Section Ⅱ Reading Comprehension
Read the following four texts. Answer the questions below each text by choosing A, B, C or D. Mark your answers on ANSWER SHEET 1. (40 points)
Half the worlds population will be speaking or learning English by 2015,researchers say. Two billion people are expected to start learning English within a decade and three billion will speak it, says a British Council estimate.
Other languages, such as French, risk becoming the casualties of this “linguistic globalization”. But the boom will be over by 2050 and the Englishlanguage teaching industry will have become a victim of its own success, says David Graddol, author of the report, The Future of English.
Mr. Graddols research was based on a computer model developed to estimate demand for Englishlanguage teaching around the world. The lecturer, who has worked in education and language studies at the Open University for the past 25 years, said the model charted likely student numbers through to 2050.
It was compiled by looking at various estimates from the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) on education provision, demographic projections, government education policies and international student mobility figures. The impact of educational innovations and other developments affecting the world population including the Chinese governments policy of one baby per family were also factored in.
Based on its findings, Mr. Graddol has predicted that the world is about to be hit by a tidal wave of English. “Many governments, especially in countries which have relatively recently gained independence, are introducing the teaching of English under a utilitarian banner.”
“But English predominates in the business world, and for such countries to be able to compete for work, including lucrative (profitable) outsourcing contracts, English is being pushed heavily from kindergarten on.”
The potential bonanza (source of wealth) on offer from outsourcing means even maths and science are being taught in English at secondary schools in Malaysia. But demand for English teaching would drop as children progress through academia, and more universities across the world choose to teach in the language.
Mr. Graddol also estimated that the boom would be over by 2050.“Englishlanguage students will be down from two billion to 500 million then,” he said,“Increasingly, as English spread across the globe, more people will become bilingual, even multilingual and such skills are highly prized in business. But Britain has not got the best reputation for learning other languages.”
The report also showed that English was not the only language spreading, and the world, far from being dominated by English, was to become more multi-lingual. Mr. Graddol said,“Chinese, Arabic and Spanish are all popular, and likely to be languages of the future.”
21. It is estimated that in a decade English will be
［A］ actively studied by over 200 million people.
［B］ freely spoken by global English learners.
［C］ popular with over 80% of world inhabitants.
［D］ really mastered by 50% of people worldwide.
22. According to the text, “linguistic globalization” will
［A］ eliminate French from the globe.
［B］ defeat other European languages.
［C］ fail all languages except English.
［D］ make English the biggest winner.
23. David Graddol predicts that the thriving period of English will
［A］ terminate within half a century.
［B］ climax in the middle of the century.
［C］ endure for no less than five decades.
［D］ quit till the beginning of the 2050s.
24. The report “The Future of English” factored in all of the following EXCEPT
［A］ the educational condition and policy.
［B］ the directions and designs of Unesco.
［C］ the statistics about population.
［D］ the movements of overseas students.
35. The writer of the report deems that outsourcing is to
［A］ result in the increase of English subjects.
［B］ lead to the drop of interest in English study.
［C］ account for the further spread of English.
［D］ bring about transition in college curricula.
Perhaps only a small boy training to be a wizard at the Hogwarts school of magic could cast a spell so powerful as to create the biggest book launch ever. Wherever in the world the clock strikes midnight on June 20th, his followers will flock to get their paws on one of more than 10m copies of “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”. Bookshops will open in the middle of the night and delivery firms are drafting in extra staff and bigger trucks. Related toys, games, DVDs and other merchandise will be everywhere. There will be no escaping Pottermania.
Yet Mr. Potter’s world is a curious one, in which things are often not what they appear. While an excitable media (hereby including The Economist, happy to support such a fine example of globalization) is helping to hype the launch of J.K. Rowling’s fifth novel, about the most adventurous thing that the publishers (Scholastic in America and Britain’s Bloomsbury in English elsewhere) have organized is a reading by Ms Rowling in London’s Royal Albert Hall, to be broadcast as a live web cast.
Hollywood, which owns everything else to do with Harry Potter, says it is doing even less. Incredible as it may seem, the guardians of the brand say that, to protect the Potter franchise, they are trying to maintain a low profile. Well, relatively low. Ms Rowling signed a contract in 1998 with Warner Brothers, part of AOL Time Warner, giving the studio exclusive film, licensing and merchandising rights in return for what now appears to have been a steal: some $500,000. Warner licenses other firms to produce goods using Harry Potter characters or images, from which Ms Rowling gets a big enough cut that she is now wealthier than the queen ―if you believe Britain’s Sunday Times rich list. The process is self-generating: each book sets the stage for a film, which boosts book sales, which lifts sales of Potter products.
Globally, the first four Harry Potter books have sold some 200m copies in 55 languages; the two movies have grossed over $1.8 billion at the box office. This is a stunning success by any measure, especially as Ms Rowling has long demanded that Harry Potter should not be over commercialized. In line with her wishes, Warner says it is being extraordinarily careful, at least by Hollywood standards, about what it licenses and to whom. It imposed tough conditions on Coca Cola, insisting that no Harry Potter images should appear on cans, and is now in the process of making its licensing programme even more restrictive. Coke may soon be considered too mass market to carry the brand at all.
The deal with Warner ties much of the merchandising to the films alone. There are no officially sanctioned products relating to “Order of the Phoenix”; nor yet for “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”, the film of the third book, which is due out in June 2004. Warner agrees that Ms Rowling’s creation is a different sort of commercial property, one with long-term potential that could be damaged by a typical Hollywood marketing blitz, says Diane Nelson, the studio’s global brand manager for Harry Potter. It is vital, she adds, that with more to come, readers of the books are not alienated. “The evidence from our market research is that enthusiasm for the property by fans is not waning.”
26. When the author says “there will be no escaping Potter mania”, he implies that .
［A］ Harry Potter’s appeal for the readers is simply irresistible
［B］ it is somewhat irrational to be so crazy about the magic boy
［C］ craze about Harry Potter will not be over in the near future
［D］ Hogwarts school of magic will be the biggest attraction world over
27. Ms Rowling’s reading in London’s Royal Albert Hall is mentioned to show .
［A］ publishers are really adventurous in managing the Potter’s business
［B］ businesses are actually more credible than media in Potter’s world
［C］ the media are promoting Pottermania more actively than Hollywood
［Ｄ］ businesses involved with Potter are moving along in an unusual way
28. The author believes that .
［A］ Britain’s Sunday Times rich list is not very convincing as it sounds
［B］ Time Warner’s management of licenses is a bit over commercialized
［C］ other firms may produce goods using Harry Potter images at will
［D］ what Ms Rowling got in return for her offering to Warner is a real bargain
29. Paragraph 4 intends mainly to show Warner’s .
［A］ determination to promote Potter
［B］ consistence in conducting business
［C］ high regard for Ms Rowling’s request
［D］ careful restrictions on licensing to Coco-Cola
30. It can be concluded from the last paragraph that .
［A］ products of Potter films have brought enormous profits to Warner
［B］ current Hollywood’s marketing of Potter may damage its potential
［C］ readers could get tired of Ms Rowling’s writings sooner or later
［D］ Warner will maintain the same strategy with Potter in future
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