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新视野大学英语读写教程第一册unit1-a Learning a Foreign Language

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Unit 1

Section A

Pre-reading Activities

First Listening

Please listen to a short passage carefully and prepare to answer some questions.

Second Listening

Listen to the tape again. Then answer the following questions with your own experiences.

1. What problems do you have in trying to learn English in your middle school?

2. Why do you think the computer can help you in learning English?

3. What other things do you think we can gain through English language learning?

Learning a Foreign Language

Learning a foreign language was one of the most difficult yet most rewarding experiences of my life. Although at times, learning a language was frustrating, it was well worth the effort.

My experience with a foreign language began in junior middle school, when I took my first English class. I had a kind and patient teacher who often praised all of the students. Because of this positive method, I eagerly answered all the questions I could, never worrying much about making mistakes. I was at the top of my class for two years.

When I went to senior middle school, I was eager to continue studying English; however, my experience in senior school was very different from before. While my former teacher had been patient with all the students, my new teacher quickly punished those who gave incorrect answers. Whenever we answered incorrectly, she pointed a long stick at us and, shaking it up and down, shouted, "No! No! No!" It didn't take me long to lose my eagerness to answer questions. Not only did I lose my joy in answering questions, but also I totally lost my desire to say anything at all in English.

However, that state didn't last long. When I went to college, I learned that all students were required to take an English course. Unlike my senior middle school teacher, my college English teachers were patient and kind, and none of them carried long, pointed sticks! However, the situation was far from perfect. As our classes were very large, I was only able to answer a couple of questions in each class period. Also, after a few weeks of classes, I noticed there were many students who spoke much better than I did. I began to feel intimidated. So, once again, although for different reasons, I was afraid to speak. It seemed my English was going to stay at the same level forever.

That was the situation until a couple of years later, when I was offered an opportunity to study English through an online course. The communication medium was a computer, phone line, and modem. I soon got access to the necessary equipment, learned the technology from a friend and participated in the virtual classroom 5 to 7 days a week.

Online learning is not easier than regular classroom study; it requires much time, commitment and discipline to keep up with the flow of the course. I worked hard to meet the minimum standards set by the course and to complete assignments on time.

I practiced all the time. I carried a little dictionary with me everywhere I went, as well as a notebook in which I listed any new words I heard. I made many, sometimes embarrassing, mistakes. Once in a while I cried with frustration, and sometimes I felt like giving up. But I didn't feel intimidated by students who spoke faster than I did because I took all the time I needed to think out my ideas and wrote a reply before posting it on the screen. Then, one day I realized I could understand just about everything I came across, and most importantly, I could "say" anything I wanted to in English. Although I still made many mistakes and was continually learning, I had finally reaped the benefits of all that hard work.

Learning a foreign language has been a most trying experience for me, but one that I wouldn't trade for anything. Not only did learning another language teach me the value of hard work, but it also gave me insights into another culture, and my mind was opened to new ways of seeing things. The most wonderful result of having learned a foreign language was that I could communicate with many more people than before. Talking with people is one of my favorite activities, so being able to speak a new language lets me meet new people, participate in conversations, and form new, unforgettable friendships. Now that I speak a foreign language, instead of staring into space when English is being spoken, I can participate and make friends. I am able to reach out to others and bridge the gap between my language and culture and theirs.

Words: 700

NEW WORDS

reward

vt. give sth. in return for good and valuable doings 报答,酬谢,奖励

n. 1. something as a return for good and valuable doings 报答,奖赏

2. some money given to someone for his good doings 报酬,酬金

frustrate

vt. 1. cause sb. to have feelings of disappointment 使沮丧,使灰心

2. cause the failure of sth. 使挫败,使受挫折

junior

n. 1. someone who is younger 年少者

2. someone of low or lower position 地位较低者,晚辈

positive

a. 1. leading to a practical action 积极的,肯定的

2. sure, having no doubt 确实的,明确的

senior

n. 较年长者

former

a. of an early period 在前的,以前的,旧时的

n. (the ~) the first of the two people or things just mentioned 前者

unlike

Prep.not like; being different from 不像;和……不同

▲intimidate

vt. frighten by making threats 恐吓,威胁

opportunity

n. a good moment or chance for doing sth. 机会,时机

online

a. & ad. 连线的,联网的;连线地,联网地

communicate

vi. send and exchange feelings, opinions or information 交流,交际

vt. make (opinions, feelings or information) known or understood by others 传达,传播

communication

n. the action of sending and exchanging information 交流,交际;通信

medium

n. a method for giving information 媒质,媒介物,传导体

a. of middle size, amount, quality 中等的,适中的

phone

n. 电话,电话机

modem

n. 调制解调器

access

n. 1. [U] means or right of using, reaching 接近,进入

2. means of entering, or a way in 通道,入口

technology

n. 工艺,技术

participate

vi. (in) take part in 参与,参加

virtual

a. 1.[计]being produced by the computer but almost true to the reality 虚构的,虚拟的

2. almost what is stated 实质上的,事实上的,实际上的

commitment

n. 1. devotion to 信奉,献身

2. a promise to follow certain beliefs or actions 承诺,许诺,保证

discipline

n. 1. a state of order and control; self-control 纪律;控制

2. punishment 惩罚,处分

3. a branch of learning 学科

minimum

a. the smallest 最低的,最小的

n. the smallest amount 最低限度,最少量

assignment

n. 1. [C] a piece of work given to a particular person(分派的)任务,(指定的)作业

2. [U] act of dividing assignments 分配,指派

notebook

n. 笔记簿

embarrass

vt. make someone feel upset esp. doing sth. not rightly 使窘迫,使尴尬,使不好意思

screen

n. 1. 屏幕,银幕

2. 屏风,帘,纱窗

continual

a. 1. continuing without breaks 不间断的,不停的

2. repeated often and over a long period 多次重复的,频频的

continually

ad. 1. 不间断地,不停地

2. 多次重复地,频频地

finally

ad. at last 最后,终于

▲reap

vt. 1. have and enjoy the food or things that happen as a result of work 获得,得到

2. cut and gather a crop of grain 收割,收获

benefit

n. anything that brings help or profit 益处,好处

vt. be useful or helpful to 有益于

insight

n. the power of using one's mind to see or understand the true nature of sth. 洞察力,洞悉,深刻的见解

culture

n. 文化,文明

favorite (英favourite)

a. most loved 特别受宠的

n. something or someone that is loved above all others 特别喜爱的人(或物)

activity

n. something that is done or is being done 活动,行动

gap

n. an empty space between two objects 缺口,裂口

PHRASES AND EXPRESSIONS

be well worth sth./ doing sth.

be rewarding enough (to do) for the time or effort 值得……的

not only...but also...

不仅……而且……

far from

not ... at all; rather than 一点都不

a couple of

two or three 两三个

get access to

get the right of using or reaching sth. 可以使用,获得

keep up with

not to fall behind in; keep the same speed as 跟上,不落后

feel like sth./doing sth.

want to do sth. 想做,想要

give up

stop having or doing 停止,放弃

come across

meet with 偶然遇上

reap the benefits of

get sth. as a reward 获得益处,得到好处

trade...for

exchange...for 用……换

participate in

take part in 参加

now that

because (sth. has happened) 既然,由于

reach out to

communicate with; contact 接触,联系

 

 

    学外语

    学习外语是我一生中最艰苦也是最有意义的经历。 虽然时常遭遇挫折,但却非常有价值。
    我学外语的经历始于初中的第一堂英语课。 老师很慈祥耐心,时常表扬学生。 由于这种积极的教学方法,我踊跃回答各种问题,从不怕答错。 两年中,我的成绩一直名列前茅。
    到了高中后,我渴望继续学习英语,然而高中时的经历与以前大不相同。 以前老师对所有的学生都很耐心,而新老师则总是惩罚答错的学生。 每当有谁回答错了,她会用长教鞭指着我们,上下挥舞着,大喊道:“错!错!错!” 没有多久,我便不再渴望回答问题了。 我不仅失去了回答问题的乐趣,而且根本就不想再用英语说半个字。
    然而这种情况没持续多久。 到了大学,我了解到所有学生必须上英语课。 与高中老师不同,大学英语老师非常耐心和蔼,他们没有哪个带教鞭! 不过情况却远不尽人意。 由于班大,每堂课能轮到我回答的问题寥寥无几。 上了几周课后,我还发现,许多同学的英语说得比我要好得多。 我开始产生一种畏惧感。 虽然情况与高中时不同,但我却又一次不敢开口了。 看来我的英语水平要永远停步不前了。
    几年后我有机会参加了远程英语教学课程,情况才有所改善。 它需要一台电脑、电话线和调制解调器。 我很快配齐了必要的设备并跟一个朋友学会了电脑操作技术,于是我每周用5到7天在网上的虚拟课堂里学习英语
    网上学习并不比普通的课堂学习容易。 它需要花更多的时间,需要学习者专一、自制,以跟上课程进度。 我尽力达到课程的最低限度的要求,并按时完成作业。
    我随时随地都在学习。 不管去哪里,我都随身携带一本袖珍字典和笔记本,笔记本上记着我听到的生词。 我学习中出过许多错,有时是令人尴尬的错误。 有时我会因挫折而哭泣,有时我想放弃。 但我从未因别的同学英语说得比我快而感到畏惧,因为在屏幕上作出回答之前,我可以根据自己的需要花时间去琢磨自己的想法。 后来有一天我意识到我能够理解碰到的各种问题,更重要的是,我能用英语表达我想说的东西。 尽管我还是常常出错,仍处于继续学习阶段,但我已尝到刻苦学习的甜头。
    学习外语对我来说是非常艰辛的经历,但却是一种无比珍贵的经历。 它不仅使我懂得了艰苦努力的意义,而且使我认识了不同的文化,让我以一种全新的思维去看待事物。 学习一门外语最令人兴奋的收获是我能与比以前更多的人交流。 我乐于与人交谈,新的语言使我能与以前不认识的人交往,参与他们的谈话,并建立新的难以忘怀的友谊。 现在我已能够说外语,别人讲英语时我不再茫然不解了。 我能够参与并结交朋友。 我能理解别人的话,并能够弥合我所说的语言和所处的文化与他们的语言和文化之间的鸿沟。
  

 

 

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