III. Reading Comprehension
Section A
Directions: For each blank in the following passage there are four words or phrases marked A, B, C and D. Fill in each blank with the word or phrase that best fits the context.

Is language, like food, a basic human need without which a child at a critical period of life can be__50___ and damaged? Judging from an experiment in the thirteenth century, it may be. Hoping to discover what language a child would speak if a baby heard no mother__51___ , the experimenter told the nurses to keep silent.
All the__52___ died before the first year. But clearly there was more than lack of language here. What was missing was good mothering. Without good mothering, in the first year of life__53___ , the capacity to survive is seriously affected.

Today no such severe lack exists as that ordered by the experimenter.__54___ , some children are still backward in speaking. Most often the reason for this is that the mother is__55___ to the signals of the infant, whose brain is programmed to learn language rapidly. If these sensitive periods are neglected, the ideal time for__56___ skills passes and they might never be learned so easily again. A bird learns to sing and to fly rapidly at right time, but the process is slow and hard once the__57___ stage has passed.

Experts suggest that speech stages are reached in a fixed sequence and at a__58___ age, but there are cases where speech has started__59___ in a child who eventually turns out to be of high IQ. At twelve weeks a baby smiles and makes vowel-like sounds; at twelve months he can speak simple words and understand simple __60___ ; at eighteen months he has a vocabulary of three to fifty words. At three he knows about 1,000 words which he can put into sentences, and at four his language differs from that of his parents in style__61___ grammar.

Recent evidence suggests that an infant is born with the__62___ to speak. What is special about man’s brain, compared with that of the monkey, is the complex system which enables a child to__63___ the sight and feel of, say, a toy-bear with the sound pattern “toy – bear”. And even more__64___ is the young brain’s ability to pick out an order in language from the mixture of sound around him, to analyse, to combine and recombine the parts of a language in new ways.

50.A. constructed B. starved C. spoiled D. exhausted

51.A. sound B. singing C. educating D. tongue

52.A. parents B. care-takers C. infants D. investigators

53.A. randomly B. originally C. greatly D. especially

54.A. Consequently B. Nevertheless C. Theoretically D. Fortunately

55.A. unfamiliar B. inaccessible C. insensitive D. unaccustomed

56.A. acquiring B. practising C. occupying D. seizing

57.A. critical B. temporary C. contemporary D. reasonable

58.A. pleasing B. troublesome C. flexible D. constant

59.A. last B. late C. early D. lately

60.A. commands B. necessities C. resolutions D. directions

61.A. or rather B. or else C. other than D. rather than

62.A. inspiration B. passion C. creativity D. capacity

63.A. justify B. connect C. oblige D. devote

64.A. unpredictable B. unbelievable C. uncountable D. unbearable 

Section B
Directions: Read the following passages. Each passage is followed by several questions or unfinished statements. For each of them there are four choices marked A, B,C or D. Choose the one that suits best according to the information given in the passage you have just read.

Acting is such an over-crowded profession that the only advice that should be given to a young person thinking of going on the stage is “Don’t!”. But it is useless to try to discourage someone who feels that he must act, though the chances of his becoming famous are slim. The normal way to begin is to go to a drama school. Usually only students who show promise and talent are accepted, and the course lasts two years. Then the young actor or actress takes up work with a repertory company, usually as an assistant stage manager. This means doing everything that there is to do in the theatre: painting scenery, looking after the furniture, taking care of the costumes, and even acting in very small parts. It is very hard work indeed. The hours are long and the salary is tiny. But young actors with the stage in their blood are happy, waiting for the chances of working with a better company, or perhaps in films or television.

Of course, some people have unusual chances which lead to fame and success without this long and dull training. Connie Pratt, for example, was just an ordinary girl working in a bicycle factory. A film producer happened to catch sight of her one morning waiting at a bus stop, as he drove past in his big car. He told the driver to stop, and he got out to speak to the girl. He asked her if she would like to go to the film studio to do a test, and at first she thought he was joking. Then she got angry and said she would call the police. It took the producer twenty minutes to tell Connie that he was serious. Then an appointment was made for her to go to the studio the next day. The test was successful. They gave her some necessary lessons and within a few weeks she was playing the leading part opposite one of the most famous actors of the day. Of Course, she was given a more dramatic name, which is now world-famous. But chances like this happen once in a blue moon!

65. According to the passage, the main reason why young people should be discouraged from becoming actors is ______.
A. actors are very unusual people
B. the course at the drama school lasts two years
C. acting is really a hard job
D. there are already too many actors

66. According to the context, the sentence “But young actors with the stage in their blood are happy” at the end of the first paragraph means ______.
A. they don’t care if their job is hard
B. they like the stage naturally
C. they are born happy
D. they are easily satisfied

67. Connie Pratt soon became a famous actress after ______.
A. learning some lessons about the art of speaking
B. playing her part in the “Blue Colored Moon”
C. successfully matching the most famous actors
D. acting a leading part with a most famous actor at that time

68. The phrase “once in a blue moon” in last line means ______.
A. all at once B. once for a long time
C. once in a while D. once and for all 


69. Which of the following does NOT provide training?
   A. The ABC 2011 Challenge. B. Advance.
 C. The Volunteer Centre Westminster. D. The Kingston Advocacy.

70. We learn from the ads that Advance wants volunteers who ______.
 A. are over 18 years old B. have relevant experience
 C. can come to help every week D. need only one day of training

71. What kind of person might apply to Kingston Advocacy?
 A. One who hoped to be paid.
 B. One interested in doing interviews.
 C. One curious about police life.
 D. One who can work late into the night.

The gift of being able to describe a face accurately is a rare one, as every experienced police officer knows to his cost. As the Lancet put it recently, “When we try to describe faces precisely, words fail us, and we resort to identikit (拼脸型图) procedures.”

Yet, according to one authority on the subject, we can each probably recognize more than 1,000 faces, the majority of which differ in fine details. This, when one comes to think of it, is a tremendous feat, though, curiously enough, relatively little attention has been devoted to the fundamental problems of how and why we acquire this gift for recognizing and remembering faces. Is it an inborn property of our brains, or an acquired one? As so often happens, the experts tend to differ.

Thus, some argue that it is inborn, and that there are “special characteristics about the brain’s ability to distinguish faces”. In support of this, they note how much better we are at recognizing a face after a single encounter than we are, for example, in recognizing an individual horse. On the other hand, there are those, and they are probably in the majority, who claim that the gift is an acquired one.

The arguments in favor of this latter view, it must be confessed, are impressive. It is a habit that is acquired soon after birth. Watch, for instance, how a quite young baby recognizes his mother by sight. Granted that his other senses help – the sound, his sense of smell, the distinctive way she handles him. But of all these, sight is predominant. Formed at the very beginning of life, the ability to recognize faces quickly becomes an established habit, and one that is, essential for daily living, if not necessarily for survival. How essential and valuable it is we probably do not appreciate until we encounter people who have been deprived of the faculty.

This unfortunate inability to recognize familiar faces is known to all, but such people can often recognize individuals by their voices, their walking manners or their spectacles. With typical human ingenuity, many of these unfortunate people overcome their handicap by recognizing other characteristic features.

72. It is stated in the passage that ______.
A. it is unusual for a person to be able to identify a face satisfactorily
B. the ability to recognize faces unhesitatingly is an unusual gift
C. quite a few people can visualize faces they have seen
D. few people can give exact details of the appearance of a face

73. What the author feels strange about is that _______.
A. people have the tremendous ability to recognize more than 1,000 faces
B. people don’t think much of the problem of how and why we acquire the ability to recognize and remember faces
C. people don’t realize how essential and valuable it is for them to have the ability to recognize faces
D. people have been arguing much over the way people recognize and remember faces

74. What is the first suggested explanation of the origin of the ability?
A. It is one of the characteristics peculiar to human beings.
B. It is acquired soon after birth.
C. It is something we can do from the very moment we are born.
D. It is learned from our environment and experiences.

75. This passage seems to emphasize that ______.
A. the ability to recognize individuals is dependent on other senses as well as sight
B. sight is indispensable (必需的) to recognizing individuals
C. the ability to recognize faces is a special inborn ability of the brain
D. the importance of the ability of recognizing faces is fully appreciated by people.