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70天攻克考研英语阅读 DAY46

2006-7-28 01:05  

  DAY46

  Reading comprehension

  Direction: In this part, there are four passages followed by questions or unfinished statements, each with four suggested answers marked A, B, C and D. Choose the one that you think is the correct answer.

  Passage 1 Increasing numbers of parents in the U.S. are choosing to teach their kids at home. In fact, the U.S. Department of Education estimated that, in 1999, around 850000 children were being homeschooled. Some educational experts say the real figure is about double this estimate, and the ranks of homeschooled children appear to growing at a rate of about 11 percent annually.

  At one time, there was a stigma associated with homeschooling. It was traditionally used for students who could not attend school because of behavioral or learning difficulties. Today, however, more parents are taking on the responsibility of educating their children at home due to dissatisfaction with the educational system. Many parents are unhappy about class size, as well as problems inside the classroom. Teacher shortages and lack of funding mean that, in many schools, one teacher is responsible for thirty or forty pupils. The result is often that children are deprived of the attention they need. Escalating classroom violence has also motivated some parents to remove their children from school.

  Critics of homeschooling say that children who are not in the classroom miss out on learning important social skills because they have little interaction with their peers. Several studies, though, have shown that the homeeducated appear to do just as well in terms of social and emotional development as other students, having spent more time in the comfort and security of their home, with guidance from parents who care about their welfare. In spite of this, many critics of homeschooling have raised concerns about the ability of parents to teach their kids effectively. Many parents who homeschool have no teacher training and are not competent educators of all the subjects taught in schools. In terms of academic achievement, however, homeschooled children do just as well as those who have been in the classroom and many walk the campuses of Harvard and Stanford alongside the conventionally educated.

  With an increasing number of disgruntled parents taking their children out of class, schools are receiving less money in perpupil funding. Some see this as a threat to the system, and argue that schools will never be able to improve their situation and restore parents confidence in the educational system. Many schools have opened their doors to homeschoolers on a parttime basis, allowing these children to attend classes once or twice a week, or take part in extracurricular activities such as playing football or taking ballet lessons. While parents will not completely put their confidence back into the system, many of them have reached a compromise that allows their children the extra benefits of peer interaction and access to a wider choice of activities.

  Whatever the arguments for or against it, homeschooling in the U.S. has become a multimillion dollar industry, and it is growing. There are now websites, support groups, and conventions that help parents assert their rights and enable them to learn more about educating their children. Though once the last resort for troubled children, homeschooling today is an accepted alternative to an educational system that some believe is failing.

  1. What is the reason that more parents are taking on the responsibility of educating their children at home?

  A. Teacher shortages and lack of funding.

  B. Escalating classroom violence.

  C. Large class and problems inside the classroom.

  D. Dissatisfaction with the educational system.

  2. Which of the following is not the viewpoint of the critics on homeschooling?

  A. Those children who didnt go to school are lacking important social skills.

  B. The ability of parents to teach their kids is doubtful.

  C. The home — educated children are able to enter those famous universities.

  D. The homeeducated children have little interaction with their peers.

  3. Why many schools have opened their doors to homeschoolers on a parttime basis?

  A. Because they want to raise money for their school.

  B. They hope to refigure their images in the parents mind.

  C. They hope to provide those homeeducated children the extra benefits of peer interaction and access to a wider choice of activities.

  D. They did it at the request of parents.

  4. What does the word “escalating” mean?

  A. disgustingB. terrible

  C. disorderlyD. increasing

  5. What is authors attitude towards homeschooling?

  A. approvalB. disapproval

  C. neutralD. strongly opposing

  Passage 2 Some people have extraordinary memories. According to the Guinness World Records, 2001, Gert Mittring of Germany can look at a list of twentyseven numbers for just four seconds and remember all of them. Most people, though, have trouble at times remembering where they put their door keys, or recalling the names of people theyve recently met for the first time.

  The process by which we store and retrieve information in our brains has been the focus of scientific research for many years. The brain is a highly complex organ that is not fully understood, and theories about how it works remain a topic of debate. It is generally agreed, though, that one area of the brain known as the hippocampus — named after the Latin process of recalling information. When we experience something, the information is sent via our senses to the hippocampus, where it is processed.

  Although the process of creating memories is only partially understood, it is thought to involve three main steps. Scientists believe that brain cells called neuron first transform the sensory stimuli we experience into images in our immediate memory. Then, these images are sent to the hippocampus and stored temporarily in shortterm memory. In the hippocampus information is organized, and it is during this process that parts of the image of our experience fade away. Finally, certain information is then transferred to longterm memory in a section in the frontal lobe of the brain known as the cerebral cortex. Scientists think this process may happen while we are sleeping, but exactly how the information is transferred from one area of the brain to another is a mystery.

  Although memory function is difficult to understand and analyze, memory loss is something that many people experience and worry about as they age. In the past, neuroscientists believed that agerelated memory loss was associated with total numbers of brain cells. The theory was that the brain contained a finite number of neurons, and as we got older, we used up our stock of available cells. More recent research suggests that brain cells, may take place throughout a lifetime. Also, there is now evidence that damage to the hippocampus may play an important role in memory loss. Studies conducted on patients who have suffered damage to this area of the brain show that while they can still recall memories stored before the brain was damaged, they are unable to remember new facts. In addition, diseases associated with old age, such as Alzheimers and other problems involving short and longterm memory loss are now being traced to possible damage to the hippocampus.

  Research suggests that the power to retrieve information can be influenced by food and sleep. Vitamin E is, for example, able to break down chemicals, known as free radicals, that is thought to damage brain cells. Studies suggest that eating foods containing vitamin E, such as green vegetables, is one way of reducing agerelated memory loss. Though there is no definitive proof, there are others who believe that herbs such ginseng and ginkgo help to improve both concentration and memory retention. Research on shortterm memory indicates that getting a good nights sleep can also help one to recollect things more clearly.

  Although the exact process by which memories are coded and retrieved remains a mystery, there is no doubt that eating the right foods and getting sufficient amounts of sleep can help us make the best use of our brains remarkable ability to store and recall information.

  1. The passage is mainly about

  A. parts of the brain that store information.

  B. illness that results in severe memory loss.

  C. how human brains process, store and recall information.

  D. how to improve our memory.

  2. Which of the following is NOT true according to paragraph 2 and 3?

  A. Many people agree that one area of the brain known as the hippocampus is important in recalling information.

  B. The process of creating memories has been understood and it involves three main steps.

  C. Scientists believed that neurons first transform the sensory stimuli into images in our immediate memory.

  D. Scientists dont know exactly how the information is transferred from one area of the brain to another.

  3. Which of the following is most probably the reason of memory loss?

  A. agerelated reasonB. damage to the hippocampus

  C. diseases associated with old ageD. reduction of brain cells.

  4. Which of the following is the most efficient way to reduce agerelated memory loss?

  A. Eating foods containing vitamin E.

  B. Eating right foods and getting sufficient amounts of sleep.

  C. adoption of medical remedy

  D. getting a good nights sleep

  5. What do you think “ginseng and gingko” probably is?

  A. a kind of plantB. a kind of medicine

  C. a kind of foodD. a kind of drink

  Passage 3 As far as American school system is concerned, it is almost impossible to pick out one institution as typical or even representative. The primary reason for this bafflement is that there are too great a variety of schools at both primary and secondary level, and the differences between or among them are just too huge. However, while singling out typical schools is next to impossible, there are enough basic features among them to permit some generalizations.

  Under the U.S. Constitution, the federal government has no power to make laws in the field of education; instead, each state is fully responsible within its own territory. Accordingly, each state has an educational administration, not subject to federal control. The state authorities lay down general principles concerning the organization of schools and such matters as the ages of compulsory education. Schools are provided and managed by local community boards of education. A fairly large city has a board of its own; otherwise a board may cover the area of a county or of several local communities. All states have for some time had compulsory school attendance up to the age of sixteen, and some beyond that, but the laws are not everywhere enforced with the same vigor. With so much local control, the standards of education provided in different parts of the United States are by no means uniform.

  。 Elementary education begins at the age of six. There are almost always required subjects at each level, and pupils who do not do well often have to repeat courses. Many schools also support summer classes, where students can make up for failed courses or even take extra courses. At this stage, fourfifths of all the teachers are women, mostly married. The atmosphere is usually very friendly, and the teachers have for a long time now accepted the idea that the important thing is to make the children happy and interested. The old rigid and authoritarian methods of education were discredited in America rather a long time ago — so much that many people now think that education has gone too far in the direction of trying to make children happy and interested rather than giving them actual instruction.

  Education in nearly all parts of the United States is comprehensive in that there is no selection of children who attend fullscale secondary education. Distinctions within the educational system are based in part on the use of private instructions by the few who can pay for them and think it worthwhile to do so, and more importantly, on the different social characteristics of the areas in which schools are placed. Racial factors may be involved, although segregation has been formally abandoned. However, whether they are public or private, schools in the United States have always stressed character training or social skills training through extracurricular activities, including organized sports and performing arts. As most schools start at around 8 oclock every morning and classes often do not finish until 3 or 4 oclock in the afternoon, such activities mean that many students do not return home until the early evening. Students, on the whole, seem to take as much interest in extracurricular activities as they do in school curriculum itself, if not more. Consequently, American schools usually provide a very broad range of extracurricular activities, such as cycling, mountain climbing, horse rising, and chess playing. Quite many schools publish their newspapers, and some have their own radio stations. Almost all have student orchestras, bands, choirs, and theater and drama societies. As part of extracurricular activities, students are also encouraged to work as volunteers in hospitals and homes for the aged and do other publicservice work. At any rate, extracurricular activities for American students come in every shape and style.

  1. What does the first sentence of the passage mean?

  A. None of American schools have distinctive features.

  B. There are enough basic features among American schools.

  C. American schools are different from each other.

  D. There are many different kinds of schools in America.

  2. Which of the following is NOT true?

  A. Each state is fully responsible within its own territory in making laws in the field of education.

  B. Schools are managed by state authorities.

  C. Standards of education varies in different parts of the United States.

  D. The laws of compulsory school attendance are enforced by different degrees in different areas.

  3. Which of the following is NOT related to the distinctions within the educational system?

  A. the use of private institution by the few who can pay for them

  B. Different social characteristics of the areas in which schools are placed.

  C. racial factors

  D. academic achievement of students

  4. Which of the following extracurricular activities is NOT mentioned in this passage?

  A. cycling B. dramaperforming

  C. musicentertaining D. painting

  5. The passage is mainly about

  A. variety of American school.B. extra curricular activities in America.

  C. primary and secondary schools in America.D. American education.

  Passage 4From what we know of the original African families from which many black Americans came, they were the epitome of family stability, displaying caring, reciprocity, solidarity, and sharing.

  Centuries of slavery, however, had an impact on family life among American blacks. Under slavery, slaves were regarded as property. A black womans body was not considered her own. Control over her body was passed from white person to white person along with a bill of sale. Men and women might live together as husbands and wives, but they had no legal right to make a marriage contract. The slaveowner had complete legal authority over his slaves. However, despite such harsh and restrictive practices under slavery, black Americans still managed to have their own families. While establishing and maintaining nuclear family organization was extremely difficult for most slaves, the majority of them did find themselves living in extended families.

  After the slave system was abolished by the Civil War, a new economic system called sharecropping was established in the South and a different form of family developed for African Americans who lived there. Under the sharecropping system, freed blacks worked the land for the plantation owner, had few rights, were frequently subjected to barbarous treatment at the hands of the landowner, and lived hard, impoverished lives, very similar to those under slavery. However, sharecropping was quite different from slavery in the organization of African American families. Freed from slavery, blacks could now legally get married and establish their own families. While they retained their ties to an extended community network nuclear families however, became the dominant form of family life under the sharecropping system. In such unclear families, men were the ones who were in direct contact with the landholders, the creditors, and the people in the market who purchased the crops. Wives were tied into the sharecropping system through their husbands, under whose direction they worked in the fields with their children. Thus, in the postCivil War period, the African American family in the south was not only more nuclear, but also more male dominated.

  From the late nineteenth century to World War II, large numbers of blacks left the South for the North and West, known in U.S. history as the Great Migration. During the same period, there also occurred an equally large exodus of blacks from the rural South to Southern cities. The move was not just one of black workers moving from one local to another, but of workers moving from agricultural work to urban manufacturing and service jobs. However, this transition had different results for men and women. While African American men usually moved from agricultural work into manufacturing jobs. African American women mostly moved from agricultural work into domestic work, largely due to racial and gender discrimination. As domestic maids, they worked in the homes of white people and spent long hours away from their own families. In many cases, white employers insisted that their maids “live in”, which meant that domestic workers were able to see their own families only every other weekend. Since domestic work was the largest single occupation of African American women from the early 1900s to the mid1960s, the frequent absence of mothers at home could not but affect the growth of children as well as the relationship between husbands and wives. For this reason, black domestic workers used several techniques to gain control of their work, including direct confrontation, threatening to quit, and quitting. Many of them eventually succeeded in changing domestic work from “live in” to day work and could go to their own home at night.

  1. The best title of this passage would be

  A. the changes of womens social status in Africa.

  B. the history of African American family.

  C. the history of women liberation movement.

  D. the features of American family.

  2. Which of the following is NOT a new situation after the slave system was abolished for the African Americans?

  A. Blacks could now legally get married and establish their own families.

  B. Nuclear families became the dominant form of family life under the sharecropping system.

  C. Freed blacks worked hard for the plantation owners and had few rights.

  D. Blacks lived hard and impoverished lives under the sharecropping system.

  3. Why domestic work was the largest single occupation of African American women from the early 1900s to the mid of 1960s?

  A. They have no right to choose their own work.

  B. People held gender and racial discrimination against them.

  C. White employers insisted that their maids“live in”。

  D. They want to be independent from their husbands.

  4. Which of the following is NOT true?

  A. In the period of slavery, the shaveowner had complete legal authority over his slaves.

  B. Under the sharecropping system, blacks lived hard and impoverished life.

  C. The frequent absence of mothers at home could not affect the growth of children.

  D. Black domestic workers contrived to gain their rights.

  5. Where does this passage most probably come from?

  A. academic work B. magazine

  C. student textbookD. newspaper

  Keys and notes for the passage reading:Passage 1

  这篇文章主要介绍的是孩子不上学,在家接受家庭教育的优缺点, 以及作者对此的看法。

  Some educational experts say the real figure is about double this estimate, and the ranks of homeschooled children appear to growing at a rate of about 11 percent annually.一些教育专家认为真实的数字可能是这一估计数字的两倍,而且在家接受教育的孩子每年正以11%的速度增长。

  1. 「D」这几项都可算作是家庭教育日趋增长的原因,但D项最全面,概括了前三项, 也是从家长的主观角度出发的。

  2. 「C」从文中第三段最后一句可知,这并不是批评者的态度,只是作者发现的一种现象,所以不符合题意。

  3. 「B」从文中倒数第二段可获知,学校之所以这样做是想再次赢得家长的信任,从而获得声援。

  4. 「C」escalating意为不断增加的, 且常用来表示不好的东西的增加。

  5. 「A」从文中最后一句可得出结论。

  Passage 2

  此文主要讲的是大脑是怎样存储、处理信息, 以及不同的人对此的猜测。

  Studies conducted on patients who have suffered damage to this area of the brain show that while they can still recall memories stored before the brain was damaged, they are unable to remember new facts. 对那些有脑疾病的病人进行的研究表明,他们仍然保存有大脑损伤以前的记忆, 但是他们却记不住新的东西。

  1. 「C」纵观全文可知整篇文章都在讲述大脑是怎样处理、存储信息的。因此选C项最合适,其他几项都不全面。

  2. 「B」从文章第三段第一句话可知产生记忆的过程,知识部分被理解,而没有完全被理解,因此B项的说法不正确。

  3. 「B」从文章第四段可知只有B项是有证据证明的,而A、D 项只是科学家的推测,C项只是一个间接原因。

  4. 「B」从文章最后一段可知,只有B项是最有效的方法,且最全面,其他几项均不完整。

  5. 「A」从文章倒数第二段可得知“ginseng and gingko”都是一种“herb”, 所以这应该是草本植物,故选A.

  Passage 3

  这篇文章主要介绍的是美国中小学的教育体制,包括学校的种类、管理、学生的入学年龄、课程安排等

  1. However, while singling out typical schools is next to impossible, there are enough basic features among them to permit some generalizations. 尽管要想挑出一些有代表性的学校是不可能的,但是学校的相同点还是很多的。

  2. Most children attend mixed schools, with boys and girls together all through the school up to the age of sixteen, though there are a few separate schools for the older pupils尽管还是有一些专门为大一点的学生设立的学校, 但大多数学生还是想加入混合学校,在这些学校里一直到16岁的男生、女生都在一起学习。

  1. 「D」本文第一句话的意思是在美国找不出具有代表性的学校,换言之,就是美国的学校种类太多,很难将它们归为哪一类。因此,就不能找到它们的典型特点,A, B 两项与原文意思相反,C 项说得太绝对。

  2. 「B」从文中第二段话中的“Schools are provided and managed by local community boards of education”。可知B项说法错误。

  3. 「D」从文中最后一段的第一句话可知美国学校并不会通过学业成绩的好坏来选拔学生进入好的中学学习,而主要是靠其他一些因素的制约。

  4. 「D」本文并没有提到画画这种课外活动。

  5. 「C」本文主要介绍了美国一些小学和初中的情况。所以D项最佳,A、D太笼统,B项片面。

  Passage 4

  本文主要介绍的是美国黑人家庭在不同的历史时期呈现的不同特点,以及黑人为争取自己的权利和自由所做出的努力。

  1. While they retained their ties to an extended community network nuclear families however, became the dominant form of family life under the sharecropping system. 在他们和大的家庭网保持联系的同时,核心家庭已成为在作佃农耕种制度下的一种主要的家庭生活方式。

  2. The move was not just one of black workers moving from one local to another, but of workers moving from agricultural work to urban manufacturing and service jobs. 这种移动,不仅仅是黑人从一个地方移到另一个地方,而是工人从农业转移到城市工和服务行业中去。

  1. 「B」本文主要涉及的是美国黑人家庭的三个不同历史阶段,及变化发展情况。

  2. 「C」从第二段可知,在废除黑奴制度以前,奴隶过着悲惨的生活。奴隶制度废除之后,他们仍然受地主的压榨,生活艰苦, 生活地位并未改变。

  3. 「B」从文章第四段 “……American women mostly moved from agricultural work into domestic work, largely due to racial and gender discrimination” 可知。

  4. 「C」文章的原文是“……the frequent absence of mothers at home could not but affect the growth of children as well as the relationship between husbands and wives.” could not but表示的是肯定意义,C错误。

  5. 「A」纵观全文可知,这是一篇关于美国社会文化的文章,所以可以排除B、C、D而选A.

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