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BBC六分钟英语听力精选:你属于哪一个阶层?

Cherie207 于2013-11-02发布 l 已有人浏览
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大家好,欢迎收听BBC六分钟英语听力精选,我们将会给你带来各种各样的消息新闻,今天要说的是你是哪一个阶级的呢?
    小E英语欢迎您,请点击播放按钮开始播放……

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What class are you?

你是哪一个阶级的呢?

你属于哪一个社会阶级呢?世界上成千上万的人都想要摆脱贫困,挤上社会的中级阶级。

在亚洲,消费者的数量呈现出一条陡峭的直线,预示数目的增长速度之快——更有钱的人愿意消费。这对未来意味着什么呢?

在今天的6分钟英语里,Rob和Neil将会一起说说在变成中层阶级后的语言。

听力内容:

Rob: Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English, I'm Rob and with me is Neil.

Neil: Hello.

Rob: Today we’re talking about class. This is something of an obsession with British people; it’s something they talk about and think about all the time! So Neil, what class are you – lower, middle or upper?

Neil: I suppose if you look at my background, you could say I am middle class.

Rob: Yes, me too – middle class. So we belong to a social group that consists of well-educated people, who have good jobs and are neither very rich nor very poor.

Neil: Well we are certainly not rich! But being middle class is not just a British thing.

Rob: No – the number of middle class people around the world is rising as people earn more money. So, for your question today Neil, can you guess how many people are predicted to be middle class in the world by 2030?

a) 2.9 billion

b) 3.9 billion

c) 4.9 billion

Neil: Such large numbers, I don’t know. I’ll go for b) 3.9 billion.

Rob: We’ll find out the answer later. So, being middle class involves a number of factors – good education, a good job, sometimes owning your own home and having a number of possessions like a car or a TV.

Neil: It’s quite a privileged or comfortable position to be in – but the most important factor is having disposable income – that’s spare money to spend on more than just things you need for everyday survival, like food. That’s what you’ve got Rob, right?

Rob: A little – spare money to spend on little luxuries like a holiday, a computer or a meal at a restaurant. But we always complain we never have enough money, don't we!

Neil: Yes, we do: the UN says to be middle class you have to earn between $10 and $100 per day. In the UK I think that’s quite a small amount so we could say, very generally, we are quite well-off – but in places such as Asia there has been a huge shift recently from people in poorer working class jobs to middle class ones.

Rob: It’s interesting: that by 2030 there could be 3.2 billion middle class people in Asia – overtaking Europe and America. The BBC’s John Sudworth can explain what is happening now in China. What does he say people are becoming?

BBC reporter, John Sudworth:

Now there’s a new chapter, the farmers leaving these fields for cities like Zhengzhou, are becoming not just workers but consumers too. In short – they’re off to join the middle class.

Neil: So, people are now moving to the city not just to find work but to spend the money they earn. They are becoming consumers because their income – the money they earn – has gone up.

Rob: So, this is because of industrialisation – a change from an economy based on farming to a growth in factories making things. Now, this happened in China in the 1970s but it is now upgrading or improving its industries again making people wealthier.

Neil: This has led to a consumer society – that’s where people are spending money on things like fridges and washing machines.

Rob: Let’s hear from John Sudworth again, talking about a consumer from China – what does this woman do if she can’t afford to buy something?

BBC reporter, John Sudworth:

Jessica Zhao earns a little more than $12,000 US dollars a year and she spends every last bit of it, often with the help of a credit card. My parents would never spend money they don’t have, she tells me, but attitudes are changing fast.

Neil: So that woman uses a credit card – it means she can buy now and pay later. It’s a change in attitude – it’s not what our parents or grandparents would do. I do it all the time. You pay for the goods later but with a high interest rate. What have you bought with your credit card recently Rob?

Rob: A new carpet… a pair of jeans and some train tickets. But I’m not looking forward to my credit card bill!

Neil: Nor me. You might think we are spending a lot – in China 2,500 vehicles are sold every hour!

Rob: Goodness. Well, the rise of the middle class could be a good thing. As people’s standard of living improves, global poverty could be reduced.

Neil: Ah, but if people borrow too much money there could be a credit crunch – that’s a bad economic situation where banks do not want to lend as much money.

Rob: But what I really want to know is when will I become upper class?

Neil: Sorry Rob, you’ll never get there – it’s all about your upbringing and your family – something you can’t change, even with money. But let’s prove how well educated I am by seeing if I got today’s question right.

Rob: OK. Earlier I asked you how many people are predicted to be middle class in the world by 2030?

Neil: I said 3.9 billion.

Rob: You were wrong. The figure is 4.9 billion. Now, Neil, could you remind us of some of today's language?

Neil: obsession

possessions

privileged

disposable income

well-off

consumers

income

industrialisation

credit crunch

upgrading

consumer society

upbringing

Rob: OK that's it for this programme. Do join us again soon for more 6 Minute English from BBC Learning English.

Both: Bye.

词汇学习:

1. obsession使人痴迷的人(或物)

2. possessions违禁物

3. privileged享有特权的

4. disposable income可支配收入

5. well-off 富裕的

6. consumers 消费者

7. income 收入

8. industrialization 工业化

9. credit crunch信用恐慌

10. upgrading 提升

11. consumer society 消费社会

12. upbringing 培育,家教

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