READING PASSAGE 1
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1-13, which are based on Reading Passage 1 below.
Life in an international orchestra
Playing in a big international orchestra is one of life's most exciting experiences, yet it is also a very tough job. Players are part of a team of eighty or more musicians playing some of the world's greatest music. They work very long hours - turning up early for rehearsals on dark, cold, winter's mornings in a chilly, empty hall; working till late in the evening on the night of a concert; travelling on trains and planes at all hours of the day and night; eating and sleeping when they can; trying to play well when they are tired or hungry or have a headache. There's not much time left for home, family or friends. In fact, their 'family' is the rest of the orchestra. The musicians share the hectic pace and the worries, but they also share the wonderful moments when they are all playing together and feel on top of the world.
Much of an orchestra's time is spent in rehearsal. The players may already know the music by heart, but every conductor has his or her own ideas about how a piece of music should be played. That is one reason why rehearsals are necessary. Another reason is the problem of orchestral balance of sound. With the rest of the orchestra around them, players cannot always hear themselves properly (sometimes not at all), and so they cannot gauge the balance of sound between their own instruments or section and the rest of the orchestra. At rehearsals this is something that the conductor is able to put right.
Some conductors like to go through a piece of music bar by bar, stopping the orchestra each time they want to make a comment. Others let an orchestra play for long stretches at a time, then go back to a particular point they want to rehearse again. Whatever the conductor's method, it is important that the musicians are happy with it. If the players don't like the conductor they can become very difficult, interrupting the session with questions or complaints. At one time conductors, such as Toscanini, used to get such fine performances out of an orchestra by shouting at the musicians and almost frightening them into playing well. That sort of behaviour would not work with most orchestras today. After all, orchestral musicians are highly trained and experienced people and they should be treated with respect.
If a rehearsal is held in the morning of a concert, it probably takes place in the concert hall. In the morning, everybody will still be in casual clothes but in the evening they will change into formal dress. Most will arrive at least an hour early to unpack and inspect their instruments - violinists to check their strings and bow, woodwind players to check their reeds and change them if need be, and everyone to run over any difficult passages of music. If they want a bit of peace and quiet some members of the orchestra may even hide themselves away in the toilets or creep down to the boiler room! Players whose instruments are too big for them to carry, such as timpani, harps and double-basses, will arrive on the platform before the rest to make their last minute checks.
About five minutes before the concert is due to start, everybody except the leader or concert master, files on and takes their place. Then the leader comes on to a round of applause from the audience and calls for silence, while the oboist sounds the note A. The rest of the orchestra tune their instruments to this note. Finally, on comes the conductor, to more applause, and, when there is quiet once more, the concert begins.
However well the orchestra may have rehearsed, problems may still occur. In a warm, crowded concert hall the acoustics are different from those in a cool, empty building, and this can change the balance of the sound. Also, the instruments may go out of tune after some time in a warm atmosphere.
Musicians, like actors, are aware of the audience; they notice whether the audience is a good one or not. A good audience will listen and respond to the music, whereas a difficult audience coughs and fidgets throughout the performance. Above all, the musicians are also aware of whether they are playing well, not just individually but as a team. Knowing they are giving a good performance makes all the difference at the end of a long, hard day.
The reading passage has seven paragraphs (A-G).
Choose the correct heading for Paragraphs A-G from the list of headings (i-x) below.
Write your answers in boxes 1-6 on the answer sheet.
List of Headings
I The need for a high quality instrument
Ii Formalities at the beginning of the concert
Iii Problems with changes in sound in the hall
Iv Poor and ineffective conducting method
V The highs and lows of being a member of an orchestra
Vi Pre-concert arrangements
Vii The response of the audience
Viii The need for detailed rehearsal
Ix The importance of the conductor's management style
X Correct adjustment of each instrument
3 ………….Paragraph C
4 ………….Paragraph D
Choose the letter A-D that gives the best completion to each sentence below for the orchestra passage.
Write your answers in boxes 7-13 on the answer sheet.
7. Playing in a large orchestra requires long hours because
A there are very many members in the team.
B the rehearsals take a lot of time.
C hotel accommodation is not always satisfactory.
D players are sometimes absent because they are sick.
8. Frequent rehearsals may be needed because
A the musicians are occasionally worried.
B the conductor must correct players' mistakes.
C the players may not know each piece of music.
D the volume of the instruments needs to be adjusted.
9. An effective conductor is one who
A has the players' approval.
B forces the team to play well.
C explains everything to the players.
D allows no interruption to the rehearsal.
10. Today, a conductor who loudly criticises the players
A is showing them respect.
B can expect insults from them.
C will force them to play well.
D will not get good music from them.
11. On the evening of a concert, the players, will
A visit the changing rooms.
B arrive at the hall too early.
C make sure their instruments are working properly.
D check they have their formal clothing.
12. Problems in a concert may occur if
A the hall temperature changes.
B the audience does not applaud the conductor.
C the players are playing an unfamiliar piece of music.
D the conductor doesn't go through the music bar by bar.
13. Players feel satisfaction in their music when
A they have rehearsed well.
B they have worked a long hard day.
C the whole orchestra plays well together.
D the audience is happy.
READING PASSAGE 2
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 14-26, which are based on Reading Passage 2 below.
READING THE SCREEN
Are the electronic media exacerbating illiteracy and making our children stupid? On the contrary, says Colin McCabe, they have the potential to make us truly literate.
The debate surrounding literacy is one of the most charged in education. On the one hand there is an army of people convinced that traditional skills of reading and writing are declining. On the other, a host of progressives protest that literacy is much more complicated than a simple technical mastery of reading and writing. This second position is supported by most of the relevant academic work over the past 20 years. These studies argue that literacy can only be understood in its social and technical context. In Renaissance England, for example, many more people could read than could write, and within reading there was a distinction between those who could read print and those who could manage the more difficult task of reading manuscript. An understanding of these earlier periods helps us understand today’s ‘crisis in literacy’ debate.
There does seem to be evidence that there has been an overall decline in some aspects of reading and writing - you only need to compare the tabloid newspapers of today with those of 50 years ago to see a clear decrease in vocabulary and simplification of syntax. But the picture is not uniform and doesn’t readily demonstrate the simple distinction between literate and illiterate which had been considered adequate since the middle of the 19th century.
While reading a certain amount of writing is as crucial as it has ever been in industrial societies, it is doubtful whether a fully extended grasp of either is as necessary as it was 30 or 40 years ago. While print retains much of its authority as a source of topical information, television has increasingly usurped this role. The ability to write fluent letters has been undermined by the telephone and research suggests that for many people the only use for writing, outside formal education, is the compilation of shopping lists.
The decision of some car manufacturers to issue their instructions to mechanics as a video pack rather than as a handbook might be taken to spell the end of any automatic link between industrialisation and literacy. On the other hand, it is also the case that ever-increasing numbers of people make their living out of writing, which is better rewarded than ever before. Schools are generally seen as institutions where the book rules - film, television and recorded sound have almost no place; but it is not clear that this opposition is appropriate. While you may not need to read and write to watch television, you certainly need to be able to read and write in order to make programmes.
Those who work in the new media are anything but illiterate. The traditional oppositions between old and new media are inadequate for understanding the world which a young child now encounters. The computer has re-established a central place for the written word on the screen, which used to be entirely devoted to the image. There is even anecdotal evidence that children are mastering reading and writing in order to get on to the Internet. There is no reason why the new and old media cannot be integrated in schools to provide the skills to become economically productive and politically enfranchised.
Nevertheless, there is a crisis in literacy and it would be foolish to ignore it. To understand that literacy may be declining because it is less central to some aspects of everyday life is not the same as acquiescing in this state of affairs. The production of school work with the new technologies could be a significant stimulus to literacy. How should these new technologies be introduced into the schools? It isn’t enough to call for computers, camcorders and edit suites in every classroom; unless they are properly integrated into the educational culture, they will stand unused. Evidence suggests that this is the fate of most information technology used in the classroom. Similarly, although media studies are now part of the national curriculum, and more and more students are now clamouring to take these course, teachers remain uncertain about both methods and aims in this area.
This is not the fault of the teachers. The entertainment and information industries must be drawn into a debate with the educational institutions to determine how best to blend these new technologies into the classroom.
Many people in our era are drawn to the pessimistic view that the new media are destroying old skills and eroding critical judgement. It may be true that past generations were more literate but - taking the pre-19th century meaning of the term - this was true of only a small section of the population. The word literacy is a 19th-century coinage to describe the divorce of reading and writing from a full knowledge of literature. The education reforms of the 19th century produced reading and writing as skills separable from full participation in the cultural heritage.
The new media now point not only to a futuristic cyber-economy, they also make our cultural past available to the whole nation. Most children’s access to these treasures is initially through television. It is doubtful whether our literary heritage has ever been available to or sought out by more than about 5 per cent of the population; it has certainly not been available to more than 10 per cent. But the new media joined to the old, through the public service tradition of British broadcasting, now makes our literary tradition available to all.
Choose the appropriate letters A-D and write them in boxes 14-17 on your answer sheet.
14. When discussing the debate on literacy in education, the writer notes that
A children cannot read and write as well as they used to.
B academic work has improved over the last 20 years.
C there is evidence that literacy is related to external factors.
D there are opposing arguments that are equally convincing.
15. In the 4th paragraph, the writer’s main point is that
A the printed word is both gaining and losing power.
B all inventions bring disadvantages as well as benefits.
C those who work in manual jobs no longer need to read.
D the media offers the best careers for those who like writing.
16. According to the writer, the main problem that schools face today is
A how best to teach the skills of reading and writing.
B how best to incorporate technology into classroom teaching.
C finding the means to purchase technological equipment.
D managing the widely differing levels of literacy amongst pupils.
17. At the end of the article, the writer is suggesting that
A literature and culture cannot be divorced.
B the term ‘literacy’ has not been very useful.
C 10 per cent of the population never read literature.
D our exposure to cultural information is likely to increase.
Do the following statements agree with the views of the writer in Reading Passage 2?
In boxes 18-23 on your answer sheet write
YES if the statement agrees with the writer
NO if the statement contradicts the writer
NOT GIVEN if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this
18 It is not as easy to analyse literacy levels as it used to be.
19 Our literacy skills need to be as highly developed as they were in the past
20 Illiteracy is on the increase.
21 Professional writers earn relatively more than they used to.
22 A good literacy level is important for those who work in television.
23 Computers are having a negative impact on literacy in schools
Complete the sentences below with words taken from Reading Passage 2.
Write your answers in boxes 11-13 on your answer sheet.
Use NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS for each answer.
In Renaissance England, the best readers were those able to read 24 ………….
The writer uses the example of 25 ………….to illustrate the general fall in certain areas of literacy.
It has been shown that after leaving school, the only things that a lot of people write are 26………….
READING PASSAGE 3
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 27-40, which are based on Reading Passage 3 below.
Language Strategy in Multinational Company
A. The importance of language management in multinational companies has never been greater than today. Multinationals are becoming ever more conscious of the importance of global coordination as a source of competitive advantage and language remains the ultimate barrier to aspirations of international harmonization. Before attempting to consider language management strategies, companies will have to evaluate the magnitude of the language barrier confronting them and in doing so they will need to examine it in three dimensions: the Language Diversity, the Language Penetration and the Language Sophistication. Companies next need to turn their attention to how they should best manage language. There is a range of options from which MNCs can formulate their language strategy.
B. Lingua Franca: The simplest answer, though realistic only for English speaking companies, is to rely on ones’ native tongue. As recently as 1991 a survey of British exporting companies found that over a third used English exclusively in dealings with foreign customers. This attitude that —one language fits all has also been carried through into the Internet age. A survey of the web sites of top American companies confirmed that over half made no provision for foreign language access, and another found that less than 10% of leading companies were able to respond adequately to emails other than in the company‘s language. Widespread though it is however, reliance on a single language is a strategy that is fatally flawed. It makes no allowance for the growing trend in Linguistic Nationalism whereby buyers in Asia, South America and the Middle East in particular are asserting their right to —work in the language of the customer. It also fails to recognize the increasing vitality of languages such as Spanish, Arabic and Chinese that overtime are likely to challenge the dominance of English as a lingua franca. In the IT arena it ignores the rapid globalization of the Internet where the number of English-language ecommerce transactions, emails and web sites, is rapidly diminishing as a percentage of the total. Finally, the total reliance on a single language puts the English speaker at risk in negotiations. Contracts, rules and legislation are invariably written in the local language, and a company unable to operate in that language is vulnerable.
C. Functional Multilingualism: Another improvised approach to Language is to rely on what has been termed —Functional Multilingualism. Essentially what this means is to muddle through, relying on a mix of languages, pidgins and gestures to communicate by whatever means the parties have at their disposal. In a social context such a shared effort to make one another understand might be considered an aid to the bonding process with the frustration of communication being regularly punctuated by moments of absurdity and humor. However, as the basis for business negotiations it appears very hit-and-nuts. And yet Hagen‘s recent study suggests that 16% of international business transaction; are conducted in a —cocktail of languages.! Functional Multilingualism shares the same defects as reliance on a lingua franca and increases the probability of cognitive divergence between the parties engaged in the communication.
D. External Language Resources: A more rational and obvious response to the language barrier is to employ external resources such as translators and interpreters, and certainly there are many excellent companies specialized in these fields. However, such a response is by no means an end to the language barrier. For a start these services can be very expensive with a top Simultaneous Interpreter, commanding daily rates as high as a partner in an international consulting company. Secondly, any good translator or interpreter will insist that to be fully effective they must understand the context of the subject matter. This is not always possible. In some cases it is prohibited by the complexity or specialization of the topic. Sometimes by lack of preparation time but most often the obstacle is the reluctance of the parties to explain the wider context to an outsider. Another problem is that unless there has been considerable pre-explaining between the interpreter and his clients it is likely that there will be ambiguity and cultural overtones in the source messages the interpreter has to work with. They will of course endeavor to provide a hifidelity translation but in this circumstance the interpreter has to use initiative and guess work. This clearly injects a potential source of misunderstanding into the proceedings. Finally while a good interpreter will attempt to convey not only the meaning but also the spirit of any communication, there can be no doubt that there is a loss of rhetorical power when communications go through a third party. So in situations requiring negotiation, persuasion, humor etc. the use of an interpreter is a poor substitute for direct communication.
E. Training: The immediate and understandable reaction to any skills shortage in a business is to consider personnel development and certainly the language training industry is well developed. Offering programs at almost every level and in numerous languages. However, without doubting the value of language training no company should be deluded into believing this to be assured of success. Training in most companies is geared to the economic cycle. When times are good, money is invested in training. When belts get tightened training is one of the first —luxuries to be pared down. In a study conducted across four European countries, nearly twice as many companies said they needed language training in coming years as had conducted training in past years. This disparity between —good intentions and —actual delivery, underlines the problems of relying upon training for language skills. Unless the company is totally committed to sustaining the strategy even though bad times, it will fail.
F. One notable and committed leader in the field of language training has been the Volkswagen Group. They have developed a language strategy over many years and in many respects can be regarded as a model of how to manage language professionally. However, the Volkswagen approach underlines that language training has to be considered a strategic rather than a tactical solution. In their system to progress from —basics to —communications competence in a language requires the completion of 6 language stages each one demanding approximately 90 hours of refresher course, supported by many more hours of self-study, spread over a 6-9 month period. The completion of each stage is marked by a post-stage achievement test, which is a pre-requisite for continued training. So even this professionally managed program expects a minimum of three years of fairly intensive study to produce an accountant. Engineer, buyer or salesperson capable of working effectively in a foreign language. Clearly companies intending to pursue this route need to do so with realistic expectations and with the intention of sustaining the program over many years. Except in terms of —brush-up courses for people who were previously fluent in a foreign language, training cannot be considered a quick fix and hence other methods will have to be considered.
Complete the following summary of the Whole Paragraphs of Reading Passage, choosing A-L words from the following options.
Write your answers in boxes 27-32 on your answer sheet.
MNCs often encounter language barrier in their daily strategy, then they seek several approaches to solve such problems. First, native language gives them a realistic base in a different language speaking country, but problem turned up when they deal with oversea 27 ........... For example, operation on translation of some key 28.......... , it is inevitable to generate differences by rules from different countries. Another way is to rely on a combination of spoken language and 29 .........., yet a report written that over one-tenth business 30.......... processed in a party language setting. Third way: hire translators. However, firstly it is 31 .........., besides if they are not well-prepared, they have to take 32 .......... work.
H body language
Answer the questions below.
Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER from the passage for each answer.
33 What understandable reaction does Training pay attention to according to the author?
34 In what term does the writer describe training during economy depression?
35 What contribution does Volkswagen Group do for multinational companies?
36 What does Volkswagen Group consider language training as in their company?
37 How many stages are needed from basic course to advanced in training?
38 How long does a refresher course need normally?
39 At least how long is needed for a specific professional to acquire a foreign language?
Write your answers in boxes 40 on your answer sheet.
40 What is the main function of this passage?
A to reveal all kinds of language problems that companies may encounter
B to exhibits some well-known cases in dealing with language difficulties
C to evaluate various approaches for language barrier in multinational companies
D to testify that training is only feasible approach to solve language problem
17. D :
20. NOT GIVEN
25. (tabloid) newspapers
26. shopping lists
33. personnel development
36. strategic solution
37. strategic solution
38. 90 hours
39. three years