剑4T2P1 Lost for Words
剑5T3P1 Early Childhood Education
剑6T2P1 Advantages of public transport
剑6T2P2 Greying population stays in the pink
剑5T1P3 The truth about the environment
剑4T2P1 --Lost for Words
这篇文章谈论的话题是Many minority languages are on the danger list, 分析了此现象的原因，并提到了一些改变这一问题可以采用的方法。
1. In the Native American Navajo nation, which sprawls across four states in the American south-west, the native language is dying. Most of its speakers are middle-aged or elderly. Although many students take classes in Navajo, the schools are run in English. Street signs, supermarket goods and even their own newspaper are all in English.
2. Half of the world’s 6800 languages are likely to vanish within two generations – that’s one language lost every ten days.
3. Isolation breeds linguistic diversity: as a result, the world is peppered with languages spoken by only a few people.
4. What makes a language endangered is not just the number of speakers, but how old they are. If it is spoken by children it is relatively safe. The critically endangered languages are those that are only spoken by the elderly.
5. Why do people reject the language of their parents? It begins with a crisis of confidence, when a small community finds itself alongside a larger, wealthier society, people lose faith in their culture. When the nest generation reaches their teens, they might not want to be included into the old traditions.
6. Quite often, governments try to kill off a minority language by banning its use in public or discouraging its use in schools, all to promote national unity.
7. But Salikoko Mufwene, who chairs the Linguistics department at the University of Chicago, argues that the deadliest weapon is not government policy but economic globalization. Native Americans have not lost pride in their language, but they have had to adapt to socio-economic pressures. They cannot refuse to speak English if most commercial activity is in English.
8. Language is also intimately bound up with culture, so it may be difficult to preserve one without the other. If a person shifts from Navajo to English, they lose something. Moreover, the loss of diversity may also deprive us of different ways of looking at the world.
关于此现象的解决方案Possible Solutions, 大家可以参考以下几条：
1. The key to fostering diversity is for people to learn their ancestral tongue, as well as the dominant language.
2. Most of these languages will not survive without a large degree of bilingualism. In New Zealand, classes for children have slowed the erosion of Maori and rekindled interest in the language.
3. Preservation can bring a language back from the dead. There are examples of languages that have survived in written form and then been revived by later generations.
剑5T3P1 -- Early Childhood Education
1. A 13-year study of early childhood development at Harvard University has shown that, by the age of three, most children have the potential to understand about 1000 words – most of the language they will use in ordinary conversation for the rest of their lives.
2. Furthermore, research has shown that while every child is born with a natural curiosity, it can be suppressed dramatically during the second and third years of life.
3. Researchers claim that the human personality is formed during the first two years of life, and during the first three years children learn the basic skills they will use in all their later learning both at home and at school.
4. By the age of three, the children in the programme were significantly more advanced in language development than their peers, had made greater strides in problem solving and other intellectual skills, and were further along in social development.
5. The average child on the programme was performing at the level of the top 15 to 20 per cent of their peers in such things as auditory comprehension, verbal ability and language ability.
6. Many children who entered it at the age of three were already behind their peers in language and measurable intelligence.
1. Despite substantial funding, results have been disappointing. It is thought that there are two explanations for this. First,… . Second, the parents were not involved.
2. As a result of the growing research evidence of the importance of the first three years of a child’s life and the disappointing results from ‘Headstart’, a pilot program was launched in Missouri in the US that focused on parents as the child’s first teachers.
3. The program was predicted on research showing that working with the family, rather than bypassing the parents, is the most effective way of helping children get off to the best possible start in life.
剑6T2P1 -- Advantages of public transport
1. A new study conducted for the World Bank by Murdoch University’s Institute for Science and Technology Policy has demonstrated that public transport is more efficient than cars.
2. Professor Peter Newman, ISTP Director, pointed out that these more efficient cities were able to put the difference into attracting industry and jobs or creating a better place to live.
3. Train and cars initially allowed people to live at greater distances without taking longer to reach their destination. However, public infrastructure did not keep pace with urban sprawl, causing massive congestion problems which now make commuting times far higher.
4. In cities that developed later, the World Bank and Asian Development Bank discouraged the building of public transport and people have been forced to rely on cars – creating the massive traffic jams that characterize those cities.
5. The auto-dependent city model is inefficient and grossly inadequate in economic as well as environmental terms.
6. In Stockholm, car use has actually fallen in recent years as the city has become larger and wealthier.
7. The population and job density of cities rose or remained constant in the 1980s after decades of decline. The explanation for this seems to be that it is valuable to place people working in related fields together. The new world will largely depend on human creativity, and creativity flourishes where people come together face-to-face.
剑6T2P2 -- Greying population stays in the pink
老年人话题也是雅思写作常考的话题，我们在雅思写作中通常写到的理念是老年人是弱势群体，需要各方的关注和帮助，然而这篇文章给了我们完全不同的一种看法，Greying population stays in the pink, 我们的老年人目前好着呢!
1. The results of a 14-year study to be announced later this month reveal that the diseases associated with old age afflicting fewer and fewer people and when they do strike, it is much later in life.
2. Researchers, now analyzing the results of data gathered in 1994, say arthritis, high blood pressure and circulation problems – the major medical complaints in the age group – are troubling a smaller proportion every year.
3. The data confirms that the rate at which these diseases are declining continues to accelerate. Other diseases of old age – dementia, stroke, arteriosclerosis and emphysema – are also troubling fewer and fewer people.
1. Clearly, certain diseases are beating a retreat in the face of medical advances.
2. But there may be other contributing factors. Improvements in childhood nutrition in the first quarter of the twentieth century, for example, gave today’s elderly people a better start in life than their predecessors.
1. The increasing self-reliance of many elderly people is probably linked to a massive increase in the use of simple home medical aids. For instance, the use of raised toilet seats has more than doubled since the start of the study, and the use of bath seats has grown by more than 50%. The group found that those elderly people who were able to retain a sense of independence were more likely to stay healthy in old age.
2. Maintaining a level of daily physical activity may help mental functioning, says Carl Cotman, a neuroscientist at the University of California at Irvine. Cotman believes this hormone, which keeps neurons functioning, may prevent the brains of active humans from deteriorating.
3. A social epidemiologist at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, found a connection between self-esteem and stress in people over 70. In laboratory simulations of challenging activities such as driving, those who felt in control of their lives pumped out lower level of stress hormones such as cortisol. Chronically high levels of these hormones have been linked to heart disease.
4. Seeman found that elderly people who felt emotionally isolated maintained higher levels of stress hormones even when asleep.
剑5T1P3 -- The truth about the environment
The truth about the environment – environmental pollution
1. For many environmentalists, the world seems to be getting worse. They have developed a hit-list of our main fears: that natural resources are running out; that the population is ever growing, leaving less and less to eat; that species are becoming extinct in vast numbers, and that the planet’s air and water are becoming ever more polluted.
The truth about the environment – the disjunction between perception and reality
1. Scientific funding goes mainly to areas with many problems.
2. Environmental groups need to be noticed by the mass media. They also need to keep the money rolling in.
3. A third source of confusion is the attitude of the media. People are clearly more curious about bad news than good. Newspapers and broadcasters are there to provide what the public wants.
4. The fourth factor is poor individual perception. People worry that the endless rise in the amount of stuff everyone throws away will cause the world to run out of places to dispose of wastes.