第一篇 A Debate on the English Language
A measure declaring English the national language is under intense debate in the United States. The US Senate passed two declarations last week. One calls English the nation’s official language and the other says it is the “common and unifying(统一的)”tongue. But Americans found themselves divided on the issue.
Since people worldwide know that most Americans speak only English, many can’t understand why the issue is so controversial(有争议的).
“The discussion is related to fears of immigration issues,” says Dick Tucker, a social scientist at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University. “It’s related to a worry about the changing demography(人口统计)of the US. It’s a worry about who will continue to have political and economic influence.”
In fact, the notion of protecting the language has been kicked around almost since the nation’s founding. John Adams lobbied(游说)in 1780 for the creation of a national academy to correct and improve the English language. But his proposal died, since lawmakers saw it as a royalist(保皇主义者)attempt to define personal behavior.
Since then, the country hasn’t had a national language, but the idea of recognizing the special status of English lived on.
The emotions surrounding language resurface(再次浮现)not because people feel comfortable with English. It is more about the discomfort many Americans feel with the new languages, says Walt Wolfram, a professor at North Carolina State University.
“Language is never about language,” he says.
According to the 2000 US Census Bureau report, of 209 million Americans over 18 years old,172 million speak only English at home. About 37 million speak languages other than English. Among them,6.5 million speak poor English and 3.1 million don’t speak English at all.
31. What are the two declarations concerned with?
A. The status of the English language.
B. The protection of new languages.
C. The rights to speak one’s mother tongue.
D. The improvement of the English language.
32. Who suggested in the 18th century that English should be protected?
A. Walt Wolfram.
B. John Adams.
D. Dick Tucker.
33. Which of the following is the current debate NOT related to?
A. The immigration issues.
B. The changing demography.
C. The worry about the new languages.
D. The US’s military strength.
34. Which statement is true according to the 2000 US Census Bureau report?
A. 172 million Americans speak only English in their work places.
B. 37 million Americans speak English.
C. 209 million Americans are above the age of 18.
D. 6.5 million Americans speak good English.
35. The phrase “kicked around”(paragraph 4)could be best replaced by