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The British Summer

Britain is well known for its rainy climate. People joke that even in the summer time the country never gets any sun and that the skies stay disappointingly grey even during the months of July and August.

Last summer though, it was so hot that people could hardly believe it. British people weren't used to such high temperatures, so every day on the news there were stories about people struggling to work in such unusual weather conditions. Radio and television programmes also reminded everyone to drink more water and not to stay too long in the sun.

When the sun comes out, British people tend to spend time in their garden if they have one. It's common to invite friends and neighbours around for a barbecue, where everyone sits outside and eats food like grilled meat(烤肉) and salads. There's always a back-up plan in case of rain though, and the meal sometimes has to be cooked in the kitchen and eaten indoors.

People also spend a lot of time in parks during the summer, having picnics or playing sports. In every green area, there's always at least one ice cream van, a kind of car that plays children's music and sells ice creams.

Towns like Blackpool and Brighton are popular for their beaches and amusement arcades(游乐场). People go there to swim, sunbathe and eat fish and chips. The water can be quite cold, though, and that's why quite a lot of people prefer to go abroad for their summer holiday instead. Popular destinations include Spain, Germany and France: all countries that promise a lot of sunshine!

  1. There is little sunshine in Britain in summer.
  2. British people like to tell jokes about each other.
  3. It was unusually hot last summer in Britain.
  4. British people enjoyed the high temperatures of last summer.
  5. The media advised people to enjoy the sunshine.
  6. Most British people have a garden of their own.
  7. People having a barbecue often have a plan against the rain.
  8. Children like the music from the ice cream vans.
  9. Blackpool and Brighton are known for their beaches.
  10. People go to Spain in summer to enjoy the cooler sea water.

Horse Talk

Do you know horses talk? You can learn to understand "horse talk" if you pay close attention to them.

When horses live in the wild, other animals try to eat them, so a lot of horse talk is about staying alive. Even now, when most horses live on farms, they watch for danger. For this reason, never walk behind a horse. If you surprise it, the horse might mistake you for a lion or wolf and give a dangerous kick.

By watching the ears, you can get clues to what the horse is hearing. A horse can turn each ear in a different direction. For a wild horse, this skill is important for survival. The horse can hear something creeping up behind it while also checking out a threatening noise in front. When a horse lets its ears down, it's feeling safe and relaxed. Though these actions may be natural responses and not deliberate communications, they help you know what the horse is thinking.

Sometimes horses can send definite messages. For example, they know they are safer when they' re with other horses. If they become isolated, they "whinny(嘶鸣)", calling for company. They're saying, "Where are you? I'm over here!" Domestic horses use the same sounds to stay in touch with other horses.

If a horse snorts(打响鼻儿), it's not communicating anything. It's just clearing dust or grass seed out of its nose. But if it snorts while holding its head high and staring at something, it's saying, "That looks dangerous. Get ready to run!" When two horses meet, they put their noses together and smell each other's breath. It's their way of asking, "Are you a friend?" Horses also "blow", breathing out the air loudly through the nose, when they meet something strange. They are asking, "Is this safe?"

Horses have a language of their own. Now you know a bit of what they might be saying!

  1. Horses in the wild "talk" mainly to

A. stay alive

B. make friends

C. find food

D. keep awake

  1. It is dangerous to

A. touch a horse' s ears

B. ride a horse on farms

C. surprise a horse from behind

D. stare at a horse from front

  1. A horse' s ears are special because they can

A. send messages

B. turn to different directions

C. sense temperatures

D. clear out the dust

  1. When a horse's ears are down, we know that it is

A. isolated

B. relaxed

C. angry

D. anxious

  1. From the text, we know that horses

A. are dangerous animals

B. can hardly survive in the wild

C. prefer to stay in groups

D. have different language systems

Hawaii, the Aloha State

①Hawaii is sometimes called "the Aloha State". Aloha is a word in the Hawaiian language meaning love and peace. It is often used as a way to say "hello" or "goodbye". Hawaii is like the word aloha, because it is a state that has two viewpoints: it remembers its history and looks toward the future.

②Hawaii is a U. S. state made up of a group of islands in the Pacific Ocean. It is made up of eight large islands and over 100 other smaller islands. It is the only state that is not in North America. The islands were formed by volcanoes that erupted (爆发) and rose above the ocean. There are still active volcanoes in Hawaii.

③Because of its location, Hawaii has a tropical climate. It is warm, but usually not hot, all year long. Rarely does the temperature drop below 60 degrees Fahrenheit(华氏温度), although it may occasionally snow at the top of some of the mountains.

④Once called the Sandwich Islands by Europeans, Hawaii is thought to have been settled by ancient sailors from other islands in the Pacific. The British explorer Captain Cook was thought to be the first European to find the islands in 1778. Because of its location, Hawaii became a frequent stop for European traders and ships. Hawaii was an independent country before it became part of the United States in 1893. It was governed by either a king or a queen. It is one of the only four U. S. states to have been a country before statehood. It was admitted into the Union in 1959 as the 50th state.

⑤Today Hawaii is important as a vacation destination. Each year over 6 million people visit Hawaii to enjoy the beaches, the beautiful ocean, and the historical Hawaiian culture. Come and visit Hawaii. You are sure to love it!

Task 1

A. Mild climate

B. Local customs

C. Tourist attraction

D. Long history

E. Meaning of Aloha

F. Geographic features

Task 2

  1. Aloha is often used as

  2. Hawaii islands are formed by

  3. Visitors can see snow on

  4. Hawaii used to be ruled by

  5. People visit Hawaii for

A. European explorers

B. mountain peaks

C. its scenery and culture

D. volcanic eruptions

E. a way of greeting

F. a king or a queen

George Washington Carver

George Washington Carver was born in Missouri between 1861 and 1864. He was born into slavery. It was not until the end of the Civil War that George became free. As he grew up, George loved to read and learn. Black children were not allowed to go to the same schools as white children. (26) Every early morning, he left home to go to the school. There he studied very hard.

After he finished high school, George wanted to go to college. At that time, few black students could afford the college tuition(学费). He worked for a time until he could borrow money to go to college. In 1890 he went to Simpson College in Iowa. (27)His drawings of plants were so good that his teacher suggested he study botany, which is the science of plants. George went to an agricultural college in Iowa in 1891 , where he not only graduated but also taught students.

George continued to study plants. (28) In 1896, he was invited to teach at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. He worked there as a professor for 47 years. He also became an important research scientist. He discovered new ways to use plants. (29) These include dyes, plastics, paint, and make-up. He also taught farmers how to grow crops to help the soil, and new ways to farm.

In 1943 George Washington Carver died. (30) There is a national monument to him in Missouri where he grew up. He has had a ship named after him. In 1990 he was admitted to the National Inventors Hall of Fame. The boy who wanted to learn became a great inventor and scientist.

A. There he studied art and music.

B. He found about 100 new ways to use peanuts.

C. He has been honored all over the world for his achievements.

D. He became very famous for his work.

E. After graduation, George began working for a law firm.

F. The schools for black children were far from where George lived.

Warmth at Midnight

Canberra winters are extremely cold, and 2014 brought some of our coldest days. One weekday night I walked to the(1)supermarket before it closed at midnight.

As I approached, I noticed a group of six or seven people (2) by the supermarket entrance. Aware of the (3) of late-night walking, I made sure I paid attention. The scene ahead looked unusual.

And unusual it was. Expecting to see a group of (4) troublemakers, I found a weak, well-dressed old man distributing items of food to a group of homeless people. Rather than just feeding them, he was also engaging them in a (5)of warm discussion.  The homeless people were rough-looking and (6) dressed. But they listened to the man(7), not just with gratitude for the food they had been (8). With no charity vehicle in sight, this old man was only representing himself.

After I finished shopping, the group was still there, food (9), but all laughing. If a weak old man can give to others in the(10) cold at midnight, what excuse do we have?

A.dangers E.freezing I.poorly

B.local F.attentively J.given

C.happy G.potential K.consumed

D.reading H.sitting

Keeping Friendship Alive

It's so easy to take good friends(friend) for granted. Like a (41)(comfort) pair of gloves, old friends wear well. But friendships that suffer from busyness and (42)(familiar) can't afford to be neglected too long. They need to be (43)(renew). If you want and need to keep true friendship alive and (44)(health), please consider and think over a list of the most important qualities. (45)(Probable) it will help you to understand why you and your best friend haven't (46)(call) up for ages, why you're getting embarrassed while (47)(be) asked "Whom are you(48)(go) to have fun with this weekend?" You may neglect your intimate friends from time to time, but if you fail to cultivate these(49)(virtue)-loyalty, forgiveness, dedication(奉献), and (50)(honest)-you can't expect to keep true friends.

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  1. comfortable (comfort)
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