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Talk to any parent of a student who took an adventurous gap year (a year between school and university when some students earn money, travel, etc.) and a misty look will come into their eyes. There are some disasters and even the most motivated, organised gap student does require family back-up, financial, emotional and physical. The parental mistiness is not just about the brilliant experience that has matured their offspring; it is vicarious living. We all wish pre-university gap years had been the fashion in our day. We can see how much tougher our kids become; how much more prepared to benefit from university or to decide positively that they are going to do something other than a degree.

Gap years are fashionable, as is reflected in the huge growth in the number of charities and private companies offering them. Pictures of Prince William toiling in Chile have helped, but the trend has been gathering steam for a decade. The range of gap packages starts with backpacking, includes working with charities, building hospitals and schools and, very commonly, working as a language assistant, teaching English. With this trend, however, comes a danger. Once parents feel that a wellstructured year is essential to their wouldbe undergraduates progress to a better university, a good degree, an impressive CV and well paid employment, as the gap companies blurbs suggest it might be, then parents will start organising-and paying for-the gaps.

Where there are disasters, according to Richard Oliver, director of the gap companies umbrella organisation, the Year Out Group, it is usually because of poor planning. That can be the fault of the company or of the student, he says, but the best insurance is thoughtful preparation. "When people get it wrong, it is usually medical or, especially among girls, it is that they have not been away from home before or because expectation does not match reality."

The point of a gap year is that it should be the time when the school leaver gets to do the thing that he or she fancies. Kids don't mature if mum and dad decide how they are going to mature. If the 18-year-old's way of maturing is to slob out on Hampstead Heath soaking up sunshine or spending a year working with fishermen in Cornwall, then that's what will be productive for that person. The consensus, however, is that some structure is an advantage and that the prime mover needs to be the student.

The 18-year-old who was dispatched by his parents at two weeks' notice to Canada to learn to be a snowboarding instructor at a cost of £5,800, probably came back with little more than a hangover. The 18-year-old on the same package who worked for his fare and spent the rest of his year instructing in resorts from New Zealand to Switzerland, and came back to apply for university, is the positive counterbalance. [502 words]

16. It can be inferred from the first paragraph that parents of gap students may--.

[A] help children to be prepared for disasters

[B] receive all kinds of support from their children

[C] have rich experience in bringing up their offspring

[D] experience watching children grow up

17. According to the text, which of the following is true?

[A] The popularity of gap years results from an increasing number of charities.

[B] Prince William was working hard during his gap year.

[C] Gap years are not as fashionable as they were ten years ago.

[D] A well-structured gap year is a guarantee of university success.

18. The word "packages" (Line 3, Para. 2) means--.

[A] parcels carried in travelling

[B] a comprehensive set of activities

[C] something presented in a particular way

[D] charity actions

19. What can cause the disasters of gap years?

[A] Intervention of parents.

[B] Irresponsibility of the companies.

[C] A lack of insurance. 

[D] Low expectation.

20. An 18-year-old is believed to take a meaningful gap year when he/she--.

[A] lives up to his/her parents'expectations

[B] spends time being lazy and doing nothing

[C] learns skills by spending parents' money

[D] earns his or her living and gains working experience


at two weeks'notice 提前两周通知;at short(a moments) notice随时,提前很短时间通知 例:We are ready to start at short notice.我们已准备好,接到通知就可以出发。

backup  n./ a. *支援(者),支持(者) 备用品 例:a backup plan/system/pilot备用计划/备用系统/候补飞行员

back up ① 支持(某人),证实(某说法) ② 备份,复制(磁盘) ③ 向后移动

counterbalance  n./v. 平衡,抗衡;平衡抵消物; counter 前缀,表示"相反的,相对的"如 counterattack v. 回击,counterpart n. 地位、职务等相当的人,对等物

look up 抬头看 尊敬,仰望 例:look up to sb. as ones teacher把某人尊为老师 *(形势等)好转 例:Things are looking up now.情况正在好转。 (在字典、参考书等中)查寻 例:look up a word in a dictionary在字典中查一个词

package  n. ① 包,盒,袋 *② a set of related things or services sold or offered together(必须整体接受的)一套,一揽子 例:a benefits package 一套福利措施 / an aid package 综合援助计划 /  package deal 一揽子交易

pick up 拾起,拿起 例: pick up the phone拿起话筒  (偶然、无意地)获得(收益、知识、消息等) pick up a tip from my mother 从妈妈那学到一个窍门 接收(讯号),收听(广播等)例:pick up the BBC World Service 接收英国广播公司国际广播节目 *(情况等)好转,改进 例:Trade is picking up nicely.生意很有起色。

structure n. 结构,构造,体系 *② a situation in which everything is carefully organized and planned组织性,条理性 例: Kids need some sort of structure to their day. 儿童的日常生活需要有点条理性。

vt. 构造;组织;安排 例:You need to structure your arguments more carefully.你需要更仔细地组织好自己的论据。/ well structured精心组织的,安排周密的

umbrella organization an organization that includes many smaller groups伞状机构、组织


a gap year (中学和大学之间)学业间断的一年,间断年

backpack v.背包旅行 例:go backpacking  n.背包

blurb  n. ① (印在书籍封套上的)简介 *② 夸大的广告或介绍词

hangover  n. 遗留的感觉(或风俗、习惯等)(常后跟介词from) 例:the insecure feeling that was a hangover from her childhood 她儿时留下的不安全感

slob  n. 懒惰而邋遢的人  *vi. slob out/around游手好闲,无所事事

toil  n.辛苦,劳累;苦活,难事 例:some books are a toil to read.有些书读起来真费劲。 v.苦干,辛苦从事(于......) 例:toil at/on one's task辛苦工作

vicarious  a. ① 代理的,代表的;代理人的 例:vicarious authority代理的职权 *② (想象别人的苦乐等而)产生同感或共鸣的 例:He got a vicarious thrill out of watching his son score the winning goal.他看到儿子射入致胜一球时,也同样感到欣喜若狂。




以父母为切入点,间接提出一种现象:学业间断年。一方面,由于学业间断年存在着危机,家庭需要给予孩子各方面的支持。另一方面,父母从孩子身上感受到了一种新的生活方式(vicarious living),他们看到孩子们①变得更坚强(become tougher);②为大学生活作了更充分的准备(more prepared to benefit from university);③打算做除了获得学历之外的事情(do something other than a degree)。


第二段:内容上分成了两个部分。第一部分指出学业间断年现在很流行,其表现是:组织团体和公司增多。其原因是:①威廉王子的宣传效应;②经过十年的发展声势逐渐强大。第二部分从with this trend, however... 开始,指出学业间断年的潜在问题之一:父母干预孩子的成长。其具体表现为:父母组织并资助间断年期间的活动(start organizing and paying for the gaps)。其原因是:受公司宣传的影响,以为这个阶段对孩子未来的学业和就业都非常重要。

第三段:延续第二段后面部分的内容,引用专家(Richard Oliver)的观点,指出学业间断年存在的第二大问题:缺乏周密的计划(poor planning)。其表现是:健康问题、从未离开过家、期望与现实不符。解决方法:做好审慎的准备(thoughtful preparation)。


第四段:首先提出要让学业间断年具有意义,就应该让年轻人独立地做自己喜欢做的事情(the school leaver gets to do the thing that he or she fancies)。接着从反面论证父母的安排不利于孩子真正成熟,该部分举了两个例子说明。最后再次重申,行动的安排者应该是学生自己。




1. 事实细节题

(1) 针对第一段可以考查父母在学业间断年的收获,参见考试题16;也可以间接考查孩子们在学业间断年的收获,如:以下哪项是经历学业间断年的学生产生的变化?[A] 更成熟、更坚强;[B] 就业目的更明确;[C] 更轻松地完成大学学业;[D] 与父母之间关系更融洽。(答案:[A])

(2) 可以考查学业间断年一般从事的活动,如,以下哪项不是学业间断年做的事情?[A] 修建学校;[B] 远途旅行;[C] 教学工作;[D] 慈善捐款。(答案:[D])

(3) 针对第二段"学业间断年时兴的原因"和"父母主动安排学业间断年的原因"考查因果细节。另外,由于第二段涉及细节较多,也可以综合考查,参见试题17。

(4) 综合第二段和第三段,可以综合考查学业间断年出现的问题,参见试题19。

2. 推理引申题

(1) 根据第一段倒数第二句We all wish... ,可以考查推理家长们看待学业间断年的态度。如:[A] 积极支持;[B] 坚决反对;[C] 不明确;[D] 既不支持也不反对。(答案:[A])

(2) 针对第二段有关威廉王子的例子,可以考查推理作者的写作意图。

(3) 针对最后一段的两个例子,可以考查推理作者举例的目的,也可以考查推理作者认为实现有意义的学业间断年的方法。参见试题20。

3. 语言知识题。

(1) 考查第一段超纲词vicarious在上下文中的含义。

(2) 考查第二段packages一词的熟词僻义。参见试题18。



[A] 帮助孩子准备迎接灾难

[B] 从孩子那里得到各种支持

[C] 在抚养孩子方面有丰富的经验

[D] 经历了看着孩子成长的过程

[精解] 答案D本题考查推理引申。第一段论述了经历学业间断年的孩子的父母的感受,包括两个方面:一是由于这个时期的学生需要家庭从经济上、情感上和体力上给予帮助,因此父母可能有帮助孩子成熟起来的美好经历;二是父母间接的感受,即看着孩子们变得更坚强,自己做决定,从而成长。由此可知,[D]项是父母可能经历的。[A]项中出现了原文中的disaster,但含义不同。第一段第二句中disasters指的是"困难,危机",是下文提到的"孩子需要家庭给予帮助"造成的。[B]项与第一段第二句含义相反。第三句提到,父母有帮助孩子成熟起来的美好经历,而非[C]项中的rich experience(经验丰富)。


[A] 学业间断年的普及是因为慈善机构数目的增长造成的。

[B] 威廉王子在他的学业间断年期间努力工作。

[C] 现在学业间断年不像十年前那样普及了。

[D] 一个精心安排的学业间断年是大学成功的保证。

[精解] 答案B本题考查事实细节。第二段首句提到,学业间断年现在很时兴,反映在提供它们的慈善团体和私人公司的数目呈巨额增长。[A]项错在将表现归为原因。第二句提到,威廉王子在智利吃苦的事情(对间断年的流行)发挥了作用。由此可推出[B]项正确。第三句提到,(间断年普及的)趋势十年来一直在加强。因此排除[C]项。第二段后半部分谈到"学业间断年的时兴"带来的隐患,即一些父母相信公司的介绍,认为精心安排的间断年对于孩子未来的求学、就业都很重要。因此[D]项是一些公司的宣传及部分家长的错误看法。


[A] 旅行中带的包裹

[B] 一套综合的活动

[C] 用特殊方式呈现出来的东西

[D] 慈善行动

[精解] 答案B本题考查词义。词义的确定依赖上下文。上文中gap一词多次出现,指"学业间断",下文提到一系列活动,即背包旅行、和慈善团体一起工作、修建医院和学校、做语言助教教英语。因此gap packages指学业间断期间学生从事的多种活动。[D]项没有包括所有的活动,应选[B]项。


[A] 父母的干预。 [B] 公司的不负责任。

[C] 没有保险。    [D] 期望过低。

[精解] 答案A第二段后半部分论述了随着学业间断年的普及而带来的一个隐患,即父母以为好的间断年可以决定孩子未来的的求学和就业,因此会主动安排孩子的间断年,甚至出钱。显然,这么做妨碍了孩子独立的成长。[A]项是造成问题的原因。第三段提到另外一个问题是计划不周,其表现有:健康问题(medical)、从未离开过家、期望与现实不符。[B]和[C]出现了原文中的词语company和insurance,但其含义与原文已有很大出入;文中只提到"期望与现实不符",[D]中"过低"一词无从推知。


[A] 达到父母的期望

[B] 无所事事

[C] 通过花父母的钱学会技能

[D] 自己谋生并获得工作经验

[精解] 答案D本题考查推理引申。第四段首句提到,学业间断年的意义在于它应该是离校生开始做自己喜欢做的事情的时候。第四段后面部分进一步进行阐述。由父母来决定孩子怎样成熟,并不能使孩子真正成熟。无所事事的行为也没有收获。行动的安排者应是学生自己。第五段举了两个截然不同的例子,前者遵照父母的安排,后者自食其力。因此,[D]项符合题意。