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My favourite season is winter. You’re probably thinking I’m slightly mad — after all, who doesn’t love summer? Winter, in 1. ________ (it) own way, is wonderful. For anyone who still needs to be convinced, let me explain 2. ________ I love winter.

During November, Christmas markets appear in 3. ________ number of towns and cities across the UK. London’s Hyde Park becomes a huge winter wonderland, 4. ________ there are countless small shops selling food and gifts. Christmas markets have something for everyone. And this provides great entertainment!

The weather gets noticeably colder: the mornings are often frosty and the nights close to freezing. I like the cold weather — for me, there’s something nice about wearing a thick winter coat with a scarf and 5. ________ (glove).

Along with countless school children across the UK, I get very 6. ________ (excite) about the thought of snow. A few years ago there was a lot of snow and many schools had the day off. Snowball fights are great fun and many families enjoy 7. ________ (build) snowmen together. I love a white Christmas; 8. ________ (unfortunate) this doesn’t happen often in the UK.

Throughout December, many churches and schools hold carol concerts: lots of 9. ________ (tradition) songs are sung. Christmas dinner is my favourite meal of the year. In my house, Christmas dinner usually 10. ________ (include) turkey, potatoes and lots of vegetables, followed by Christmas cake, pies and lots of chocolate!

1. ________ (think) about my time in France, I noticed quite a few differences between the French and the English.

In French, there are two ways 2. ________ (say) “you”: “tu” is the informal form, while “vous” is the formal form. When I learnt French, I 3. ________ (teach) to call everyone vous unless they were my family or a friend. So I was surprised that 4. ________ (actual) everyone in France used tu all the time. But I continued to use vous because I didn’t want people to think I was being 5. ________ (polite). To be honest, I’m thankful that in English we don’t have to worry about these things!

School children in the UK traditionally wear a school uniform but in France pupils do not wear a uniform. It was a culture shock 6. ________ me to see children wearing Spiderman T-shirts and baggy blue jeans while in the classroom. The final difference which struck me was the 7. ________ (relax) attitude at school. Teachers were never in 8. ________ rush, and the children and teachers are given long breaks and lots of time to eat 9. ________ (they) lunch. This is a contrast to the UK, 10. ________ the school day might seem to be filled with pressure. I found the differences puzzling at times, but I cannot deny what a great opportunity it was to live in another country.

Most people when visiting England will go to London. 1. ________ fact most people don’t even know much about England outside of London. However, as 2. ________ northern girl, from a place just between Manchester and Liverpool, and a university student in Sheffield, I’d say the north is well worth 3. ________ (visit). Here are five reasons why:

Friendliness: Northerners will chat to you on the bus, say hello in the streets and won’t think you’re crazy if you smile at 4. ________ (they) when you walk past. 5. ________ (friend) northerners might also call you “duck” or “love” — don’t worry, they call everyone that.

Gravy (肉汁): Now although southerners have gravy, a delicious meaty sauce 6. ________ goes well with everything, they don’t do it 7. ________ (proper). You haven’t lived until you’ve tried chip-shop chips swimming in gravy.

Beautiful Countryside: We have the Peak District, and the Lake District. They’re both absolutely beautiful. We also have some pretty amazing 8. ________ (beach) too.

Excellent Party Cities: We have Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Sheffield ... You can’t go wrong if you want 9. ________ (go) on a night out here.

Cheap: The same night won’t cost you anywhere near as much up north! For some reason, everything up North is 10. ________ (cheap) than that in London, from food to drink to getting around.

There’s lots of lovely things to see in the North, so if you can brave the weather being a bit colder and wetter, it’s well worth a trip.

Young people in Britain eat 1. ________ (many) snacks than people of the same age in other European countries. So far, a survey 2. ________ (discover) that 64% of under 20-year-olds snack between meals. Salty snacks, crisps 3. ________ particular, are the favourite snack in the UK.

Crisps are very thin slices of potato 4. ________ (cook) in oil then covered in salt or other salty flavours. British people are mad for crisps and they like them in a huge variety of flavours. Some of 5. ________ most popular flavours include cheese and onion, steak and onion and roast chicken.

While crisps and other salty snacks can be delicious, many people are worried that young people eat too many of these kinds of foods. The Food Standards Agency issued a warning 6. ________ (recent) that many children’s snacks contained dangerously high levels of salt.

Some parents are 7. ________ (happy) that their children can buy snack foods that are high in sugar, salt or fat from vending machines (投币式自动售货机) in schools, some of 8. ________ have been banned by some schools.

Advertising and marketing is another controversial area. Some people feel that advertising for junk food and unhealthy snacks should not be directed at 9. ________ (teenager). One opinion is that young people should 10. ________ (protect) by a ban on this kind of advertising before 9 pm on TV and that there should be more controls over websites and sponsorship.

What can you do if shops don’t sell the clothes you want? How can you get the clothes you want if you don’t have much cash?

Young 1. ________ (create) people in the UK have always come up 2. ________ ways to express their individuality through their clothes. “Printing your own T-shirt is 3. ________ easiest and most common way to adapt clothes,” John said. “You don’t have to make a T-shirt. You can buy a cheap T-shirt and add an image of your choice.”

Everyone 4. ________ (know) students don’t have a lot of money. That doesn’t have to be a problem if you’ve got a bit of 5. ________ (imagine) and a sewing machine. “Once I found a pair of trousers 6. ________ I liked but I couldn’t afford them. I bought some cloth of the same colour and copied the trousers, 7. ________ (use) my mum’s sewing machine,” Corinne said. “I went back to the shop wearing my homemade trousers 8. ________ (see) if they were the same as the ones in the shop. And I thought they were much better!”

Buying second-hand clothes is another fashion option for many young Brits to get individual styles. “I 9. ________ (real) love changing second-hand clothes. I can make skirts shorter or longer. Sometimes I just change all the 10. ________ (button) to give clothes a new look. By adapting these clothes you can be sure you will always have something original as well as cheap,” said Helen.

The researchers published their study in the journal Nature. They looked at data from recent bleaching (变白) events in the Great Barrier Reef, off the coast of Australia. Bleaching causes corals to lose their colour and, often, to die. Several causes contribute 1. ________ bleaching: warm water temperatures, 2. ________ (pollute), and overfishing. The bleaching events in the study were caused 3. ________ (main) by rising water temperature. The researchers found that local efforts 4. ________ (improve) water quality and stop overfishing did not increase the reefs’ chances of survival.

Researchers say the results of the study highlight the importance of 5. ________ (fight) global climate change. Reefs could become extinct if temperatures continue to rise at the current rate.

Corals look like rocks, but they are tiny animals. The creatures can exist alone or in large colonies. They form a hard outer shell. When they die, their skeleton (骨架) 6. ________ (leave) behind and more coral builds on it. Colonies form reefs. They are home to one in four species in the sea. Reefs also serve as barriers 7. ________ protect the coastlines from 8. ________ (power) storms.

Fortunately, a group of scientists unconnected to the study 9. ________ (take) action at the moment. Their project focuses on protecting 10. ________ great many reefs that have not been harmed by climate change.

It is reported 1. ________ people in China eat on average about 12 grams of salt each day, which is much higher than the 6 grams 2. ________ (recommend) by the World Health Organization. You could be eating too much without 3. ________ (realise) it, because about 75% of the salt we eat is already in the food we buy.

Past studies have found that people 4. ________ eat more salt than they need tend 5. ________ (have) high blood pressure. Eating too much salt has also been linked to heart problems. Here are some tips for you.

★ Cut back on high salt foods.

Some foods such as cheese, bacon and chips are almost always high in salt because of the way they 6. ________ (make). You should try to have these 7. ________ smaller amounts.

★ Choose reduced salt bread and breakfast cereals.

Bread and breakfast cereals are major sources of salt, not because they’re 8. ________ (necessary) high in salt but because we eat a lot of them. Next time you’re shopping, take the time to compare the salt levels on a few similar 9. ________ (product) because there can be a really big 10. ________ (different) between different types and brands.

★ Avoid using salt to add flavour to meals.

Instead, you could use herbs such as garlic and lemon juice to add flavour to meals.

About 65% of Americans say they have difficulty falling asleep a few 1. ________ (night) each week, according to a recent study 2. ________ (make) by the National Sleep Foundation. Sleeping too little can lead to a higher risk of becoming fat and getting depressed. Some of your favourite evening habits may have 3. ________ to do with sleeping problems.

★ Setting a bright alarm clock

The light of your bright alarm clock can prevent you 4. ________ falling asleep. You can make your room as dark as possible. Cover the bright numbers with a book or consider 5. ________ (buy) a small travel clock.

★ Counting sheep

When you just can’t fall asleep, 6. ________ is useless to count sheep. If you’ve been trying to fall asleep for more than 30 minutes, the National Sleep Foundation suggests that you get up and do something 7. ________ will make you sleepy. Before you know it, you’ll be going back to bed 8. ________ (real) tired.

★ Exercising late at night

Daytime keeps you 9. ________ (energy) for hours. That’s why you don’t want 10. ________ (exercise) within three hours of going to bed. Fierce physical activities raise your body temperature and are bad for a good night’s sleep.

Computer programmer David Jones earns £35,000 a year by 1. ________ (design) new computer games, yet he cannot find a bank ready to let him have a credit card. Yesterday, he 2. ________ (tell) to wait another two years, until he is 18. The 16-year-old works for a small firm in Liverpool where the problem of most young people of his age is finding a job.

But David’s biggest headache is what to do with his money. Even though he earns a lot, he cannot drive a car or get credit cards. “I got the job because the people 3. ________ run the firm knew I had already written some 4. ________ (program),” he said. David spends most of his spare time working.

“5. ________ (unfortunate), computing was not part of our studies at school,” he said. “But I had been studying it in books and magazines 6. ________ four years in my spare time. I knew 7. ________ I wanted to do and never thought about staying on at school. Most people in this business are fairly young, anyway.” David added: “I would like 8. ________ (earn) a million and I suppose early 9. ________ (retire) is a possibility. You never know when the market might 10. ________ (appear).”

When Susan White went back to high school, she never had any thoughts about getting a high school diploma.

“I just wanted to learn more,” she said. But when she found out that many classmates were planning to graduate, Mrs. White recalled, “I said my young friends can graduate from high school, 1. ________ can I.” As soon as she 2. ________ (complete) a history course, Mrs. White will graduate next month and enter the record books as the 3. ________ (old) person ever to graduate from high school in the United States. 4. ________ the way, Mrs. White is 98 years old, and 5. ________ (obvious) nobody has completed high school at an older age.

Having dropped out of school in the 10th grade, Mrs. White’s 6. ________ (able) to learn has not been dulled by the 80 years layoff. Since going back to 7. ________ (she) studies, she has kept up a straight record that is the highest possible. Now that she is about to get a diploma, Mrs. White has become a strong believer in 8. ________ (get) a good education.

“I don’t like anyone dropping out of school,” she said. “9. ________ makes me mad to hear a person has decided 10. ________ (leave) school because future generations will have to know even more than we do to survive.”


Lawrence Hargrave was born in Middlesex, England, in 1850. When he was 1. ________ teenager, his family moved to Australia. There Hargrave went to work for the Australian Stream and Navigation Company, where he spent five years 2. ________ (gain) practical experience in engineering. He soon became 3. ________ (interest) in artificial flight.

Hargrave wanted to develop a stable lifting surface 4. ________ could be used for flying. This goal led 5. ________ his invention of the box kite. In 1894, he carried out kite experiments along the beaches near his home. One day, in front of onlookers, he was lifted above the beach and out over the sea by four of his box kites. These experiments were very important to the 6. ________ (develop) of air travel, although Hargrave never received credit for it. In fact, because of his modesty, Hargrave failed 7. ________ (get) a patent on his box kite. He came up with many other 8. ________ (invention) too, including a rotary engine.

In 1906, Hargrave began looking for a home for his collection of nearly 200 models of kites and flying machines. After being rejected by several governments, his collection 9. ________ (accept) at a technological museum in Munich, Germany. 10. ________ (unfortunate), many of these models were destroyed during World War I.


Everyone knows that karaoke comes from Japan, but the Japanese word has nothing to do with being drunk and tone-deaf! It 1. ________ (actual) means empty orchestra. It all started in a small music bar in the city of Kobe.

One night when the usual guitarist didn’t turn up, the desperate bar 2. ________ (own) recorded some music and invited his customers to sing instead. The craze soon spread. And the special karaoke machine 3. ________ (invent). The idea was 4. ________ however badly you sang everyone applauded at the end, and it proved perfect for stressed Japanese businessmen 5. _______ (relax).

Today, you can find karaoke bars all over the world. It is 6. ________ popular in China that restaurants normally have several karaoke machines going at 7. ________ same time. These days, you can hire karaoke machines that not only play music and videos, 8. ________ have smoke machines, laser lights, and even dancers and a DJ to accompany you, while you make believe for a few 9. ________ (minute) that you are a star. As one karaoke fan put it, “It’s something everyone should try at least once in 10. ________ (they) life.”


On my year abroad, I am teaching in Avignon, a town in the south of France.

After my first week, I realised 1. ________ difficult it is to be a teacher. First, there’s the lesson planning. I have 12 classes a week, all of different ages and abilities, so I can’t reuse the same materials. It takes me hours 2. ________ (look) up worksheets, games and activities to make the class more interesting.

Next, there’s the lessons themselves. It’s exhausting! I often teach four classes in a row, standing on my feet all 3. ________ time. It’s also very difficult when a student won’t stop 4. ________ (talk) and doesn’t listen to me.

5. ________ addition, small things like photocopying worksheets and marking homework take up 6. ________ (much) time than I ever imagined.

However, despite all of these downsides, I 7. ________ (real) love my job. I work in primary schools, so we play games instead of always reading and writing. The children are very enthusiastic about learning English, and it’s very rewarding to help 8. ________ (they) learn something new.

When I was at school, I 9. ________ (take) my teachers for granted. I thought it was a(n) 10. ________ (punish) for me to be in school. Now I know the teachers were just trying to help me, and that they put a lot of effort into lessons.


What are the benefits of laughter? Laughter 1. ________ (use) as a signal for being part of a group — it signals acceptance and positive interactions with others. In fact, laughter is important, and has been shown to have many 2. ________ (benefit) effects on the human body in different ways. Just check out these health benefits of laughter.

Boosts (增强) your immune system. 3. ________ (study) have shown that laughter boosts the immune system, increasing the number of antibody-producing T cells. This then makes us less likely 4. ________ (catch) coughs and colds. It also lowers the levels of at least four hormones (激素) which are connected with stress. So, after a good laugh you should be far 5. ________ (anxious).

Improves your breathing. Laugh more and more, because laughter empties your lungs of the air 6. ________ it takes in, resulting in a cleansing effect — similar 7. ________ deep breathing. This is 8. ________ (especial) helpful for people who are suffering from asthma (哮喘).

Protects your heart. Your heart is a muscle and, like any muscle in your body, it gets stronger and functions better when exercised. Regular laughter is like 9. ________ (get) a gym membership for your heart. The study said that 15 minutes of laughter a day is as important for your heart 10. ________ 30 minutes of exercise 3 times a week.


3D printing is becoming more and more popular. We are now able 1. ________ (print) things such as clothing, musical instruments and prototype cars.

But can you imagine printing food? Some scientists are trying to revolutionise the dining experience by 2. ________ (do) this. They believe that having a 3D printer in the kitchen will become very common. Scientists say they are easy to use: you 3. ________ (simple) have to select a recipe and put the raw food “inks” into the printer. This means that 4. ________ would be very quick to create tasty and nutritious meals.

Using 3D printers to create your meals would also be saving the environment. There would be less need for 5. ________ (tradition) growing, transporting and packaging processes as food 6. ________ (produce) would be a lot more efficient. It could also help people 7. ________ suffer from dysphasia (吞咽障碍). They could program the printer to print softer versions of their favourite foods so that they would not have trouble swallowing them.

However, some people think that a future of 3D-printed food would be a disaster. It could take away lots of 8. ________ (job), including those for growing, transporting and packaging food. Also, there are concerns 9. ________ the nutritional value of printed food.

What’s more, it is hard to imagine a world where the pastime of cooking is dead and meals can 10. ________ (create) at the touch of a button.


For some Americans, summertime means visiting the beaches or 1. ________ (nation) parks. And for others, it means cooking, eating, and generally enjoying American barbecue.

Barbecue is a style of 2. ________ (cook) meat at a low temperature for a long time. But, the styles of barbecue found across the nation are just 3. ________ (total) different. Many people classify American barbecue into four main styles: Carolina-style, Memphis-style, Kansas City-style and Texas-style. Each is named after the state or city 4. ________ the style was formed. However, American barbecue is not actually that straightforward. Many areas have 5. ________ (they) own styles and flavors. The state of Alabama, for example, has its own special white-colored barbecue sauce. And California has its own barbecue style 6. ________ (call) Santa Maria.

It is said 7. ________ American barbecue developed from several cultures in the Caribbean. Early European explorers observed Taino Indians in the Caribbean cooking whole animals over fire. They called it “barabicu”. Spanish explorers called this cooking method “barbacoa”. As they traveled north, they 8. ________ (spread) barbacoa into the present-day southern American states, like Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. There, “barbacoa” became “barbecue”. In 9. ________ 1920s, the restaurant industry grew quickly in the United States. It was this rise in restaurants that helped lead to the 10. ________ (create) of regional barbecue styles.


Stephen Hawking, one of the most famous 1. ________ (physics), said people should return to the moon and go to Mars because leaving Earth may be the only way 2. ________ (save) humanity.

Hawking said that as Earth faces climate change and pressure on 3. ________ (nature) resources, human beings need to reach beyond 4. ________ (we) planet.

“We are running out of space and the only places to go to are other worlds,” he said. “It is time to explore other solar systems. Spreading out may be the only thing 5. ________ saves us from ourselves,” he added. “If humanity is to continue for another million 6. ________ (year), our future lies in boldly going where no one else has gone before.”

Hawking said human beings should return to the moon by 7. ________ year 2020 and Mars by 2025. This, he said, will unite humans in the 8. ________ (share) purpose of exploring the universe.

“Spreading out into space will 9. ________ (complete) change the future of humanity,” he said. “I hope it would unite competitive nations in a single goal, to face the common challenge for us all.”

“Whenever we make a great new leap, such 10. ________ the moon landings, we bring people and nations together,” Hawking said. “To leave Earth demands a concerted (共同的) global approach, everyone should join in.”


Consuming food can be a pleasurable thing. 1. ________ is no wonder that we spend so much time preparing and eating food. But what many of us don’t consider is how our emotions 2. ________ (affect) by what we put into our bellies. For me, it’s the 3. ________ (healthy) foods that put a smile on my face — fried chicken, cakes and ice cream — well, I do have 4. ________ sweet tooth! It might seem obvious that food that is bad for our waistline 5. ________ (usual) makes us happy, at least in the short term. But dieticians tell us that eating bad food in the long term, not only leads to some health conditions, but it can also affect our mental state and bring on depression (沮丧). The link between our mind and food has been looked at by 6. ________ (scientist). They’ve recently found that it’s the bacteria in our gut (肠道) 7. ________ affect our mood.

It may seem simple 8. ________ (eat) healthily. It’s not rocket science but this is further evidence for the saying “We are what we eat” — the person we are is determined by the food we eat. There 9. ________ (be) other factors that can change our mood but it seems we have some ability to improve how we feel by 10. ________ (control) what we put on our plate. Does your diet affect your mood?


Happy cows produce better milk. The finding is not new. But now a team of researchers, 1. ________ (work) with the University of Wisconsin’s Dairyland Initiative, is helping farmers have happier cows.

The researchers are visiting dairy farms and showing farmers how to improve their cows’ living 2. ________ (condition). Their advice and information is available around the world on their website. Speaking in a cow barn (畜棚), Nigel Cook, an expert in the Dairyland Initiative, explains that a bed of sand can provide a good place 3. ________ cows to lie down during the day.

“The deep, soft bedding of sand creates an environment 4. ________ cows can rest half the day, and that is of great 5. ________ (important) to cows.”

The researchers advise farmers 6. ________ (provide) bigger stalls (畜舍). They also say farmers should use more fans to keep the animals cool, and feed all their cows at 7. ________ same time.

And researchers say 8. ________ is a good idea to keep cows with their usual group of friends when it comes time for them to give birth. This helps lessen the stress for the cows. “If you take away their stress, they 9. ________ (actual) produce more milk. And then the other thing that is 10. ________ (interest) is they do it by eating less feed,” says one farmer.


When you think of Chinese tea, green tea and now 1. ________ (increasing), white tea, spring to mind. However, black tea, also known as red tea, is just as much a staple tea in some regions of the country. Not only that, there 2. ________ (exist) a very common kind of tea that is classified as both green and red.

The 3. ________ (difference) between the types of tea are determined by the 4. ________ (process) method, where the tea plant grows and also by the appearance and taste of the infused (泡) tea.

The 5. ________ (long) of time leaves are fermented (发酵的) determines the color, taste, smell and character of the tea.

The longer leaves are roasted, the darker the color. The less the leaves are fermented and roasted, the 6. ________ (natural) the taste of the tea. Black teas are fermented and green teas are not.

Chinese teas can be divided 7. ________ four different groups: green, black, oolong, 8. ________ is semi-fermented and thus is considered 9. ________ both a green and red tea, and finally flower-scented teas known as huacha, like Chrysanthemum “tea”. It contains no tea leaves at all, but instead is an infusion of chrysanthemum flowers 10. ________ (dry) in the sun alone.

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