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About a century ago more people would not have appreciated the study of a foreign language as they do today. Gone are those days when patriotism towards one's own language was a major obstacle to learning foreign languages, a time when most nations were trying to throw their alien rulers out of their countries in their freedom struggles. Gone are those days when people were proud of their mother or father tongues and considered that their languages alone will suffice the need to survive. Language skills today have become as important as other business and career skills like IT, vocational or professional skills. Thus learning a foreign language today has become essential for an individual whether it is for careers, growing a business, or even to make an impression.

All that one needs to possess these days is a drive to learn a foreign language and there are all kinds of institutes and courses that teach various foreign languages like French, German, Spanish, and Japanese. Today's world economy has bridged the barriers of race, sex, color and religion and the world has become a smaller place. Today's businesses also demand language skills to expand and grow in other countries. Tens and hundreds of businesses world wide are expanding and growing their businesses by promoting them in countries other than their countries of origin. The tremendous growth of the Internet has further increased the demand for language skills. In Canada an official rule also says that all commercial establishments must have their websites created both in English and French, the official languages of the country.

Language can also ease race and border barriers. You are more welcome in an alien nation if you know the language of the people there and can converse in their tongue. People in these countries immediately respect you and think you care about their culture as much as they do because in any culture language is the key identity.

One of the reasons for not studying a foreign language in the past is______.

A.it was too difficult

B.it was not allowed

C.it was taught by foreign rulers

D.it was seen as disloyalty

更多“About a century ago more…”相关的问题
In the opinion of many Americans and Europeans, we only began to really explore our world in the sixteenth century. According to them, the sailors of the ancient world did not explore distant parts of the world; they did not have the necessary knowledge or skills for long sea journeys. However, the people who have this opinion are forgetting two important facts of history.
First, sometimes early scientists have an idea which is correct, but scientists in later centuries do not believe it. For example, about 270 B. C., a Greek scientist had an idea which we all believe today: The earth moves around the sun. But for the following 1,600 years scientists did not believe this. In their opinion, the sun clearly moved around the earth. They discovered the truth again only in the fifteenth century!
The second fact of history that many people forget is this: Ancient does not mean primitive. For example, the ancient Egyptians knew a great deal about the stars; they used this knowledge to find their way across the oceans. Two thousand years ago a Greek scientist who lived in Egypt calculated the distance around the earth. The results of his calculations were close to the real distance we know today! So the ancients had a great deal of scientific knowledge. They also had skills which equaled the skills of to- day. For example, 1,300 years ago and before, fishermen in Ireland built their boats of wood and leather. Today some fishermen in Ireland still make boats of the same de- sign. They use tools and materials which are not very different from the tools and materitals which their ancestors used. Why? The ancient design of the boats was good, and with skillful sailors, these boats can sail in all kinds of weather.
Clearly long before the sixteenth century, people had the skill, the knowledge and the equipment which were necessary for long journeys by sea. The world did not have to wait until the sixteenth century for its first explorers!
Which of the following statements is consistent with the passage?
A.According to the writer, we only began to really explore the world in the sixteenth century.
B.In the history of science, people sometimes have to discover a fact a second time.
C.The ancient Egyptians had very little knowledge about the stars.
D.The writer agrees with many Americans and Europeans except for the two facts mentioned in the passage.
According to the passage, when did archaeologists begin to be able to understand tablets inscribed in Sumerian?
A.IN the early nineteenth century
B.More than 150 years ago
C.After the 1890's
D.In the mid-eighteenth century

High in the Swiss Alps many years ago, there lived a lonely shepherd (牧羊人)boy who l
High in the Swiss Alps many years ago, there lived a lonely shepherd (牧羊人)boy who longed for a friend to share his evenings.(很多年以前,在瑞士阿尔卑斯山上住着一个牧羊人,他期望能找到一个朋友在夜晚与他为伴。) One night he saw three old men, each holding a glass.
The first old man said:―Drink this liquid and you shall be victorious in battle. ‖
The second old man said:―Drink this liquid and you shall have countless riches. ‖
The last old man said:―I offer you the happiness of music-----the horn(号角).‖
The boy chose the third glass, The next day, he came upon a great horn, ten feet in length, When he put his lips to it, a beautiful melody(旋律) floated across the valley. He had found a friend.
So goes the legend(传说) of the horn. First known in the ninth century, the horn was used by herdsmen to call cattle, for its deep tones echoed across the mountainsides. Even today, on a quiet summer evening, its music can be heard floating among the peaks.
6.The passage tells us his lonely job about the shepherd boy.
7.The boy choose to drink the glass offered by the last old man because the boy was thirsty.
8.After the shepherd boy found the horn, he discovered it was like a new-found friend.
9.Today the horn is heard in the Swiss Alps when it rains.
10.The Legend of the Horn would be the best title for the passage.
Questions 51 to 55 are based on the following passage.Twenty years ago, the Urban Land Ins
Questions 51 to 55 are based on the following passage.
Twenty years ago, the Urban Land Institute defined the two types of cities that dominated theUS landscape: smaller cities that operated around standard 9-5 business hours and largemetropolitan areas that ran all 24 hours of the day. Analyzing and comparing cities using thelens of this basic divide gives interesting context to how investment capital flows and housingprices have shifted.
In recent years, many mid-sized cities have begun to adopt a middle-of-the-road approachincorporating the excitement and opportunity of large cities with small cities&39; quiet aftermidnight. These 18-hour cities are beginning to make waves in real estate rankings and attractmore real estate investment. What is underlying this new movement in real estate, andwhy do these cities have so much appeal?
18-hour cities combine the best of 24-hour and 9-5 cities, which contributes to downtownrevitalization. For decades, many downtown cores in small to mid-sized cities were abandonedafter work hours by workers who lived in the suburbs. Movement out of city centers waswidespread, and downtown tenants were predominantly made up of the working poor. Thisgenerated little commerce for downtown businesses in the evenings, which made business andgenerating tax revenue for municipal upkeep difficult. With the rise of a new concept in urbanplanning that aims to make life easier and more convenient, however, increasing popularityfor urban areas that cased the real estate pushes, in major cities like San Francisco or NewYork, has inspired a type of forward thinking urbanity and in smaller cities.
Transforming downtown areas so that they incorporate modern housing and improvedwalkability to local restaurants, retail, and entertainment—especially when combined withimproved infrastructure for cyclists and public transit—makes them appeal to a more affluentdemographic. These adjustments encourage employers in the knowledge and talentindustries to keep their offices downtown. Access to foot traffic and proximity to transit allowthe type of entertainment-oriented businesses such as bars and restaurants to stay openlater, which attracts both younger, creative workers and baby boomers nearing retirementalike. Because of their smaller size, most keep hours that allow people to enjoy themselves, then have some quiet after midnight, as opposed to large major cities like New York, wherethe buzz of activity is ongoing.
These 18-hour cities are rapidly on the rise and offer great opportunities for homeownerinvestment. In many of these cities such as Denver, a diverse and vigorous economyattracted to the urban core has offered stable employment for residents. The right urban mixhas propped up home occupancy, increased property values, and attracted significantinvestment capital.
What do we learn about American cities twenty years ago?
A.A.A.They were divided into residential and business areas.
B.B.B.Their housing prices were linked with their prosperity.
C.C.C.There was a clear divide between large and small cities.
D.D.D.They were places where large investment capital flowed.
What does the passage say about kola nuts?
A.A.A.Their commercial value was first discovered by Portuguese settlers.
B.B.B.They contain some kind of energy boost not found in any other food.
C.C.C.Many were shipped to Europe in the late 19th century for medicinal use.
D.D.D.They were strange to the Europeans when first imported from West Africa.
Years ago, many downtown cores in small to mid-sized cities.
A.A.A.had hardly any business activity
B.B.B.were crowded in business hours
C.C.C.exhibited no signs of prosperity
D.D.D.looked deserted in the evenings
What characterizes the new downtown areas in 18-hour cities?
A.A.A sudden emergence of the knowledge industry.
B.B.Flooding in of large crowds of migrant workers.
C.C.Modernized housing and improved infrastructure.
D.D.More comfortable life and greater upward mobility.
What have 18-hour cities brought to the local residents?
A.A.More chances for promotion.
B.B.Healthier living environment.
C.C.Greater cultural diversity.
D.D.Better job opportunities.

Everyone seems to be in favor of progress. But " progress" is a funny word. It doesn't necessarily mean that something has become stronger, wiser, or better. It simply means changing it from being one thing to another and sometimes it turns out to be worse than before.
Consider medicine, for instance. No one can deny that medical progress has enriched our lives tremendously. Because of medical advances, we eat better, live easier and are able to take care of ourselves more efficiently. We can cure disease with no more than one injection or a pill. If we have a serious accident, surgeons can put us back together again. If we are born with something defective, they can repair it. They can make us happy, restore our normality, ease our pain, replace worn parts and give us children. They can even bring us back from the dead. These are wonderful achievements, but there is a price we have to pay.
Because medicine has reduced infant mortality and natural death so significantly, the population has been rising steadily, in spite of serious efforts to reduce the rate of population growth. Less than a century ago in the United Stales, infant mortality claimed more than half of the newborn within the first year of life. Medical advances, however, have now reduced that rate to nearly zero. A child born in the United States today has better than a 90% chance of survival. Furthermore, medical advances have ensured that most of these infants will live to be seventy years of age or more, and even that life expectancy increases every year. The result of this progress is an enormous population increase that threatens the quality of life, brought about by progress in the medical profession.
According to this passage, " progress" doesn't always mean that______.
A.something has become stronger and better
B.something has been changed from being one thing to another
C.something has become funny
D.something turns out to be worse than before

  Man has always wanted to fly. Some of the greatest men in history had thought about

  the problem. One of them, for example, was the great Italian artist, Leonardo Da Vinci. In

  the 16 th century he made designs for machines that would fly, but they were never built.

  Throughout history, other less famous men had wanted to fly. An example was a man

  in England 800 years ago. He made a pair of wings from chicken feathers. Then he fixed

  them to his body and jumped into air from a tall building. He did not fly very far. Instead,

  he fell to the ground and broke every bone of his body and rested in peace.

  The first real step took place in France, in 1783. Two brothers, the Montgolfiers,

  made a very large “hot air balloon”. They knew that hot air rises. Why not fill a balloon

  with it? The balloon was made of cloth and paper. In September of that year, the King and

  Queen of France came to see the balloon. They watched it carry the very first air

  passengers into the sky. The passengers were a sheep and a chicken. We do not know how

  they felt about the trip. But we do know that the trip lasted eight minutes and that the

  animals landed safely. Two months later, two men did the same thing. They rose above

  Paris in a balloon of the same kind. Their trip lasted twenty-five minutes and they traveled


  6. Leonardo Da Vinci _______.

  A. said that man would fly in the sky one day

  B. built a kind of machine which never flew

  C. made designs for flying machines

  D. drew many beautiful pictures of birds

  7. Eight hundred years ago an Englishman _______.

  A. made a kind of flying machine

  B. tried to fly with wings made of chicken feathers

  C. wanted to build a kind of balloon

  D. tried to fly on a large bird

  8. In fact, the Englishman who tried to fly _______.

  A. got badly wounded B. succeeded in flying

  C. lost his life D. flew only 8 minutes

  9. The very first air passengers in the balloon were _______.

  A. two animals B. the Montgolfiers

  C. two Frenchmen D. the King and Queen

  10. When did two Frenchmen rise above Paris?

  A. In December 1783. B. In September 1783.

  C. In the 17 th century. D. In November 1783.

A century ago, the immigrants from across the Atlantic inclued settlers and sojourners. Along with the many folks looking to make a permanent home in the United States came those who had no intention to stay, and 7millin people arrived while about 2 million departed. About a quarter of all Italian immigrants, for exanmle, eventually returned to Italy for good. They even had an affectionate nickname, “uccelli di passaggio,” birds of passage.
Today, we are much more rigid about immigrants. We divide nemcomers into two categories: legal or illegal, good or bad. We hail them as Americans in the making, or our broken immigrantion system and the long political paralysis over how to fix it. We don’t need more categories, but we need to change the way we think about categories. We need to look beyond strick definitions of legal and illegal. To start, we can recognize the new birds of passage, those living and thriving in the gray areas. We might then begin to solve our immigration challenges.
Crop pickers, violinists, construction workers, entrepreneurs, engineers, home health-care aides and physicists are among today’s birds of passage. They are energetic participants in a global economy driven by the flow of work, money and ideas .They prefer to come and go as opportunity calls them , They can manage to have a job in one place and a family in another.
With or without permission, they straddle laws, jurisdictions and identities with ease. We need them to imagine the United States as a place where they can be productive for a while without committing themselves to staying forever. We need them to feel that home can be both here and there and that they can belong to two nations honorably.
Accommodating this new world of people in motion will require new attitudes on both sides of the immigration battle .Looking beyond the culture war logic of right or wrong means opening up the middle ground and understanding that managing immigration today requires multiple paths and multiple outcomes. Including some that are not easy to accomplish legally in the existing system.
“Birds of passage” refers to those who____ .
A.immigrate across the Atlantic.
B.leave their home countries for good.
C.stay in a foreign temporialy.
D.find permanent jobs overseas.
It is implied in paragraph 2 that the current immigration system in the US____ .A.needs new immigrant categories.
B.has loosened control over immigrants.
C.should be adopted to meet challenges.
D.has been fixed via political means.
According to the author, today’s birds of passage want___ .A.financial incentives.
B.a global recognition.
C.opportunities to get regular jobs.
D.the freedom to stay and leave.
The author suggests that the birds of passage today should be treated ____ .A.as faithful partners.
B.with economic favors.
C.with regal tolerance.
D.as mighty rivals.
Select the title that is most suitable for the articleA.come and go: big mistake.
B.living and thriving : great risk.
C.with or without : great risk.
D.legal or illegal: big mistake.

During the eighteenth century about ten thousand people were thrown into prison in England because ______.
A.they had been caught stealing salt
B.they had sold salted fish
C.they had taken salt from the king's table
D.they had used salt to preserve the dead bodies

根据下列文章,回答31~35题。 In the early 1960s Wilt Chamberlain was one of only three pla
In the early 1960s Wilt Chamberlain was one of only three players in the National Basketball Association (NBA) listed at over seven feet. If he had played last season, however, he would have been one of 42. The bodies playing major professional sports have changed dramatically over the years, and managers have been more than willing to adjust team uniforms to fit the growing numbers of bigger, longer frames.
The trend in sports, though, may be obscuring an unrecognized reality: Americans have generally stopped growing. Though typically about two inches taller now than 140 years ago, today''s people- especially those born to families who have lived in the U.S. for many generations- apparently reached their limit in the early 1960s. And they aren’t likely to get any taller. In the general population today, at this genetic, environmental level, we''ve pretty much gone as far as we can go, says anthropologist William Cameron Chumlea of Wright State University. In the case of NBA players, their increase in height appears to result from the increasingly common practice of recruiting players from all over the world.
Growth, which rarely continues beyond the age of 20, demands calories and nutrients–notably, protein–to feed expanding tissues. At the start of the 20th century, under-nutrition and childhood infections got in the way. But as diet and health improved, children and adolescents have, on average, increased in height by about an inch and a half every 20 years, a pattern known as the secular trend in height. Yet according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, average height- 5′9〞for men, 5′4〞for women- hasn''t really changed since 1960.
Genetically speaking, there are advantages to avoiding substantial height. During childbirth, larger babies have more difficulty passing through the birth canal. Moreover, even though humans have been upright for millions of years, our feet and back continue to struggle with bipedal posture and cannot easily withstand repeated strain imposed by oversize limbs. There are some real constraints that are set by the genetic architecture of the individual organism, says anthropologist William Leonard of Northwestern University.
Genetic maximums can change, but don''t expect this to happen soon. Claire C. Gordon, senior anthropologist at the Army Research Center in Natick, Mass, ensures that 90 percent of the uniforms and workstations fit recruits without alteration. She says that, unlike those for basketball, the length of military uniforms has not changed for some time. And if you need to predict human height in the near future to design a piece of equipment, Gordon says that by and large, you could use today’s data and feel fairly confident.
第 31 题 Wilt Chamberlain is cited as an example to
A.illustrate the change of height of NBA players.
B.show the popularity of NBA players in the U.S……
C.compare different generations of NBA players.
D.assess the achievements of famous NBA players.
Text 3 Of all the components of a good night’s sleep, dreams seem to be least within our
Text 3
Of all the components of a good night’s sleep, dreams seem to be least within our control. In dreams, a window opens into a world where logic is suspended and dead people speak. A century ago, Freud formulated his revolutionary theory that dreams were the disguised shadows of our unconscious desires and fears; by the late 1970s, neurologists had switched to thinking of them as just “mental noise” -- the random byproducts of the neural-repair work that goes on during sleep. Now researchers suspect that dreams are part of the mind’s emotional thermostat, regulating moods while the brain is “off-line.” And one leading authority says that these intensely powerful mental events can be not only harnessed but actually brought under conscious control, to help us sleep and feel better, “It’s your dream,” says Rosalind Cartwright, chair of psychology at Chicago’s Medical Center. “If you don’t like it, change it.”
Evidence from brain imaging supports this view. The brain is as active during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep -- when most vivid dreams occur -- as it is when fully awake, says Dr, Eric Nofzinger at the University of Pittsburgh. But not all parts of the brain are equally involved; the limbic system (the “emotional brain”) is especially active, while the prefrontal cortex (the center of intellect and reasoning) is relatively quiet. “We wake up from dreams happy or depressed, and those feelings can stay with us all day.” says Stanford sleep researcher Dr. William Dement.
The link between dreams and emotions show up among the patients in Cartwright’s clinic. Most people seem to have more bad dreams early in the night, progressing toward happier ones before awakening, suggesting that they are working through negative feelings generated during the day. Because our conscious mind is occupied with daily life we don’t always think about the emotional significance of the day’s events -- until, it appears, we begin to dream.
And this process need not be left to the unconscious. Cartwright believes one can exercise conscious control over recurring bad dreams. As soon as you awaken, identify what is upsetting about the dream. Visualize how you would like it to end instead; the next time is occurs, try to wake up just enough to control its course. With much practice people can learn to, literally, do it in their sleep.
At the end of the day, there’s probably little reason to pay attention to our dreams at all unless they keep us from sleeping or “we waken up in a panic,” Cartwright says. Terrorism, economic uncertainties and general feelings of insecurity have increased people’s anxiety. Those suffering from persistent nightmares should seek help from a therapist. For the rest of us, the brain has its ways of working through bad feelings. Sleep -- or rather dream -- on it and you’ll feel better in the morning.
31. Researchers have come to believe that dreams ________.
[A] can be modified in their courses
[B] are susceptible to emotional changes
[C] reflect our innermost desires and fears
[D] are a random outcome of neural repairs

Visiting the Bank: Last week Tom Walker arrived in London where his company has a new office.

Visiting the Bank

Last week Tom Walker arrived in London where his company has a new office. His company started up six months ago in Hong Kong. Now they are expanding their business in Europe. He had to open a new bank account for his company at ABHK Bank. When he arrived at the bank, he couldn't find where to open an account. He asked at the customer service desk. They told him to go up to the Foreign Department on the fourth floor. The bank which has a branch in Hong Kong arranged everything for him. They transferred the funds, and completed everything electronically. He thought thanking was very efficient Then the bank manager Introduced him to their accountants who advise companies about international taxation.

21. Where is Tom Walker's company?

A. Hong Kong

B. Beijing

C. London

22. When did his company start?

A. One year ago.

B. One year before

C. About hail a year ago

23. Where did he open a new account?

A. At the customer service desk

B. in the Foreign Department

C. In the Accounting Department

24. What did the Hong Kong branch send to London?

A. Money

B. Papers

C. Books

25. What do the accountants help with?

A. Keeping books

B. Directors' reports

C.Tax laws

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