新东方在线网络课堂 雅思 新东方在线 > 雅思 > 雅思阅读 > 正文

雅思阅读每日习题系列:Lost for words

2017-10-06 15:54:00 来源:网络雅思资料下载

  雅思阅读考试关键在于多做多练,题目做的多了自然熟能生巧,今天新东方在线小编给大家分享一下雅思阅读每日习题系列:Lost for words,每天一套题,提升你的雅思阅读能力,大家一起来学习吧。更多雅思阅读备考内容欢迎大家随时关注新东方在线雅思网

  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.

  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.

  下一页是本篇雅思阅读文章的答案解析,一起来了解一下:

本文关键字: 雅思阅读 雅思阅读习题

为你特别匹配的雅思超值课程,快速提分先人一步!
  • 【1元听直播】新东方名师公益课(第四季)

    适合人群:不知道如何高效备考,想要在短期考到7及7以上的考生。

    课时:10

    查看详情
  • 雅思机经高频词汇套装

    适合人群:为背单词枯燥而抓狂,又急需提高词汇量。

    课时:20

    查看详情
    -->
  • 考雅必备:10天练就纯正英音

    适合人群:想要纠正语音语调的考生

    课时:5

    查看详情
  • 【知心雅思】全科提高冲6.5分班

    适合人群:想要冲刺6.5分的考生

    课时:344

    查看详情
  • 雅思核心1200词背诵

    适合人群:有背单词困难症的考生

    课时:44

    查看详情

课程试听换一换

  • 【新东方名师直播】雅思暑期公益课(第3...

    ¥1

  • 【新东方名师直播】雅思暑期公益课(第4...

    ¥1

  • 【知心雅思】旗舰VIP直达 7 分班

    ¥4734.4

  • 【知心雅思】旗舰VIP直达 7 分班(基...

    ¥5613.52

  • 【知心雅思】旗舰VIP直达 6.5 分班

    ¥4294.4

  • 【知心雅思】旗舰VIP直达 6.5分 班(...

    ¥5173.52

  • 【暑期特训版】雅思10天千词计划

    ¥199

  • 【知心雅思】全科提高冲 7 分班

    ¥3280

分享到:

相关推荐

交流 • 下载

精品课限量免费领

  • 【新东方名师直播】雅思IELTS公益课(第四季)
  • 雅思考试指南
  • 雅思写作考官范文
  • 英国大学排名
  • 【知心雅思】旗舰VIP直达7分班
  • 雅思口语全程备考攻略

热点资讯更多>>

实用 • 工具

雅思课程排行榜本周本月

雅思公开课更多>>

雅思7分阅读--LOH题详解 w 00分00秒
1 雅思7分阅读--LOH题详解
雅思6分阅读--搭配题怎样解? w 00分00秒
2 雅思6分阅读--搭配题怎样解?
雅思6.5分阅读--做题时如何规划时间 w 00分00秒
3 雅思6.5分阅读--做题时如何规划时间
雅思7分写作--大作文的展开方式 w 00分00秒
4 雅思7分写作--大作文的展开方式
雅思6分写作--如何开始学习写作? w 00分00秒
5 雅思6分写作--如何开始学习写作?

推荐阅读