为了方便大家在雅思备考前和过程中,了解自己的雅思阅读备考水平,智课网为大家整理了雅思阅读考前练习:Lost for words,大家可以对以下雅思阅读文章进行练习,在练习结束后参照答案进行分析。

        点击》》了解雅思阅读考前练习汇总

  Lost for words

  Many minority languages are on the danger list

  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. Not surprisingly, linguists doubt that any native speakers of Navajo will remain in a hundred years’ time.

  Navajo is far from alone. Half the world’s 6,800 languages are likely to vanish within two generations — that’s one language lost every ten days. Never before has the planet’s linguistic diversity shrunk at such a pace. ‘At the moment, we are heading for about three or four languages dominating the world,’ says Mark Pagel, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Reading. ‘It’s a mass extinction, and whether we will ever rebound from the loss is difficult to know.’

  Isolation breeds linguistic diversity: as a result, the world is peppered with languages spoken by only a few people. Only 250 languages have more than a million speakers, and at least 3,000 have fewer than 2,500. It is not necessarily these small languages that are about to disappear. Navajo is considered endangered despite having 150,000 speakers. 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, according to Michael Krauss, director of the Alassk Native Language Center, in Fairbanks.

  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, says Nicholas Ostler, of Britain’s Foundation for Endangered Languages, in Bath. ‘People lose faith in their culture,’ he says. ‘When the next generation reaches their teens, they might not want to be induced into the old traditions.’

  The change is not always voluntary. 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. The former US policy of running Indian reservation schools in English, for example, effectively put languages such as Navajo on the danger list. But Salikoko Mufwene, who chairs the Linguistics department at the University of Chicago, argues that the deadliest weapon is not government policy but economic globalisation. ‘Native Americans have not lost pride in their language, but they have had to adapt to socio-economic pressures,’ he says. ‘They cannot refuse to speak English if most commercial activity is in English.’ But are languages worth saving? At the very least, there is a loss of data for the study of languages and their evolution, which relies on comparisons between languages, both living and dead. When an unwritten and unrecorded language disappears, it is lost to science.

  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,’ Mufwene says. ‘Moreover, the loss of diversity may also deprive us of different ways of looking at the world,’ says Pagel. There is mounting evidence that learning a language produces physiological changes in the brain. ‘Your brain and mine are different from the brain of someone who speaks French, for instance,’ Pagel says, and this could affect our thoughts and perceptions. ‘The patterns and connections we make among various concepts may be structured by the linguistic habits of our community.’

  So despite linguists’ best efforts, many languages will disappear over the next century. But a growing interest in cultural identity may prevent the direst predictions from coming true. ‘The key to fostering diversity is for people to learn their ancestral tongue, as well as the dominant language,’ says Doug Whalen, founder and president of the Endangered Language Fund in New Haven, Connecticut. ‘Most of these languages will not survive without a large degree of bilingualism,’ he says. In New Zealand, classes for children have slowed the erosion of Maori and rekindled interest in the language. A similar approach in Hawaii has produced about 8,000 new speakers of Polynesian languages in the past few years. In California, ‘apprentice’ programmes have provided life support to several indigenous languages. Volunteer ‘apprentices’ pair up with one of the last living speakers of a Native American tongue to learn a traditional skill such as basket weaving, with instruction exclusively in the endangered language. After about 300 hours of training they are generally sufficiently fluent to transmit the language to the next generation. But Mufwene says that preventing a language dying out is not the same as giving it new life by using it every day. ‘Preserving a language is more like preserving fruits in a jar,’ he says.

  However, 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. But a written form is essential for this, so the mere possibility of revival has led many speakers of endangered languages to develop systems of writing where none existed before.

  Questions 1-4

  Complete the summary below.

  Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the passage for each answer.

        点击》》了解雅思阅读考前练习汇总

  Write your answers in boxes 1-4 on your answer sheet.

  There are currently approximately 6,800 languages in the world. This great variety of languages came about largely as a result of geographical 1…… . But in today’s world, factors such as government initiatives and 2…… are contributing to a huge decrease in the number of languages. One factor which may help to ensure that some endangered languages do not die out completely is people’s increasing appreciation of their 3…… . This has been encouraged through programmes of language classes for children and through ‘apprentice’ schemes, in which the endangered language is used as the medium of instruction to teach people a 4…… . Some speakers of endangered languages have even produced writing systems in order to help secure the survival of their mother tongue.’

  Questions 5-9

  Look at the following statements (Questions 5-9) and the list of people in the box below. Match each statement with the correct person A-E.

  Write the appropriate letter A-E in boxes 5-9 on your answer sheet.

  NB You may use any letter more than once.

  5 Endangered languages cannot be saved unless people learn to speak more than one language.

  6 Saving languages from extinction is not in itself a satisfactory goal.

  7 The way we think may be determined by our language.

  8 Young people often reject the established way of life in their community.

  9 A change of language may mean a loss of traditional culture.

  A Michael Krauss

  B Salikoko Mufwene

  C Nicholas Ostler

  D Mark Pagel

  E Doug Whalen

  Questions 10-13

  Do the following statements agree with the views of the writer in Reading Passage 1?

  In boxes 10-13 on your answer sheet write

  YES if the statement agrees with the views of the writer

  NO if the statement contradicts the views of the writer

  NOT GIVEN if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this

  10 The Navajo Language will die out because it currently has too few speakers.

  11 A large number of native speakers fail to guarantee the survival of a language.

  12 National governments could do more to protect endangered languages.

  13 The loss of linguistic diversity is inevitable.

  以下是本篇雅思阅读文章的答案解析,一起来了解一下:

  Question 1

  答案:isolation

  关键词:6800/variety of language/geographical

  定位原文:第3段第1句“Isolation breeds linguistic diversity: as a result, the world is peppered with languages spoken by only a few people.”

  解题思路:根据这句话可知,语言多样性是由于地理上的isolation。

  Question 2

  答案:economic globalization/globalization/socio-economic pressures

  关键词:government/huge decrease

  定位原文:第5段第4句“…the deadliest weapon is not government policy but economic pressures...”

  解题思路:本题目要看清楚问的是语言消失的原因,and表示并列,因此空中应该填与government initiatives对等的原因,而文中第五段前半部分提到政府政策对语言的影响,但是科学家们也指出,真正致命的原因是社会经济压力。

  Question 3

  答案:cultural identity

  关键词:Increasing appr?eciation/language classes

  定位原文:第7段第2句话“But a growing interest in cultural identity may prevent the direst predictions from coming true.”

        点击》》了解雅思阅读考前练习汇总

  解题思路:“increasing appreciation”和文中的“growing interest”是同义替换,故正确答案是cultural identity。”

  Question 4

  答案:traditional skill

  关键词:‘apprentice’/teach/a

  定位原文:第7段倒数第4句“Volunteer 'apprentices' pair up with one of the last living speakers of a Native American tongue to learn a traditional skill such as basket weaving, with instruction exclusively in the endangered language.”

  解题思路:“apprentice”做为定位词,题干这句话的意思是在学徒计划中,濒危语言被用来作为载体来教授人们一种……,文中的“learn”与“teach”在意思上有关联,而不定冠词“a”之后要填一个专有名词。

  Question 5

  答案:E

  关键词:more than one...

  定位原文:第7段第4句“Most of these languages will not survive without a large bilingualism…”

  解题思路:题干这句话正好跟文中这句话表达的是相同的意思,而文中有这个观点的正是E选项。

  Question 6

  答案:B

  关键词:in itself

  定位原文:“But Mufwene says that preventing a language dying out is not the same as giving it new life by using it every day。”

  解题思路:通过这句话可以推测,保护语言本身并不是目标,如何让语言活起来才是真正目的。故正确答案为B。

  Question 7

  答案:D

  关键词:think/determine

  定位原文:第6段倒数第2句“‘Your brain and mine are different from the brain of someone who speaks French, for instance,’ Pagel says, and this could affect our thoughts and perceptions. ‘The patterns and connections we make among various concepts may be structured by the linguistic habits of our community.’”

  解题思路:这句话话当中提到了说英语的人的大脑与说法语的人大脑的不同,随后提出语言会影响我们的想法和观点。

  Question 8

  答案:C

  关键词:reject/established/way of life

  定位原文:第4段最后一句“People lose faith in their culture, When the next generation reaches their teens, they might not want to be induced into the old traditions.”

  解题思路:题干句子意思是“年轻人经常会拒绝接受社会约定俗成的生活方式”,正好与文中这句话“语言的转化意味着传统文化的消失”表达的意思一致。

  Question 9

  答案:B

  关键词:loss

  定位原文:第6段第2句“If a person shifts from Navajo to English, they lose something…”

  解题思路:文中的shift等同于题目当中的change,而传统文化的存在正意味着人们可以采用不同的观点来看待这个世界。

  Question 10

  答案:NO

  关键词:Navajo

  定位原文:第3段第4句话“Navajo is considered endangered despite having 150,000 speakers. What makes a language endangered is not just the number of speakers, but how old they are.”

  解题思路:这句话说有15万人在使用那瓦霍语,证明使用者并不是很少,在接下来的一句话当中,作者又表明使语言濒临灭绝的真正原因并不是说的人少,而是说的人太老。

  Question 11

  答案:YES

  关键词:a large number of

  定位原文:第3段第4句话“Navajo is considered endangered despite having 150,000 speakers.”

  解题思路:根据文中给出的证据,即有15万人说那瓦霍语,但是这门语言仍然濒临灭绝,作者推出了题中的结论,这个结论是正确的。

  Question 12

  答案:NOT GIVEN

  关键词:government

  定位原文:第5段

  解题思路:文中第五段提到了政府,主要是指出政府的政策也是导致语言濒危的原因,但是此后就并未对政府的作用再多做叙述,而是转而论述社会经济压力的重要性。本题是典型的节外生枝型。

  Question 13

  答案:YES

  关键词:linguistic diversity

  定位原文:第7段第1句“So despite linguists' best efforts, many languages will disappear over the next century.”

  解题思路:这句话表明尽管语言学家已经竭尽全力,但是许多语言到了下个世纪还是会消失。这句话就表明语言多样性的消失是不可避免的。

  定位原文:第3段第1句“Isolation breeds linguistic diversity: as a result, the world is peppered with languages spoken by only a few people.”

  相信大家在练习完以上智课网为大家分享的雅思阅读考前练习:Lost for words后,会有所收获。

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