READING PASSAGE 1
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1-14 which are based on Reading Passage 1 below.
Plain English Campaign
We launched Plain English Campaign in 1979 with a ritual shredding of appalling government and municipal council forms in Parliament Square, London. We had become so fed up of people visiting our advice centre in Salford, Greater Manchester, to complain about incomprehensible forms that we thought we ought to take action. At the time the shredding seemed like merely throwing sand in the eyes of the charging lion, but it briefly caught the public imagination and left an impression on government and business. Although we’re pleased with the new plain English awareness in government departments, many local councils and businesses maintain a stout resistance to change. One council began a letter to its tenants about a rent increase with two sentences averaging 95 words, full of bizarre housing finance jargon and waffle about Acts of Parliament. The London Borough of Ealing sent such an incomprehensible letter to ISO residents that 40 of them wrote or telephoned to complain and ask for clarification. Many were upset and frightened that the council was planning to imprison them if they didn’t fill in the accompanying form. In fact, the letter meant nothing of the sort, and the council had to send another letter to explain.
Plain legal English can be used as a marketing tactic. Provincial Insurance issued their plain English Home Cover policy in 1983 and sold it heavily as such. In the first 18 months, its sales rocketed, drawing in about an extra £1.5 million of business. Recently, the Eagle Star Group launched a plain English policy to a chorus of congratulatory letters from policyholders. People, it seems, prefer to buy a policy they can understand.
Two kinds of instructions give us a lot of concern – medical labels and do-it-yourself products. With medical labels, there is a serious gap between what the professionals think is clear and what is really clear to patients. A survey by pharmacists Raynor and Sillito found that 31% of patients misunderstood the instruction on eye drops ‘To be instilled’, while 33% misunderstood ‘Use sparingly’. The instruction ‘Take two tablets 4 hourly’ is so prone to misunderstanding (for example, as 8 tablets an hour) that we think it should be banned. Unclear instructions on do-it-yourself products cause expense and frustration to customers. Writing the necessary instructions for these products is usually entrusted to someone who knows the product inside out, yet the best qualification for writing instructions is ignorance. The writer is then like a first-time user, discovering how to use the product in a step-by-step way. Instructions never seem to be tested with first-time users before being issued. So vital steps are missed out or components are mislabeled or not labelled at all. For example, the instructions for assembling a sliding door gear say: ‘The pendant bolt centres are fixed and should be at an equal distance from the centre of the door.’ This neglects to explain who should do the fixing and how the bolt centres will get into the correct position. By using an imperative and an active verb the instruction becomes much clearer: ‘Make sure you fix the centres of the pendant bolts at an equal distance from the centre of the door.’
Effectively, the Plain English movement in the US began with President Jimmy Carter’s Executive Order 12044 of 23 March 1978, that required regulations to be written in plain language. There were earlier government efforts to inform consumers about their rights and obligations, such as the Truth in Lending Act (1969) and the Fair Credit Billing Act (1975), which emphasized a body of information that consumers need in simple language. But President Carter’s executive order gave the prestige and force of a president to the movement. All over the country isolated revolts or efforts against legalistic gobbledygook at the federal, state and corporate levels seemed to grow into a small revolution. These efforts and advances between the years 1978 and 1985 are described in the panel ‘The Plain English Scorecard’.
The Bastille has not fallen yet. The forces of resistance are strong, as one can see from the case of Pennsylvania as cited in the Scorecard. In addition, President Ronald Reagan’s executive order of 19 February 1981, revoking President Carter’s earlier executive order, has definitely slowed the pace of plain English legislation in the United States. There are there main objections to the idea of plain English. They are given below, with the campaign’s answer to them:
The statute would cause unending litigation and clog the courts. Simply not true in all the ten states with plain English laws for consumer contracts and the 34 states with laws or regulations for insurance policies. Since 1978 when plain English law went into effect in New York there have been only four litigations and only two decisions. Massachusetts had zero cases. The cost of compliance would be enormous. Translation of legal contracts into non-legal everyday language would be a waster of time and money. The experience of several corporations has proved that the cost of compliance is often outweighed by solid benefits and litigation savings. Citibank of New York made history in 1975 by introducing a simplified promissory note and afterwards simplified all their forms. Citibank counsel Carl Falsenfield says: ‘We have lost no money and there has been no litigation as a result of simplification.’ The cost-effectiveness of clarity is demonstrable. A satisfied customer more readily signs on the bottom line and thus contributes to the corporation’s bottom line. Some documents simply can’t be simplified. The only legal language that has been tested for centuries in the courts is precise enough to deal with a mortgage, a deed, a lease, or an insurance policy. Here, too, the experience of several corporations and insurance companies has proved that contracts and policies can be made more understandable without sacrificing legal effectiveness.
What does the future hold for the Plain English movement? Today, American consumers are buffeted by an assortment of pressures. Never before have consumers had as many choices in areas like financial services, travel, telephone services, and supermarket products. There are about 300 long-distance phone companies in the US. Not long ago, the average supermarket carried 9,000 items; today, it carries 22,000. More importantly, this expansion of options – according to a recent report – is faced by a staggering 30 million Americans lacking the reading skills to handle the minimal demands of daily living. The consumer’s need, therefore, for information expressed in plain English is more critical than ever.
What is needed today is not a brake on the movement’s momentum but another push toward plain English contracts from consumers. I still hear plain English on the TV and in the streets, and read plain English in popular magazines and best-sellers, but not yet in many functional documents. Despite some victories, the was against gobbledygook is not over yet. We do well to remember, the warning of Chrissie Maher, organizer of Plain English Campaign in the UK: ‘People are not just injured when medical labels are written in gobbledygook – they die. Drivers are not just hurt when their medicines don’t tell them they could fall asleep at the wheel – they are killed.’
Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 1?
In boxes 1-6 on your answer sheet, write
TRUE if the statement is true
FALSE if the statement is false
NOT GIVEN if the information is not given in the passage
1 In marketing area, the spread of Plain English can generate economic benefit.
2 Because doctors tend to use jargon when they talk with patients, thereafter many patients usually get confused with medicine dose.
3 After successive election over U.S president Jimmy Carter, the effect of Plain English Campaign is less distinctive than that of the previous one.
4 The Plain English campaigner has a problem of talking with the officials.
5 Work check is made regularly by the judge in the court scenario.
6 Compared with the situation of the past, consumers are now facing less intensity of label reading pressure in a supermarket in America.
Complete the following summary of the paragraphs of Reading Passage.
Using NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the Reading Passage for each answer.
Write your answers in boxes 7-14 on your answer sheet.
Campaigners experienced a council renting document full of strange 7……………………… of housing in terms of an Act. They are anxious in some other field, for instance, when reading a label of medicine, there was an obvious 8……………………… for patients.
Another notable field was on 9………………………… products, it not only additionally cost buyers but caused 10………………………, thus writer should regard himself as a 11…………………….. However, oppositions against the Plain English Campaign under certain circumstances, e.g. 12……………………… language had been embellished as an accurate language used in the 13……………………… The author suggested that nowadays new compelling force is needed from 14……………………….
READING PASSAGE 2
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 15-27 which are based on Reading Passage 2 below.
Aqua product: New Zealand’s Algae Biodiesel
The world’s first wild algae biodiesel, produced in New Zealand by Aquaflow Bionomic Corporation, was successfully test-driven in Wellington by the Minister for Energy and Climate Change Issues, David Parker. In front of a crowd of invited guests, media and members of the public, the Minister filled up a diesel-powered Land Rover with Aquaflow B5 blend bio-diesel and then drove the car around the forecourt of Parliament Buildings in Central Wellington. Green Party co-leader, Jeanette Fitzsimons was also on board. Marlborough-based Aquaflow announced on May 2006 that it had produced the world’s first bio-diesel derived from wild microalgae sourced from local sewage ponds.
“We believe we are the first company in the world to test drive a car powered by wild algae-based biodiesel. This will come as a surprise to some international bio-diesel industry people who believe that this break-through is still years away,” explains Aquaflow spokesperson Barrie Leay. “A bunch of inventive Kiwis and an Aussie have developed this fuel in just over a year”, he comments. “This is a huge opportunity for New Zealand and a great credit to the team of people who saw the potential in this technology from day one.”
Bio-diesel based on algae could eventually become a sustainable, low cost, cleaner-burning fuel alternative for New Zealand, powering family cars, trucks, buses and boats. It can also be used for other purposes such as heating or distributed electricity generation. There is now a global demand for billions of litres of biodiesel per year. Algae are also readily available and produced in huge volumes in nutrient-rich waste streams such as at the settling ponds of Effluent Management Systems (EMS). It is a renewable indigenous resource ideally suited to the production of fuel and other useful by-products. The breakthrough comes after technology start-up, Aquaflow, agreed to undertake a pilot with Marlborough District Council late last year to extract algae from the settling ponds of its EMS based in Blenheim. By removing the main contaminant to use as a fuel feedstock, Aquaflow is also helping clean up the council’s water discharge – a process known as bio-remediation. Dairy farmers, and many food processors too, can benefit in similar ways by applying the harvesting technology to their nutrient-rich waste streams.
Blended with conventional mineral diesel, bio-diesel can run vehicles without the need for vehicle modifications. Fuel derived from algae can also help meet the Government B5 (5% blended) target, with the prospect of this increase over time as bio-fuel production increases. “Our next step is to increase capacity to produce one million litres of bio-diesel from the Marlborough sewerage ponds over the next year,” says Leay. Aquaflow will launch a prospectus pre-Christmas as the company has already attracted considerable interest from potential investors. The test drive bio-diesel was used successfully in a static engine test at Massey University’s Wellington campus on Monday, December 11.
Today Algae are used by humans in many ways; for example, as fertilizers, soil conditioners and livestock feed. Aquatic and microscopic species are cultured in clear tanks or ponds and are either harvested or used to treat effluents pumped through the ponds. Algaculture on a large scale is an important type of aquaculture in some places. Naturally growing seaweeds are an important source of food, especially in Asia. They provide many vitamins including A, B, B2, B6, niacin and C, and are rich in iodine, potassium, iron, magnesium and calcium. In addition, commercially cultivated microalgae, including both Algae and Cyan-bacteria, are marketed as nutritional supplements, such as Spirulina, Chlorella and the Vitamin-C supplement, Dunaliella, high in beta-carotene. Algae are national foods of many nations: China consumes more than 70 species, including fat choy, a cyanobacterium considered a vegetable; Japan, over 20 species. The natural pigments produced by algae can be used as an alternative to chemical dyes and coloring agents.
Algae are the simplest plant organisms that convert sunlight and carbon dioxide in the air around us into stored energy through the well-understood process of photosynthesis. Algae are rich in lipids and other combustible elements and Aquaflow is developing technology that will allow these elements to be extracted in a cost-effective way. The proposed process is the subject of a provisional patent. Although algae are good at taking most of the nutrients out of sewage, too many algae can taint the water and make it smell. So, councils have to find a way of cleaning up the excess algae in their sewerage outflows and then either dispose of it or find alternative uses for it. And that’s where Aquaflow comes in.
Unlike some bio-fuels which require crops to be specially grown and thereby compete for land use with food production, and use other scarce resources of fuel, chemicals and fertiliser, the source for algae-based biodiesel already exists extensively and the process produces a sustainable net energy gain by capturing free solar energy from the sun.
Reading Passage 2 contains seven paragraphs A-G.
Which paragraph stales the following information?
Write the appropriate letter A-G, in boxes 15-19 on your answer sheet.
NB You may use any letter more than once.
15 It is unnecessary to modify vehicles driven by bio-diesel.
16 Some algae are considered edible plants.
17 Algae could be part of a sustainable and recycled source.
18 Algae biodiesel is superior to other bio-fuels in a lot of ways.
19 overgrown algae also can be a potential threat to the environment
Complete the following summary of the paragraphs of Reading Passage.
Using NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the Reading Passage for each answer.
Write your answers in boxes 20-24 on your answer sheet.
Bio-diesel based on algae could become a substitute for 20………………………. in New Zealand. It could be used to 21…………………….. vehicles such as cars and boats. As a result, billions of litres of bio-diesel are required worldwide each year. Algae can be obtained from 22…………………… with nutrient materials. With the technology breakthrough, algae are extracted and the 23…………………….. is removed from the settling ponds. Dairy farmers and many food processors can adopt such 24……………………….. technology.
Choose words from the passage to answer the questions 25-27.
Write NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS for each answer.
25 What environmental standard would bio-diesel vehicles are to meet?
26 What is to do like the immediate plan for coming years for Aquaflow?
27 Through what kind of process do algae obtain and store energy?
READING PASSAGE 3
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 28-40 which are based on Reading Passage 3 below.
Designed to Last
Could better design cure our throwaway culture?
Jonathan Chapman, a senior lecturer at the University of Brighton, UK, is one of a new breed of ‘sustainable designers’. Like many of us, they are concerned about the huge waste associated with Western consumer culture and the damage this does to the environment. Some, like Chapman, aim to create objects we will want to keep rather than discard. Others are working to create more efficient or durable consumer goods or goods designed with recycling in mind. The waste entailed in our fleeting relationships with consumer durables is colossal.
Domestic power tools, such as electric drills, are a typical example of such waste. However much DIY the purchaser plans to do, the truth is that these things are thrown away having been used, on average, for just ten minutes. Most will serve ‘conscience time’ gathering dust on a shelf in the garage; people are reluctant to admit that they have wasted their money. However, the end is inevitable; thousands of years in landfill waste sites. In its design, manufacture, packaging, transportation and disposal, a power tool consumes many times its own weight in resources, all for a shorter active lifespan than that of the average small insect.
To understand why we have become so wasteful, we should look to the underlying motivation of consumers. ‘People own things to give expression to who they are, and to show what group of people they feel they belong to,’ Chapman says. In a world of mass production, however, that symbolism has lost much of its potency. For most of human history, people had an intimate relationship with objects they used or treasured. Often they made the objects themselves, or family members passed them on. For more specialist objects, people relied on expert manufacturers living close by, whom they probably knew personally. Chapman points out that all these factors gave objects a history – a narrative – and an emotional connection that today’s mass production can not match. Without these personal connections, consumerist culture instead idolizes novelty. We know we can’t buy happiness, but the chance to remake ourselves with glossy, box-fresh products seems irresistible. When the novelty fades we simply renew the excitement by buying more new stuff: what John Thackara of Doors of Perception, a network for sharing ideas about the future of design, calls the “schlock of the new”.
As a sustainable designer, Chapman’s solution is what he calls “emotionally durable design”. Think about your favorite old jeans. They just don’t have the right feel until they have been worn and washed a hundred times, do they? It is like they are sharing your life story. You can fake that look, but it isn’t the same. Chapman says the gradual unfolding of a relationship like this transforms our interactions with objects into something richer than simple utility. Swiss industrial analyst Walter Stahel, visiting professor at the University of Surrey, calls it the “teddy-bear factor”. No matter how ragged and worn a favorite teddy becomes, we don’t rush out and buy another one. As adults, our teddy bear connects us to our childhoods, and this protects it from obsolescence. Stahel says this is what sustainable design needs to do.
It is not simply about making durable items that people want to keep. Sustainable design is a matter of properly costing the whole process of production, energy use and disposal. “It is about the design of systems, the design of culture,” says Tim Cooper from the Centre for Sustainable Consumption at Sheffield Hallam University in Britain. He thinks sustainable design has been “surprisingly slow to take off” but says looming environmental crises and resource depletion are pushing it to the top of the agenda.
Thackara agrees. For him, the roots of impending environmental collapse can be summarized in two words: weight and speed. We are making more stuff than the planet can sustain and using vast amounts of energy moving more and more of it around ever faster. The Information Age was supposed to lighten our economies and reduce our impact on the environment, but the reverse seems to be happening. We have simply added information technology to the industrial era and hastened the developed world’s metabolism, Thackara argues.
Once you grasp that, the cure is hardly rocket science: minimize waste and energy use, stop moving stuff around so much and use people more. EZIO MANZINI, PROFESSOR of industrial design at Politecnico di Milano University, Italy, describes the process of moving to a post-throwaway society as like “changing the engine of an aircraft in mid-flight”. Even so, he believes it can be done, and he is not alone.
Manzini says a crucial step would be to redesign our globalized world into what he calls the “multi-local society”. His vision is that every resource, from food to electricity generation, should as far as possible be sourced and distributed locally. These local hubs would then be connected to national and global networks to allow the most efficient use and flow of materials.
So what will post-throwaway consumerism look like? For a start, we will increasingly buy sustainably designed products. This might be as simple as installing energy-saving light bulbs, more efficient washing machines, or choosing locally produced groceries with less packaging.
We will spend less on material goods and more on services. Instead of buying a second car, for example, we might buy into a car-sharing network. We will also buy less and rent a whole lot more: why own things that you hardly use, especially things that are likely to be updated all the time? Consumer durables will be sold with plans already in place for their disposal. Electronic goods will be designed to be recyclable, with the extra cost added to the retail price as prepayment. As consumers become increasingly concerned about the environment, many big businesses are eagerly adopting sustainable design and brushing up their green credentials to please their customers and stay one step ahead of the competition.
Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D.
Write your answers in boxes 28-32 on your answer sheet.
28 What does ‘conscience time’ imply in paragraph 2?
A People feel guilty when they throw things away easily.
B The shelf in the garage needs cleaning.
C The consumers are unaware of the waste problem.
D The power tool should be placed in the right place after being used.
29 Prior to mass production, people own things to show
A their quality
B their status
C their character
D their history
30 The word ‘narrative’ in paragraph 3 refers to
A the novelty culture pursued by the customers
B the motivation of buying new products
C object stories that relate personally and meaningfully to the owners
D the image created by the manufacturers
31 Without a personal connection, people buy new stuff for
D family members
32 The writer quotes the old jeans and teddy bear to illustrate that
A the products are used for simple utility.
B producers should create more special stuff to attract consumers.
C Chapman led a poor childhood life.
D the emotional connections make us to keep the objects for longer.
Complete the summary using the list of words, A-H, below.
Write the correct letter, A-H, in boxes 33-26 on your answer sheet.
Tim Cooper claims that although sustainable design proceeds 33………………………, the coming problems are pushing the move. In accordance with Tim Cooper, Thackara believes that the origins of the looming environmental crises are weight and 34………………………. The technology which was assumed to have a positive effect on our society actually accelerates the world’s 35…………………… To cure this, Manzini proposes a ‘multi-local society’ which means every resource should be located and redeployed 36……………………..
A properly B energy C locally
D economy E slowly F speed
G quickly H metabolism
Do the following statements agree with the claims of the writer in Reading Passage 3?
In boxes 37-40 on your answer sheet, write
YES if the statement is true
NO if the statement is false
NOT GIVEN if the information is not given in the passage
37 People often buy things that are seldom used and throw them away.
38 In a post-throwaway society, we will pay extra money after disposing of electronic goods.
39 Some businesses have jumped on the sustainability bandwagon.
40 Company will spend less on repairs in the future.