Unit 7 The Business World
This year our company as a whole has performed wellespecially in America,our largest export market.As we see, on the financial front the results have been very pleasing.Costs have dropped by 3% and profits are up by 16%.
However, the domestic consumer markethas been very competitive and will continue to be so.I can say our results in this markethave been rather disappointing just 1% up compared with last year.Now let's move on to personnel.
Our policy of personnel developmentthrough training and promotion opportunitieshas continued to be a great success.We have actually recruited 72 new staff,while 20 have retiredso there is a net balance of 52. The training department has expanded considerablyand moved into new areas such as quality assurance and sales training.
Finally technology.I think you would be interested to have an updatesince this is vital for our future growth.Over the last year,our research department has thoroughly tested a new prototype engine.Results so far have looked promising.We have also invested heavilyin a European technology programwhich links industry with the universities.So, those are the three main areas finance, personnel and technology. Are there any questions before I go on?
1. The success of a business company depends on a strong leadership, good management, effective marketing, wise investment and efficient workforce.
2. We should do our best to make visitors feel at ease and be attentive to the needs of visitors.
3. A good chairman knows how to keep a meeting running on time and to the point. Unit 8 The Evironment
Every day people in Hong Kong get rid of 15 million plastic bags.
They weigh about 600 tons. This is not including the tens of thousands of plastic bags people dump at the beaches and in local waters, which have caused serious pollution. These bags cost taxpayers over $70 million a year to deal with. Some of the bags are destroyed by burning. The problem with this is that, when they break down, they release poisonous chemicals, which can cause cancer. The chemical poisons penetrate into the earth. In order to attract the public's attention to the problem of plastic bags and to reduce the number of bags used at the same time, the Retail Management Association launched the Use Fewer Bags Campaign.
In the first stage of the campaign, 1,500 retail stores aimed to reduce the number of plastic bags given away to customers by 10 per cent. This has been achieved. The second stage of campaign will focus on the number of plastic bags given away in markets. "Ideally, people going to buy food in the markets should carry their
own reusable bags, such as canvas bags, that can be washed," said a campaign coordinator. She stressed that the campaign had two objectives. Besides reducing the number of plastic bags used, she hoped that the campaign would increase the public's overall awareness of environmental problems.
The River Rhine is Western Europe's most important waterway. Rising in the Alps,it passes through Switzerland, Germany, France and Holland,before flowing into the North Sea. But for decades,industrial and domestic waste flowed untreated into the river and,not surprisingly,the Rhine was seriously polluted from the 1950s to the 1970s.Fish disappeared and it was dangerous to swim in it.Then in 1986 a fire at a chemical plant in Basel, Switzerland,caused tons of pesticides to leak into the river. Thousands of fish died. That was a wake-up call for the countries along the Rhine. They realized that they really had to get together and clean it upand keep it clean. Otherwise it could be the death of the Rhine.Switzerland,Germany and France now work together in Basel to keep the river clean.At various points,water is extracted and checked every six minutes,twenty-four hours a day.And industries that pollute the river can be traced and fined.
Thanks to international cooperation,the river is on the path to recovery.At Basel, in the evening summer sun,the river has a festive atmosphere.People walk leisurely along the river banks, listening to live music,and pause for a drink in one of the many open-air cafes.On the vast river itself,boats from Germany sail slowly past the old town of the city, towards the more modern structures of the chemical industries. Text C:
For a cleaner environment it's necessary for us to keep in mind the three Rs.They are: reduce, reuse, and recycle.Reducing is the best way to protect the environment.However, if you can't reduce something, reuse it.And if you can't reuse it, you can recycle it.
Reducing waste means shopping with the environment in mind.Consider the environmental impact of each product before you buy it.Remember to make a list of what you need before you go shopping;this will reduce impulse buying.Buy in bulk, which means buying in large quantities and not packed.It's much cheaper and eliminates small containers and excess packaging.Avoid buying things that can't be recycled.
Second, learning to reuse is easy after you make a little practice.For example, you can reuse shopping bags.Buy canvas bags and use them when you shop.Buy durable, high-quality goods for a longer life.Although durable goods may cost a little more at first,they will save you money and help save the environment in the long run.Before throwing anything away, think about how each item can be reused.The last of the three Rs that we must keep in mind is recycling.Recycling means collecting, processing, marketing,and ultimately reusing materials that were once thrown away.Check the yellow pages orthe Internet to find information about local recycling programs in your
1. Land pollution is caused by littering, improper disposal of domestic and
industrial waste, and use of fertilizers and pesticides in farming.
2. Landfills are a major source of pollution. They contain harmful chemicals that
can seep into/ enter the soil and make it polluted.
3. Pollution knows no boundaries between nations. So a global effort is needed
to fight against it.
4. In our country, a nationwide campaign against plastic bags has been launched
to fight environmental pollution. The campaign prohibits shops from giving out free plastic bags and encourages consumers to use baskets or reusable cloth bags instead.
Unit 9 The Single Currency
As firework displays ushered in the euro from Paris to Athens, Rome to Madrid, curiosity drove Europeans to cash machines at midnight December 31, 2001 for the first look at the brightly colored new notes. More than 300 million Europeans began changing their old currencies for the euro in the most ambitiouscurrency changeover in history. To prepare for the large demand, banks across the euro zone disabled 200,000ATMs in the afternoon, changing software and loading them with euro notes. Altogether 15 billion banknotes and 52 billion coins -- worth 646 billion euros, or $568 billion -- have been produced for the switchover.
Knowing how people can be attached to their national currencies, architects of the euro expressed hope that it will help realize dreams of a united Europe.
Across the continent, officials welcomed the euro as a sign of economic stability -- a new symbol tobind 12 nations on a continent at the heart of two world wars.
"We will become a greater Europe with the euro," EU Commission President said in Vienna, shortly after he used the new currency to buy flowers for his wife. "We shall become stronger, wealthier."
His view was shared by Helmut Kohl, the former German chancellor, who with the late French leader Francois Mitterrand had championed the single currency to bring peace and security to Europe. Kohl wrote in a newspaper, "A vision is becoming a reality. For me, the common currency in Europe fulfillsa dream. It means there is no turning back from the path toward unification of our continent."
The nations adopting the euro are: Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain. Those staying out are Britain, Sweden and Denmark.
Britain's Reaction to the Single Currency
Buckingham Palace and other royal residences open to the public do not accept euros at their gift shops and entry turnstiles.
The new currency was launched in 12 European Union countries on January lst, 2002, but Britain was not one of them.
A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said the decision not to accept the euro was purely a business one and not a political statement. The retail outlets at the official residences have never accepted any other currencies. It is simply because as very small retail outlets, they don't have the facilities for changing currencies.
However, many retail outlets in Britain have prepared to accept the new currency since millions of tourists are expected to visit the country every year. In 2002 alone, visitors from the euro zone were estimated to spend more than 6.55 billion euros in Britain.
Major department stores Debenhams and Marks & Spencer and a big electronics retailer accept euros, but only on a limited basis initially.
Twenty-nine of Marks & Spencer stores, primarily those in tourist locations, have at least one cash register on each floor to process euro transactions. Its other stores have at least one designated area -- either a register or a customer service desk-where the currency is accepted. Products are not priced in euros, however, and change is given in British money.
The British prime minister Tony Blair said Britain will only join the single currency if economic conditions are right. A series of recent opinion polls show many Britons oppose the euro and see it as against Britain's sovereignty.
1. The stability of a national currency guarantees the stability of the country.
2. The euro began circulating in some EU countries on January 1st, 2002.
3. Hopefully, people will get attached to the euro as they were to their old
4. Some European leaders think that the euro will boost economy.
5. Most European leaders believe that adopting the euro can fuel competition and
hold back inflation.
Unit 10 TheCinema
Text A:Popcorn and the British Cinema Industry
In the golden fields of Kansas, corn is growing very well.Britain's biggest cinema success is under production.Although there are no stars, no special effects, no publicity,it is still guaranteed to make more money than all but the biggest hit movies.What is it? Popcorn.Last year,cinema popcorn sales in the UK and Ireland made ￡20 million plus,way ahead of most films.Only a handful of extremely successful movies could beat it.If it were not for popcorn,soft drinks and ice
cream,British cinema would be as dead as the music hall.
A recent survey found that every single screenin the country needed another source of income just to keep operating.Perhaps three or four films a year make money at the box office.The other films just help cinemas tick over,and pull in people to buy popcorn and sweets.Even when a cinema is showing a must-see film,the operator is working on paper-thin profits.He must fill every seat to cover the film company's costs.Film distributors regularly demand half the money taken at the box office;with big films they can charge between 69 percentand 89 percent of the takings.Cinemas still have to pay staff and running costs out of what's left.This is where popcorn and sweets come into the picture.A large carton of popcorn from a supermarket costs only a little over 90p.Cinemagoers, however, can pay up to ￡4 for one large helping.At one very expensive cinema in London's West End, for example, a carton costs ￡3.95.Eating popcorn while watching a movie is said to be a real pleasure.The difference between buying popcorn at a cinema and a supermarket is just like thatbetween buying wine in a restaurant and at an ordinary shop.It costs twice as much or more.
Text B Death of the Stunt People
Hollywood's true heroes are losing their jobs.Stuntmen and stuntwomen who entertained cinemagoersby falling from the sky,swimming with sharks and driving fast cars have been replacedby technology.After surviving generations of street fights, high falls, and setting fire to themselves,the people behind top actors' most exciting sceneshave had nearly all their work substituted by computers. The most dangerous and costly stunts can now be achieved by mixing computer graphics with live action.In the mid-1990s there were 12,000 registered stunt people,but more than half of them had difficulty finding work.Sometimes, six or seven teams would be working on a film.Then, after a few days,the producers would come in and say, "You can go home. "The reason was simple: cost.Computer technology made it possible to create stuntswhich would either be too expensive or too dangerous to attempt.
One example was in Mission Impossible, starring Tom Cruise.In a scene Cruise was seen flying from an explodinghelicopter0nto the back of a speeding train.In fact,the image of the actor was simply added onto the scene using computers.
With the rise of digital technology,insurance companies became more reluctant to cover real stunts.If they know it can be done safely with visual effects,the companies will not insure real stunts," said a veteran stunt coordinator.Many in the industry believe stunt people should develop expertisein the new technology,acting as advisers on the virtual stunts.Some, however,think that stunt people can survive in their traditional careers.They believe that audiences won't accept stunts producedby computers for too long.
1. I do like the film which star my favorite actors.
2. I likethe films that are adapted from great novels and set in beautiful landscape
and accompanied with fine costumes and melodious theme music.
3. Films that involve too much violence are sickening/ harm to young people.
4. Many people like foreign films dubbed in Chinese but I would like to see films in
English with Chinese subtitles. I can listen to authentic English and the Chinese subtitles can help me with difficult partsin the language.
5. Sometimes I go with my friends to a downtown cinema for a newly released film.
6. Cinema owners often have to rely on the sale of sweets and other things to keep
7. He told us to have superb/ undaunted optimism in the face of hard times. Unit 11 Left-handedness
Why are some people left-handed?
Research has shown that 90% of people naturally use their right hands for most tasks. But hundreds of millions of people use their left hands. Then why are some people lefthanded? Scientists have been trying to answer that question for many years. A study done in 1992 found that men are more likely to be lefthanded than women. It also found that Asian or Hispanic people are less likely to be lefthanded than white people, black people or North American Indians. Some cultures accept people who do things mostly with their left hands. Others do not.
Scientists want to know the reason for lefthandedness because it is closely linked to mental problems and language difficulties. One idea about the cause of lefthandedness is the genetic theory. It says that people are right- or left-handed because of genes passed to them by their parents. For example, it has been shown that the handedness of adopted children is more likely to follow that of their birth parents than their adopted parents. Other evidence of genetic involvement can be found in some families. One famous example is the lefthanded members of the present British royal family. These include Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles and Prince William. Another idea is that righthanded people are born with the gene for it. But about 20% of people do not have the righthanded gene. These people could be either left- or righthanded. This idea may explain why two babies who have the same genes use different hands. In 18% of identical twins one twin is righthanded, and the other is lefthanded. Probably both twins lack the righthanded gene so each has a chance to be either right- or left-handed.
Some scientists believe that the cause of handedness could include both genetics
There are approximately 30 million leftanded people in the United States, and several hundred million more around the world. Most righthanded people have never even considered the possibility that there might be any serious issues affecting left-handers. Even among all of these lefthanded people, there are many different opinions about what these issues are and which issues might be most important to them.
Some lefthanders think that being lefthanded is a positive factor in their lives, and they feel that there are no serious issues affecting them. Others think that being lefthanded is not a significant factor and has not affected their lives one way or another. There are also some lefthanders who have no opinion and have never given any thought to what being left-handed has meant to them. But the majority of left-handed people find that being lefthanded is at least a small disadvantage and a minor source of frustration in their lives.
There are many things that righthanded people take for granted that are quite difficult for lefthanders. These include many basic skills like learning to write, learning to use scissors and other hand tools and utensils, and learning various crafts and other activities. Sometimes lefthanders are puzzled by equipment designed for righthanders, and other times they are confused by instructors and instructions geared toward teaching righthanders. For some lefthanded people this amounts to occasional difficulties and minor inconveniences. For other lefthanders it is a lifetime full of failures and frustrations that may lead to much more serious problems.
Approximately 90% of people in the world are naturally righthanded. Why is this so, and are we born one way or the other? The answer to this question is rather complicated.
In babies and young children, no single side becomes dominant until around the age of eight. At 12 weeks, babies usually use both hands equally, but by 16 weeks, they mostly use the left hand for touching. By 24 weeks, they have changed again and start using both hands. Then at 28 weeks, they become onehanded again, although this time it is the right hand that is used more. At 32 weeks, they start using both hands again. When they reach the age of 36 weeks, there is another change, with most babies now preferring to use the left hand. Between 40 and 44 weeks, the right hand is once again more used. At 48 weeks, babies switch to using their left hands again, and then between 52 and 56 weeks, the right hand takes over.
There are further changes still. At 80 weeks, the right hand loses control, and both are used again equally. When the young child reaches the age of two, the right hand takes over again, but between two and a half and three years, both hands are us
ed equally. Things finally become stable at around four years and stay the same until, by the age of eight, one hand is strongly dominant over the other.
1. Some left-handed people feel they suffer from prejudice in a right-handed
world/find it difficult to adjust themselves to a right-handed world.
2. Left-handed people find it difficult to handle trouser zips.
3. Left-handed people are often baffled by tools that designed for right-handed
4. Quite a few left-handed people seem to do well in creative professions. Unit 12 Biodiversity
TextAWhy is biodiversity important?
The importance of biodiversity seems obvious to us.We enjoy the beauty of biodiversity when we take a walk in the park,take a trip to the zoo or a wild area,read books or watch TV shows about strange creatures in foreign lands.
Some people believe that biodiversity is important simplybecause it is so wonderful. Some think there are philosophical or spiritual reasons for biodiversity.
But there are other reasons why it is so important. The loss of biodiversity will change the balance of life on Earth.If an ecosystem is destroyed,many species adapted to that ecosystem may very likely be destroyed as if that species is what scientists call "keystone",a whole ecosystem may depend on it.
Biodiversity is also important in its direct benefits to people. Plants give us the air we breathe;animals and plants supply us with the food we eat;and organisms and microorganisms clean the air,regulate floods, recycle waste, and control pests.
Biodiversity also has economic and health benefits.Both industry and agriculture depend on it for raw material and other and medicine is even more dependent on biodiversity.In China, more than 5,000 species of plants are used for medicinal purposes.
Many species which were thought "useless" at first are found to be valuable. And this is a further threat from the loss of biodiversity.
Text B How many species are there?
Isn't it surprising that scientists have a better understandingof how many stars there are in the galaxythan how many species there are on Earth?
Their estimates of global species diversityvary from 2 to 100 million species.
Most people agree on an estimate of somewhere near 10 millionand yet only 1.5 million have actually been named.Current knowledge of species diversity is limited.
This problem becomes more seriousbecause there is a lack of a central database or list of the world's species.New species are still being discovered even new birds and mammals.On average, about three new species of birds are found each year,and since 1990, 10 new species of monkeys have been discovered.Other groups are still
far from being completely described;an estimated 40 percent of freshwater fishesin South America have not yet been classified.
Scientists were startled in 1980by the discovery of a huge diversity of insects in tropical forests.In one study of just 19 trees in Panama,960 new species of beetles were discovered.
As scientists begin investigating other little-known ecosystems,like the soil and the deep sea, "surprising" discoveries of species become commonplace.There is nothing strange about this, though,since as many as a million undescribed species are believed to livein the deep sea.And one gram of a small-sized piece of land might hold 90 million bacteriaand other microbes.How many species these communities contain is still anyone's guess.
Scientists have created a tomato that can grow on salty water.The plant is the first crop of its kind ever produced in the world.Its significance cannot be overestimated. The new technology can help mankind solve the problem of feedingits ever-expanding population.It is estimated that by 2025 the world population will amount to more than 9 billion,an increase of 3 billion over 2,000.Each day 240, 000 more people are born, ready to be fed like the rest of us.Unfortunately, not all the land on Earth can be used to grow crops for humans.About 24.7 million acres of land is lost to agriculture each yearbecause the land has become too salty.The main cause of the problem is irrigation.When farmers water their crops, salts in the water also enter the soil.
Over time, salts such as sodium and calciumbuild up to such a pointthat they severely harm the growth of crops.Salts destroy most plants' ability to draw up water through their roots.But, the new variety of tomato produced by Americanand Canadian scientists can store salts in its leavesso that the fruit doesn't taste salty. Researchers hope this technology will enable areas of poor quality land tobecome productive. And they can feed some of the world's growing population.
1. All species that share the same natural environment depend on/ interact with
each other and they just require minimal amount of habitat to survive.
2. It is combination that enables the ecosystem to prevent and recover from a
variety of disasters.
3. A large number of animal species ensures that the ecosystem is naturally
4. At least 40% of the world’s economy and 80% of the needs of the poor are
derived from biological resources.
5. The richer the diversity of life, the greater the opportunity for medical
discoveries, economic development, and adaptive responses to such new challenges as climate change.
6. The protection of endangered species and habitats should be a top priority.