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  【Section A】

  News Report 1

  A police officer in the U. S. stopped a large SUV car that was going very slowly and drifting across lanes on a highway. He expected to find a driver who was either very drunk or having a medical emergency. Instead, the officer discovered a five year old boy sat on the edge of the driver's seat. His feet could barely reach the brake, and his head was only just high enough to see out of the windows. The child had taken the keys to the family car while his teenage sister was napping. He then drove three kilometers across town before getting on the highway. The boy later told confused officers that he was planning to travel to California and buy a Lamborghini sports car. Although he only had 3 dollar in his wallet, at least he was driving in the right direction.

  Q1: Why did the police officer stop the SUV car?

  Q2: What did the boy tell the police officers he was planning to do?

  News Report 2

  Mobile phones have changed the way we live, how we read, work, communicate, and shop. But we already know this. What we have not yet understood is the way the tiny machines in front of us are changing our skeletons. Possibly altering not just the way we behave but even the very shape of our bodies. New scientific research at the University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia suggests that young people are developing extra pieces of bone at the backs of their heads. These pieces of bone are caused by the way people bend their heads when they use the phone. This shifts weight onto the muscles at the back of the head and causes the bone to grow in a way that is not normal. This process can be compared to the way the skin hardens in response to constant rubbing or pressure. The result is a piece of bone like a horn that sticks out from the head by the neck.

  Q3: What does the report say we have not yet understood about mobile phones?

  Q4: What happens to the skin when rubbed or pressed constantly?

  News Report 3

  A village is going to throw a birthday party for an orange cat named Wilbur, who has become famous for making a regular appearance at local shops.

  Wilbur has his own internet pages as he approaches his 10th birthday on July 7.

  Wilbur is both bold and friendly.

  He spends most of his time in shops and businesses around the village.

  He'll just take himself into any shop, anywhere.

  There was one time when the doctor's receptionist came back and he was sitting on her chair.

  Among his favorite haunts are a local hairdresser, two pubs, and the Nottingham Primary School.

  Leslie Harper, who runs one of the pubs, said the cat has been a big hit with their customers.

  “He's been a regular visitor for most of this year”, she told the Press Association.

  “He's a very relaxed cat, happy for customers and villagers young and old to come in and say hello. She also said he is a cat of expensive tastes, who likes his high priced cat food. ”

  Sarah Godfrey, who is organizing Wilbur's party, told the local newspaper, “Wilbur is part of our lives, as he is for everyone who lives in the village. “

  Q5: What does the report say the village is going to do for the cat Wilbur?

  Q6: What do we learn from the report about the cat?

  Q7: What does the pub owner, Leslie Harper, say about the cat?

  【Section B】

  Conversation 1

  M: So, where do you want to go for lunch?

  W: I don't know. Do you have anything in mind?

  M: What about the sandwich place on Camden Street?

  W: Um, no, sorry. I don't feel like sandwiches today. It's a great place, but I think we go there too often.

  M: That's true. Remember, that's where we saw Bridget Clark, the famous movie star.

  W: Of course. How could I ever forget? There were crowds of people around her, asking for a photo with her.

  M: What about hamburgers, then? There's that American style diner on the way to the mall.

  W: I like that place. Their chips are great, but their service takes a long time, and I need to get back by 2.:30 for a conference call. How about trying something new? We could try Mario's, the new Italian restaurant on the corner. It looks alright. Have you been there?

  M: No, I haven't, but I've noticed that it has great reviews on the internet. It's supposed to be one of the best Italians in town. I think Jeremy has been there and said it was amazing. I'm up for that.

  W: Cool. Have you asked Jeremy if he would like to come with us?

  M: I already have. He says he can't. He has brought his own lunch today, so he will stay in. I think his wife made him soup.

  W: Poor Jeremy. His wife is a terrible cook. He should throw that soup in the bin and join us.

  Q8: What are the speakers talking about in this conversation?

  Q9: Where did the speakers see Bridget Clarke, the famous movie star?

  Q10: Why does the woman say she needs to get back by 2:30?

  Q11:Why does the woman say Jeremy should throw his soup in the bin?

  Conversation 2

  W: Hi there, how are you today? Do you have a reservation with us already?

  M: Good afternoon. Yes, we reserved our rooms yesterday morning on your website for three nights. The name's Patterson.

  W: Okay, let me have a look. Yes, we have it here. You brought the whole family with you, I see.

  M: Yes, the two kids, my wife and I, and her parents too.

  W:Great. So, we have a family room for you and your wife and the kids. And another double room for your parents in law. They are right next to each other on the ground floor, since you mentioned in your message that they have trouble with stairs.

  M: That's wonderful. My father in law has had terrible problems getting up and down stairs since his knee operation last April.

  W: I'm sorry to hear that, and if you need any help to find transportation for the whole family, we can definitely recommend someone for you.

  M: We were thinking of renting a car, but we will explore all the options available for sure. So yes, that would be very helpful in comparing prices. We're also wondering what tours and day trips are available.

  W: We have bunches of brochures here. I would recommend getting out on a boat trip. The kids will love it, and there are so many islands nearby to explore. There's also a great night market further into town that has all kinds of food and cool little shops selling souvenirs and local jewelry and clothing made by hand.

  M: That all sounds marvelous.

  W: Now, all I need is to photocopy your passports, and then I can get you all checked in and show you to your rooms.

  Q12: Who is the man talking to in the conversation?

  Q13: What do we learn about the man's father in law from the conversation?

  Q14: Why does the man say they will explore all the options available?

  Q15: What does the woman suggest the man and his family do close to the end of the conversation?

  【Section C】

  Passage 1

  Artificial intelligence agents play ever more influential roles in our lives. They do everything from suggesting new friends to recommending purchases. They're even beginning to drive our cars.  Another role that they are expected to take over is negotiating on our behalf in commercial transactions or legal disputes.

  So, it's important to know whether using an artificial intelligence agent might affect how we negotiate. Research indicates that it does. In a new study, participants were told to imagine that they were negotiating for something important to them, like a house. Next, they were told either that they would negotiate for themselves, or they would program an artificial intelligence agent to negotiate for them.

  Participants then completed a survey indicating how tough, deceptive, and pleasant or otherwise they wanted to be, or wanted their agent to be, in the negotiations. For example, participants could choose to be tough by making an opening demand far greater than what they'd be willing to accept. They could also choose to express sympathy with their opponent, to appear pleasant.

  But they could also indicate that they, or their agent, Would strategically express anger toward the opponent to gain advantage, or they could opt to convey dissatisfaction with the encounter so that the other party would think they were losing interest. These are both examples of deceptive strategies.

  Participants were more willing to employ deceptive strategies when assigned an agent to negotiate on their behalf.

  Q16: What does the passage say about artificial intelligence agents?

  Q17: What does the new study want to find out about using an artificial intelligence agent?

  Q18: What did participants tend to do when assigned an AI agent to negotiate on their behalf?

  Passage 2

  New research has studied the effects of a seven week healthy cooking course. Academics measured the program's effect on cooking confidence and self perceived mental health. Researchers also measured participants overall satisfaction around cooking and diet related behaviors. What were the findings?

  Course participants saw significant improvements in general health. They also reported improved mental health and subjective vitality immediately after the program. These benefits remained six months after the completion of the course. What caused these improvements? Researchers have previously found a link between eating more fruits and vegetables and improved longer term mental health.

  This would imply that the participants in the current study may have felt better due to improved diet. However, the study showed participants mental health improved even if their reported diet did not change after completing the program.  Also, the mental health benefits were equal among participants who were overweight or obese and those in a healthy weight range.

  This suggests a link between cooking confidence and satisfaction around cooking and mental health benefits. Who benefits most from learning to cook? Gender plays a part. At the start of the program, 77 percent of female participants were confident about cooking, but just 23 percent of males were confident.

  At the end of the program, cooking confidence and skills were equal across both counterparts. This change in confidence could lead to a gender balance in home cooking. This, in turn, could reduce consumption of unhealthy, high calorie processed meals.

  Q19: What do we learn about the benefits the participants gained from the healthy cooking course?

  Q20: What do the new research findings suggest about mental health benefits?

  Q21: What plays a role in determining who benefits most from learning to cook?

  Passage 3

  What is personal space? We often think of it as an invisible bubble of space surrounding us that others can't enter, without causing discomfort.

  Research shows, however, that we actually have bubbles of different sizes.

  Each of these bubbles applies to a different set of people. The smallest zone, called intimate space, extends outward from our bodies 18 inches in every direction.

  Only family, pets and one's closest friends may enter it. A mere acquaintance entering our intimate space makes us uncomfortable.

  Next is the bubble called personal space, extending from 1.5 feet to 4 feet away.  Friends and acquaintances can comfortably occupy this zone, especially during informal conversations, but strangers are forbidden.

  Extending from 4 to 12 feet away from us is social space. Here, people feel comfortable conducting routine social interactions with new acquaintances or total strangers.

  Those are the average sizes of Americans personal bubbles, anyway. It is important to keep in mind that personal space varies depending on culture and context.

  Furthermore, there are significant individual differences. As we all know, cultural or individual differences in personal bubble diameters are all too often the cause of discomfort.

  How did these personal bubbles arise?  According to research, we begin to develop our individual sense of personal space around age 3 or 4.

  The sizes of our bubbles are fixed by our teens. These bubbles are constructed and monitored by the brain region involved in fear.

  Q22:What does research show about our personal space?

  Q23: What happens if a mere acquaintance enters our intimate space?

  Q24: Where do people feel comfortable interacting with new acquaintances or strangers?

  Q25: When are the sizes of our bubbles fixed?