大学英语自学教程(上册)unit 01 怎样成为一名成功的语言学习者
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 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.
大学英语自学教程(上册) unit 02 税、税、还是税
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 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.
大学英语自学教程(上册) unit 03 大西洋
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).
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!
大学英语自学教程(上册) unit 04 改善你的记忆力
04-A. Improving Your Memory
Psychological research has focused on a number of basic principles that help memory: meaningfulness, organization, association, and visualization. It is useful to know how these principles work.
Meaningfulness affects memory at all levels. Information that does not make any sense to you is difficult to remember. There are several ways in which we can make material more meaningful. Many people, for instance, learn a rhyme to help them remember. Do you know the rhyme “Thirty days has September, April, June, and November…? ” It helps many people remember which months of the year have 30 days.
Organization also makes a difference in our ability to remember. How useful would a library be if the books were kept in random order? Material that is organized is better remembered than jumbled information. One example of organization is chunking. Chunking consists of grouping separate bits of information. For example, the number 4671363 is more easily remembered if it is chunked as 467,13,63. Categorizing is another means of organization. Suppose you are asked to remember the following list of words: man, bench, dog, desk, woman, horse, child, cat, chair. Many people will group the words into similar categories and remember them as follows: man, woman, child; cat, dog, horse; bench, chair, desk. Needless to say, the second list can be remembered more easily than the first one.
Association refers to taking the material we want to remember and relating it to something we remember accurately. In memorizing a number, you might try to associate it with familiar numbers or events. For example, the height of Mount Fuji in Japan - 12, 389 feet - might be remembered using the following associations: 12 is the number of months in the year, and 389 is the number of days in a year (365) added to the number of months twice (24).
The last principle is visualization. Research has shown striking improvements in many types of memory tasks when people are asked to visualize the items to be remembered. In one study, subjects in one group were asked to learn some words using imagery, while the second group used repetition to learn the words. Those using imagery remembered 80 to 90 percent of the words, compared with 30 to 40 percent of the words for those who memorized by repetition. Thus forming an integrated image with all the information placed in a single mental picture can help us to preserve a memory.
信息的组织也对我们的记忆能力造成差异。图书馆的书如果陈列得杂乱无章对我们还会有什么帮助吗?组织过的材料比混杂的信息更容易记住。组织信息的一个例子就是组块。组块是将一个个单独的信息组织成信息块。例如，4671363这组数字如果被组块成467 13 63就更容易记住。分类是另一种组织方法。假定要求你记住一组词：男人、凳子、狗、书桌、女人、马、孩子、猫、椅子。很多人会将这些词分成相似种类的几组，即男人、女人、孩子；猫、狗、马；凳子、椅子、书桌。不用说第二种排列比第一种排列更容易记忆。
大学英语自学教程(上册) unit 05 对食物的错误看法
05-A. Fallacies about Food
Many primitive peoples believed that by eating an animal they could get some of the good qualities of that animal for themselves. They thought, for example, that eating deer would make them run as fast as the deer. Some savage tribes believed that eating enemies that had shown bravery in battle would make them brave. Man-eating may have started because people were eager to become as strong and brave as their enemies.
Among civilized people it was once thought that ginger root by some magical power could improve the memory. Eggs were thought to make the voice pretty. Tomatoes also were believed to have magical powers. They were called love apples and were supposed to make people who ate them fall in love.
Later another wrong idea about tomatoes grew up - the idea that they were poisonous. How surprised the people who thought tomatoes poisonous would be if they could know that millions of pounds of tomatoes were supplied to soldiers overseas during World War II.
Even today there are a great many wrong ideas about food. Some of them are very widespread.
One such idea is that fish is the best brain food. Fish is good brain food just as it is good muscle food and skin food and bone food. But no one has been able to prove that fish is any better for the brain than many other kinds of food.
Another such idea is that you should not drink water with meals. Washing food down with water as a substitute for chewing is not a good idea, but some water with meals has been found to be helpful. It makes the digestive juices flow more freely and helps to digest the food.
Many of the ideas which scientists tell us have no foundation have to do with mixtures of foods. A few years ago the belief became general that orange juice and milk should never be drunk at the same meal. The reason given was that the acid in the orange juice would make the milk curdle and become indigestible. As a matter of fact, milk always meets in the stomach a digestive juice which curdles it; the curdling of the milk is the first step in its digestion. A similar wrong idea is that fish and ice cream when eaten at the same meal form a poisonous combination.
Still another wrong idea about mixing foods is that proteins and carbohydrates should never be eaten at the same meal. Many people think of bread, for example, as a carbohydrate food. It is chiefly a carbohydrate food, but it also contains proteins. In the same way, milk, probably the best single food, contains both proteins and carbohydrates. It is just as foolish to say that one should never eat meat and potatoes together as it is to say that one should never eat bread or drink milk.