台大外語教學暨資源中心英語學習報

 

US Faces Worst Drought in 56 Years

Photo from VOA NEWS

 


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自學包裹中高級第66期上線囉!

在各國反對聲浪之中,北韓發射了多階段火箭(multi-stage rocket)。雖然火箭第一階段後就失敗,未能把人造觀測衛星(observation satellite)送上軌道,但各國仍同聲撻伐,將之視為挑釁行為(provocation),也違反聯合國決議(resolution)。更有情報指出,北韓的下一階段是地下的核子試爆(underground explosions of nuclear devices)。更多關於軍事與國際政治的英文表達法都在本期的自學包裹裡。

聽力訓練在本期一起來聽有 「絕世金嗓 (The Voice)」 美名的已故西洋天后Whitney Houston的經典名曲「I Will Always Love You」,一同欣賞這位金嗓天后的傳奇歌聲。」

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◎ 八月份彭蒙惠英語已上線

在家即可線上閱讀當月Advanced彭蒙惠英語,八月份已上線囉,還沒申請帳號的,請先申請Author Plus帳號。

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 E-Freeway主題介紹

feature of the week

Merriam-Webster Visual Dictionary Online

網路字典已經是很多同學自修學習時最方便、最直覺的一個語言參考工具了。學習電子報已經介紹過很多優質的網路字典,本期要介紹的是有點不一樣的Merriam Webster的線上圖示字典。不同於其它網路字典僅提供文字定義,Merriam Webster圖示字典以清楚的,大張、全彩的圖片為特色,每個詞組在圖示下都無所遁形,清晰可見。一張標示清楚的圖片,勝過千言萬語的解釋,很多學科結構性的、複雜的概念也都可以透過圖示一目瞭然。不僅可供同學一般查詢使用,平時做報告,這也是的一個不錯的參考來源。

來看介紹 | 直接進入網站


Members Only資源介紹

Clarity English: Study Skills Success – Speaking

這次要介紹的是大家的老朋友Clarity English系統中,Study Skills Success的口說單元。想要能夠流利的說出英文,不但要注意流暢還要切合題意,文法以及時態甚至是輕重音,真是很困難呢。這時候好教材就很重要啦!這套教材在教同學怎麼回答各種問題的同時,還提供各種不同的回答範例,所以同學可以清楚地觀摩口說的回答技巧跟策略。有這麼棒的教材,同學還在等什麼呢?!...... 馬上登入Clarity English來使用吧!


這個網頁課程是專門針對到英國唸書的國際學生設計,討論在英國的學術環境中,會需要的學術口語技巧,以及給國際學生在參與課堂討論、口頭報告等等學術活動時,需要注意的一些叮嚀。

比較特別的是,這個網站所使用的教材不是老師編寫的,而是訪問實際到英國唸書的國際學生,由國際學生講述親身的經驗以及給予建議。更能夠貼近台灣學生第一次接近英語學習環境可能有的困難,所提供的建議相對來說也更實際。

雖然英國的學制與美國或是台灣的不是很類似,然而在課堂上與口頭報告所需的技巧與態度,其實都是共通的。就算不是要留英的同學,相信也能夠從這個網站中學到很多東西。

http://efreeway.avcenter.ntu.edu.tw/freeway/speaking/index_speaking.htm

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 館藏介紹

《打不倒的勇者》由四度奧斯卡金獎得主克林伊斯威特(《陌生的孩子》、《登峰造擊》)執導,講述一則激勵人心的真實故事,描寫南非前總統尼爾森曼德拉(摩根費里曼 飾)如何與南非橄欖球隊隊長法蘭索瓦皮納爾(麥特戴蒙 飾)同心協力,聯手凝聚國人向心力,讓因為黑白人種問題面臨嚴重分裂的南非能夠團結一致。改編自約翰卡林的著作《化敵為友》(Playing the Enemy,暫譯),全片採用實景拍攝,於南非開普敦和約翰尼斯堡等城市或附近地區取景。


 英語宅急便     

US Faces Worst Drought in 56 Years

The United States is suffering its worst drought in almost sixty years. Moderate to extreme dry conditions spread to fifty-five percent of the continental United States in June. That was the most since December of nineteen fifty-six.

The National Climatic Data Center also says high temperatures in June added to the warmest twelve-month period on record. Recordkeeping began in eighteen ninety-five.

The drought map ___1___ that conditions improved in the Southeast in June compared to May. But they intensified from the Midwest to the Great Plains and much of the West. Predictions through the end of October suggest that the drought is likely to improve in areas of the Southwest and Southeast. But the drought is expected to continue or intensify in large parts of the country.

Last week, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack ___2___ with President Obama. Mr. Vilsack says the drought has severely affected corn and soybean crops. The United States is the world's leading producer of maize and soybeans.  

TOM VILASK: "Thirty-eight percent of our corn crop as of today is rated ___3___ poor to very poor, thirty percent of our soybeans, poor to very poor."

Most of the affected states are in the southern half of the country. But officials said farmlands in the north are now drying up as well.

The drought has ___4___ prices for corn and soybeans. Both are used in food production and for animal feed. Last week the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization reported a twenty percent jump in maize and wheat prices over the past three weeks.

Wheat prices are up as hot, dry weather affects production in the Black Sea region.

In the United States, ranchers may quickly reduce the size of their herds of animals rather than pay higher feed prices to keep raising them. That increased supply of meat would reduce meat prices in the short-term. But those prices could increase several months from now.

Mr. Vilsack said the overall effect of the drought is hard to predict. Some areas are getting rain, and drought-resistant seeds have helped crops grow well in some areas.

President Obama has cut the interest rate on disaster loans for farmers and made it easier for affected areas to receive government financial assistance. ___5___, farmers are waiting to see

what Congress does with the farm bill, a major piece of legislation renewed every five years.

The Senate has passed a version that would end direct payments to farmers but help pay for crop insurance. The plan would save money. But the House of Representative has passed different legislation, and Congress needs to ___6___ a compromise. The current farm bill ends at the end of September.

I. Vocabulary

suffer (v.) to experience physical or mental pain

drought (n.) a long period when there is little or no rain

moderate (adj.) neither very great nor very small in amount, size, strength, or degree

intensify (v.) to become greater, more serious or more extreme, or to make something do this

severely (adv.) very badly, very seriously

herd (n.) a group of animals of one kind that live and feed together

legislation (n.) a law or set of laws suggested by a government and made official by a parliament

compromise (v.) a way of solving a problem or ending an argument in which both people or groups accept that they cannot have everything they want

II. Cloze Test

1. (A) showed (B) played (C) performed (D) realized

2. (A) meet (B) met (C) has met (D) had been met

3. (A) of (B) on (C) by (D) as

4. (A) dried up (B) turned up (C) looked up (D) pushed up

5. (A) Moreover (B) As a result (C) On the contrary (D) At the same time

6. (A) achieve (B) receive (C) reach (D) ascertain

Answer key: 1. A 2. B 3. D 4. D 5. D 6. C

Contributing: Kane Farabaugh

Source: http://learningenglish.voanews.com/content/us-drought/1444008.html

 
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