· Reading

13. Bài tập 13


One language dies every 14 days. By the next century nearly half of the roughly 7,000 languages spoken on Earth will likely disappear, as communities abandon native tongues in favor of English, Mandarin, or Spanish. What is lost when a language goes silent?

A. One morning in early fall Andrei Mongush and his parents began preparations for supper, selecting a black-faced, fat-tailed sheep from their flock and rolling it onto its back on a tarp outside their livestock paddock. The Mongush family’s home is on the Siberian taiga, at the edge of the endless steppes, just over the horizon from Kyzyl, the capital of the Republic of Tuva, in the Russian Federation. They live near the geographic center of Asia, but linguistically and personally, the family inhabits a borderland, the frontier between progress and tradition. Tuvans are historically nomadic herders, moving their aal—an encampment of yurts—and their sheep and cows and reindeer from pasture to pasture as the season’s progress. The elder Mongooses, who have returned to their rural aal after working in the city, speak both Tuvan and Russian. Andrei and his wife also speak English, which they are teaching themselves with pieces of paper labeled in English pasted onto seemingly every object in their modern kitchen in Kyzyl. They work as musicians in the Tuvan National Orchestra, an ensemble that uses traditional Tuvan instruments and melodies in symphonic arrangements. Andrei is a master of the most characteristic Tuvan music form: throat singing, or khöömei.

B. When I ask university students in Kyzyl what Tuvan words are untranslatable into English or Russian, they suggest khöömei, because the singing is so connected with the Tuvan environment that only a native can understand it, and also khoj özeeri, the Tuvan method of killing a sheep. If slaughtering livestock can be seen as part of humans’ closeness to animals, khoj özeeri represents an unusually intimate version. Reaching through an incision in the sheep’s hide, the slaughterer severs a vital artery with his fingers, allowing the animal to quickly slip away without alarm, so peacefully that one must check its eyes to see if it is dead. In the language of the Tuvan people, khoj özeeri means not only slaughter but also kindness, humaneness, a ceremony by which a family can kill, skin, and butcher a sheep, salting its hide and preparing its meat and making sausage with the saved blood and cleansed entrails so neatly that the whole thing can be accomplished in two hours (as the Mongushes did this morning) in one’s good clothes without spilling a drop of blood. Khoj özeeri implies a relationship to animals that is also a measure of a people’s character. As one of the students explained, “If a Tuvan killed an animal the way they do in other places”—by means of a gun or knife—“they’d be arrested for brutality.

C. Tuvan is one of the many small languages of the world. The Earth’s population of seven billion people speaks roughly 7,000 languages, a statistic that would seem to offer each living language a healthy one million speakers, if things were equitable. In language, as in life, things aren’t. Seventy-eight percent of the world’s population speaks the 85 largest languages, while the 3,500 smallest languages share a mere 8.25 million speakers. Thus, while English has 328 million first-language speakers, and Mandarin 845 million, Tuvan speakers in Russia number just 235,000. Within the next century, linguists think, nearly half of the world’s current stock of languages may disappear. More than a thousand are listed as critically or severely endangered—teetering on the edge of oblivion.

D. In an increasingly globalized, connected, homogenized age, languages spoken in remote places are no longer protected by national borders or natural boundaries from the languages that dominate world communication and commerce. The reach of Mandarin and English and Russian and Hindi and Spanish and Arabic extends seemingly to every hamlet, where they compete with Tuvan and Yanomami and Altaic in a house-to-house battle. Parents in tribal villages often encourage their children to move away from the insular language of their forebears and toward languages that will permit greater education and success.

E. Who can blame them? The arrival of television, with its glamorized global materialism, its luxury-consumption proselytizing, is even more irresistible. Prosperity, it seems, speaks English. One linguist, attempting to define what a language is, famously (and humorously) said that a language is a dialect with an army. He failed to note that some armies are better equipped than others. Today any language with a television station and a currency is in a position to obliterate those without, and so residents of Tuva must speak Russian and Chinese if they hope to engage with the surrounding world. The incursion of dominant Russian into Tuva is evident in the speaking competencies of the generation of Tuvans who grew up in the mid-20th century, when it was the fashion to speak, read, and write in Russian and not their native tongue.

F. Yet Tuvan is robust relative to its frailest counterparts, some of which are down to a thousand speakers, or a mere handful, or even one individual. Languages like Wintu, a native tongue in California, or Siletz Dee-ni, in Oregon, or Amurdak, an Aboriginal tongue in Australia’s Northern Territory, retain only one or two fluent or semifluent speakers. A last speaker with no one to talk to exists in unspeakable solitude.

G. Increasingly, as linguists recognize the magnitude of the modern language die-off and rush to catalog and decipher the most vulnerable tongues, they are confronting underlying questions about languages’ worth and utility. Does each language have boxed up within it some irreplaceable beneficial knowledge? Are there aspects of cultures that won’t survive if they are translated into a dominant language? What unexpected insights are being lost to the world with the collapse of its linguistic variety?

H. Fortunately, Tuvan is not among the world’s endangered languages, but it could have been. Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, the language has stabilized. It now has a well-equipped army—not a television station, yet, or a currency, but a newspaper and a respectable 264,000 total speakers (including some in Mongolia and China). Yet Tofa, a neighboring Siberian language, is down to some 30 speakers. Tuvan’s importance to our understanding of disappearing languages lies in another question linguists are struggling to answer: What makes one language succeed while another dwindles or dies?

Questions 1-8 


Complete the following summary of the paragraphs of Reading Passage, using no more than two words from the Reading Passage for each answer. Write your answers in boxes 1-8 on your answer sheet.

Although geographically Tuva is located in central Asia, people there are ____1___ and ______2_______ marginalized. For example, some of the words like _____3______ and _____4______in Tuvan can not directly be translated into other languages since they are so integrated with the environment that only the local people can get what they really mean. The number of Tuvan speakers pales in comparison with that of _____5______ and ______6______The generation of Tuvans growing up in the mid-20th century have more passion for _____7______instead of their mother language. Although the situation with Tuvan is much better than a Siberian language ______8_______ which has less than 50 speakers, it could have been endangered.

Questions 9-13
Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 1? In boxes 9-13 on your answer sheet, write:

TRUE if the statement is true
FALSE if the statement is false
NOT GIVEN If the information is not given in the passage

9. Andrei and his wife can speak English because they have learned it at school.

10. Khoj özeeri means nothing other than killing.

11. A Tuvan would be judged to have a bad character if he killed an animal with a gun or a knife.

12. Nowadays languages in the world are spoken disproportionately.

13. Some aspects of culture are doomed to lose if one vulnerable language is translated into a dominant language.

14. Bài tập 14


Robot explorers transform a distant object of wonder into intimate terrain.

A. Mars has long exerted a pull on the human imagination. The erratically moving red star in the sky was seen as sinister or violent by the ancients: The Greeks identified it with Ares, the god of war; the Babylonians named it after Nergal, god of the underworld. To the ancient Chinese, it was Ying-huo, the fire planet. Even after Copernicus proposed, in 1543, that the sun and not the Earth was the center of the local cosmos, the eccentricity of Mars’s celestial motions continued as a puzzle until, in 1609, Johannes Kepler analyzed all the planetary orbits as ellipses, with the sun at one focus.

B. In that same year Galileo first observed Mars through a telescope. By the mid-17th century, telescopes had improved enough to make visible the seasonally growing and shrinking polar ice caps on Mars, and features such as Syrtis Major, a dark patch thought to be a shallow sea. The Italian astronomer Giovanni Cassini was able to observe certain features accurately enough to calculate the planet’s rotation. The Martian day, he concluded, was forty minutes longer than our twenty-four hours; he was only three minutes off. While Venus, a closer and larger planetary neighbour, presented an impenetrable cloud cover, Mars showed a surface enough like Earth’s to invite speculation about its habitation by life-forms.

C. Increasingly refined telescopes, challenged by the blurring effect of our own planet’s thick and dynamic atmosphere, made possible ever more detailed maps of Mars, specifying seas and even marshes where seasonal variations in presumed vegetation came and went with the fluctuating ice caps. One of the keenest eyed cartographers of the planet was Giovanni Schiaparelli, who employed the Italian word canali for perceived linear connections between presumed bodies of water. The word could have been translated as “channels,” but “canals” caught the imagination of the public and in particular that of Percival Lowell, a rich Boston Brahmin who in 1893 took up the cause of the canals as artifacts of a Martian civilization. As an astronomer, Lowell was an amateur and an enthusiast but not a crank. He built his own observatory on a mesa near Flagstaff, Arizona, more than 7,000 feet high and, in his own words, “far from the smoke of men”; his drawings of Mars were regarded as superior to Schiaparelli’s even by astronomers hostile to the Bostonian’s theories. Lowell proposed that Mars was a dying planet whose highly intelligent inhabitants were combating the increasing desiccation of their globe with a system of irrigation canals that distributed and conserved the dwindling water stored in the polar caps.

D. This vision, along with Lowell’s stern Darwinism, was dramatized by H. G. Wells in one of science fiction’s classics, The War of the Worlds (1898). The Earth-invading Martians, though hideous to behold and merciless in action, are allowed a dollop of dispassionate human sympathy. Employing advanced instruments and intelligences honed by “the immediate pressure of necessity,” they enviously gaze across space at “our own warmer planet, green with vegetation and grey with water, with a cloudy atmosphere eloquent of fertility, with glimpses through its drifting cloud wisps of broad stretches of populous country and narrow, navy-crowded seas.”

E. In the coming half century of Martian fancy, our neighboring planet served as a shadowy twin onto which earthly concerns, anxieties, and debates were projected. Such burning contemporary issues as colonialism, collectivism, and industrial depletion of natural resources found ample room for exposition in various Martian utopias. A minor vein of science fiction showed Mars as the site, more or less, of a Christian afterlife; C. S. Lewis’s Out of the Silent Planet (1938) invented an unfallen world, Malacandra. Edgar Rice Burroughs’s wildly popular series of Martian romances presented the dying planet as a rugged, racially diverse frontier where, in the words of its Earthling superhero John Carter, life is “a hard and pitiless struggle for existence.” Following Burroughs, pulp science fiction, brushing aside possible anatomical differences, frequently mated Earthlings and Martians, the Martian usually the maiden in the match, and the male a virile Aryan aggressor from our own tough planet. The etiolated, brown-skinned, yellow-eyed Martians of Ray Bradbury’s poetic and despairing The Martian Chronicles (1950) vanish under the coarse despoilment that human invasion has brought.

F. But all the fanciful Martian megafauna—Wells’s leathery amalgams of tentacles and hugely evolved heads; American journalist Garrett Serviss’s 15-foot-tall quasi red men; Burroughs’s 10-foot, 4-armed, olive-skinned Tharks; Lewis’s beaver-like hrossa and technically skilled pfifltriggi; and the “polar bear-sized creatures” that Carl Sagan imagined being possibly roaming the brutally cold Martian surface—were swept into oblivion by the flyby photographs taken by Mariner 4 on July 14, 1965, from 6,000 miles away. The portion of Mars caught on an early digital camera showed no canals, no cities, no water, and no erosion or weathering. Mars more resembled the moon than the Earth. The pristine craters suggested that surface conditions had not changed in more than three billion years. The dying planet had been long dead.

G. Two more Mariner flybys, both launched in 1969, sent back 57 images that, in the words of the NASA release, “revealed Mars to be heavily cratered, bleak, cold, dry, nearly airless and generally hostile to any Earth-style life-forms.” But Mariner 9, an orbiter launched in 1971, dispatched, over 146 days, 7,000 photographs of surprisingly varied and violent topography: volcanoes, of which the greatest, Olympus Mons, is 13 miles high, and a system of canyons, Valles Marineris, that on Earth would stretch from New York City to Los Angeles. Great arroyos and tear-shaped islands testified to massive floods in the Martian past, presumably of water, the sine qua non of life as Earth knows it. In 1976 the two Viking landers safely arrived on the Martian surface; the ingenious chemical experiments aboard yielded, on the question of life on Mars, ambiguous results whose conclusions are still being debated into the 21st century.

H. In the meantime, our geographical and geological intimacy with Mars grows. The triumphant deployment of the little Sojourner rover in 1997 was followed in 2004 by the even more spectacular success of two more durable rovers, Spirit and Opportunity. In four years of solar-powered travels on the red planet, the twin robots have relayed unprecedentedly detailed images, including many clearly of sedimentary rocks, suggesting the existence of ancient seas. The stark, russet-tinged photographs plant the viewer right on the surface; the ladderlike tracks of Spirit and Opportunity snake and gouge their way across rocks and dust that for eons have rested scarcely disturbed under salmon pink skies and a pearlescent sun. In this tranquil desolation, the irruption of our live curiosity and systematic purpose feels heroic.

I. Now the Phoenix mission, with its surpassingly intricate arm, scoop, imagers, and analyzers, takes us inches below the surface of dust, sand, and ice in Mars’s north polar region. Spoonfuls of another planet’s substance, their chemical ingredients volatilized, sorted, and identified, become indexes to cosmic history. Meanwhile, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, the newest of three operational spacecraft circling the planet, feeds computers at the University of Arizona with astoundingly vivid and precise photographs of surface features. Some of these false-color images appear totally abstract, yet they yield to knowledgeable eyes riches of scientific information.

J. The dead planet is not so dead after all: Avalanches and dust storms are caught on camera, and at the poles a seasonal sublimation of dry ice produces erosion and movement. Dunes shift; dust devils trace dark scribbles on the delicate surface. Whether or not evidence of microbial or lichenous life emerges amid this far-off flux, Mars has become an ever nearer neighbor, a province of human knowledge. Dim and fanciful visions of the twinkling fire planet have led to panoramic close-ups beautiful beyond imagining.

Questions 1-5

The Reading Passage has seven paragraphs A-J.

Which paragraph contains the following information?

Write the correct letter A-J, in boxes 1-5 on your answer sheet.

NB you may use any letter more than once

  1. People from Mars and people from our planet fall in love with each other
  2. the accurate calculation of Martian day by an astronomer
  3. the highest volcano on Mars
  4. various writings with Mars as the background
  5. imaginative ideas the ancients had about Mars

Questions 6-10

Use the information in the passage to match the robot explorers (listed A-F) with deeds below. Write the appropriate letters A-F in boxes 6-10 on your answer sheet.

A. Mariner 4

B. Mariner 9

C. Viking lander

D. Spirit and Opportunity

E. Phoenix

F. Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

6. It did tests on the possibility of life on Mars but no definitive conclusions have been made by now.

7. It dig the surface of Mars and made analysis of substance collected.

8. Photos collected by this robot explorer denied the existence of the horrible creatures previously described in some books.

9. It got the energy from the Sun and sent pictures suggesting that seas could have existed on Mars a long time ago.

10. Photos from the robot explorer display that the landscape of Mars is quite different from what has been traditionally depicted.

Questions 11-13
Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 1?

In boxes 11-13 on your answer sheet, write:

TRUE if the statement is True
FALSE if the statement is false
NOT GIVEN If the information is not given in the passage

11. Giovanni Schiaparelli proposed that the interconnected bodies of water were canals built by intelligent livings on Mars.

12. Human beings will land on Mars in 20 years.

13. With the help of robot explorers, Mars is no longer as distant as it appears to be.

15. Bài tập 15


Could better design cure our throwaway culture?

A. Jonathan Chapman, a senior lecturer at the University of Brighton, UK, is one of a new breed of “sustainable designers’. Like many of us, they are concerned about the huge waste associated with Western consumer culture and the damage this does to the environment. Some, like Chapman, aim to create objects we will want to keep rather than discard. Others are working to create more efficient or durable consumer goods, or goods designed with recycling in mind. The waste entailed in our fleeting relationships with consumer durables is colossal.

B. Domestic power tools, such as electric drills, are a typical example of such waste. However much DIY the purchaser plans to do, the truth is that these things are thrown away having been used, on average, for just ten minutes. Most will serve 'conscience time', gathering dust on a shelf in the garage; people are reluctant to admit that they have wasted their money. However, the end is inevitable for thousands of years in landfill waste sites. In its design, manufacture, packaging, transportation and disposal, a power tool consumes many times its own weight in resources, all for a shorter active lifespan than that of the average small insect.

C. To understand why we have become so wasteful, we should look to the underlying motivation of consumers. ‘People own things to give expression to who they are and to show what group of people they feel they belong to’, Chapman says. In a world of mass production, however, that symbolism has lost much of its potency. For most of human history, people had an intimate relationship with objects they used or treasured. Often they made the objects themselves, or family members passed them on. For more specialist objects, people relied on expert manufacturers living close by, whom they probably knew personally. Chapman points out that all these factors gave objects a history – a narrative – and an emotional connection that today’s mass production cannot match. Without these personal connections, consumerist culture instead idolizes novelty. We know we can’t buy happiness, but the chance to remake ourselves with glossy, box-fresh products seems irresistible. When the novelty fades we simply renew the excitement by buying more new stuff: what John Thackara of Doors of Perception, a network for sharing ideas about the future of design, calls the “schlock of the new”.

D. As a sustainable designer, Chapman’s solution is what he calls “emotionally durable design”. Think about your favourite old jeans. They just don’t have the right feel until they have been worn and washed a hundred times, do they? It is like they are sharing your life story. You can fake that look, but it isn’t the same. Chapman says the gradual unfolding of a relationship like this transforms our interactions with objects into something richer than simple utility. Swiss industrial analyst Walter Stahel, visiting professor at the University of Surrey, calls it the “teddy-bear factor”. No matter how ragged and worn a favourite teddy becomes, we don’t rush out and buy another one. As adults, our teddy bear connects us to our childhoods, and this protects it from obsolescence. Stahel says this is what sustainable design needs to do.

E. It is not simply about making durable items that people want to keep. Sustainable design is a matter of properly costing the whole process of production, energy use, and disposal. “It is about the design of systems, the design of culture.” says Tim Cooper from the Centre for Sustainable Consumption at Sheffield Hallam University in Britain. He thinks sustainable design has been “surprisingly slow to take off” but says looming environmental crises and resource depletion are pushing it to the top of the agenda.

F. Thackara agrees. For him, the roots of impending environmental collapse can be summarized in two words: weight and speed. We are making more stuff than the planet can sustain and using vast amounts of energy moving more and more of it around ever faster. The Information Age was supposed to lighten our economies and reduce our impact on the environment, but the reverse seems to be happening. We have simply added information technology to the industrial era and hastened the developed world’s metabolism, Thackara argues.

G. Once you grasp that, the cure is hardly rocket science: minimize waste and energy use, stop moving stuff around so much and use people more. EZIO MANZINI, PROFESSOR of industrial design at Politecnico di Milano University, Italy, describes the process of moving to a post-throwaway society as like “changing the engine of an aircraft in mid-flight". Even so, he believes it can be done, and he is not alone.

H. Manzini says a crucial step would be to redesign our globalized world into what he calls the “multi-local society”. His vision is that every resource, from food to electricity generation, should as far as possible be sourced and distributed locally. These local hubs would then be connected to national and global networks to allow the most efficient use and flow of materials.

I. So what will post-throwaway consumerism look like? For a start, we will increasingly buy sustainably designed products. This might be as simple as installing energy-saving light bulbs, more efficient washing machines, or choosing locally produced groceries with less packaging.

J. We will spend less on material goods and more on services. Instead of buying a second car, for example, we might buy into a car-sharing network. We will also buy less and rent a whole lot more: why own things that you hardly use, especially things that are likely to be updated all the time? Consumer durables will be sold with plans already in place for their disposal. Electronic goods will be designed to be recyclable, with the extra cost added to the retail price as prepayment. As consumers become increasingly concerned about the environment, many big businesses are eagerly adopting sustainable design and brushing up their green credentials to please their customers and stay one step ahead of the competition.

Questions 28-32

Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D.

Write the correct letter in boxes 28-32 on your answer sheet.

28. What does ‘conscience time’ imply in paragraph 2?

A. People feel guilty when they throw things away easily.

B. The shelf in the garage needs cleaning.

C. The consumers are unaware of the waste problem.

D. The power tool should be placed in the right place after being used.

29. Prior to mass production, people own things to show

A. their quality

B. their status

C. their character

D. their history

30. The word ‘narrative’ in paragraph 3 refers to

A. the novelty culture pursued by the customers

B. the motivation for buying new products

C. object stories that relate personally and meaningfully to the owners

D. the image created by the manufacturers

31. Without personal connection, people buy new stuff for

A. sharing

B. freshness

C. collection

D. family members

32. The writer quotes the old jeans and teddy bear to illustrate that

A. the products are used for simple utility.

B. producers should create more special stuff to attract the consumers.

C. Chapman led a poor childhood life.

D. the emotional connections make us keep the objects for longer.

Questions 33-36

Complete the summary using the list of words, A-H, below.

Write the correct letter A-H, in boxes 33-36 on your answer sheet.

Tim Cooper claims that although sustainable design proceeds 33………………………………, the coming problems are pushing the move. In accordance with Tim Cooper, Thackara believes that the origins of the looming environmental crises are weight and 34………………………………… The technology which was assumed to have a positive effect on our society actually accelerates the world’s 35………………………………… To cure this, Manzini proposes a ‘multi-local society’ which means every resource should be located and redeployed 36………………………..

A. properly

B. energy

C. locally

D. economy

E. slowly

F. speed

G. quickly

H. metabolism

Questions 37-40

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

In boxes 37-40 on your answer sheet, write:

YES if the statement is true

NO if the statement is false

NOT GIVEN if the information is not given in the passage

37. People often buy things that are seldom used and throw them away.

38. In a post-throwaway society, we will pay extra money after disposing the electronic goods.

39. Some businesses have jumped on the sustainability bandwagon.

40. Company will spend less on repairing in the future.

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