Section Ⅱ Reading Comprehension

Passing students who have not mastered the work cheats them and the employers who expect graduates to have basic skills. We excuse this dishonest behavior by saying kids can’t learn if they come from terrible environments. No one seems to stop to think that most kids don’t put school first on their list unless they perceive something is at risk. They’d rather be sailing.

  Part A

Many students I see at night have decided to make education a priority. They are motivated by the desire for a better job or the need to hang on to the one they’ve got. They have a healthy fear of failure.


People of all ages can rise above their problems, but they need to have a reason to do so. Yong people generally don’t have the maturity to value education in the same way my adult students value it. But fear of failure can motivate both.

  Read the following four texts. Answer the questions below each text by choosing A,B,C or D. Mark your answers on ANSWER SHEET 1. (40 points)

37.What is the subject of this essay?


A view point on learning

  In order to understand childhood today, one must explore its history, an odd notion in many who instinctively assume that childhood as we know it has always existed. In The Disappearance of Childhood, social critic Nell Postman constructs a socio-historical context by which to view childhood. He begins his analysis by differentiating the biological basis for the notion of childhood from the sociological. It is clear, he argues, that we can categorize as “children” those members of society below a certain age or level of physical maturity. But what is not so obvious is the notion that childhood can also be defined as a state of life in which the social development and intellectual awareness of society’s young is markedly different from that of the rest of the community. Based on this perspective, Postman argues that childhood can be viewed as a social construction, one that finds favor and prominence in some cultures and time periods, but not in others. In his analysis, Postman concludes that today, childhood is not merely evolving, but is in fact in danger of extinction.

B a qualified teacher

  According to Postman, medieval Europeans perceived no clear distinction between children and adults. Since the idea that secrets could or should be kept from children was unheard of, children inhabited the same social and intellectual environment as adults. Community life was an “open book”, so to speak, accessible not just to adults but to the youth of society as well. The invention of the printing press in the fifteenth century, Postman argues, made possible a new symbolic world accessible only to adults. Effectively excluded from adult matters by their inability to read, children formed a new sphere all their own as a new and strenuous educational process separated the preliterate world of the child from the literate world of the adult. According to this new stratification (division), distinct childhood customs on one hand and realms of experience and knowledge accessible only to adults on the other came into being.

C the importance of examination

  Postman asserts that this separation existed until roughly the middle of the twentieth century, when television began its assault on literary culture and, through ubiquitous (omnipresent) entertainment and news programs, started to bring the entire population back into the same symbolic domain. Postman contends that much like in the Middle Ages, children today are becoming “mini adults” in terms of dress, speech, food, activities, and general knowledge of the world. Moreover, this is not a one-0way process, but rather a convergence (junction) whereby the child becomes more adult-like and the adult becomes more child-like. Postman does not shy away from a major implication of his theory: that the disappearance of the child signifies the disappearance of the adult.

D the generation gap

  21. The author mentions “an odd notion” (Par. 1) primarily in order to

38.How did Mrs. Sifter get the attention of one of the author’s children?

  [A] emphasize the unusual theme of Postman’s theory.

A flunking him B moving his seat C blaming him D playing card with him

  [B] discount in advance opposition to Postman’s theory.

39.The author believes that most effective way for a teacher is to

  [C] indicate the controversial subject of Postman’s theory.

A purify the teaching environments. B set up cooperation between teachers and parents. C hold back student. D motivate student.

  [D] illustrate Postman’s theory in a socio-historic context.

  1. From the passage we can draw the conclusion that the authors’ attitude toward flunking is

  22. It can be inferred from the text that medieval children

A negative B positive C biased D indifferent

  [A] kept secrets from their parents.

41.Why do the author’s students make education a priority

  [B] had the same social status as adults.

A They are feared about their future.

  [C] were unsegregated from adult matters.

B They have healthy problems.

  [D] were informed of all forms of mystery.

C They need to hold on to the present job.

  23. According to Postman, a true division of childhood and adult spheres features

D They want to finish the class with an A

  [A] the dawn of the information time.

  1. Judging from the content,this passage is probably written for

  [B] the period prior to the Middle Ages.

A administrators B students C teachers D parents

  [C] the mid-twentieth century to the present.

Passage Three

  [D] the fifteenth century to the mid-twentieth.

When Thomas Keller, one of America’s foremost chefs, announced that on Sept. I he would abolish the practice of tipping at Per Se. his luxury restaurant in New York City, and replace it with European-style service charge, I knew three groups would be opposed: customers, servers and restaurant owners. These three groups are all committed to tipping——as they quickly made clear on Web sites. To oppose tipping, it seems, is to be ant capitalist, and maybe even a little French..

  24. Postman primarily implies in his theory that

But Mr. Keller is right to move away from tipping—and it’s worth exploring why just about everyone else in the restaurant world is wrong to stick with the practice.

  [A] children mature much earlier than before.

Customers believe in tipping because they think it makes economic sense. “Waiters know that they won’t get paid if they don’t do a good job” is how most advocates of the system would put it. To be sure, this is a tempting, apparently rational statement about economic theory, but it appears to have little applicability to the real world of restaurants.

  [B] adults are increasingly becoming childish.

Michael Lynn, an associate professor ofconsumer behavior and marketing at Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration, has conducted dozens of students of tipping and has concluded that consumers assessments of the quality of service correlate weakly to the amount they tip.

  [C] modern media spur children into fast growth.

Rather, customers are likely to tip more in response to servers touching them lightly and leaning forward next to the table to make conversation than to how often their water glass is refilled——in other words, customers tip more when they like the server, not when the service is good. Mr. Lynn’s studies also indicate that male customers increase their tips for female servers while female customers increase their tips for male servers,.

  [D] adulthood and childhood vanish simultaneously.

What’s more, consumers seem to forget that the tip increases as the bill increases. Thus, the tipping system is an open invitation to what restaurant professionals call “upwelling”: every bottle of imported water, every espresso and every cocktail is extra money in the server’s pocket. Aggressive upwelling for tips is often rewarded while low-key, quality service often goes unrecognized .

  25. The phrasal verb “shy away from” at the end of the text probably means

In addition, the practice of tip pooling, which is the norm in fine-dining restaurants and is becoming more in every kind of restaurant above the level of a greasy spoon, has ruined whatever effect voting with your tip might have had on an individual waiter. In an unreasonable outcome, you are punishing the good waiters in the restaurant by not tipping the bad one. Indeed, there appear to be little connection between tipping and good service.

  [A] discard. [B] evade.

43.It may be inferred that a European-style service______.

  [C] be nervous about. [D] be hesitant about.

A. is tipping-free B. charges little tip


C. is the author’s initiative D. is offered at Per-se

  Gross national product (GNP) was created to assess the national capacity of wartime production during World War Ⅱ. Since then its heir, gross domestic product (GDP), has become virtually synonymous with economic progress. However, some economists have recent argued that GDP was never intended to function as an indicator of societal well-being, and that an overreliance on this figure as a comprehensive measure of the country’s “prosperity” is both simplistic and misleading.

  1. Which of the following is NOT true according to the author.

  GDP critics assert that as a simple gross record of money spent, GDP does not distinguish between transactions that increase society’s health and those that diminish it. For example, a nationwide increase in heart disease causes money to flow into the medical industry, sending GDP higher in response to a decrease in social welfare. Even a downward spiral of societal detriments (harm) can boost GDP, often to the general applause of the economic establishment. Take, for example, the consequences of traffic. By itself traffic is a societal menace, yet it both results from and contributes to economic growth. The more traffic, the more gas is consumed, which causes GDP to increase. As traffic increases, so too does pollution, triggering environmental protection responses which also contribute to GDP. Increased pollution results in more people admitted to hospitals with respiratory problems such as asthma and bronchitis. Meanwhile, the increased traffic takes its toll on the roads, which causes additional damage to cars, resulting in even more money spent on road and car repairs.

A. Tipping is a common practice in the restaurant world.

  While one major flaw of GDP is that it equates societal detriments with growth as long as money changes hands, there is another problem with this indicator: the numerous nonmonetary factors not included in GDP that should be represented by an indicator to reflect the nation’s economic status. For example, while by all accounts childrearing efforts are considered of vital importance to the current and future health of society, they are not factored into GDP unless performed in a paid service capacity. Conversely, the widening income gap, increasing debt, and the degradation of natural resources all negatively affect our economic reality, but are not recognized by GDP as costs.

B. Waiters don’t care about tipping

  In order to arrive at a more accurate picture of economic progress, some have proposed that GDP be replaced by a new measurement called the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI). GPI is influenced positively by household and volunteer work, and negatively by factors such as pollution, crime, illness and family breakdown. GDP not only ignores the costs of such detriments, it ultimately represents them as gains in the form of money spent on measures to combat them. Taking such variables into account, it is not surprising that GPI often tells a different story than does GDP. For example, in cases where GDP numbers have suggested a robust and growing economy, GPI figures from the same periods have often indicated dramatic decreases in social and environmental capital.

C. Customers generally believe in tipping.

  26. The text commences with the claim that GDP is

D. Tipping has little connection with the quality of service.

  [A] the upgraded variety of GNP.

45.According to Michael Lynn’s studies, waiters will likely get more tips if they______

  [B] the direct descendant of GNP.

A. have performed good service

  [C] the true indicator of economic growth.

B. frequently refill customers’ water glass

  [D] the sound judgment of national economy.

C. win customers’ favor

  27. According to the critics, GDP

D. serve customers of the same sex

  [A] presents false prosperity.[B] consists of unreal statistics.

46.We may infer from the context that “upwelling”(Line 2, Para 6) probably means ________

  [C] comprises fabricated information.[D] fails to describe economic reality.

A. selling something up B. selling something fancy

  28. The phrase “takes its toll on” (at the end of Par. 2) probably means

C. selling something unnecessary D. selling something more expensive

  [A] makes vehicles overfilled on.[B] meets payment for the use of.

47.What’s the author’s attitude towards tipping?

  [C] generates greater revenue for.[D] results in a lot of damage.

A. cautious B. indifferent C. generous D. reasonable

  29. The text is written primarily to

  1. This passage is mainly about __________

  [A] profile a group critical of an economic statistic.

A. reasons to abolish the practice of tipping

  [B] analyze statistics to decide the economic health.

B. economic sense of tipping

  [C] describe an alternative to an economic indicator.

C. consumers’ attitudes towards tipping

  [D] present and evaluate economic trends since 1945.

D. tipping for good service

  30. The author mentions GDP and GPI figures in support of the claim that


  [A] GPI is influenced positively by volunteer work.

  [B] GDP comprises a general record of money spent.

  [C] GPI is the most reasonable modification of GDP.

  [D] GDP is inferior to GPI in depicting economic reality.


  We sometimes hear that essays are an old-fashioned form ,that so-and-o is the“last essayist”, but the facts of the marketplace argue quite otherwise. Essays of nearly any kind are so much easier than short stories for a writer to sell, so many more see print, it’s strange that though two fine anthologies(collections)remain that publish the year’s best stories, no comparable collection exists for essays. Such changes in the reading public’s taste aren’t always to the good, needless to say. The art of telling stories predated even cave painting, surely; and if we ever find ourselves living in caves again, it(with painting and drumming)will be the only art left, after movies, novels, photography, essays, biography, and all the rest have gone down the drain—the art to build from.

  Essays, however, hang somewhere on a line between two sturdy poles: this is what I think, and this is what I am .Autobiographies which aren’t novels are generally extended essays, indeed. A personal essay is like the human voice talking, its order being the mind’s natural flow, instead of a systematized outline of ideas. Though more changeable or informal than an article or treatise, somewhere it contains a point which is its real center, even if the point couldn’t be uttered in fewer words than the essayist has used. Essays don’t usually boil down to a summary, as articles do, and the style of the writer has a “nap” to it, a combination of personality and originality and energetic loose ends that stand up like the nap(绒毛)on a piece of wool and can’t be brushed flat. Essays belong to the animal kingdom, with a surface that generates sparks, like a coat of fur, compared with the flat, conventional cotton of the magazine article writer, who works in the vegetable kingdom, I nstead. But, essays, on the other hand, may have fewer “levels” than fiction, because we are not supposed to argue much about their meaning. In the old distinction between teaching and storytelling, the essayist, however cleverly he tries to conceal his intentions, is a bit of a teacher or reformer, and an essay is intended to convey the same point to each of us.

  An essayist doesn’t have to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth; he can shape or shave his memories, as long as the purpose is served of explaining a truthful point. A personal essay frequently is not autobiographical at all, but what it does keep in common with autobiography is that, through its tone and tumbling progression, it conveys the quality of the author’s mind. Nothing gets in the way. Because essays are directly concerned with the mind and the mind’s peculiarity, the very freedom the mind possesses is conferred on this branch of literature that does honor to it, and the fascination of the mind is the fascination of the essay.

  31. The author asserts that the changes in readers’taste

  [A] contribute to the incompatibility of essays with stories.

  [B] often result in unfavorable effect, to say the least.

  [C] sometimes come to something undesirable, of course.

  [D] usually bring about beneficial outcome, so to say.

  32. The author suggests that if the Stone Age should come up again

  [A] the art of essay-writing would lose its foundation.

  [B] the art and literature would most totally vanish.

  [C] the art of story-telling would remain in caves alone.

  [D] the life of art would be thoroughly drained away.

  33. Essays are characterized by all of the following EXCEPT

  [A] careful arrangement and organization of chief ideas.

  [B] remarkable concision and meaningful presentation.

  [C] improbable condensation to any shorter accounts.




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