Unit 8 Society

Part A

Listening Strategy

Summarizing (2)

Good listeners, after listening to a text, will form in their minds a short report of its main points. This report is a summary, which covers the main idea, major events, and important details such as numbers, names, and places. To work out the main points of a text, one of the important things to notice is the change of the subtopic (a text usually has one topic and several subtopics). In other words, during the listening, listeners need to pay attention to when the speaker moves from one subtopic to another. And then they should go on to catch those related important details under each subtopic. Thus a summary of the listening text can easily be formed.

The passage you are going to listen to contains 9 recommendations to keep you happy. Listen twice and write down the first sentence of each recommendation. Some have already been done for you.

1. Don’t expect money to buy you happiness.

2. Enjoy the moment.

3. Learn to like yourself.

4. Self-esteem grows out of achieving realistic goals.

5. Take occasional days of rest.

6. Put on a happy face —even if you don’t feel happy.

7. Exercise.

8. Get enough sleep to feel rested.

9. Build close relationships.


Do you want to know the secret of happiness? Just listen to psychology professor David G. Myers.

He analyzed hundreds of studies from around the world to determine how important friendships, money and other things are to our happiness. Here’s what he recommends.

Don’t expect money t o buy you happiness. The actual amount of money people earn has little effect on how happy they feel. What does count is how satisfied they are with their income.

Enjoy the moment. Happiness comes from little things that happen every day, rather than occasional great pieces of good fortune.

Learn to like yourself. “Studies show that people with healthy self-esteem are less weak to setbacks and struggles,” said Dr. Myers, author of “The Pursuit of Happiness”.

Self-esteem grows out of achieving realistic goals.

Take occasional days of rest. Spend hours enjoying quiet time alone.

Put on a happy face —even if you don’t feel happy. Smiling can actually make you feel better, according to Dr. Myers of Hope College in Michigan.

Exercise. Aerobic exercise, such as walking, biking, swimming and running works as an antidote for mind depression and anxiety.

Get enough sleep to feel rested.

Build close relationships. The best remedy for unhappiness is a caring nurturing friendship. And if you’re married, a good relationship with your spouse can be especially important.

Part B

Pre-Listening Task

Questions for Discussion

You are going to talk about society. Read the following questions and discuss them with your partner.

1. What kinds of lottery tickets are available in China?

2. Why do people buy lottery tickets? Do all of them dream of winning the lottery?

3. Do you buy lottery tickets? Why or why not?

4. What is the intention of the Chinese government in issuing welfare lottery tickets?

5. Have you or your relatives ever won the lottery? If so, what did you or they do with the prize money?

6. Many Americans buy lottery tickets. Can you guess how lottery winners in the US spend their prize money?

7. What would you do if you won a million yuan in a lottery?


1. What kinds of lottery tickets are available in China?

Well, I know that lottery is a big business in China though I don’t have the official figure. Roughly there are two types of lottery in our country. They are China Welfare Lottery and China Sports Lottery. For each type, there are different games with their own rules. For example, one can buy a Sports Lottery ticket, betting on the result of a particular football match. The money raised from lottery sales will be used in sports undertakings or to help the poor and the needy. But there could also be certain social problems if people treat lottery as a form of gambling and spend too much money on lottery tickets.

Additional Question for Discussion

Some people quit their jobs and stay idle after winning a lottery. Do you think it is wise to do so?


I don’t think it is a wise decision. Quitting a job is OK, especially when you don’t like the job. But staying idle is a different thing. In my opinion, living a happy life is a goal for everyone, and that goal lies in doing something meaningful and what one l ikes. I can’t imagine that staying idle day in and day out would be enjoyable to anyone. When you have won a lottery and no longer have to worry about money, you should find something that you really love to do and go for it. I believe the true happiness will come when you spend your winnings in charity or other meaningful social work.

Language Focus

Here are some sentences and structures that you might find useful in discussing the above questions.

●There are welfare lottery tickets, sports lottery tickets and soccer lottery tickets available in our country.

●Lottery tickets are issued to raise money for state projects / a charity / a worthy cause. The money raised from lottery sales will be

used to help the poor and the needy.

●People who buy lottery tickets dream of winning a large sum of money easily and quickly / want to try their luck / intend to

support a worthy cause / want to help the state with its social welfare projects.

●I’ve bought some lottery tickets but I’ve never been lucky enough to win a prize.

●I’ve never bought any lottery tickets because I don’t believe in getting money quick / I don’t think I’d have the luck to win

anything / I’ve no idea how they work.

●My father won a third prize last year, and the prize money was used for my tuition / the down payment for our new apartment / a

family trip to the Yellow Mountains.

●Every day, millions of Americans buy lottery tickets.

●Most American winners quit their jobs after winning the lottery.

●Some winners spend their money on education for themselves or their children, some on traveling and some on home


●The prize money can enable the winner to pursue his or her dreams more easily.

●The prize money can bring the winner security / higher social status / opportunities for a change of lifestyle.

●It is not a wise idea for the winner to quit work after winning the lottery.

●Money does not necessarily bring happiness / cannot replace the happiness one gets from one’s work.

●If I won a million yuan, I would use part of it for furthering my studies / buy an apartment for my parents / donate a large part of it

to social welfare causes / help build a primary school in my hometown / invest the money in a business.

Listening Tasks

Lottery Winners

Word Bank

lottery n. a scheme in which many numbered tickets are sold; several numbers are later chosen at random and those whose tickets have the chosen numbers on them win the prize money 抽彩给奖法(发行彩票或奖券,然后抽出获奖


extra a.additional 额外的

bowl v.to play an indoor game in which a large heavy ball is rolled along a wooden track in an attempt to knock down bottle-shaped wooden objects 打保龄球

bored a.uninterested 厌烦的

security n.the state of being safe from harm or loss 安全;平安

lottery ticket a numbered ticket in lottery 彩票


Do you dream of winning the lottery? Millions of people do. Every day, millions of Americans buy lottery tickets. They are hoping to win $100,000, $1,000,000 or more. What happens after you win the lottery?

When you win a million dollars, you don’t receive a check for the total amount. You may choose to receive $50,000 a year for twenty years. Also, you must pay taxes. After taxes, you receive from $25,000 to $40,000 a year for twenty years. This is a lot of extra spending money.

What have some people done with their money? Let’s look at three past winners.

Lisa K wanted to be an artist, but she didn’t have enough money to go to art school. She was working at a job she didn’t enjo y. In August, Lisa bought one ticket and won two million dollars. She quit her job three weeks later and is now attending art school.

Mark L was a car salesman. He worked seven days a week and had little time for family life. After he won the lottery, he quit working. Now he spends his time bowling, working in the garden, and fixing things in his house. But, he’s bored. He doesn’t w ant to sell cars again, but he isn’t sure what he wants to do with his life.

Jack B is one of the small number of winners who did not quit his job. Jack still teaches at a school near his home. But now he and his wife take their children on an interesting vacation every year. And they don’t worry about sending their children to coll ege. They say that money brings security and give s a person opportunities, but it doesn’t bring happiness.

Language and Culture Notes

1. Background information

Lottery tickets are issued in many countries. In the United States private lottery was banned in the early 19th century because of fraud, so were public lotteries not long after that. It was only in 1963 that state lotteries were legalized again. Now lottery tickets are issued in 37 US states and there are several multi-state games as well. Lotteries are administered by State governments. Part of the

revenue generated by the sale of lottery tickets is used for supporting educational, charitable and religious enterprises and for maintaining public buildings. The rest is used for the prizes and administrative expenses. The prize is carried forward to the next draw if no one wins the prize. Therefore, the grand prize can accumulate to a very large sum if there is no winner for several draws. There are two ways for the winner to receive the grand prize. One of them is to receive it in installments over 20 years (as is stated in the passage). The other is to receive a lump sum amount which is the net present value of those installment payments. Most people choose the latter. Lottery sales worldwide have reached about $100 billion a year, $13 billion of which is generated in Asia.

Since 1987, our country has also issued lottery tickets for social welfare causes. But in the Chinese lottery scheme, the maximum amount of prize money winners can receive is so far limited to five million yuan.

2. This is a lot of extra spending money.

This means a lot of money added to your normal spending budget.

3. They say that money brings security and gives a person opportunities, but it doesn’t bring happiness.

With the prize money, winners will feel safe economically. They no longer have to worry about paying bills, providing money for health care or their children’s education. The money will also open up new opportunities for them. They will not have to be t ied down to their old jobs and will be able to explore their own interests, if any. However, there is no one-to-one relationship between money and happiness. Human experience has shown time and again that those who have a lot of money are not necessarily happy.

Exercise 1

Listen to the passage and choose the right answers to the questions.

1. If you win a million dollars, how much can you get before tax?

a. $ 100,000 immediately.

b. $ 50,000 a year for twenty years.

c. $ 20,000 a year for fifty years.

d. $100,000 a year for ten years.

2. If you win a million dollars, how much can you get after tax annually?

a. $10,000 to $25,000.

b. $15,000 to $30,000.

c. $20,000 to $35,000.

d. $25,000 to $40,000.

3. What did Lisa K do after she won the lottery?

a. She quit her job and opened an art school.

b. She began to spend her time traveling around the world.

c. She stayed on her job, but took an interesting vacation every year.

d. She quit her job and began to study art.

4. What did Mark L do after he won the lottery?

a. He quit his job and began to work for himself.

b. He began to spend his time bowling, working in the garden, and fixing things in his house.

c. He didn’t quit his job, but went sightseeing every year.

d. None of the abov


5. What did Jack B do after he won the lottery?

a. He quit his job and led a leisurely life at home.

b. He began to spend his time exercising, gardening, and traveling.

c. He stayed on his job, but took his family on an interesting vacation every year.

d. None of the abov


6. What is the main idea of the passage?

a. To win the prize is the dream of every lottery ticket buyer.

b. Most winners quit their jobs after winning the lottery to lead a carefree life.

c. The winner of the lottery cannot receive the total amount of the prize money.

d. Winning the lottery means security and opportunities but not necessarily happiness.

Exercise 2

Listen again and fill in the blanks to complete a summary of the main points of the passage.

Every day, millions of Americans buy lottery tickets and dream of winning the lottery. If you win one million dollars, you can receive from $25,000 to $40,000 a year for twenty years after paying taxes. Winners spend the large amount of money in different ways. Some use the money to pursue their own interests, some on home improvement and travel, and others save the money for their children’s college education. Most winners quit their jobs and only a small number of them still stay on their jobs. Some winners realize that money brings security and gives them opportunities, but money does not mean happiness.

Speaking Tasks




Listen to the following dialogues and repeat after the recording. Then role-play them with your partner.

Conversation 1

A: I’ve won the lottery!

B: Really? That’s fantastic! What are you going to do with the prize money?

A: Well, I’d like to hear your opinion. What do you think I should do?

B: Well, if I were you, I would take a long vacation.

A: A long vacation? That’s a good idea. Now you’ve been to many places. Where do you suggest I should go?

B: As I see it, Europe is worth visiting. Fascinating places, beautiful landscape, rich culture, friendly people. I think you would like to make the trip.

A: Sounds exciting. I think I’ll make inquiries right away.

B: Are you going to quit your job?

A: I haven’t decided. What’s your opinion?

B: Well, if you ask me, I think it depends on whether you like your job or not.

A: I do. In fact, I love my job.

B: Then it would be wise to stay on, don’t you think so?

A: I think you have a point there.

Conversation 2

(Professor Anderson, an economic expert, is being interviewed on TV by Betty Lee, a talk show hostess. The following is part of the interview.)

Betty: What do you think of the economy of our city?

Anderson: Well, judging from the statistics I’ve seen recently, I think our economy is doing very well. Production is growing steadily, and the income of the majority of the people is rising.

Betty: Do you think the economy will continue to grow for the next two quarters?

Anderson: As I see it, we are heading for an economic boom, and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t.

Betty: But what about the unemployment rate? Isn’t it on the rise too?

Anderson: I’m glad you raised that question. It is true that unemployment has risen in certain sectors of the economy. But th e point is a great many new jobs have also been created.

Betty: I see your point. Thank you very much, Professor, for being here.

Anderson: Thank you.


Now make similar conversations according to the given situations. Use the structures and expressions above in your conversations where appropriate.

1. Ask your partner what he / she thinks is the most important issue of our society. Suggest two things that you consider very important, for example, education and economy.

2. You and your friend are discussing the traffic situations in your town. Express your opinion as to what the local government and each member of society should do to solve the problem caused by too many traffic jams. (You may consider the following solutions in your conversation:to build a highway; to give training to drivers; to issue strict traffic regulations; to persuade people to observe traffic regulations and not to cross the street when the red light is on.)

Part C

Test Your Listening

A Passage

Listen to the story and choose the right answers to the questions.

1. When and where was a newborn baby found?

a. In a deserted park yesterday.

b. In a rock garden early yesterday morning.

c. On a rock in Central Park early yesterday morning.

d. In lower Manhattan before dawn yesterday.

2. How did the police feel when they found the baby?

a. Sorry.

b. Surprised.

c. Unhappy.

d. Relieved.

3. Who might be the woman that had abandoned her baby?

a. A young homeless woman who called the head of Hope Foundation.

b. A woman who called a fire station early yesterday.

c. A homeless woman who called a hospital hotline.

d. A homeless woman who called a baby rescue hotline early yesterday.

4. Which of the following can be learned from the passage?

a. The Hope Foundation couldn’t help the woman.

b. The police are determined to find the mother.

c. The mother gave up her baby because she was homeless.

d. The mother was eager to hide her identity.


A healthy newborn girl was discovered in Central Park yesterday morning. The baby was abandoned on the top of a rock shortly before dawn after the mother gave birth to her there. The police said that the baby was healthy and weighed 7 pounds. Now they were searching for the mother. A policeman said that they had never had anything like this before. They really didn’t get babies l eft in the park. But they were just happy the baby was all right. The police rushed the baby to a nearby hospital. Fortunately she was OK. The police believed the baby was born less than half an hour before she was discovered. They also believed, judging from the amount of blood found on the rock, that the mother might have given birth there. It was 70 degrees when the baby was found.

Detectives were investigating whether the mother was a homeless woman who called a baby rescue hotline early yesterday. The head of Hope Foundation said that his hotline received a call about 5:30 a.m. from a young homeless woman in Manhattan. The caller asked, “How do I get rid of my baby?” She was apparently in labor. Then she was told to go to either a hospital or a fire station. B ut the woman was afraid she would be recognized there. The head also said that the woman wouldn’t even tell him where he could possibly meet her since they had two teams that could help with the delivery, if necessary.

Unit 9 Dreams and Ambitions

Part A

Listening Strategy

Drawing Inferences

The ability to draw correct inferences from what we have heard is an important skill in listening comprehension because sometimes a speaker does not state directly what he / she intends to say but implies it instead. A speaker’s attitude towards what he / she discusses, in particular, often has to be inferred from the hints he / she has dropped. So we must learn to synthesize all these hints so as to get a complete picture about what is being discussed. In addition, we can rely on the speaker’s choice of words to help us: the use of words of positive, negative or neutral meaning can indicate a positive, negative or neutral attitude respectively.

Listen to the following story and do the multiple-choice exercise below.

1. We can learn from the passage that Jane _____________.

a. wanted to travel because she led an uncomfortable life

b. used to live a comfortable life but it wasn’t the life of her dream

c. didn’t want to change her lifestyle until she reached 35

d. all of sudden, wanted to see the world, though she lived quite a good life

2. We can infer from the passage that Jane _____________.

a. liked Africa more than Europe and India

b. had never had any boyfriends before she met John

c. fancied an adventurous life as a teenager

d. realized that London was the best place to live in the world

3. The speaker’s attitude towards Jane’s decision to pursue her dream is ________.

a. critical

b. neutral

c. negative

d. positive


Two years ago, Jane had a well-paid job, and an active social life. But it wasn’t the life she had dreamed of as a teenager. At 35, she thought life was passing her by and she decided to change things. She had always wanted to travel round the world, so she gave up her job and set off to follow her dream.

The journey took her through Europe and Africa. And it was in Tanzania that she met John, an American who taught in a school there. John was like no other man that she had ever met, and she fell madly in love with him. After two romantic weeks together, Jane continued her journey to India, but then she decided to fly back to Africa.

Six weeks later, Jane and John were married. Now they live in London. Jane was very happy that she made that decision to follow her dream. But for that she wouldn’t have met so many wonderful people, or seen so many interesting places. Most of all, she wouldn’t have met the man of her dreams.

Part B

Pre-listening Task

Questions for Discussion

You are going to talk about your dreams and the realization of them. Read the following questions and discuss them with your partner.

1. What did you dream of becoming when you were a little child?

2. What is your big dream at present? What do you want most in life?

3. How great are the chances that you can realize this dream?

4. What are you going to do to make this dream come true?

5. What do you think is the most important factor in realizing one’s dreams?

6. Are opportunities important to the realization of one’s dream?


5. What do you think is the most important factor in realizing one’s dreams?

I think among many factors, the most important one is determination. You have to be able to follow your dreams regardless of any obstacles. If you have a sound enough reason “why” you are doing something, you will be more determined in accomplishing it. Great determination can help you face tough situations with courage and perseverance. It makes you move along the path you’ve chosen no matter what stands in your way. No dreams can ever be realized without determination.

Additional Question for Discussion

What does the expression “the American Dream” mean?


We often hear about the American Dream. We know that Americans value the ability to start with a dream and then realize that dream through one’s own efforts. I guess the American Dream would mean different things to different people. However, in most cases, the dream would be associated with success in one’s life or career. It can be the better quality of life or a notable achievement. The efforts towards that end may include an education to improve oneself or hard work to earn money. In a word, the American Dream is a person’s hope to achieve a good life in America.

Language Focus

Here are some sentences and structures that you might find useful in discussing the above questions.

●When I was young, I wished to become a world-famous scientist / great novelist / poet / astronaut / movie star / pop singer …

●At present, I wish to find a job I dreamed of / I’m really interested in / related to my major / offering a handsome salary.

●I wish I can take / acquire / obtain / receive a master’s degree / PhD.

●What I want most in life is someone that really cares for me / a house of my own / a good job …

●I want to devote my life to changing my home town into a prosperous one / taking care of orphans and homeless children / setting

up my own business.

●I never doubt / have little hope that my dream will come true some day.

●My chances of becoming a … are very good / quite slim.

●I’m afraid I don’t stand much chance of becoming a…

●Perseverance is most important if you want to make your dreams come true.

●Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

●The hardest thing is to keep pursuing one’s dream in spite of difficulties.

●In p ursuing a dream, one must keep a balance between one’s strong wish for the dream to come true and the realities of one’s

abilities and circumstances.

●I think it is wise to be realistic / not to aim at something that is beyond you.

●Talent and a bit of luck are all you need to realize your dreams.

●Talent alone is not enough; you must be quick to seize the opportunities available to you.

Opportunities favor a prepared mind.

Listening Tasks

Larry’s Dream

Word Bank

dash v.to destroy 使破灭

practically ad. a lmost 差不多

nil n. zero 零

basic a.of a primary level 起码的,最基本的

generous a.willing to give more than one expected 慷慨的

tip n. a small amount of money given for a service provided 小费,赏钱

fascinate a.to attract the strong attention and interest of sb.吸引,迷住

abrupt a.sudden and unexpected 突然的,出其不意的

would-be a.wanting to do a particular thing 想要做……的

scribble v.to write in a hurry 潦草地书写

keep body and soul together to have just enough money, food, etc., to live on 勉强维持生活


Larry had always wanted to become a movie star. His hopes for success were dashed again and again, however. Hollywood just did not seem interested. But Larry refused to admit that his chances of getting into movies were practically nil. Someday, he told himself, his big opportunity would come.

To keep body and soul together, Larry found a job parking cars for one of Hollywood’s big restaurants. The pay was basic but since the guests were quite generous with their tips, he managed to make a living.

One day he recognized an important film director driving into the parking lot and getting out of his car. Larry had recently heard that the man was making a new picture.

Larry got into the car and prepared to drive it on into the lot and park it. Then he stopped, jumped out and ran over to the director. “Excuse me, sir, but I think it’s only fair to tell you that it’s now or never if you want me in your new picture. A lot of b ig companies are after me.”

Fascinated by Larry’s abrupt statement, the director stopped. “Yes? Which companies?”

“Well,” replied the would-be star, “there’s the telephone company, the gas company, and the electric company, to mention only a few.”

The director laughed, then scribbled something on a card and handed it to the young man. “Come and see me tomorrow.”

Larry got a small part in the director’s next film. He was on his way!

Language and Culture Notes


center of American film industry located in the northwest part of Los Angeles, California

2.Hollywood just did not seem interested.

Directors at Hollywood did not want him to act in their movies.

3. he found a job parking cars for one of Hollywood’ big restaurants

Larry found a job as a valet (车管员) at a big restaurant in Hollywood, parking cars for its customers. Expensive restaurants usually provide valet parking service for their customers. Valets like Larry park customers’ cars for them when they arrive and bring their cars to them when they leave. Customers are supposed to give tips for the service.

4.it’s now or never

an emphatic way of saying that something must be done immediately because if you miss the chance, it will never come again

5. A lot of big companies are after me.

This sentence can be understood in two ways: 1) A lot of important film companies are interested in me; 2) A lot of utility companies (referring to gas, electricity, telephone companies, etc.) are pressing me to pay their bills. Here Larry cleverly exploited the ambiguity in the sentence to impress the film director. The director was amused by Larry’s sense of humor when he realized the real mea ning of the sentence.

6.the would-be star

referring to Larry. We can use “would-be” to describe someone who wa nts to do a particular thing, especially to take up certain career,

e.g., a would-be writer, a would-be singer, etc.

Exercise 1

Listen to the passage and choose the right answers to the questions you hear.

1. What does the story mainly tell us?

a. How Larry found a job in a restaurant in Hollywood.

b. How Larry managed to make a living in Hollywood.

c. How Larry started his career in Hollywoo


d. How Larry met an important film director in Hollywood.

2. Which of the following statements about Larry can be inferred?

a. Larry was an idealistic dreamer.

b. Larry had a fine sense of humor.

c. Larry was going to be a great movie star.

d. Larry was broke when he met the film director.

3. Why was the film director interested in Larry?

a. He was a mused by Larry’s unusual way of recommending himself.

b. He thought Larry would make a good actor.

c. He was sorry for Larry.

d. He didn’t want Larry to be employed by other companies.

Exercise 2

Listen again and write down answers to the following questions.

1. What helped Larry to carry on with life when his dream was dashed again and again?

His belief that one day he would become a movie star.

2. What job did Larry find in order to support himself?

Parking cars for one of Hollywood’s big restaurant s.

3. Was Larry well-paid and how did he manage to make a living?

No, his pay was only basic. But he got generous tips from guests driving into the restaurant.

4. What happened one day that changed Larry's life?

Larry parked the car of a famous film director and was able to introduce himself to the man.

5. Larry said: “A lot of big companies are after me.” What can be the two meanings of this statement?

a. Many big film companies are interested in me.

b. Many big companies are pressing me to pay their bills.

Speaking Tasks




Listen to the following conversations and repeat after the recording. Then role-play them with your partner.

Conversation 1

A: I like the story we’ve just heard very much.

B: So do I. It’s very e ntertaining.

A: I wonder if Larry would really become a famous movie star.

B: It is quite possible. He was so clever.

A: But being clever alone doesn’t make you a good actor.

B: I suppose so. But at least he had realized his dream of acting in a Hollywood movie.

A: That’s true. By the way, what’s your dream?

B: I don’t know. I’m not so ambitious as Larry, I think.

A: So what do you want most in life, then?

B: A decent job, an apartment of my own and a family that I really love.

A: I guess most people would like to have those.

B: What more can you wish for?

A: Well, I’ve always wanted to be a singer.

B: Have you? No wonder, you sing so well.

Conversation 2

A: Hi, Xiao Fang. How have you been?

B: Oh, hello, Xiao Li. I’ve been pretty b usy these days.

A: Are you preparing to go to the Northwest this summer as a volunteer?

B: Yes.

A: Do you think your application will be approved?

B: Absolutely sure.

A: So you can now realize your dream of teaching kids there.

B: I have no doubt about that.

Conversation 3

A: Hi, Ling Pin. How’s your cousin doing?

B: He’s tired. He has just taken the Civil Service Test (公务员考试).

A: No wonder I haven’t seen him for ages. Why did he want to take such a test?

B: The civil service has recently become a popular career choice.

A: Do you think he can get his dream job?

B: I’m not certain of that. The competition is very, very tough, you know.

A: Anyway, dream brings hope. It is good for him to have a dream.

B: I think so, too.


Now make similar conversations according to the given situations. Use the structures and expressions above in your conversations where appropriate.

1. Ask your partner about his / her plan to pursue postgraduate studies. Try to use the language that expresses certainty and possibility in your conversation.

2. Ask your partner about his / her dreams. You can use some expressions from the Additional Vocabulary above and other expressions you’ve learned in this unit.

Part C

Test Your Listening

A Passage

Listen to the passage and choose the right answers to the questions.

1. When did Zaslow start writing stories?

a. In 1988.

b. In his childhood.

c. At Carnegie Mellon University.

d. At the Chicago Sun-Times.

2. How old was Zaslow when his column became popular with readers in Chicago?

a. 33.

b. 31.

c. 28.

d. 41.

3. What is the major benefit Zaslow has got from his years in the advice business?

a. He has realized his dream of becoming a writer.

b. He has greater faith in his fellow men.

c. He earns a good salary.

d. He has made many friends.

4. What can be inferred from the passage?

a. People playing the roles of cartoon figures at Disney World had a hard life.

b. Zaslow did not like his job at the Wall Street Journal.

c. Jeffrey Zaslow was a better advice columnist than Ann Landers.

d. To be an advice columnist has always been Zaslow’s dream.


Jeffrey Zaslow, the advice columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times, grew up in suburban Philadelphia. His biggest ambition in life was to be a writer. “I never wanted to be anything else,” he says. “I was ten or eleven when I saw Gone with the Wind and I wrote my own Civil War story.”

After earning a degree in creative writing at Carnegie Mellon University, he got a job at a newspaper in Orlando, Florida. He made his mark with his article on the rough working conditions endured by the people inside the Mickey and Minnie costumes at Walt Disney World. Later he became a staff writer for the Wall Street Journal.

In 1988, when the famous advice columnist, Ann Landers, quit her job at the Chicago Sun-Times, the paper launched a nationwide contest to find her replacement. Jeffrey Zaslow applied. Among the 12,000 contestants, women outnumbered men nine to one, and most of them had seen a lot more of life than Zaslow, who was 28 and not married. When he reached the semifinals, his editors at the Journal ran a headline: “Why He’ll Never Make It.” But Jeffrey did make it in the finals.

Today, thirteen years later, his column, “All That Zazz,” is read by thousands of readers in the Chicago area. His years in t he advice business left him with a deep appreciation for people and their problems. He is also greatly moved by the generosity, sincerity and good nature of his readers. “Wonderful people,” he says, “do outnumber terrible people in this world. I have much more faith in my fellow men than I had before. And I’ve read plenty of letters to back that up.”

Unit 10 Disasters

Part A

Listening Strategy

Listening for Major Elements in a Disaster Report

To understand a report about a disaster, you need to pay special attention to when and where it occurred, the possible damage and loss, and the number of people injured or killed since these elements are the essential parts of this type of report.

You are going to hear two news reports of disasters. Pay attention to the elements mentioned above and complete the following charts. 1.





1. Turkey says more than 10,000 people now are confirmed dead after the earthquake three days ago. Most of the deaths are in five northwestern cities. About 34,000 people are reported injured. Rescue workers are still searching for about 35,000 missing people; many are trapped under fallen buildings. Rescuers are using cameras, dogs and listening devices to search for survivors.

2. Early this morning a severe explosion took place in Shijiazhuang, the capital of North China’s Hebei Province, killing 108 and injuring 38, according to the Public Security Department. After treatment, 15 of those injured have been discharged from hospital care. Hospital officials say five among the 11, who were severely injured, are now out of danger. Police are still investigating the cause of the explosion.

Part B

Pre-listening Task

Questions for Discussion

You are going to talk about accidents and disasters. Read the following questions and discuss them with your partner.

1. What are natural disasters? And what are man-made disasters?

2. What damage can they cause?

3. Describe a disaster you yourself have experienced or one you have read or heard about. When, where and how did it happen?

4. What are the chances of survival in a disaster?

5. What can we do to help people in a disaster-stricken area?

6. What should we do to prevent man-made disasters?


5. What can we do to help people in a disaster-stricken area?

There are quite a few things we can do to help people in a disaster-stricken area. For example, we can donate money and necessities to help them fight against the natural disaster. We can provide food, clothing and medical care for them. We can provide shelter for the homeless and take them into the warmth of our own homes. We can also send volunteers or go to the area as volunteers to assist the people there in their efforts to rebuild their homes.

Additional Question for Discussion

How can we reduce the damage caused by such natural disasters as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions?


Right now human beings cannot predict accurately when the next earthquake or volcanic eruption will occur. But at least we can do two things. First, the government should set up research institutions or laboratories to study how to predict quakes and try to prevent those disasters from happening or reduce their destructive power (破坏力). Second, we should take protective measures and make necessary preparations to ensure the safety of human life and property so that, when a disaster does happen, its damage can be controlled. For example, we should build strong houses and buildings that are quake-proof.

Language Focus

Here are some sentences and structures that you might find useful in discussing the above questions.

●Natural disasters are caused by forces of nature. Earthquakes, floods, volcanic eruptions, wild fires and droughts are natural

disasters that are beyond the control of humans, while plane crashes, traffic accidents, explosions and fires belong to man-made disasters.

●Sometimes accidents or even disasters happen due to human faults.

●Natural disasters like earthquakes or floods may claim hundreds of thousands of lives and leave thousands of people homeless.

●I read in this morning’s newspaper / heard over the radio / saw on TV a volcano erupted in … / an earthquake struck … / a plane

crashed shortly after takeoff / a strong typhoon hit … / a tornado landed on … / a heavy snowstorm swept through … / a fire broke out in the warehouse of a factory / two vehicles clashed, causing great / serious / severe / huge damage to human life and property.

●The damage was severe, but fortunately no one was injured.

●Car accidents are often caused by drivers who are drunk / try to overtake without warning.

●People who fail to follow traffic rules when crossing the street may be hit by a car. And they have to bear full responsibility for the

accident themselves.

●I twisted my ankle / slipped and fell / broke my arm / broke my leg when I was playing football. It still hurts.

●Chances of survival in a … are almost zero / very little.

●If rules and regulations were strictly followed, many man-made disasters could be avoided.

●Professional dedication ought to be advocated. If everyone took a serious attitude toward their job, many accidents could be


●We should do our best to help / donate money or clothing to / show sympathy for people in a disaster-stricken area.

Listening Tasks

Surviving a Plane Crash

Word Bank

survive v.not to die in an accident, etc. 从……中逃生

fasten v.to make or become firmly fixed 系牢,缚紧

roll v.to swing from side to side 摇晃

groan n. a long, low sound of suffering 呻吟声

aisle n.passage 通道,过道

rescuer n. a person who saves people in danger营救人员

swamp n.wetland 沼泽

jungle n. a tropical forest (热带的)丛林

amazingly ad. extraordinarily 惊人地;了不起地

grab v.to seize, to snatch 抓住

plane crash an instance of an aircraft falling from the sky to hit the land or sea 飞机坠毁

work out to find the answer to a problem by reasoning or calculating 得出答案;算出

out of consciousness losing consciousness 失去知觉

Burma 缅甸(东南亚国家)

Johan (人名)


Three months ago I flew to Burma with my boyfriend, Johan. The plane was a small one and our seats were near the back. The sky looked very black as we took off, and throughout the flight, we kept our seat belts fastened. Twenty minutes later we flew into a terrible storm. The plane rolled and shook in the wind. We were both very frightened. I couldn’t remember anything after that until I opened my eyes. I didn’t know where I was. Slowly I realized that the plane had crashed. I was in terrible pain and I couldn’t move. “Johan,” I called, but he didn’t reply. It was dark, but I knew that he wasn’t in his seat. I heard groans and I worked out that possibly six other people were still alive. When daylight came, I could see all the bodies around me. Johan was on the other side of the aisle, but I knew that he was dead.

After a day or two the other voices stopped and I was alone. But the rescuers didn’t come. “They must be on their way,” I tol d myself. I didn’t know that we were in a swamp in the middle of a jungle and that the helicopters couldn’t fly in t he heavy rain. Outside the window the floodwater was going slowly up. But that water saved my life. I managed to stay alive by drinking that dirty water. At night the mosquitoes came. I was out of consciousness because of pain and hunger. Then I heard voices. I pushed my hand out of the window and amazingly someone grabbed it. The rescue team had arrived nine days after the crash.

Language and Culture Notes

1. Background information

In the year 2000 alone, there were 17 major commercial passenger airline disasters worldwide, claiming more than 800 lives. Air disasters are caused by both natural forces and human failings. The most common causes are unusual weather conditions, structural failure, engine failure, navigational error, or terrorist attack. Planes may crash on takeoff, on landing, or on approach. They may hit a mountain, or be hit by lightning. They may overrun the runway, or collide in midair with another plane. In the passage, the crash was caused by a terrible storm and killed all the passengers except the narrator.

2. Burma

a country located in Southeast Asia. Its full name is the Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma. It has a tropical monsoon climate.

Exercise 1

Listen to the passage and complete the following chart with the missing information.


Exercise 2

Listen to the passage again and write down answers to the following questions.

1. What happened to the plane before it crashed?

It rolled and shook in the wind.

2. Did the rescue team arrive immediately after the crash? Why or why not?

No. It arrived nine days later because it was raining heavily and the helicopters couldn’t fly in the heavy rain. To make the matter worse, the plane crashed in a swamp in the middle of a jungle.

3. Was the narrator seriously injured?

Yes. She was in terrible p ain and couldn’t move.

4. How did she manage to stay alive?

By drinking dirty floodwater.

Speaking Tasks




Listen to the following conversations and repeat after the recording. Then role-play them with your partner.

Conversation 1

A: Hi, Wu. You don’t look happy. What’s up?

B: Bad luck! I fell off my bicycle and hurt my leg.

A: Did you? That’s too bad. How did it happen?

B: I was coming to school on my bike yesterday when another one from behind crashed into mine and knocked me over. Fortunately I was not seriously hurt.

A: Did the rider apologize to you?

B: No. He just picked up his bike and sped away, without so much as looking at me.

A: It’s unbelievable! How could he behave like that?

B: Well, the world is made up of all sorts. Maybe he was in a hurry.

Conversation 2

A: You know, a severe flood has hit Guangdong and Hubei Provinces.

B: So I have heard. How terrible!

A: Have you ever been in a flood?

B: Yes, I have.

A: When was that?