|1. YES||19. crop|
|2. NO||20. medicine|
|3. NOT GIVEN||21. bicycles|
|4. NOT GIVEN||22. electricity|
|5. NOT GIVEN||23. jobs|
|6. NOT GIVEN||24. 19th century|
|7. NOT GIVEN||25. 1.5 million|
|8. NOT GIVEN||26. Greenland|
|9. B||27. summer|
|10. A||28. 17 percent|
|11. D||29. helicopters|
|12. D||30. 800|
|13. D||31. D|
|14. A||32. B|
|15. B OR C IN EITHER ORDER||33. C|
|16. B OR C IN EITHER ORDER||34. A|
|17. woody||35. C|
|Level||Band||Listening Score||Reading Score|
Legend: Academic word (?) New word
Hearing-impaired people cannot hear sounds well . How do they “hear” words?
Many hearing-impaired people use sign language. They talk with their hands. Two hearing-impaired people can talk to each other. They both use sign language. Sometimes a person who can hear and interprets for hearing-impaired people . The person listens to someone talking, and then he or she makes hand signs. There are two kinds of hand sign. Some signs are for whole words. For example, there is one hand sign for the word love. There are hand signs for different actions, things, and ideas. Some of the signs are very easy, for example, the sign for eat, milk, and house. You can see what they mean. Others are more difficult, for example, the sign for star, egg, and week.
The second kind of hand sign is fingerspelling. In fingerspelling, there is a sign for every letter in the alphabet . For example, to fingerspell the word love, a person makes four different signs. It is much slower to fingerspell, but is useful for signing names and technical words. People can use both kinds of hand signs together.
Each country has its own sign language . For example, American Sign Language (ASL) is very different from British Sign Language. Using sign language is almost like a dance. The whole body talks. Sign languages are beautiful.
You can practice the dictation of this article here .
Garbage is a big problem all over the world. People buy and use a lot of things nowadays. After a while, they throw them away in the garbage bin. All the garbage is later thrown away or dumped outside the city. These places are called landfill sites. In many cities, landfill sites are now full .
About one-third of all the garbage is made of paper . Another third of the garbage is a mix of glass, metal, plastic, and wood . The final third comes from food scraps . These are remains of food that are not eating any more. Food scraps are not a big garbage problem for the environment. Our natural world can get rid of food scraps . Insects and bacteria eat the food scraps and make them go away.
But this does not happen with other materials. Plastic is very toxic to the environment . It poisons the earth and the water. We use plastic for many things, such as combs or pens. Also, when we buy something from the supermarket, we get a plastic bag. As soon as we get home, we throw the bag away. Plastic is also used to make Styrofoam . All take-out coffee cups and fast-food boxes are made of Styrofoam . When we buy coffee and drink it on the street, we throw that cup away too.
Other garbage we throw away is metal. The cans for soft drinks or beer are made of aluminum. Aluminum is toxic too. The paper and wood we throw away are not toxic. But we have to cut down many trees every year to make paper and wood. Our environment suffers when there are no forests around. The air is less fresh, and the earth dries up. With no water in the earth, plants cannot grow.
Solutions to the garbage problem
We have to manage our waste and garbage better. If we throw away so many things, soon we will have no place to dump them.
The best thing to do is to reduce the amount of garbage. If we use less, we throw away less. For instance, we can buy food in big boxes and packages. Then we throw away only one box i every month or so. Otherwise, we throw away many small boxes or cans every day.
Similarly, we can reuse a lot of packaging. For example, we do not have to buy take-out coffee in Styrofoam cups. We can bring our own cup from home and fill it with fresh coffee. We also do not have to take the plastic bags from the supermarket. We can bring our own cloth bag from home instead. When we pack lunch, it is better to use a lunch box than a paper bag. Instead of paper plates, we can use real plates . We can clean up with a dishtowel, not a paper towel. We can use a compost bin for food scraps. In this way, the food gets back into the earth. It does not get mixed up with the regular garbage.
Finally, all paper, glass and metal we do use, we can recycle. In many countries, there are now recycling programs. In Germany, for example, people separate all glass bottles by color . Then they put the bottles into special bins that are on the street. The city collects the glass, cleans it, and reuses it. As well, in most countries, people recycle newspapers and cardboard. It is easy and efficient.
You can practice the dictation of this article here .
Bamboo is a common woody plant. It grows tall and thin. It looks almost like a tree! It grows about twenty five metres tall. It is about fifteen centimetres wide. Bamboo looks like it is made of many small pieces. Thick lines divide it into small segments. And the inside of bamboo is empty. But it is hard and very strong.
Many people think bamboo is a tree. But it is not - it is a kind of grass. It grows mainly in East and South East Asia. It also grows in Latin America, India and parts of Africa and Australia. Bamboo grows extremely fast and spreads very quickly. There are 1500 different kinds of bamboo. People all over the world use it. And people are planting more of it. Some people call bamboo ‘the crop of the future.’ They have many good reasons to plant bamboo.
There are over 1,000 uses for bamboo! People in the past used bamboo for many things. They made musical instruments and weapons with bamboo. Artists used it for paintbrushes and paper. Fishermen used it to make equipment for catching fish. Some people even made boats from bamboo!
In China and India, doctors use bamboo in traditional medicine . Bamboo is also very useful for cooking. People put food inside the empty bamboo plant. This is a good container for cooking soup, rice or tea. But people also eat bamboo as a healthy food. People eat the soft part, or shoot, of the bamboo in many ways. Most Asian countries have special foods made from bamboo shoots.
Bamboo has been used in traditional buildings. But builders also use it today! The village of Noh Bo is just one example.
There are many modern uses for bamboo. In 1879 Thomas Edison created the first light bulb. He made it with treated bamboo!
People also use bamboo to make cloth. Beauty products sometimes contain bamboo. It is even in some water filters, to clean water! People have even designed vehicles and airplanes out of bamboo. In Ghana, people even make two wheeled bicycles from bamboo. In the Philippines, people make electricity from bamboo! Buildings, bicycles, light bulbs and even electricity: bamboo is an amazing plant.
These are just a few of the many ways people use bamboo. But bamboo is useful for a much more important reason. It is useful while it grows! Growing bamboo helps the environment in many ways. Bamboo provides oxygen, which improves air quality. It also reduces harmful carbon dioxide in the air. It does this more quickly than trees. Bamboo also provides shade and shelter from the sun.
In many places, hardwood trees are cut down for fuel or for building. This causes problems for the earth, animals, plants and air. To keep a good environment, people must replace the trees. But it takes a very long time for most trees to reach their full size. Many hardwood trees take 50 years to grow!
Bamboo is ready to use in only three years. Bamboo is the fastest growing woody plant in the world. It can grow about 60 centimeters in only one day. The bamboo plant grows to its full size in just three or four months. Some kinds of bamboo then become dry and hard. In three years, it is strong enough to harvest and use. And bamboo grows again when it is cut down. People can harvest it year after year.
Some people are sure that bamboo is ‘the crop of the future’. For example, Nicaragua has many hardwood forests. But people are cutting down three percent of the forests every year. One organization, Eco-planet Bamboo, is trying to replace these trees with bamboo.
Eco-Planet Bamboo planted a large bamboo farm. Through this farm, Eco-Planet Bamboo hopes to improve the environment. They also hope to improve life for local people. Bamboo is helping to reduce poverty in Nicaragua.
In Nicaragua, bamboo is providing jobs . Around the world, it is improving the environment and the economy. It is easy to see why people call bamboo the ‘crop of the future.’
You can practice the dictation of this article here .
The Arctic and Antarctica are now within reach of the modern tourist, with many going to see these icy wildernesses before it's too late. Christian Amodeo reports on the growth of polar tourism.
Travel at the North and South Poles has become an expensive leisure activity, suitable for tourists of all ages. The poles may be inhospitable places, but they are seeing increasing numbers of visitors.
Annual figures for the Arctic, where tourism has existed since the 19th century , have increased from about a million in the early 1990s to more than 1.5 million today. This is partly because of the lengthening summer season brought about by climate change.
Most visitors arrive by ship. In 2007, 370,000 cruise passengers visited Norway, twice the number that arrived in 2000. Iceland, a country where tourism is the second-largest industry, has enjoyed an annual growth rate of nine percent since 1990. Meanwhile, Alaska received some 1,029,800 passengers, a rise of 7.3 percent from 2006. Greenland has seen the most rapid growth in marine tourism, with a sharp increase in cruise-ship arrivals of 250 percent since 2004.
The global economic downturn may have affected the annual 20.6 percent rate of increase in visitors to the Antarctic - last season saw a drop of 17 percent to 38,200 - but there has been a 760 percent rise in land-based tourism there since 1997. More people than ever are landing at fragile sites, with light aircraft, helicopters and all-terrain vehicles increasingly used for greater access, while in the past two seasons, ‘fly-sail’ operations have begun. These deliver tourists by air to ships, so far more groups can enjoy a cruise in a season; large cruise ships capable of carrying up to 800 passengers are not uncommon.
In addition, it seems that a high number of visitors return to the poles. ‘ Looking at six years’ worth of data, of the people who have been to the polar regions, roughly 25 percent go for a second time ,’ says Louisa Richardson, a senior marketing executive at tour operator Exodus.
In the same period that tourism has exploded, the ‘health’ of the poles has ‘deteriorated’. ‘The biggest changes taking place in the Antarctic are related to climate change,’ says Rod Downie, Environmental Manager with the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). Large numbers of visitors increase these problems.
Although polar tourism is widely accepted, there have been few regulations up until recently. At the meeting of the Antarctic Treaty in Baltimore, the 28 member nations adopted proposals for limits to tourist numbers. These included safety codes for tourist vessels in Antarctic waters, and improved environmental protection for the continent. They agreed to prevent ships with more than 500 passengers from landing in Antarctica, as well as limit the number of passengers going ashore to a maximum of 100 at any one time, with a minimum of one guide for every 20 tourists. ‘ Tourism in Antarctica is not without its risks ,’ says Downie. After all, Antarctica doesn’t have a coastguard rescue service.’
‘ So far, no surveys confirm that people are going quickly to see polar regions before they change ,’ says Frigg Jorgensen, General Secretary of the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO). ‘However, Hillary Clinton and many other big names have been to Svalbard in the northernmost part of Norway to see the effects of climate change . The associated media coverage could influence others to do the same.’
These days, rarely a week passes without a negative headline in the newspapers. The suffering polar bear has become a symbol of a warming world, its plight a warning that the clock is ticking. It would seem that this ticking clock is a small but growing factor for some tourists. ‘ There’s an element of “do it now” ,’ acknowledges Prisca Campbell, Marketing director of Quark Expeditions, which takes 7,000 People to the poles annually. Leaving the trip until later, it seems, may mean leaving it too late.