ЗНАЕТЕ ЛИ ВЫ?

ТЕКСТИ ДЛЯ ПОЗААУДИТОРНОГО ЧИТАННЯ



Текст 1 Cars — driving us crazy?

Technology has given us plenty of things that improve our lives: computers, calculators, mobile phones, CDs... It has also given us cheaper and faster cars that most people in western countries can afford. Cars improve our lives in lots of ways but they also cause problems.

My own car

Lots of teenagers dream of the day when they will be old enougli to learn to drive and have their own car. There are plenty of reasons why. They will be able to go out where they like, when they like. They won't have to ask their parents to take them. They won't have to go home early because the last bus leaves at half past ten. They will be able to give their friends a lift. Passing their driving test is a very important day in many teenagers' lives. Cars are also a big status symbol. If you own a big, fast car, you must be rich and successful.

The problems. Cars cause a lot of problems. Here, are some of them. Put them in order from 1 to 7 (1 - for the biggest problem, 7 - for the smallest problem) in your opinion.

l.The roads are too busy. People driving in cities or on the motorway often have to sit in traffic jams.

2. Towns are often designed for cars, not for people. On some roads,

pedestrians have to use dark, dirty subways to get across the

road.

3. Modern cars can go very fast. However, why have a car that

can travel at 240 kilometers per hour when the speed limit in

Britain is 110 kilometers per hour on the motorway and 50

kilometers per hour in towns? It just encourages people to

break the speed limit.

4. The noise of traffic causes stress for people who live and work

near busy roads.

5. Finding a parking space in cities and towns is often almost

impossible.

6. Cars create a great deal of pollution. Air pollution is getting

worse because more and more people own cars.

7. Every time you get into a car you risk having an accident.

Solutions from around the world. Different countries have different ways of reducing traffic. Tick (V) the ones that you think are good ideas.

l.In Britain, the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution has asked the government to increase the price of petrol.

2. In Paris, France, when the pollution is really bad the underground,

buses and trains are free.

3. In Bern, Switzerland, drivers have to get a permit to park in the

city. This has reduced traffic in the city by 15 percent since

1992.

4. In Toronto, Canada, Highway 407 uses cameras to read car

registration numbers. Then computers charge drivers for the

number of kilometers they travel on the highway.

5. In Singapore, car drivers have to pay to enter the city. There is

also a limit on the number of new cars every year.

6. In Cuba, not many people can afford to own a car. People who are

on their own in a car have to stop and take passengers.

7. In the Netherlands, there isn't such a big problem with traffic

as in other countries. This is because every town and city has

plenty of cycle lanes, so people travel on bicycles much more.

Завдання. Перекладіть рідною мовою слова та словосполучення з тексту:

to afford, to give sb a lift , motorway, traffic jam, pedestrian, subway, encourage, accident, permit, highway, cycle lane.

Текст 2

 

American Culture

American culture is everywhere. But are Uncle Sam's exports opening doors for the world's consumers, or closing them?

The reach of American culture has extended far and wide across the world. Disney now runs theme parks on three continents; McDonald's, having opened restaurants to sell hamburgers and fries nearly everywhere, has recently expanded into the hotel business in Switzerland; the Marlboro man sells cigarettes throughout Europe, Latin America and Asia; surveys routinely find that American sports (Michael Jordan), music (Madonna), and movie (Julia Roberts) stars are the most recognized people in the world; American TV shows such as «Friends», «ER», and «The Simpsons» are dubbed into dozen of languages and rebroadcast; and American staples such as blue jeans and Nike shoes have become staples everywhere else as well.

The value of American domination

American cultural domination has grown ever stronger over the past fifty years, and today American culture can be found in almost every country. However, many question the value of this dominance. Is the United States opening opportunities to people around the world, or destroying local cultures and customs? Do American cultural exports offer people more choices or fewer choices? Are we heading toward a global uniformity, or can we retain regional and cultural differences? And what caused American culture to be so dominant anyway?

The role of global trade

It is important to recognize that American culture has spread primarily as a result of trade. Executives at McDonald's, Nike and Coca-Cola export their products around the globe not out of a sense of moral obligation, nor as part of a crafty plan to subvert the world's population; they export their products, and with them American culture, in an attempt to make a profit.

The past 40 years have seen the biggest and longest economic boom in history, resulting in rising standards of living for people around the globe, .and massive profits for the international corporations which have benefited from global trade opportunities. This expansion in "trade is largely due to reductions in the trade barriers between countries. Where most governments once tried to protect and isolate their country's economy from the global marketplace, there is now a rush to participate in global trading. Today companies regularly merge across national lines to form multinational corporations, and relocation of manufacturing sites to countries with cheaper labor costs is normal.

Benefits of globalization

This global trade has both advantages and disadvantages. Supporters of trade argue that it creates jobs, as the large global market needs more workers to produce more goods. It has also been credited with aiding economic growth. For example, countries such as Hong Kong and Taiwan have dramatically increased their average incomes per person by trading globally. And some have even suggested that globalization has contributed to the spread of democracy and an increased respect for human rights. This seems logical - as individuals gain more economic power, they seek more rights politically as well.

Concerns about globalization

Opponents of globalization, on the other hand, denounce global trade as causing more harm than good. They believe that it is responsible for creating poor working conditions and poverty in developing countries. Wealthy corporations open factories in poorer nations, where labor is cheaper, and often exploit these workers. The workers may face horrendously long hours and brutal conditions, for wages that are typically less than 1 pound per day.

It has also been claimed that global trade encourages environmental damage. Developing nations often recklessly exploit their environment, in an effort to export to the global market. Lastly, there is the worry that globalization leads to cultural degradation. Rather than producing a greater choice of products in each nation, global trade may lead to the world becoming similar. Multinational corporations promote the same products the world over. Small local companies cannot compete with the high advertising budgets and low prices of these corporations, so they drop out of the market.

Reason for America's success

But why has American culture come to dominate in this way? To begin with, North America itself is a large and wealthy country, with a huge and diverse population. US corporations which do well at home have already succeeded in marketing and distributing for a great number of consumers. For American companies, the jump from national to international marketing and distribution is not as great as it is for those from smaller countries. Further, American companies can afford to spend a great deal of money marketing their products around the world, and are able to undercut the prices of local products. It is worth noting that, for entertainment, fast food, carbonated drinks and so on — areas in which the US has come to dominate — America was first in the field.

In the development of music recording technology, the US was ahead of anything anywhere else in the world. This made jazz music accessible to people of all classes, and exportable around the world. It is even truer for moving pictures, an American invention in their mass-market form. So it seems that very early in the last century, a pattern of American dominance in key areas of mass entertainment had already been created.

Why American success continued

Much of American culture's success appears to lie in the fact that American corporations are wealthy, and that they were ahead of others in certain areas. But how have they continued this dominance? One answer to this lies in the fact that people associated the United States with wealth and success. This is particularly true in countries from which many people have emigrated to America. The idealized view of America as the land of the free, where the streets are paved with gold, lives on. By purchasing American products, people can buy a little of the country's glamor. Wherever you live, and however much you earn, wearing Calvin Klein jeans makes you look like a wealthy westerner.

American culture has the added appeal that not only is it glamorous, it is also usually easy to digest. This applies to products from the sweet fizzy taste of Coca-Cola to Hollywood action movies. U.S. culture is generally unsophisticated, and so can be appreciated by everyone. American TV shows and movies rarely have an unhappy ending, and are usually fast-paced, holding your attention with car chases and love scenes. Like hamburgers and ice-cream-laden milkshakes, American entertainment provides us with simple pleasures.

Globalization and the future

American culture today owes its dominance to combination of glamor, technology, marketing and the US' massive wealth. In all, globalization is a scary term. It somehow implies the wTorld turning into one giant American-style shopping mall, where cultures, languages, customs, and individual rights are dissolved by commerce. But this is not what globalization has to be about. America itself has been greatly influenced by other cultures -Western and non-Western alike. One needs only to look at the Afro-Caribbean roots of jazz and rap music, the popularity of Pokemon, the growth in the practice of Islam, the Mexican food in US diets, and the tens of thousands of American kids who enroll in karate classes every year, to realize that American culture is continually influenced by cultures, ideas, and individuals throughout the world. Globalization need not imply influence in only one direction.

 

Завдання. Прочитайте запитання до тексту та виберіть прави-льну відповідь із запропонованих:

1. What is the biggest contributor to the spread of American culture?

a) TV;

b) Music;

c) Trade.

2. What does globalization mean?

a) Worldwide influence of culture and trade;

b) Worldwide economic growth;

c) Worldwide loss of national culture and identity.

3. What is not an effect of globalization?

a) It creates jobs and increases the average person's income;

b) Small companies can do more business;

c) Wealthy corporations exploit workers in poorer nations.

4. How has the USA become so successful?

a) It's a big country and everyone has heard of it;

b) There is a lack of competition;

c) It is a wealthy country and can afford to spend a lot on

marketing and distribution.

5. Why does the USA continue to be successful today?

a) Its exports are of higher quality than those from other

countries;

b) It is the only country that makes many of the things it exports;

c) American products are associated with wealth and glamour.

6. What is likely to happen in the future?

a) America's cultural exports will increase further;

b) America's cultural exports will lessen;

c) Other cultures will have more influence than America.

 

 





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