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Unit 1

An impressive English lesson

1 If I am the only parent who still corrects his child's English, then perhaps my son is right. To him, I am a tedious oddity: a father he is obliged to listen to and a man absorbed in the rules of grammar, which my son seems allergic to.

2 I think I got serious about this only recently when I ran into one of my former students, fresh from an excursion to Europe. "How was it?" I asked, full of earnest anticipation.

3 She nodded three or four times, searched the heavens for the right words, and then exclaimed, "It was, like, whoa!"

4 And that was it. The civilization of Greece and the glory of

Roman architecture were captured in a condensed non-statement. My student's "whoa!"

was exceeded only by my head-shaking distress.

5 There are many different stories about the downturn in the proper use of English. Surely students should be able to distinguish between their /there /they're or the distinctive difference between complimentary and complementary . They unfairly bear the bulk of the criticism for these knowledge deficits because there is a sense that they

should know better.

6 Students are not dumb, but they are being misled everywhere they look and listen. For example, signs in grocery stores point them to the stationary , even though the actual stationery items —pads, albums and notebooks —are not nailed down. Friends and loved ones often proclaim they've just ate when, in fact, they've just eaten . Therefore,

it doesn't make any sense to criticize our students.

7 Blame for the scandal of this language deficit should be thrust upon our schools, which should be setting high standards of English language proficiency. Instead, they only teach a little grammar and even less advanced vocabulary. Moreover, the younger teachers

themselves evidently have little knowledge of these vital structures of language because they also went without exposure to them. Schools fail to adequately teach the essential framework of language, accurate grammar and proper vocabulary, while they should take the responsibility of pushing the young onto the path of competent communication.

8 Since grammar is boring to most of the young students, I think that it must be handled delicately, step by step. The chance came when one day I was driving with my son. As we

set out on our trip, he noticed a bird in jerky flight and said, "It's flying so unsteady." I carefully asked, "My son, how is the bird flying?" "What's wrong? Did I say anything incorrectly?" He got lost. "Great! You said incorrectly instead of incorrect . We use adverbs

to describe verbs. Therefore, it's flying so unsteadily but not so unsteady ."

9 Curious about my correction, he asked me what an adverb was. Slowly, I said, "It's a word that tells you something about a verb." It led to his asking me what a verb was. I

explained, "Verbs are action words; for example, Dad drives the truck. Drive is the verb because it's the thing Dad is doing."

10 He became attracted to the idea of action words, so we listed a few more: fly, swim, dive, run . Then, out of his own curiosity, he asked me if other words had names for their use and functions. This led to a discussion of nouns, adjectives, and articles. Within the span of a 10-minute drive, he had learned from scratch to the major parts of speech in a senten ce. It was painl ess lear ning and great fun!

11 Perhaps, la nguage should be looked upon as a road map and a valuable possessi on:

ofte n study the road map (check grammar) and tune up the car engine (adjust vocabulary). Lear ning grammar and a good vocabulary is just like drivi ng with a road map in a well-c on diti oned car.

12 The road map provides the framework and guida nee you n eed for your trip, but it won't tell you exactly what trees or flowers you will see, what kind of people you will encounter, or what types of feelings you will be experiencing on your journey. Here, the vocabulary

makes the journey's true colors come alive! A good vocabulary enables you to enjoy whatever you see as you drive along. Equipped with grammar and a good vocabulary, you have flexibility and excellent control. While the road map guides your journey to your destination, an excellent vehicle helps you to fully enjoy all of the sights, sounds and experie nces along the way.

13 Effective, precise, and ben eficial com muni cati on depe nds upon grammar and a good vocabulary, the two esse ntial assets for stude nts, but they are not being taught in schools.

14 Just this morning, my son and I were eating breakfast when I attempted to add milk to my tea. "Dad," he said, "If I were you, I would n't do that. It's sour."

15 "Oh my!" I said, swelling with pride toward my son, "That's a grammatically perfect sentence. You used were in stead of was ."

16 "I kno w, I kno w," he said with a long agreeable sigh. "It's the subj unctive mood."

17 I was, like, whoa!

Tran slati on











their/there/they're 之间的不同,或区别complimentary 跟complementary 之间显而易见的差异。由于这些知识缺陷,他们承受着大部分不该承受的批评和指责,因为舆论认为他们应该学得更好。


会把他们引向stationary (静止处),虽然便笺本、相册、和笔记本等真正的stationery (文

具用品)并没有被钉在那儿。朋友和亲人常宣称They've just ate。实际上,他们应该说

They've just eate n 。因此,批评学生不合乎情理。






8 因为语法对大多数年轻学生而言枯燥且乏味,所以我觉得讲授语法得一步一步、注重技 巧地进行。有一天机会来了。我跟儿子开车外出。 我们出发时,他看到一只小鸟飞得很不 稳,就说:“它飞的不稳。 ”(It's flying so unsteady. )我小心翼翼地问: “儿子,鸟怎么飞 ?”“有 问题吗?我说得不对吗?( Did I say anything incorrectly? )”他一头雾水。 “太好了, 你 说的是 incorrectly 而不是 incorrect 。我们用副词来描述动词。所以,要用 unsteadily 来描 述鸟飞,而不是 unsteady 。”

9 他对我的纠正很好奇,就问我什么是副词。 我慢慢解释道: “副词是用来修饰动词的词。 ”这 又导致了他询问我什么是动词。 我解释说: “动词是表示行为的词,例如:爸爸开卡车。 ‘开' 是动词,因为它是爸爸在做的事。 ”

10 他开始对表示行为的词产生兴趣, 所以我们又罗列了几个动词: “飞行”、“游泳”、“跳水”、 “跑步”。然后,他又好奇地问我,其他的词有没有说明它们的用法和功能的名称。 这就引 发了我们对名词、形容词和冠词的讨论。 在短短十分钟的驾驶时间内,他从对语法一无所 知到学会了句子中主要词语的词性。 这是一次毫无痛苦而又非常有趣的学习经历。

11 也许,语言应该被看成是一张路线图和一件珍品:我们要常常查看路线图(核对语法) 和调整汽车的引擎(调节词汇) 。学好语法和掌握大量的词汇就好比拿着路线图在车况良好 的车里驾驶。

12 路线图为你的旅行提供所需的基本路线和路途指南,可是它不会告诉你一路上你究竟会 看见什么树或什么花,你会遇见什么样的人,或会有什么样的感受。 这里,词汇会使你的 旅途变得五彩缤纷、栩栩如生。 大量的词汇让你享受到开车途中所见的点点滴滴。 借助语 法和丰富的词汇,你就有了灵活性,掌控自如。 路线图会把你带到目的地,而一台好车却 能让你完全陶醉于旅途的所有景色、声音及经历之中。

13 对学生来说,有效、准确且富有成效的沟通技能取决于语法和词汇这两大有利条件,可 是学校并没有教他们这些。

14 就在今天早上,我跟儿子吃早饭时,我想把牛奶加入我的茶里。 “爸爸, ”他说, “如果

Unit 2

The humanities: Out of date?

1 When the going gets tough, the tough take accounting. When the job market worsens, many students calculate they can't major in English or history. They have to study

something that boosts their prospects of landing a job.

2 The data show that as students have increasingly shouldered the ever-rising cost of tuition, they have defected from the study of the humanities and toward applied science and "hard" skills that they bet will lead to employment. In other words, a college education is more and more seen as a means for economic betterment rather than a means for human betterment. This is a trend that is likely to persist and even accelerate.

3 Over the next few years, as labor markets struggle, the humanities will probably continue their long slide in succession. There already has been a nearly 50 percent decline in the portion of liberal arts majors over the past generation, and it is logical to think that the trend is bound to continue or even accelerate. Once the dominant pillars of university life, the humanities now play little roles when students take their college tours. These days, labs are more vivid and compelling than libraries.

4 Here, please allow me to stand up for and promote the true value that the humanities add to people's 我是你的话,我不会这样做。牛奶会变酸。

15 “哦,上帝! ”我满怀着无比的骄傲说道,

而不是 was 。” 16 “我知道,我知道, ”他愉悦地舒了口气,

17 这下轮到我“哇!”了。

If I were you, I wouldn't do that. It's sour. )” “这是一句语法完全正确的句子。你用了 were

“这是虚拟语气! ”

lives. Since ancient times, people have speculated about the mystery of those inner forces that drive some people to greatness and others to self-destruction. This inner drive has been called many things over the centuries. The famous psychologist, Sigmund Freud, called it the "unconscious mind" or, more familiarly, "instinct".

5 From the beginning of time, this inner aspect of our being, this drive that can be constructive or destructive, has captured our imagination. The stories of this amazing struggle have formed the basis of cultures the world over. Historians, architects, authors, philosophers and artists have captured the words, images and meanings of this inner struggle in the form of story, music, myth, painting, architecture, sculpture, landscape and traditions. These men and women developed artistic "languages" that help us understand these aspirations and also educate generations. This fertile body of work from ancient

times, the very foundation of civilization, forms the basis of study of the humanities.

6 Studying the humanities improves our ability to read and write. No matter what we do in life, we will have a huge advantage if we can read complex ideas and understand their meaning. We will have a bright career if we are the person in the office who can write a clear and elegant analysis of those ideas!

7 Studying the humanities makes us familiar with the language of emotion and the creative process. In an information economy, many people have the ability to produce a useful product such as a new MP3 player. Yet, very few people have the ability to create a spectacular brand: the iPod. Most importantly, studying the humanities invests us with great insight and self-awareness, there by releasing our creative energy and talent in a positive and constructive manner.

8 Perhaps the best argument in favor of the humanities is the scope of possibilities that are widely open to us. Did you know that James Cameron, world-famous director of the movie, Titanic , graduated with a degree in the humanities? So did Sally Ride, the first woman in space. So did actors Bruce Lee, Gwyneth Paltrow, Renee Zellweger and Matt

Damon. Dr. Harold Varmus, who won a Nobel Prize for Medicine, studied the humanities. Even Michael Eisner, Chairman of the Disney Company, majored in the humanities. Famous people who studied the humanities make a long list indeed. It's easy to see that the humanities can prepare us for many different careers and jobs we can undertake, whether medicine, business, science or entertainment. If we study only mathematics, it's likely we will be a candidate only for jobs as a mathematician. If we include studying the humanities, we can make break