As we are at the start of the course, this seems a good moment to offer some advice on how to make the task of learning English easier.
Some Strategies for Learning English
Learning English is by no means easy. It takes great diligence and prolonged effort.
Nevertheless, while you cannot expect to gain a good command of English without sustained hard work, there are various helpful learning strategies you can employ to make the task easier. Here are some of them.
1. Do not treat all new words in exactly the same way. Have you ever complained about your memory because you find it simply impossible to memorize all the new words you are learning? But, in fact, it is not your memory that is at fault. If you cram your head with too many new words at a time, some of them are bound to be crowded out. What you need to do is to deal with new words in different ways according to how frequently they occur in everyday use. While active words demand constant practice and useful words must be committed to memory, words that do not often occur in everyday situations require just a nodding acquaintance. You will find concentrating on active and useful words the most effective route to enlarging your vocabulary.
2. Watch out for idiomatic ways of saying things. Have you ever wondered why we say, "I am interested in English", but "I am good at French"? And have you ever asked yourself why native English speakers say, "learn the news or secret", but "learn of someone's success or arrival"? These are all examples of idiomatic usage. In learning English, you must pay attention not only to the meaning of a word, but also to the way native speakers use it in their daily lives.
2．密切注意地道的表达方式。你可曾纳闷过，为什么我们说“我对英语感兴趣”是“I'm interested in English”，而说“我精于法语”则是“I'm good at French”？你可曾问过自己，为什么以英语为母语的人说“获悉消息或秘密”是“learn the news or secret”，而“获悉某
人的成功或到来”却是“learn of someone's success or arrival”？这些都是惯用法的例子。在学习英语时，你不仅必须注意词义，还必须注意以英语为母语的人在日常生活中如何使用它。
3. Listen to English every day. Listening to English on a regular basis will not only improve your ear, but will also help you build your speaking skills. In addition to language tapes especially prepared for your course, you can also listen to English radio broadcasts, watch English TV, and see English movies. The first time you listen to a taped conversation or passage in English, you may not be able to catch a great deal. Try to get its general meaning first and listen to it over and over again. You will find that with each repetition you will get something more.
4. Seize opportunities to speak. It is true that there are few situations at school where you have to communicate in English, but you can seek out opportunities to practice speaking the language. Talking with your classmates, for example, can be an easy and enjoyable way to get some practice. Also try to find native speakers on your campus and feel free to talk with them. Perhaps the easiest way to practice speaking is to rehearse aloud, since this can be done at any time, in any place, and without a partner. For instance, you can look at pictures or objects around you and try to describe them in detail. You can also rehearse everyday situations. After you have made a purchase in a shop or finished a meal in a restaurant and paid the check, pretend that all this happened in an English-speaking country and try to act it out in English.
5. Read widely. It is important to read widely because in our learning environment, reading is the main and most reliable source of lan
guage input. When you choose reading materials, look for things that you find interesting, that you can understand without relying too much on a dictionary. A page a day is a good way to start. As you go on, you will find that you can do more pages a day and handle materials at a higher level of difficulty.
6. Write regularly. Writing is a good way to practice what you already know. Apart from compositions assigned by your teacher, you may find your own reasons for writing. A pen pal provides good motivation; you will learn a lot by trying to communicate with someone who shares your interests, but comes from a different culture. Other ways to write regularly include keeping a diary, writing a short story and summarizing the daily news.
Language learning is a process of accumulation. It pays to absorb as much as you can from reading and listening and then try to put what you have learned into practice through speaking and writing.
At sixty-five Francis Chichester set out to sail single-handed round the world. This is the story of that adventure.
Sailing Round the World
Before he sailed round the world single-handed, Francis Chichester had already surprised his friends several times. He had tried to fly round the world but failed. That was in 1931.
The years passed. He gave up flying and began sailing. He enjoyed it greatly. Chichester was already 58 years old when he won the first solo transatlantic sailing race. His old dream of going round the world came back, but this time he would sail. His friends and doctors did not think he could do it, as he had lung cancer. But Chichester was determined to carry out his plan. In August, 1966, at the age of nearly sixty-five, an age when many men retire, he began the greatest voyage of his life. Soon, he was away in his new 16-metre boat, Gipsy Moth.
Chichester followed the route of the great nineteenth century clipper ships. But the clippers had had plenty of crew. Chichester did it all by himself, even after the main steering device had been damaged by gales. Chichester covered 14,100 miles before stopping in Sydney, Australia. This was more than twice the distance anyone had previously sailed alone.
He arrived in Australia on 12 December, just 107 days out from England. He received a warm welcome from the Australians and from his family who had flown there to meet him. On shore, Chichester could not walk without help. Everybody said the same thing: he had done enough; he must not go any further. But he did not listen.
After resting in Sydney for a few weeks, Chichester set off once more in spite of his friends' attempts to dissuade him. The second half of his voyage was by far the more dangerous part, during which he sailed round the treacherous Cape Horn.
On 29 January he left Australia. The next night, the blackest he had ever known, the sea became so rough that the boat almost turned over. Food, clothes, and broken glass were all mixed together. Fortunately, the damage to the boat was not too serious. Chichester calmly got into bed and went to sleep. When he woke up, the sea had become calm again. Still, he could not help thinking that if anything should happen, the nearest person he could contact by radio, unless there was a ship nearby, would be on an island 885 miles away.
After succeeding in sailing round Cape Horn, Chichester sent the following radio message to