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中级美语教程第12课

所属教程:中级美语教程

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Lesson 133 Smile, Everybody!

"When you're smiling,the whole world smiles with you." These are the words taken from an old song. These words must have given Tomoji Kondo a bright idea. He started smiling classes. Now, they're all over Japan. People from all walks of life, aged 20 to 83, attend these classes.

As you enter the class, you must shout out, "Konbanwa!"(Good evening!) as loudly and cheerfully as possible. Then you're supposed to make direct eye contact and smile as you shake hands with your classmates.No bowing is necessary. Laughing is not allowed, either. According to Kondo, smiling immediately makes you fell better. Sound like a good idea? Why not give it a try?

 

Lesson 134 Konbanwa, Everybody!

Sato, a Japanese student, goes to a smiling class in Beijing.

(S=Sato; T=teacher)

S: Konbanwa, evali-badi! (everybody!)(The whole class laughs.) Ha!Ha!Ha!

T: What on earth is that?

S: Wow! You see. It works. My classmates are so happy they're laughing their heads off.

T: They're laughing at you, Mr.Shatou.

S: No,no,no. My name is Sato,not Shatou.(The class laughs again.) I think they're laughing at you.

T: Whatever! Anyway, try to just say, "Good evening!" in English next time. OK?

S: OK. Gud-e-va-ling! (Good evening!) How's that?

T: I haven't got a clue what you're saying.

S: Thank you. Ha!Ha!Ha!

 

Lesson 135 The Roaring Englishman

A strange thing happened in London recently. A large number of Englishmen started roaring and eating food off the floor. They were behaving like a pack of lions. No, they weren't going bananas. They were normal people like you and me. But they watched a "therapist" on a daytime TV show. They were convinced by him that roaring is good for you. "Roaring helps people who are uptight to relax," he said.

The "therapist" turned out to be a hoaxer. He goes around the world playing tricks on people. It's all for fun. So if you don't want to feel like a fool, watch out! You can't always believe what you see, read or hear.

 

Lesson 136 Letting off Steam

(E=Englishman; G=girlfriend)

G: Have you gone mad? Why are you roaring your head off like a lion?

E: Rrrrr...ah!

G: Hey, have you gone off your rocket or what? Cut that out!

E: I'm letting off steam. The guy on TV said it's good for me.

G: Oh, really? Meowww! Meowww!

E: Hey, what are you doing?

G: The girl on the radio said meowing like a cat helps to cure indigestion.

E: Come on, that's absurd. You can't believe everything people say, you know.

G: Look who's talking! 

E: Uh...OK, wise guy. You win.

 

Lesson 137 Going to the Barber's

In the old days, going to the barber's was as simple as ABC. You sit down,the barber cuts your hair, you pay, you leave and that's it. Nowadays, the hairstylist will ask you how you would like your hair done.How on earth do I know? I'm no barber. So what do I do? I go to the same guy all the time. As soon as he sees me, he says, "Same as before?" I reply with a smile, "Yes, please." In twenty minutes the job is done.

For those of you who don't know what to say to the barber, just remember the two S's--short and simple.When I was abroad, it always worked. Don't forget to give the barber a tip before you leave, though. It's their custom. If you don't, make sure you don't go back or you might get something else cut as well.

 

Lesson 138 Don't Catch a Cold

Angela bumps into her old friend, Ben, on the street.

(A=Angela; B=Ben)

A: Hey, Ben, you look as if you need a haircut.

B: Yeah, I will be wearing pigtails soon if I don't get my hair cut. But I hate going to the barber's.

A: Why don't you get a crew cut? That way you won't need to go to the barber's so often.

B: Better still, maybe I should go around bald, right?

A: Hey! That's cool!

B: You bet! That'll be so cool I might catch a cold.

A: No problem. Just wear a wig.

B: You know, Angela, you do actually have a sense of humor.

A: Well, when it comes to talking about your hair, what could be funnier?

B: Get out of here, you clown!

 

Lesson 139 The Dancing Cop

Do you want to be a traffic cop in Thailand? Are you a good dancer? If you aren't, you won't stand a chance.

Traffic cops in Thailand dance as they direct traffic. These cops are good entertainers. They twist and turn and make fancy movements with their white-gloved hands. Everyone agrees they help ease tension on the roads. And because they make people smile and feel happy, the image of Bangkok policemen has improved by leaps and bounds. As a result, motorists have become more cooperative and understanding. Odd as it may be,it seems to work. Don't forget to also keep your eye on the road, though. If you don't, you might cause an accident. You can be sure the cops won't be dancing then.

 

Lesson 140 Going Bananas in Bangkok

Gary and Carrie are driving in the streets of Bangkok.

 

(G=Gary; C=Carrie)

C: Hey, Gary! Take a look at that cop. He's gone bananas.

G: No, he hasn't. He's dancing and directing traffic at the same time.

C: How ridiculous! He's causing a traffic jam. Because everyone's looking at him, the traffic is almost at a standstill.

G: That's not his fault. The traffic almost always moves at a crawl anyway.

C: In that case, I'm going to join him.

G: Hey, come back, Carrie. Don't do that. (Carrie dances with the cop.)

C: This is fun! Look, other people are joining us.

G: What a mess!

 

Lesson 141 Men or Monkeys?

No matter what anybody says, there's no telling how man came into existence. But some people insist that through evolution human beings came from apes. A recent incident seems to support such a suggestion.

A three-year-old boy fell from a height of 18 feet into an area where gorillas were kept in a zoo. On  seeing this, a 150-pound gorilla came to his rescue. To everyone's astonishment, it picked up the boy,cradled him in its arms and brought him to the zookeepers. While zoogoers screamed in horror, the gorilla showed maternal behavior and even protected the child from other gorillas. The boy survived and the gorilla was given an award. This incident had many people  asking,"Could it be that humans do have a special bond with apes?" Whatever the answer may be, there's no denying the resemblance between men and monkeys.

 

Lesson 142 Say Cheese

A boy and a girl are at the zoo.

(B=boy; G=girl)

B: Oh, my God! That kid just fell and one of the gorillas is walking toward him quickly. Call the zookeeper!

G: It's no use doing that. It's too late. One of the gorillas got him.

B: Oh no! Help! Help!

G: Hey! Wait a minute. The gorilla is carrying him to the gate.

B: Wow! That's cool!

G: Hurry! Take a picture of this.

B: That's a good idea.

G: Look, the gorilla's actually posing for us.

B: Isn't she cute? Come on, gorilla, say cheese.

G: Cut that out, will you? Do you think it understands English?

B: Look! It's smiling!

 

Lesson 143 How to Improve Your Writing Skills

By the time you reach this page, you will have studied 142 lessons of this book. You will have learned many new words, idioms, sentence structures and quite a bit of grammar. You will have come to a stage where you might be asking yourself, "How much have I improved, if at all?"

Why not give yourself a simple test? Read a short text. Read it carefully, then try to rewrite what you have just read, in your own words. After that, compare what you have written to the text. This is called paraphrasing. In face, it is a good way to improve your writing skills.

 

Lesson 144 Go for It

Vicky is talking to her teacher about her English.

 

(V=Vicky; T=teacher)

V: How can I improve my English, sir?

T: Well, the more you read, the better you'll write.

V: And what about my spoken English?

T: Practice makes perfect. Speak English whenever you have the chance.

V: But I don't get many opportunities to speak English.

T: Remember: You'll have to create opportunities yourself.

V: What do you mean by that?

T: You can't sit on your behind and hope that good things will come to you. You've got to go for it.

V: I see what you mean.

T: Good. Now go and put what you have learnt into practice.

 

Lesson 145:Breakfast Improves Mental Sharpness

If you are not in the habit of having breakfast, then you should start doing so. A recent study shows that not only is breakfast the most important meal of the day, but it is also important to eat it at the right time. The timing of breakfast may affect one's performance in school or at work. For instance, if children eat breakfast 30 minutes before school, they will probably do better than those who eat it two hours earlier.

What you eat is also an important factor. If you eat sweet foods, they will probably improve your ability to think and remember. In brief, the study claims that they improve mental sharpness. If I were you, I would give it a try. After all, what's there to lose?

 

Lesson 146 Doing It in the Pants

Donald is in class. He raises his hand to get the teacher's attention again.

(T=teacher; D=Donald)

T: Yes, Donald. What do you want?

D: Excuse me, sir. May I go to the washroom?

T: But this is the third time in half an hour.

D: I know. But my mother made me eat a big breakfast this morning.

T: Why?

D: She said that if I eat a big breakfast, I will do better in my schoolwork.

T: But if you go to the toilet every ten minutes, you won't be able to do any work.

D: Uh... but if I don't go now, I'll do it in my pants.

T: Well, I guess if you've got to go, you've got to go.

 

Lesson 147 Let Experience Be the Teacher

It has often been said that there's no better teacher than experience. So how does a student of English learn the language through experience? Obviously,to "experience" English, you'll have to use it as often as possible. That is why more and more teachers use role plays, dramas and field trips to teach English. What you see, hear and feel will more likely stick in your mind than what you read in a book.

Should you have the opportunity to take part in a school drama one day,you will probably try to memorize your lines to perfection. If you are anything of an actor,you will probably say your lines with emotion. In other words,you may "experience" the use of the language as it is really used in everyday life. So if I were you, I would let experience be the teacher.

 

Lesson 148 what a Terrible Experience!

Jeff is in a school play with his classmates.

(C=classmate; J=Jeff)

C: Hey, Jeff! What's the matter?

J: I forgot my lines.

C: If you forgot your lines, you should make something up.

J: What should I say?

C: Anything! If you don't say anything soon, you'll ruin the whole play.

J: OK. OK...(to the audience) I love you!(laughter)

C: You're an idiot! What on earth was that about?

J: I think I'm gonna faint.

C: Don't. If you do, that will be the end of the play.

J: Good!(to the audience) Goodbye! (He faints.)

 

 

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