ry l, This practice’ began with the Romans. Julius Caesar, a Raman ruler, changed the date of the New Year from the first day of March to the first day of January. In the Middle East, New Year is on the day when spring begins. People in China celebrate it on the Spring Festival, which is the first day of their lunar calendar. The Spring Festival usually comes between January 21 and February
  19. Rosh Hashanah, which is the Jewish New Year, comes at the end of summer. In all of these cultures, there is a tradition of making noise. People made noise in ancient times to drive away the evil spirits from home. Today many people do it with fireworks. In Japan, people go from house to house making noise with drums and bamboo sticks. Young people in Denmark throw broken pieces of jars or pots against the sides of friends' houses. In the United States, many people stay up until midnight on New Year's Eve to watch the clock pass from one year to the next. Friends often gather together at a party on New Year's Eve, and when the New Year comes, all ring bells, blow horns, blow whistles, and kiss each other. In many European countries, families start the new year by first attending church service, which is followed by paying calls to friends and relatives. Italian boys and girls receive gifts of money on New Year's Day. New Year's Day is more joyful than Christmas in France and Scotland. In these countries Christmas is a religious holiday only, while the New Year is the time for gift-giving, parties, and visits. Passage 3 The Spring Festival The Spring Festival is the most important festival for the Chinese. It comes on the first day of the first month according to Chinese lunar calendar. It marks the beginning of a new year. It is also an occasion for family reunion. Family members and relatives get together to say goodbye to the old year and greet the new one. Guonian means "passing the year. People start preparing for it half a month before it comes. They clean their houses thoroughly, decorate them and even paint them; they buy new clothes for children, and they prepare food for the big feast on the eve of the festival. On the eve of the festival, the whole extended family comes together for a big dinner. Dumplings are a must for this festival dinner in northern China, while for southerners niangao - a sticky sweet rice pudding - is the traditional food for this occasion. People stay up until midnight chatting, playing mahjong or watching TV. At the turn of the old and the New Year, people used to let off firecrackers to greet the arrival of the New Year, In the old days people believed setting off firecrackers could
drive away the evil spirits. But now, people make phone calls or send messages on mobile phones to exchange New Year's greetings. Early in the morning, children greet their parents and are given Hongbao - cash tucked inside red envelopes. The Lantern Festival, on the 15th of the first month according to the lunar calendar, is considered the formal end of the Spring Festival. It is an occasion of lantern displays and folk dances everywhere. One typical food is Yuanxiao - dumplings made of sweet rice rolled into balls with all sorts of filling. The Spring Festival is a national holiday. For most people, it lasts seven days. In the past, people stayed with their families at home. Few traveled during the holiday. Nowadays things have changed.
Lesson 3:Economy
Part A
  1.W: The report says all departments are making a profit except the Asian department. M: Well, Mr. Smith seems to be the wrong person to head that department. One more step wrong and he will be removed from that office. Q: What do we learn from the conversation?
  2.W: During the last thunderstorm, I noticed several leaks in my bedroom ceiling and they really caused a mess. M: Maybe you have some broken tiles. I have the phone number of a good roofing company that could do a good repair job for you at a reasonable price. Q: What can we conclude from this conversation?
  3. W: How did you do on the math exam, John? M: I barely made it. It was just a passing score but better than I had expected. Q: What do we learn from the conversation?
  4. M: I wonder what makes Mother so upset these days? W: Father is canceling his vacation trip. He promised to take her abroad last year, but the company is again asking father to postpone his vacation. Q: Why is their mother unhappy?
  5.W: Friday's speaker is supposed to be wonderful. Are you going to attend the seminar that day? M: Yes, but I haven't been able to get a ticket yet. Since the lecture is open to the public, I imagine the tickets may have already been sold out. Q: Why is the man afraid he won't be able to attend the seminar?
  6. M: Could you lend me your biology notes? W: Do you think you'll be able to make out my handwriting? Q: What does the woman imply about the notes?
  7. W: Did you pick up my books from Ron's house? M: Sorry. It slipped my mind. Q: What does the man mean?
  8. W: Would you like to go to the movies with us tonight? M: To the movies? Tonight is the biggest concert of the year. Q: What does the man mean?
  9. M: Just one person in the whole class got an A on the test! YOU! W: ALL RIGHT!!!
Q: What does the woman mean?
  10. W: We are having a party at our house on the weekend of the 30th. Would you like to join us? M: That sounds like a lot of fun. But I'll need to check my calendar first. Q: What does the man imply?
  11. M: I've been running a mile every afternoon for the past month. But I still haven't been able to lose more than a pound or two. I wonder if it's worth it. W: Oh, don't give up now. It always seems hard when you are just starting out. Q: What does the woman mean?
  12. M: I'm going to the vegetable stand today. Can I pick up anything for you? W: No, thanks. I just came back from the market myself. Q: What does the woman mean?
  13. M: I don't understand why I received such a low grade on my term paper. W: You should make an appointment with the professor to discuss it. Q: What does the woman suggest the man do?
  14. M: The sound of all that traffic is driving me out of my mind. W: It is had. But the highway will reopen tomorrow, then we won't have all those cars passing by any more. Q: What does the woman imply?
  15. W: I invited your mother to lunch yesterday. But she said she didn't have any free time. M: Yeah. She just got a new job. Q: What does the man mean? Part B Passage 1 World Trade Organization Established on January l, 1995, World Trade Organization is the successor to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). It exists to promote a free-market international trade system. The WTO promotes trade by:
  1. reducing tariffs;
  2. prohibiting import or export bans or quotas;
  3. eliminating discrimination against foreign products and services;
  4. eliminating other impediments to trade, commonly called "non-tariff trade barriers". The WTO currently has 134 member countries, accounting for over 90% of world trade. Over 30 0thers are negotiating membership. The WTO's top level decision-making body is the ministerial conference which meets at least once ever3r two years, Over three-quarters of WTO members are developing countries. Special provisions for these members are included in the WTO agreements. GATT is now the WTO's principal rule book. Decisions are made by the entire membership by consensus or majority vote. The WTO's agreements have been ratified in all members' parliaments. If a trade barrier is found to be unfair, the WTO can authorize the imposition of trade sanctions to force a change in that country's law. The WTO exempts trade barriers which are designed to conserve natural resources or protect health.
Critics say the WTO agreements are skewed in favor of rich countries. The West may preach trade liberalization, but it has used negotiations to prize third world markets while keeping its own barriers intact. Passage 2 President Jiang Zemin said on November 16, 2000 that in the development of a “New Economy”, it is essential to take advantage of the latest developments in science and technology. He made this address at the eighth informal meeting of leaders of the APEC forum. He explained that the "New Economy" refers to the kind of economy initiated and sustained by new technologies and hi-tech industries. "The advancement of technology, led by IT and bio-technology industries, is giving rise to a new industrial revolution", Jiang said. Developing countries are faced with the difficult tasks of both transforming their traditional industries and developing new industries, Jiang noted, adding that the continued expansion of the "digital dude" has widened the wealth gap between North and South and may trigger new imbalances in the world economy. "Against the background of accelerated economic globalization and the dynamic progress of science and technology, we must facilitate cooperation between developed and developing countries on exchanges of human resources, technology and infrastructure, and we must help countries develop independently to narrow the North-South gap." "Today, the development, application and impact of science and technology far transcend national boundaries. For example, every major breakthrough made in the human genome projects a crystallization of cooperation between scientists from a number of countries. Only when applied in a global context can the achievements of science and technology benefit people", Jiang said. He also noted that economic globalization should stress the popularization of scientific and technological knowledge. The protection of intellectual property rights should be guided by market rules in such a way that the rules will be helpful to the spread of scientific and technological knowledge, so that all countries may benefit, he added. Passage 3 The American Economic System An important factor in a market-oriented economy is the mechanism by which consumer demands can be expressed and responded to by producers. In the American economy, this mechanism is provided by a price system, a process in which prices rise and fall in response to the relative demands of consumers and the supplies offered by seller-producers. If the product is in short supply relative to the demand, the price will be a bit up and some consumers will be eliminated from the market. If, on the other hand, producing more of a commodity results in reducing its cost, this will tend to increase the supply offered by seller-producers, which in turn will lower the price and permit more consumers to buy the product. Thus, price is the regulating mechanism in the American economic system. The important factor in an economy of private ownership is that individuals are allowed to own productive resources (private property), and they are permitted to hire labor, gain control over natural resources, and produce goods and sew ices for sale at
a profit. In the American economy, the concept of private property embraces not only the ownership of productive resources but also certain rights, including the right to determine the price of a product or to make a free contract with another private individual.
Lesson 4:Education
Part A
  1. W: I am amazed you are still driving that old car of yours. I thought you would have gotten rid of it years ago. M: It runs well. And I've actually grown quite attached to it. Q: What does the man mean?
  2. W: Tom has tried so hard to win a race since he first joined the track team. But it's two years later, and he still hasn't. M: I know. And it takes so much time from his class work. Maybe he should just forget about sports for now. Q: What does the man mean?
  3. M: Don't you just love the hot mid-day sun? W: I sure do, Unfortunately, it doesn't like my skin. Q: What does the woman mean?
  4. W: I'm not going swimming in the lake unless it warms up outside today. M: Me, either. Unfortunately, I think it is supposed to stay this cold all day. Q: What can be inferred about the speakers?
  5. M: That sweater is so unusual, and yet it looks familiar. Did I just see you wearing that yesterday? W: Well, not me. But it belongs to my roommate, Jane, and she is in your physics class. Q: What does the woman imply?
  6. M: You know my car hasn't been the same since I had bumped into that telephone toll. W: You'd better have that looked into before you drive to Florida. Q: What does the woman mean?
  7. M: I notice that you don't buy your lunch in the cafeteria any more. W: When prices went up I decided to bring my own. Q: Why doesn't the woman buy food in the cafeteria?
  8. M: If I don't find my wallet soon, I'm going to have to report it stolen. W: Hold on. Before you call campus office, have you checked your car or your jacket pocket, everywhere? Q: What does the woman suggest the man do?
  9. W: I've been calling David for the past half hour, but I keep getting a busy signal. W: Well, if you don't get him soon we'll just have to go to the movies without him. Q: Why are the women trying to call David?
  10. M: Are you ready to go jogging? W: Almost. I have to warm up first. Q: What does the woman mean?

  11. M: You did an excellent job on that presentation. W: Thanks. I put a lot of time into it. Q: What does the woman mean?
  12. M: Got the time? W: It's a little after ten. Q: What does the woman mean?
  13. W: Excuse me, could you bring me a glass of water, please? M: Sorry, but I am not a waiter. Q: What does the man mean?
  14. W: My cousin Bob is getting married in California and I ca
 

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