大学英语自学教程(上)电子版
大学英语自学教程( 大学英语自学教程(上) 01-A. How to be a successful language learner?
“Learning a language is easy, even a child can do it!” Most adults who are learning a second language would disagree with this statement. For them, learning a language is a very difficult task. They need hundreds of hours of study and practice, and even this will not guarantee success for every adult language learner. Language learning is different from other kinds of learning. Some people who are very intelligent and successful in their fields find it difficult to succeed in language learning. Conversely, some people who are successful language learners find it difficult to succeed in other fields. Language teachers often offer advice to language learners: “Read as much as you can in the new language.” Practice speaking the language every day. ” “ “Live with people who speak the language.” Don’t translate-try to think in the new language.” Learn as a child would learn; “ “ play with the language.” But what does a successful language learner do? Language learning research shows that successful language learners are similar in many ways. First of all, successful language learners are independent learners. They do not depend on the book or the teacher; they discover their own way to learn the language. Instead of waiting for the teacher to explain, they try to find the patterns and the rules for themselves. They are good guessers who look for clues and form their own conclusions. When they guess wrong, they guess again. They try to learn from their mistakes. Successful language learning is active learning. Therefore, successful learners do not wait for a chance to use the language; they look for such a chance. They find people who speak the language and they ask these people to correct them when they make a mistake. They will try anything to communicate. They are not afraid to repeat what they hear or to say strange things; they are willing to make mistakes and try again. When communication is difficult, they can accept information that is inexact or incomplete. It is more important for them to learn to think in the language than to know the meaning of every word. Finally, successful language learners are learners with a purpose. They want to learn the 1
大学英语自学教程(上)电子版
language because they are interested in the language and the people who speak it. It is necessary for them to learn the language in order to communicate with these people and to learn from them. They find it easy to practice using the language regularly because they want to learn with it. What kind of language learner are you? If you are a successful language learner, you have probably been learning independently, actively, and purposefully. On the other hand, if your language learning has been less than successful, you might do well to try some of the techniques outlined above.
01-B. Language
When we want to tell other people what we think, we can do it not only with the help of words, but also in many other ways. For instance, we sometimes move our heads up and down when we want to say "yes” and we move our heads from side to side when we want to say "no." People who can neither hear nor speak (that is, deaf and dumb people) talk to each other with the help of their fingers. People who do not understand each other's language have to do the same. The following story shows how they sometimes do it. An Englishman who could not speak Italian was once traveling in Italy. One day he entered a restaurant and sat down at a table. When the waiter came, the Englishman opened his mouth, put his fingers in it, took them out again and moved his lips. In this way he meant to say, "Bring me something to eat." The waiter soon brought him a cup of tea. The Englishman shook his head and the waiter understood that he didn't want tea, so he took it away and brought him some coffee. The Englishman, who was very hungry by this time and not at all thirsty, looked very sad. He shook his head each time the waiter brought him something to drink. The waiter brought him wine, then beer, then soda-water, but that wasn’t food, of course. He was just going to leave the restaurant when another traveler came in. When this man saw the waiter, he put his hands on his stomach. That was enough: in a few minutes there was a large plate of macaroni and meat on the table before him. As you see, the primitive language of signs is not always very clear. The language of words is much more exact. Words consist of sounds, but there are many sounds which have a meaning and yet are not 2
大学英语自学教程(上)电子版
words. For example, we may say "Sh-sh-sh” when we mean "keep silent.” When babies laugh, we know they are happy, and when they cry, we know they are ill or simply want something. It is the same with animals. When a dog says “G-r-r” or a cat says "F-f-f” we know they are angry. But these sounds are not language. Language consists of words which we put together into sentences. But animals can not do this: a dog can say “G-r-r” when he means "I am angry,” but he cannot say first "I” and then "am” and then "angry.” A parrot can talk like a man; it can repeat whole sentences and knows what they mean. We may say that a parrot talks, but cannot say that it really speaks, because it cannot form new sentences out of the words it knows. Only man has the power to do this.
02-A. Taxes, Taxes, and More Taxes
Americans often say that there are only two things a person can be sure of in life: death and taxes, Americans do not have a corner on the "death" market, but many people feel that the United States leads the world with the worst taxes. Taxes consist of the money which people pay to support their government. There are generally three levels of government in the United States: federal, state, and city; therefore, there are three types of taxes. Salaried people who earn more than a few thousand dollars must pay a certain percentage of their salaries to the federal government. The percentage varies from person to person. It depends on their salaries. The federal government has a graduated income tax, that is, the percentage of the tax (14 to 70 percent) increases as a person's income increases. With the high cost of taxes, people are not very happy on April 15, when the federal taxes are due. The second tax is for the state government: New York, California, North Dakota, or any of the other forty-seven states. Some states have an income tax similar to that of the federal government. Of course, the percentage for the state tax is lower. Other states have a sales tax, which is a percentage charged to any item which you buy in that state. For example, a person might want to buy a packet of cigarettes for twenty-five cents. If there is a sales tax of eight 3
大学英语自学教程(上)电子版
percent in that state, then the cost of the cigarettes is twenty-seven cents. This figure includes the sales tax. Some states use income tax in addition to sales tax to raise their revenues. The state tax laws are diverse and confusing. The third tax is for the city. This tax comes in two forms: property tax (people who own a home have to pay taxes on it) and excise tax, which is charged on cars in a city. The cities use these funds for education, police and fire departments, public works and municipal buildings. Since Americans pay such high taxes, they often feel that they are working one day each week just to pay their taxes. People always complain about taxes. They often protest that the government uses their tax dollars in the wrong way. They say that it spends too much on useless and impractical programs. Although Americans have different views on many issues, they tend to agree on one subject: taxes are too high.
02-B. Advertising
Advertising is only part of the total sales effort, but it is the part that attracts the most attention. This is natural enough because advertising is designed for just that purpose. In
newspapers, in magazines, in the mail, on radio and television, we constantly see and hear the messages for hundreds of different products and services. For the most part, they are the kinds of things that we can be persuaded to buy ? food and drinks, cars and television sets, furniture and clothing, travel and leisure time activities. The simplest kind of advertising is the classified ad. Every day the newspapers carry a few pages of these ads; in the large Sunday editions there may be several sections of them. A classified ad is usually only a few lines long. It is really a notice or announcement that something is available. Newspapers also carry a large amount of display advertising. Most of it is for stores or for various forms of entertainment. Newspapers generally reach an audience only in a limited area. To bring their message to a larger audience, many who want to put out their ads use national magazines. Many of the techniques of modern advertising were developed in magazine ads. The use of bright colors, attractive pictures, and short messages is all characteristic of magazine ads. The most important purpose is to catch the eye. The message itself is usually short, often no more than a slogan which the public identifies with the product. 4
大学英语自学教程(上)电子版
The same techniques have been carried over into television advertising. Voices and music have been added to color and pictures to catch the ear as well as the eye. Television ads are short ?usually only 15,30, or 60 seconds, but they are repeated over and over again so that the audience sees and hears them many times. Commercial television has mixed entertainment and advertising. If you want the entertainment, you have to put up with the advertising-and millions of people want the entertainment. The men and women in the sales department are responsible for the company’s advertising, They must decide on the audience they want to reach. They must also decide on the best way to get their message to their particular audience. They also make an estimate of the costs before management approves the plan. In most large companies management is directly involved in planning the advertising.
03-A. The Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is one of the oceans that separate the Old World from the New. For centuries it kept the Americas from being discovered by the people of Europe. Many wrong ideas about the Atlantic made early sailors unwilling to sail far out into it. One idea was that it reached out to "the edge of the world." Sailors were afraid that they might sail right off the earth. Another idea was that at the equator the ocean would be boiling hot. The Atlantic Ocean is only half as big as the Pacific, but it is still very large. It is more than 4,000 miles (6,000 km) wide where Columbus crossed it. Even at its narrowest it is about 2, 000 miles (3,200 km) wide. This narrowest place is between the bulge of south America and the bulge of Africa. Two things make the Atlantic Ocean rather unusual. For so large an ocean it has very few islands. Also, it is the world's saltiest ocean. There is so much water in the Atlantic that it is hard to imagine how much there is. But suppose no more rain fell into it and no more water was brought to it by rivers. It would take the ocean about 4,000 years to dry up. On the average the water is a little more than two miles (
  3.2 km) deep, but in places it is much deeper. The deepest spot is near Puerto Rico. This "deep" 30, 246 feet - almost six miles (
  9.6 km). 5
大学英语自学教程(上)电子版
One of the longest mountain ranges of the world rises the floor of the Atlantic. This mountain range runs north and south down the middle of the ocean. The tops of a few of the mountains reach up above the sea and make islands. The Azores are the tops of peaks in the mid-Atlantic mountain range. Several hundred miles eastward from Florida there is a part of the ocean called the Sargasso Sea. Here the water is quiet, for there is little wind. In the days of sailing vessels the crew were afraid they would be becalmed here. Sometimes they were. Ocean currents are sometime called "rivers in the sea." One of these "river" in the Atlantic is called the Gulf Stream. It is a current of warm water. Another is the Labrador Current - cold water coming down from the Arctic. Ocean currents affect the climates of the lands near which they flow. The Atlantic furnishes much food for the people on its shores. One of its most famous fishing regions, the Grand Banks, is near Newfoundland. Today the Atlantic is a great highway. It is not, however, always a smooth and safe one. Storms sweep across it and pile up great waves. Icebergs float down from the Far North across the paths of ships. We now have such fast ways of traveling that this big ocean seems to have grown smaller. Columbus sailed for more than two months to cross it. A fast modern steamship can make the trip in less than four days. Airplanes fly from New York to London in only eight hours and from South America to Africa in four!
03-B. The Moon
We find that the moon is about 239,000 miles (384,551km) away from the earth, and, to within a few thousand miles, its distance always remains the same. Yet a very little observation shows that the moon is not standing still. Its distance from the ea
 

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