. I think it‘s having some positive effects in the city. In the country it‘s more difficult to monitor so it‘s much stricter than in the countryside. There is a large financial penalty for couples that have more than one child. It‘s also probably easier for the government to monitor how many children are born into each family in the city than in the countryside, just because everyone lives so much closer together.

76. What‘s the housing situation / condition like in your city?

Well, the housing condition in my city has been improved a lot in recent years. But there are still many people who live in narrow, shabby houses. Besides, instead of getting free houses from the government as part of their benefits, people have to buy houses from real estate companies, and many of them cannot afford the high cost of an apartment.

77. What do you regard as the most significant events in your country‘s recent history?

I think it was the third conference of the Eleventh Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, which determined the policy of Reforming and Opening up. Because of the conference, our standard of living has improved dramatically. I think that it‘s a day that marked a shift to looking at the outside as a potential source of knowledge and wealth for us, and it wasn‘t long before the message caught on that it was ok to try and prosper.

78. What is the most important skill these days to learn?

In my opinion it‘s the skill of proper marketing. I know many people might say that it‘s computers or English, but I think that if you know some good ways to market yourself, and the things you do, you can go very far in life. For example, if you can convince a company human resource director that you are a good person for a job they will often choose you over a more qualified applicant, because you know how to promote yourself. I also think that marketing is something that every firm must do if it hopes to survive, so if you are good at it you can do very well.

79. What is the biggest problem in the tourism industry today?

The big problem in the tourism industry is the lack of proper souvenirs in my view. When you go to many tourist sites you see some of the same kind of stuff you can find anywhere. Most tourists just walk past it. The stuff that is sold all comes from these factories that just mass produce this junk and basically it has a shiny exterior but is of very shabby quality. I have seen several guidebooks describing the souvenirs in China as junk. That makes me feel very angry. I have seen very good gift shops that sell quality things, but I think these kinds of shops are in the minority.


80. How do older people think of younger people‘s habits?

I‘m not completely sure since it‘s hard to say what older people think of us. My guess is that they think we are a bit spoiled since our lives are a bit easier and because they didn‘t have as many opportunities as we did. I‘ve heard some of them complain that since the one-child policy we are a bit too spoiled by our mothers and fathers. They often complain that we are not that hard working and that we don‘t show as much respect and courtesy for older people as they did when they were young.

Explaining importance_ impact and role

81. What role does tourism play in your country‘s economy?

 Tourism is playing a more and more important role in our country‘s economy. Since the opening up of our economy, the number of tourists has increased dramatically, and this is a useful source of foreign currency for the country. I think for some places it has become almost a lifeline. For example places like Dali and Sanya depend so much on tourism that I think they would literally disappear without it.

82. What is the impact of technology on hum,pn beings?

The impact. That‘s a big topic, where do I start? Well, I guess we can say that technology is something that changes the pace of life without us really realizing it. Suddenly things are faster to do; travelling, communicating and computing are all faster, and then we get used to that increased pace and we don‘t think of it as being special any more. I happen to think the impact can be quite a positive one, if we direct this new efficiency in the right direction. My concern is when this technology starts to make us less and less sociable to one another and makes us more impersonal.

83. What role does natural beauty in nature play for the Chinese?

I think that places of natural beauty play a big role in our lives. We take pride in our country‘s natural beauty and it is a source of strength to us. When we think of our country we don‘t just think of our institutions and people but also our places that we think of so fondly. These places help us to relax, to connect us with history, and inspire us to do great things.

84. What role does music play in our lives? What is its function?

The role of music? Let me think, that‘s a difficult one to say. I think that by and large, music does have a big role in our lives. We kind of take it for granted, but I think we don‘t realize just how important it is. I think the biggest role it plays is that it communicates a kind of emotion to us and that emotion helps us to get in touch with what we have inside of us as people.

85. What is the impact of Western music on Chinese music?

I‘m no expert at this since I basically only listen to Chinese music but I think that the main impact is that it has taught us to simplify our lyrics and just concentrate on the repetition of the melody.

Also, the impact has been that music has become more simple and more directed at the young. Also, Western music has taught us to be a bit bolder with some of our feelings.

86. What is the importance of playing sports?

Well it‘s funny but it‘s quite hard to actually say what the importance of them is. I mean, we play them and have fun, but we don‘t really think about their importance. Perhaps the real importance of sports is just to have a good time. They release our energy and keep us in shape and I guess that‘s all I think of for actual importance.

87. Explain the impact of the Internet on our lives.

The Internet is changing our lives because we can connect to the rest of the world without leaving the house. We can also work from home without going to the office, we can get the latest news without buying a newspaper, and we can also make purchases from home. All these changes have already taken place in some people‘s lives. Also, we can now contact each other easily and this tends to make communication more frequent but it also makes it shallower, since we don‘t really write very long messages anymore.

88. What role do you think old and modern buildings play in our society?

I think they both play an important role but for different reasons. Old buildings are important for preserving our culture. Modern buildings are important for showing that we are now a modern country and that we will provide the best facilities. I don‘t think that our country would be as strong if we didn‘t have both of them to enjoy.

89. What is the importance of learning a second language?

Here in China, leaning English is getting more and more popular. I think the main importance of learning a second language is that you can use it for many career-enhancing purposes. For example, if you know English you can work at any publishing company or language school. You can also get a job much more easily at a foreign company and you can communicate with potential clients. So you see, we consider English to be a very important subject for our careers.

90. What benefits do hobbies have on a person‘s life?

Well, in my opinion, hobbies are the difference between a boring and exciting life. I mean your work could be exciting but if all you do when you get home is watch TV or surf the Internet then I don‘t think your life can be very fulfilling. I think that a hobby is also a very good way to expand your social life. And if you are good at your hobby... well, who knows? Perhaps you can make your hobby your career, like Bill Gates did when he started making computer programs in his spare time.,

Listing the ways


91. What kinds of possessions create high status in your country?

What kinds of possessions create high status? Boy that‘s tough to say, there are so many. You know, everyone is different and some people regard some things as being more important than others. I would say the biggest status possession is probably the car. You know if you drive one of those Santanas or Audis, it‘s a sign that you‘ve made it. Also, of course, the flat itself is important too. If you live in a 3 bedroom or even a 4 bedroom flat that‘s private and up high, well... that‘s another sign you‘ve made it.

92. Can you give me some examples of some negative effects of advertising?

Well I think these ridiculous advertisements that promise that you can improve your memory by taking a pill are a big scam. I mean they‘re really misleading and I think that these kinds of ads really need regulation. Another negative effect of advertisements is they try to associate happiness with the objects you buy. Can buying things make you happy? The problem with this way of thinking is, well, what happens when you get tired of the object? Then you have to buy more things.

93. In what ways do people usually make friends in your country?

What ways do people make friends? Well, all kinds of ways. I guess the most common way is by self-introduction. Maybe in your country you like to introduce yourself, but I guess we are a little more reserved and wait for an introduction. Other ways are as classmates. I think classmates are the most common form of friendships. You will find that these friends are more lasting than say colleagues from work.

94. What are the possible factors that cause friends to stop being friends?

I think it‘s usually jealousy. Often some friend gets jealous and then tries to do something harmful and the other friend find out and then the big trouble comes. I have seen this happen so often. Another big one is money. One friend borrows money and the other friend has a difficult time getting it back. Another one is just selfishness by one party, which is usually unintentional. For example, one friend keeps allowing the other to pay for his meals. He thinks his friend doesn‘t mind but actually he does.

95. What are some ways people like to travel in your country?

Well, even though I see a lot more people doing independent travelling, I would still say that tours are the most popular way of travelling. I guess we like to be with groups of people when we travel. Also, we are still a bit nervous to risk doing things by ourselves. Another popular way of travelling is by renting a car and driving to some place in a group. This gives you a bit more freedom but you have to be careful of the regulations.

96. What factors influence the way people dress?

Hmm, that‘s an interesting question. It‘s hard to say. I know weather would be one of the ways. I mean if it‘s snowing outside you‘re obviously not going to go out without a coat. But besides weather I think that clothes are basically chosen out of what self-image the person wants and what he or she feels is comfortable. You know women often choose clothing that people tell them suits them and also which seems to give off the best image for them.

97. What effects or benefits does learning an instrument have on people, especially children?

Well, I‘m no expert on the subject and to tell you the truth I‘m not really sure. I don‘t play an instrument so I have no personal experience to draw from. I suppose if I had to guess I‘d say that learning an instrument sharpens your mind because I‘m sure it‘s not that easy. I mean I know some people who‘d practice for hours and so I think it must not be easy. I guess it must also make you more creative because now you know a way to put notes together.

98. What are the typical characteristics of a modern family?

Well, I‘ve never thought about what makes a modem family. I suppose it‘s a family that gives each other a large degree of personal freedom. I mean when I think of a modem family I think of the father and mother both doing the work they want and both sharing the housework. Kids can also make choices about their careers and relationships. I also think that a modern family should be smaller and probably a little better off.

99. What are the main features of traditional architecture in your country?

Well I‘m no expert on this topic. I‘ve never really studied the architecture of my country. I guess the main features are the steep roofs and the curvy eaves, which are often decorated at the corners. Also a lot of traditional architecture is held up by pillars. We used to use a lot more wood in our architecture but now its a lot more cost effective to make things with brick or concrete. Also, windows are much smaller in traditional architecture, but many modern buildings are made completely with glass.

100. What are the various ways computers can be useful for our learning?

Well, it would be difficult to come up with a complete list since the number of ways might be unlimited! Well, I can think of one way where computers are helpful in my English. The other day I came across a pronunciation learning web site which gave very good explanations about where I should place my tongue and teeth and where a sound should originate. I think, also, that computers are good for allowing us to do drills and practice exercises because I find it embarrassing to do them in front of a teacher.


101. How has technology changed in China over the last few years?

Technology has really taken quite a big leap since the open door policy. More and more people are realizing the importance of technology and the good things it brings and the way it increases productivity and efficiency. People are now being trained to use technology in the work place. People are realizing that without technology, it‘ll be difficult to compete in this new global economy. The Internet is one example. More and more people are connected to the Internet at home or at work. It‘s become a part of many people‘s lives to get news, get in contact with people around the world and even receive our entertainment on the net. The amount of information it provides is incredible.

102. How have Chinese eating habits changed in the last 20 to 30 years?

Yes I think that eating habits have undergone some changes. Well, I think the ways our habits have changed are simply that we eat a lot more variety than before. We are more prosperous now and so we can order a lot of different dishes at restaurants. I also find that many people are learning to make dishes from different places. My mother for example, learned to cook Sichuan food, even though we are from the northeast of China. Another way it has changed is that young people are eating a lot more fast food, not just from the West but also Chinese style fast food. We just like the casual style of eating.

103. How has the environment changed?

Yes I think the environment has changed in a big way. The air has become worse and worse and the water has become more and more contaminated. Because of over-development the sandstorms have gotten worse, as well. However, I think some aspects have also improved. More and more parks are being created and there have been a number of successful tree planting projects.

104. How has tourism changed in China?

I think tourism has become very popular in China and is now big business. More and more people are taking an interest in travelling to China and so the revenue collected from tourism is becoming significant. This has meant that many cities have changed a lot to accommodate more tourists. Take Xi‘ an, as an example. Tourism has become one of the major industries there and so a lot of shops now carry souvenirs as well as other things.

105.What are the differences between entertainment media, such as TV and movies in the past and now?

Huge differences! I mean in the past everything we heard was directed from just a few sources and now there is a lot more diversity. Our movies now come from all over and directors now have a lot more freedom to choose the themes that interest them. Also, there‘s a lot more English in the films and on TV these days. In fact there are now even a lot of English only programs.

106. How have families changed? What‘s the difference between families now and in the past?

Families have changed in some very significant ways over the last 10 or 20 years. For one thing they are a lot smaller than they used to be with the implementation of the one-child policy. Also, the roles of fathers, mothers and children have changed. It used to be that the father was the all-powerful figure and now I think it‘s the child. Since there is only one child now you can say that the child is now the new emperor in many families. Also, a lot more mothers are now working full time and many of then are earning more than their husbands.

107. How have buildings and construction changed in the last 20 years in China?

Well architecture is, of course, no longer relying so much on brick and a lot of the new buildings are using different materials. Basically you can say that buildings are getting higher and they are looking cleaner and shinier than ever before. But in my view, I think the construction standards are getting worse and worse. I think too many developers are trying to rush projects and are cutting corners along the way. If this problem continues you‘re going to see more and more cases being brought to court.

108. What are the differences between hobbies today and hobbies in the past?

Well I think that hobbies in the past were simpler and usually didn‘t involve much more than a person‘s own skills at things. Since many of us weren‘t as well off as we are now, I guess you could say that we had to be careful about not spending too much on our hobby. These days I see people spending a fortune on their various hobbies, so I think that has been the biggest difference.

109. How has transportation changed in the last 20 years?

Transportation hasn‘t changed that much I don‘t think, except that there is just so much more of it. I mean, look at the number of cars on the roads - it‘s almost quadrupled since the eighties. There is a lot more public transportation and some of the buses are much cleaner and more modem than they used to be. Also, the subway system covers more places. But in my opinion, the changes in public transportation haven‘t kept pace with the growth of cars and that‘s a serious challenge for our cities.

110. How has clothing changed in the last 20 years?

Clothing has changed quite a bit since then. I mean 20 years ago we had just come out of the open door policy and so many people were beginning to test out new styles of clothing. In those days perhaps you could say that fashionable clothing like that seen in Europe was a bit adventurous. Now it‘s very common. It seems everyone these days is wearing brand clothing these days. Another thing that‘s quite interesting is that a lot of traditional clothing that many people thought was so 014-fashioned and useless a few years ago is now becoming fashionable again. I seems we are beginning to take a new interest in our traditional dress sty le and combine it with the styles of today.


111. What‘s the difference between Western and Chinese culture?

Well, I wouldn‘t call myself an expert on Western culture. In fact I know very little about it, but my guess is that Chinese culture is based on Confucianism while Western culture is more based on individual liberalism. This means that we have more acceptance of authority and are more likely to accept conditions and try to find more subtle ways to change things. I think Western culture emphasizes the benefits of conflict to change things. I also think that Chinese culture places a lot of importance on the family and respect for the elders. Well, Western culture does too but it seems that this importance is a preoccupation with Chinese.

112. What‘s the difference between the way children and adults make friends?

The main difference is that children start their friendships very accidentally and they don‘t really have to make so many gestures in words. Adults try to use the power of their words and their conversation to secure friendship. Children, on the other hand, just start sharing things or playing together, and instantly, if they enjoy being together, they continue the friendship. Also, children more quickly forgive their friends for the things they do wrong to each other but I think adults take matters more seriously.

113. Can you compare different types of transportation in your hometown?

Well in my hometown it‘s a bit hard to get around on a bicycle. I mean, it‘s certainly cheaper but it‘s also a bit tiring going up all these hills. A taxi is convenient and there‘s no problem in my hometown ‘finding one, but they can get a bit expensive if you take them everyday. A bus is probably the best option of it‘s. not rush hour, but if it‘s a busy time you had better expect to squeeze in. I think subways are the best but the problem is that they don‘t go everywhere. I guess a car is the most convenient, except when you get stuck in some traffic jam. Also, cars just add to our pollution problems.

114. Compare the difference between middle school and university life.

Well, middle school life is quite structured, and so all you really need to worry about are your grades and your friends. Your classmates are people you see everyday and your teachers are always on you about your behaviour. There‘s a lot of stress about your exams and I‘d say that learning is rather forced. With a university life you have to structure your life more on your own and you are responsible for your own behaviour. The big challenge in university is not so much on getting good grade, but getting along with all your roommates in the dormitory.

115. Compare traditional food and fast food.

Well traditional food I guess just means that the dishes are served on separate plates and people share the same plate and usually add it to their rice. Fast food means you generally go up to the counter to order it and you bring it back to your table. The food is usually something simple and informal. You can also eat much of it with your fingers and you can be about as casual as you want to be.

116. What are the main differences between flats and traditional houses in China?

Well, the main differences are in the facilities. In a flat you have all of your facilities in working order and you don‘t really need to share much with other residents except maybe the playground if you have kids. With a traditional home, a lot of the facilities like telephones and water are shared. Flats are also centrally heated, while traditional homes mayor may not be heated at all. Traditional homes are usually made of brick and they are not often more than one floor high, whole flats can go up to 12 floors. Traditional homes are quite neighbourly, since you share so much with each other, and many people complain that flats encourage people to just keep to themselves and ignore their neighbours.

117. Compare hobbies of Chinese with hobbies of Western people.

That‘s an interesting question. It‘s a bit hard for me to say, since I‘ve never been to a Western country, but I guess that the hobbies there probably involve more collecting things, especially collecting older things. I know a lot of Westerners like to collect stamps or antiques. I think Chinese are more interested in mastering certain skills like calligraphy or the right way to pour tea. Chinese probably like keeping their hobbies to themselves while Westerners like joining clubs and stuff.

118. How do the younger and older generation in China differ?

Well you see many of the older generation came from more difficult circumstances, and they had a harder life. So they often think that we just do things without thinking about it. I often hear my father complaining that there are too many rude youngsters around who show no regard for money and don‘t treat the elderly with any respect. The elderly are usually more cautious and slower to accept new ideas. The younger generation is quick to adopt new things like the Internet and we tend to accept fads. We dress, take guided tours and even eat differently and we .think that the older generation should respect our points of views more often.

119. Compare Western and Chinese art.

This is a topic I know practically nothing about. I‘m not really that keen on art. I suppose it‘s nice to look at, but I won‘t waste much time or money on it. But I guess the differences are just that Western art usually seems to be disguising some hidden meaning and it focuses more on the texture of its art and the details. Chinese art is meant to have more rhythm and perfect strokes and simplicity is more important than whether the art contains some symbolism or not.

120. What are the differences between objects you make yourself and objects you buy?

Well, of course objects you make are cheaper! Seriously though, I think that objects you make are more meaningful because they‘ve come out of your labour and your care. On the other hand, objects you buy are probably done more professionally and they certainly save you a lot of hard work. Personally, I prefer things I make unless I have no talent at it.

Advantages and Disadvantages

121. What are the advantages and disadvantages of space research?

Well, the advantages are certainly that it‘s interesting, and it feeds our knowledge about our world. I mean, we need to know things. Also, it can also be turned into a commercial enterprise. For example many countries now sell satellites for commercial purposes and that couldn‘t have been achieved without some space research. The disadvantages are, of course, money. Its expensive, and you get a lot of people complaining that the money could be used for better purposes. I agree with this argument somewhat but I think the problem is that we need to research things in space or otherwise we may one day face a disaster like an incoming asteroid that we can do nothing about.

122. What is the advantage and disadvantage of watching a sports game on TV compared to watching it live (in a stadium)?

Well watching a game on TV has several strengths. For example, you can hear the commentary and you can see the action repeated again. You are given more knowledge about the game and things are not so noisy for you. You also have the freedom to eat want you want for free and get up and do something else. The seats are more comfortable, and the volume is yours to control. But there is one main disadvantage that is hard to deny. You cannot capture the feeling and excitement of watching something live. Also you cannot share your joy with other fans at the time that it‘s happening.

123. What are the advantages and disadvantages of having a part time job while at school overseas?

Well the main advantage of having a part time job is that it eases the financial burden on your parents. You are able to have a little pocket money without having to go to your partner all the time. Another advantage is that you can generally improve your English a lot if you can work part time overseas. You‘re working with your colleagues and they can communicate with you daily.

The main disadvantage is that it‘s tiring and the time you spent could be spent getting good grades. Also, overseas part time work is usually not very well payed so the added pocket money may not really be worth it.

124. What are the advantages and disadvantages of public transportation?

The main advantage of using public transportation is that it‘s cheap and generally much better for the environment, because you are only using one vehicle instead of many. Especially if your buses run on clean air, you can reduce a lot of emissions. Another advantage of public transportation is that it reduces traffic jams. I think public transportation is less stressful because you don‘t have to worry about parking and all that kind of thing. The big disadvantage of public transportation is the wait. It‘s much more convenient to just jump in your car and take off. Also, you have to follow a route and you have no flexibility with public transportation. Sometimes it can be very uncomfortable, especially during rush hours.

125. What is the advantage of getting your news from the newspaper?

 I like knowing what‘s going on, so newspapers are a good way for me to know what‘s happening.

I can‘t say that I completely believe everything that I read in the newspapers, but I do find them very interesting and entertaining. I‘m kind of an information junkie, so I just like to know current things. Because before a newspaper is printed, the editor will check through the articles and the sources where the news derived, it‘s often more reliable. In TV news, the news broadcaster may say something he or she thinks is right. So I feel newspaper is more reliable.

126. What are the good things and bad things about Western food?

Well, I‘m afraid you‘re asking the wrong person because I rarely eat Western food. I‘ll just make a few guesses then. Let me see... well, perhaps the good thing about it is that there might not be as much oil since a lot of the food is baked and boiled. I think the other good thing is that the hamburgers are quite delicious some times. Well the bad things I think are many. I think the food is tasteless, at least a lot of the food I‘ve tried. Also, I think with the hamburgers, it‘s quite bad for you and the fat content is quite high. That‘s about all I really know about Western food.

127. What are the advantages and disadvantages of giving projects in school instead of exams?

Well you know, probably every teacher has weighed the advantages and disadvantages of them. I think the main advantage is that they encourage students to do their own thinking and in the process they take pride in what they create. They also gain more practical knowledge. The problems are mainly related to time. It takes a lot of time not only for a student to do such a project but also to grade it. Also, how do you grade something like that? To grade something it‘s hard to be objective.

128. What are the advantages and disadvantages of a traditional family?

Well, my family‘s quite traditional so I guess I can tell you a bit about this. It‘s difficult to say what the advantages of a traditional family are. I guess the main thing is that things are probably more stable and everyone knows their role. In my family, for example, we don‘t really question my father‘s authority. It‘s also cheaper for us because you do everything together as a family. The disadvantages are that you have less freedom to do the things you really want. I mean, it seems that my parents are always questioning my decisions.

129. What are the advantages and disadvantages of reading books for entertainment compared with watching TV or films?

Ok, just let me think... Well, I think the main advantage of reading books is that they do a lot for your imagination. It is more challenging and you have to work harder to gain your knowledge. TV is less challenging and doesn‘t make you think as much. But the main disadvantage is that books just take too much time to get through. TV is more convenient and time efficient and that‘s why I think so many people like it.

130. What are the advantages and disadvantages of living in a large city?

I think the main advantages of living in a small city is that you feel closer to the people around you and so your social life is more secure. You have more chances to enjoy nature and the air is much fresher. The disadvantages are the lack of career opportunities and the facilities are generally not as good. Life in a small city may have fresher air and vegetables but it‘s hard to think about all that when you‘re worried about sending your kids to a good school.

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