Part II Reading Comprehension (35 minutes)
Directions: There are 4 passages in this part. Each passage is followed by some questions or unfinished statements. For each of them there are four choices marked A), B), C) and D). You should decide on the best choice and mark the corresponding letter on the Answer Sheet with a single line through the centre.
Questions 21 to 25 are based on the following passage.
On average, American kids ages 3 to 12 spent 29 hours a week in school, eight hours more that they did in 1981. They also did more household work and participated in more of such organized activities as soccer and ballet (芭蕾舞). Involvement in sports, in particular, rose almost 50% from 1981 to 1997: boys now spend an average of four hours a week playing sports; girls log hall that time. All in all, however, children’s leisure time dropped from 40% of the day in 1981 to 25%
“Children are affected by the same time crunch (危机) that affects their parents,” says Sandra Hofferth, who headed the recent study of children’s timetable. A chief reason, she says, is that more mothers are working outside the home. (Nevertheless, children in both double-income and “male breadwinner” households spent comparable amounts of time interacting with their parents 19 hours and 22 hours respectively. In contrast, children spent only 9 hours with their single mothers.)
All work and no play could make for some very messed-up kids. “Play is the most powerful way a child explores the world and learns about himself,” says T. Berry Brazelton, professor at Harvard Medical School Unstructured play encourages independent thinking and allows the young to negotiate their relationships with their peers, but kids ages 3 to 12 spent only 12 hours a week engaged in it.
The children sampled spent a quarter of their rapidly decreasing “free time” watching television. But that, believe it or not, was one of the findings parents might regard as good news. If they’re spending less time in front of the TV set, however, kids aren’t replacing it with reading. Despite efforts to get kids more interested in books, the children spent just over an hour a week reading. Let’s face it, who’s got the time?
21. By mentioning “the same time crunch” (Line 1, Para. 2) Sandra Hofferth means ________.
A) children have little time to play with their parents
B) children are not taken good care of by their working parents
C) both parents and children suffer from lack of leisure time
D) both parents and children have trouble managing their time（D）
22. According to the author, the reason given by Sandra Hofferth for the time crunch is ________.
A) quite convincing
B) partially true
C) totally groundless
D) rather confusing（B）
23. According to the author a child develops better if ________.
A) he has plenty of time reading and studying
B) he is left to play with his peers in his own way
C) he has more time participating in school activities
D) he is free to interact with his working parents（D）
24. The author is concerned about the fact that American kids ________.
A) are engaged in more and more structured activities
B) are increasingly neglected by their working mothers
C) are spending more and more time watching TV
D) are involved less and less in household work（A）
25. We can infer from the passage that ________.
A) extracurricular activities promote children’s intelligence
B) most children will turn to reading with TV sets switched off
C) efforts to get kids interested in reading have been fruitful
D) most parents believe reading to be beneficial to children（C）
Questions 26 to 30 are based on the following passage.
Henry Ford, the famous U.S. inventor and car manufacturer, once said, “The business of America is business.” By this he meant that the U.S. way of life is based on the values of the business world.
Few would argue with Ford’s statement. A brief glimpse at a daily newspaper vividly shows how much people in the United States think about business. For example, nearly every newspaper has a business section, in which the deals and projects, finances and management, stock prices and labor problems of corporations are reported daily. In addition, business news can appear in every other section. Most national news has an important financial aspect to it. Welfare, foreign aid, the federal budget, and the policies of the Federal Reserve Bank are all heavily affected by business. Moreover, business news appears in some of the unlikeliest places. The world of arts and entertainment is often referred
to as “the entertainment industry” or “show business.”
The positive side of Henry Ford’s statement can be seen in the prosperity that business has brought to U.S. life. One of the most important reasons so many people from all over the world come to live in the United States is the dream of a better job. Jobs are produced in abundance (大量地) because the U.S. economic system is driven by competition. People believe that this system crates more wealth, more jobs, and a materially better way of life.
The negative side of Henry Ford’s statement, however, can be seen when the word business is taken to mean big business. And the term big business—referring to the biggest companies, is seen in opposition to labor. Throughout U.S. history working people have had to fight hard for higher wages, better working conditions, and the fight to form unions. Today, many of the old labor disputes are over, but there is still some employee anxiety. Downsizing—the laying off of thousands of workers to keep expenses low and profits high—creates feelings of insecurity for many.
26. The United States is a typical country ________.
A) which encourages free trade at home and abroad
B) where people’s chief concern is how to make money
C) where all businesses are managed scientifically
D) which normally works according to the federal budget（D）
27. The influence of business in the U.S. is evidenced by the fact that ________.
A) most newspapers are run by big businesses
B) even public organizations concentrate on working for profits
C) Americans of all professions know how to do business
D) even arts and entertainment are regarded as business（C）
28. According to the passage, immigrants choose to settle in the U.S., dreaming that ________.
A) they can start profitable businesses there
B) they can be more competitive in business
C) they will make a fortune overnight there
D) they will find better chances of employment（B）
29. Henry Ford’s statement can be taken negatively because ________.
A) working people are discouraged to fight for their fights
B) there are many industries controlled by a few big capitalists
C) there is a conflicting relationship between big corporations and labor
D) public services are not run by the federal government（C）
30. A company’s efforts to keep expenses low and profits high may result in ________.
A) reduction in the number of employees
B) improvement of working conditions
C) fewer disputes between labor and management
D) a rise in workers’ wages（D）
Questions 31 to 35 are based on the following passage.
Professor Smith recently persuaded 35 people, 23 of them women, to keep a diary of all their absent-minded actions for a fortnight. When he came to analyse their embarrassing lapses (差错) in a scientific report, he was surprised to find that nearly all of them fell into a few groupings, Nor did the lapses appear to be entirely random (随机的).
One of the women, for instance, on leaving her house for work one morning threw her dog her earrings and tried to fix a dog biscuit on her ear. “the explanation for this is that the brain is like a computer,” explains the professor. “People programme themselves to do certain activities regularly. It was the woman’s custom every morning to throw her dog two biscuits and then put on her earrings. But somehow the action got reversed in the programme,” About one in twenty of the incidents the volunteers reported were these “programme assembly failures.”
Altogether the volunteers logged 433 unintentional actions that they found themselves doing—an average of twelve each, There appear to be peak periods in the day when we are at our zaniest (荒谬可笑的). These are two hours some time between eight a.m. and noon, between four and six p.m. with a smaller peak between eight and ten p.m. “Among men the peak seems to be when a changeover in brain ‘programmes’ occurs, as for instance between going to and from work.” Women on average reported slightly more lapses—12.5 compared with 10.9 for men—probably because they were more reliable reporters.
A startling finding of the research is that the absent-minded activity is a hazard of doing things in which we are skilled. Normally, you would expect that skill reduces the number of errors we make. But trying to avoid silly slips by concentrating more could make things a lot worse—even dangerous.
31. In his study Professor Smith asked the subjects ________.
A) to keep track of people who tend to forget things
B) to report their embarrassing lapses at random
C) to analyse their awkward experiences scientifically
D) to keep a record of what they did unintentionally（B）
32. Professor Smith discovered that ________.
A) certain patterns can be identified in the recorded incidents
B) many people were too embarrassed to admit their absent-mindedness
C) men tend to be more absent-minded than women
D) absent-mindedness is an excusable human weakness（D）
33. “Programme assembly failures” (Line 6, Para. 2) refers to the phenomenon that people ________.
A) often fail to programme their routines beforehand
B) tend to make mistakes when they are in a hurry
C) unconsciously change the sequence of doing things
D) are likely to mess things up if they are too tired（D）
34. We learn from the third paragraph that ________.
A) absent-mindedness tends to occur during certain hours of the day
B) women are very careful to perform actions during peak periods
C) women experience more peak periods of absent-mindedness
D) men’s absent-mindedness often results in funny situations（A）
35. It can be concluded from the passage that ________.
A) people should avoid doing important things during peak periods of lapses
B) hazards can be avoided when people do things they are good at
C) people should be careful when programming their actions
D) lapses cannot always be attributed to lack of concentration（A）
Questions 36 to 40 are based on the following passage.
It’s no secret that many children would be healthier and happier with adoptive parents than with the parents that nature dealt them. That’s especially true of children who remain in abusive homes because the law blindly favors biological parents. It’s also true of children who suffer for years in foster homes (收养孩子的家庭) because of parents who can’t or won’t care for them but refuse to give up custody (监护) rights.
Fourteen-year-old Kimberly Mays fits neither description, but her recent court victory could eventually help children who do. Kimberly has been the object of an angry custody baffle between the man who raised her and her biological parents, with whom she has never lived. A Florida judge ruled that the teenager can remain with the only father she’s ever known and that her biological parents have “no legal claim” on her.
The ruling, though it may yet be reversed, sets aside the principle that biology is the primary determinant of parentage. That’s an important development, one that’s long overdue.
Shortly after birth in December 1978, Kimberly Mays and another infant were mistakenly switched and sent home with the wrong parents. Kimberly’s biological parents, Ernest and Regina Twigg, received a child who died of a heart disease in 1988. Medical tests showed that the child wasn’t the Twiggs’ own daughter, but Kimt only was, thus sparking a custody battle with Robert Mays. In 1989, the two families agreed that Mr. Mays would maintain custody with the Twiggs getting visiting fights. Those rights were ended when Mr. Mays decided that Kimberly was being harmed.
The decision to leave Kimberly with Mr. Mays rendered her suit debated. But the judge made clear that Kimberly did have standing to sue (起诉) on her own behalf. Thus he made clear that she was more than just property to be handled as adults saw fit.
Certainly, the biological link between parent and child is fundamental. But biological parents aren’t always preferable to adoptive ones, and biological parentage does not convey an absolute ownership that cancels all the rights of children.
36. What was the primary consideration in the Florida judge’s ruling?
A) The biological link.
B) The child’s benefits.
C) The traditional practice.
D) The parents’ feelings.（B）
37. We can learn from the Kimberly case that ________.
A) children are more than just personal possessions of their parents
B) the biological link between parent and child should be emphasized
C) foster homes bring children more pain and suffering than care
D) biological parents shouldn’t claim custody rights after their child is adopted（D）
38. The Twiggs claimed custody rights to Kimberly because ________.
A) they found her unhappy in Mr. Mays’ custody
B) they regarded her as their property
C) they were her biological parents
D) they felt guilty about their past mistake（C）
39. Kimberly had been given to Mr. Mays ________.
A) by sheer accident
B) out of charity
C) at his request
D) for better care（C）
40. The author’s attitude towards the judge’s ruling could be described as ________.