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21世纪大学英语读写教程第一册 Unit6

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Unit 6 Text A Listening First listening Before listening to the tape, have a quick look at the following words
Unit 6

Text A

Listening

First listening
Before listening to the tape, have a quick look at the following words.

insult
侮辱

bite


prefer
宁愿

constructive
建设性的

rival
对手

professional
专业人员

ignore
忽视, 不理

compete
竞争

Second Listening
Listen to the tape again. Then, choose the best answer to each of the following questions.

1. The main purpose of this listening passage is to_________.
A) argue against higher salaries for athletes
B) offer solutions to current economic problems
C) complain about the lack of respect for intellectuals
D) describe changes in the English language
2. What is the meaning of the words "nerd" and "geek"?
A) They are insulting terms which are applied to smart students.
B) They are used in the U.S. to describe students from other countries.
C) A nerd is a good student and a geek is a poor student.
D) A nerd is a poor student and a geek is a good student.
3. The passage says that in nations other than the U.S.,_________.
A) hardworking students are praised
B) professors are paid better salaries
C) more respect is given to intellectuals
D) all of the above
4. The passage suggests that the words "nerd" and "geek" should_________.
A) be made illegal
B) become words of praise, rather than insults
C) be used to describe athletes instead of students
D) all of the above

Pre-reading Questions

1. Have you heard the terms, "nerd" and "geek", before? If so, explain what they refer to. If not, read the first two paragraphs and try to guess their meaning from the context. Discuss your ideas with your classmates.
2. In China, how are the most hardworking and intelligent students seen by the rest of society? Has this view changed over time? Explain.
3. Based on the introductory and concluding paragraphs, what is the author's opinion about the situation in America?

Nerds and Geeks

Leonid Fridman

There is something very wrong with the system of values in a society that has only unkind terms like nerd and geek for the intellectually curious and academically serious.
We all know what a nerd is: someone who wears thick glasses and ugly clothes; someone who knows all the answers to the chemistry or math homework but can never get a date on a Saturday night. And a geek, according to "Webster's New World Dictionary," is a street performer who shocks the public by biting off heads of live chickens. It is a revealing fact about our language and our culture that someone dedicated to pursuit of knowledge is compared to such a freak.
Even at a prestigious educational institution like Harvard, anti-intellectualism is widespread: Many students are ashamed to admit, even to their friends, how much they study.
Although most students try to keep up their grades, there is but a small group of undergraduates for whom pursuing knowledge is the most important thing during their years at Harvard. Nerds are looked down upon while athletes are made heroes of.
The same thing happens in U.S. elementary and high schools. Children who prefer to read books rather than play football, prefer to build model airplanes rather than idle away their time at parties with their classmates, become social outcasts. Because of their intelligence and refusal to conform to society's anti-intellectual values, many are deprived of a chance to learn adequate social skills and acquire good communication tools.
Enough is enough.
Nerds and geeks must stop being ashamed of what they are. Those who don't study hard must stop teasing those who do, the bright kids with thick glasses. The anti-intellectual values that have spread throughout American society must be fought.
There are very few countries in the world where anti-intellectualism runs as high in popular culture as it does in the U.S.. In most industrialized nations, not least of all our economic rivals in East Asia, a kid who studies hard is praised and held up as an example to other students.
In many parts of the world, university professorships are the most prestigious and materially rewarding positions. But not in America, where average professional ballplayers are much more respected and better paid than professors of the best universities.
How can a country where typical parents are ashamed of their daughter studying mathematics instead of going dancing, or of their son reading Weber while his friends play baseball be expected to compete in the technology race with Japan? How long can America remain a world-class power if we constantly put social skills and physical strength over academic achievement and intellectual ability?
Do we really expect to stay afloat largely by importing our scientists and intellectuals from abroad, as we have done for a major portion of this century without making an effort to also cultivate a pro-intellectual culture at home? Even if we have the political will to spend a lot more money on education than we do now, do we think we can improve our schools if we laugh at our hardworking pupils and fail to respect their impoverished teachers?
Our fault lies not so much with our economy or with our politics as within ourselves, our values and our image of a good life. America's culture has not adapted to the demands of our times, to the economic realities that demand a highly educated workforce and innovative intelligent leadership.
If we are to succeed as a society in the 21 st century, we had better do away with our anti-intellectualism and teach our children that a good life depends on exercising one's mind and pursuing knowledge to the full extent of one's abilities.
Not until the words "nerd" and "geek" become terms of praise rather than insults do we stand a chance.
(608 words)

New Words

nerd
n. [俚语] 讨厌鬼;呆子

geek
n. [俚语] 1. 反常的人, 畸形人
2.“野人”(街头演出队的杂耍演员,其表演通常有咬下活鸡头或活蛇头等怪招)

system
n. 1. a group of related parts working together 体系,系统
2. an ordered set of ideas, methods, or ways of working 制度,体制

term
n. a word or phrase used to express an idea, esp. a specialized concept(有特定意义的)词,词语;术语

date
n. (尤指男女间的)约会;(异性的)约会对象

shock
vt. cause unpleasant or angry surprise to (sb.) 使震惊
n. 震惊

bite(bit, bitten)
v. cut into with the teeth 咬

reveal
vt. 揭示,揭露;暴露;(上帝)启示

*dedicate
vt. give, devote (one's time, energy, life, etc. to a noble cause or purpose) 献(身),把(时间、精力等)用于

*pursuit
n. the act of looking for or trying to find sth. 追求,寻求

freak
n. a person who is abnormal in appearance, behavior, or ideas 怪人

*prestigious
a. 有威望的,有声望的,受尊敬的

educational
a. of or about education; providing education 教育的;有教育意义的

institution
n. (教育、慈善、宗教性质的)社会公共机构

anti-intellectualism
n. 反对(或敌视)知识分子的行为;反理性知识主义

admit
vt. state or agree to the truth of (usu. sth. bad) 承认(事实、错误等)

undergraduate
n. a university student who has not yet taken his first degree(尚未取得学位的)大学生,大学本科生

pursue
vt. make continual efforts to gain (sth.) 追求,寻求

elementary
a. concerned with the beginnings, esp. of education and study 初级的,基础的

prefer
vt. (to) choose (one thing or action) rather than another; like better 宁可,宁愿(选择);更喜欢

airplane
n. 飞机

idle
vt. waste time doing nothing 虚度
a. not working; lazy 空间的,闲着的;懒散的

social
a. 社会的;社交的,交际的

outcast
n. a person driven out from home or society 被遗弃者,被逐出者

intelligence
n. (good) ability to learn and understand 智力,理解力

refusal
n. 拒绝

*conform
vi. (to) follow generally accepted rules, standards, etc.; comply 遵照;顺从

anti-intellectual
a. 反对知识分子的;反知识的

*deprive
vt. (of) take away from; prevent from using or enjoying 夺去,剥夺;使丧失

adequate
a. enough for the purpose 足够的

acquire
vt. gain by skill or ability, by one's own efforts or behaviour 取得,获得;学到,习得

*tease
vt. make fun of ( a person or animal) playfully or unkindly 取笑,戏弄

industrialize
v. (cause to) become industrially developed(使)工业化

economic
a. 经济(学)的

rival
n. a person, group or organization with whom one competes 竞争者,对手

professorship
n. the position of a university professor 教授职位

materially
ad. 物质上

rewarding
a. worth doing or having; worthwhile 值得做的;报酬丰厚的

average
a. of the usual or ordinary kind 平常的

professional
a. doing for money what others do for enjoyment 职业性的,非业余的

baseball
n. 棒球(运动)

compete
vi. try to win sth. in competition with someone else 竞争

world-class
a. among the best in the world 世界级的;世界一流水平的

academic
a. concerning teaching or studying, esp. in a college or university(高等)教学的;学术的

afloat
a. 1. out of difficulties or debt(在经济上)应付裕如的
2. 浮在水上的

largely
ad. 1. to a great degree 主要地
2. in great quantity 大量地

import
vt. (from) bring in, introduce, esp. goods from a foreign country 进口,输入
n. (usu.pl.) goods imported [常用复数] 进口商品

abroad
ad. to or in another country 到国外,在国外

major
a. greater when compared with others, in size, number, or importance 较大的,较多的,较重要的

portion
n. a part or share of sth. larger 一部分,一份

cultivate
vt. improve or develop by careful attention, training, or study 培养,培育

pro-intellectual
a. 有利于知识分子的;促进理性知识的

impoverished
a. very poor 穷困的

adapt
vi. (to) change so as to be or make suitable for new needs, different conditions, etc. 适应
vt. 使适应,使适合

educate
vt. teach; train the character or mind of 教育;培养,训练

workforce
n. 劳动大军,劳动力

innovative
a. introducing or using new ideas, techniques, etc. 革新的;富有革新精神的

intelligent
a. having or showing powers of reasoning or understanding 聪明的,睿智的

leadership
n. a group of people who lead 领导层

extent
n. degree 程度,限度

insult
vt. speak or act in a way that hurts or is intended to hurt the feelings or dignity of (sb.) 侮辱
n. remark or action that insults 侮辱

Phrases and Expressions

bite off
cut off with the teeth 咬掉

be dedicated to
be devoted to 致力于,献身于

look down upon /on
have or show a low opinion of 看不起,轻视

idle away
waste (time) lazily 浪费(时间)

conform to
be in agreement with; comply with 遵照;符合

be deprived of
被夺去;被剥夺

not least of all
particularly 尤其

be held up as
be shown or offered as 被推举为;被展示为

instead of
in place of 代替;而不是

lie with
应由 …(承担责任);(作出决定等)得靠…

adapt to
change so as to be or make suitable for 适应

do away with
abolish; cause to end 废除;去掉

stand a chance
have the possibility of achieving sth. 有希望的;有可能

Proper Names

Leonid Fridman
利奥尼德·弗里德曼(人名)

Webster's New World Dictionary
《韦伯斯特新世界词典》

Harvard
(美国)哈佛大学 (= Harvard University)

Weber
韦伯(Max Weber, 1864 - 1920, 德国社会学家,现代社会学奠基人之一)
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