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For many years the school system in Finland has been very successful. In the PISA survey, which compares reading, math and science knowledge of 15-year-olds around the world, Finland is not only the top European country but also competes with Asian giants like Shanghai, Singapore and South Korea. But what makes the educational system in this small country so different from others in the western countries?

Until the 1960s, most Finland’s most students left school after six years. In the middle of the 1960s, the Finnish government saw the need to change and modernize their education system if they want to be internationally competitive. Lawmakers made a simple decision: a basic school for all the 7- to 16-year-olds. Compulsory (义务的) education begins at 7. The government makes it possible for all children to attend preschool as well.

Most of Finland’s schools get their money from the government. The people who are in charge of the education system, from teachers to officials are trained teachers, not politicians like in other countries.

Teachers work with their pupils in school as much as possible. When teachers are not with the pupils, they spend a lot of time in schools working on the curriculum (课程) and new projects. Schools in Finland are small, at least for international standards. So teachers know every pupil in their school and try everything to succeed with their pupils. In contrast to other nations, Finland selects its teachers very carefully: only talented teachers go on to a university and receive a master’s degree in education. Finland only takes the best to educate its youth.

All Finnish children, whether they come from the city or the country, whether from a rich or poor family, have the same chances in education. There are not so many differences between the wealthy and the poor, as in America or other Western European countries. Education experts say that there is very little difference between very good and the worst students. Two thirds of Finnish pupils move on to higher education, the highest rate in the European Union.



Why has the Finnish educational system been more successful than those of other Western countries? (...

Puppies for Sale

A shop owner placed a sign above his door that said: “Puppies For Sale.”

____ like this always attract young children, and to no surprise, a boy saw the sign and ______ the owner: “How much are the puppies?” he asked.

The store owner replied, “From $30 to $50.”

The little boy pulled out some ______ from his pocket. “I have $2.37,” he said. “Can I please ________ them?”

The shop owner saw the note, smiling and whistling. Out of the kennel(狗窝) came five ______ balls of fur. One puppy was falling behind. Immediately the little boy ______ the lame (跛的) puppy and said, “What’s wrong with that little dog?”

The shop owner ______ that the veterinarian (兽医) had discovered it didn’t have a hip socket (膝盖骨). It would ______ lame. The little boy became ______. “That is the puppy that I want to buy.”

The shop owner said, “ If you really want him, I’ll just ______ him to you.”

The little boy got quite ______, pointing his finger, and said; “I don’t want you to give him to me. I’ll pay ______ price. ______, I’ll give you $2.37 now, and 50 cents a month until I have him ______.”

The shop owner said, “Please don’t buy this little dog. He is never going to be able to ______ and play with you like the other puppies.”

To his ______, the little boy reached ______ and rolled up his trousers legs to show a badly twisted(变形的), lame left ______ supported by a big metal brace(支架). He looked up at the shop owner and ______ replied, “Well, I don’t run so well myself, and the little puppy will need someone who ______!”

1.A. Animals    B. Signs    C. Prices    D. Deals

2.A. met    B. begged    C. questioned    D. approached

3.A. paper    B. coins    C. change    D. check

4.A. see    B. take    C. raise    D. select

5.A. round    B. tinny    C. shy    D. warm

6.A. pitied    B. favored    C. found    D. noticed

7.A. ordered    B. explained    C. regretted    D. declared

8.A. never    B. sometimes    C. always    D. even

9.A. sad    B. excited    C. calm    D. worried

10.A. give    B. tell    C. bring    D. show

11.A. upset    B. happy    C. disappointed    D. hurtful

12.A. full    B. half    C. less    D. more

13.A. Surprisingly    B. Naturally    C. Slowly    D. Actually

14.A. paid for    B. sold out    C. cared for    D. healed up

15.A. move    B. survive    C. run    D. sit

16.A. delight    B. surprise    C. sorrow    D. despair

17.A. down    B. up    C. out    D. forward

18.A. arm    B. finger    C. leg    D. heart

19.A. angrily    B. secretly    C. softly    D. jokingly

20.A. suffers    B. pays    C. passes    D. understands


We know that there is nothing worse than finding yourself caught in a strange place, disconnected from your loved ones. Here are a variety of travel tips that will help make your journey a safe and enjoyable one.

Plan ahead. There is no way to fully plan for the unexpected, but you can be prepared for it.1. If traveling on public transportation, make sure you know the route and the stops. Have a well-charged cell phone with you, or take a Mobile Power Pack. You can often save time and money by planning ahead.

Inform family/ friends of your travel plans. Make sure you have someone you can contact in case of emergency. If someone is meeting you at your destination, make sure they know exactly when your lane/ bus / train arrives.

2. Do you routinely take medicine? Are you traveling with a baby who needs milk powder? These are examples of things to carry with you at all times. If travel is delayed, it doesn't help YOU if these items are part of your checked baggage.

Take identification. It is important to have photo identification with you when you travel. Identification is required when purchasing bus and train tickets. 3.

Check on prohibited items in advance. Visit the Transportation Security Agency's website (TSA) to check on what items are prohibited. 4. Better to leave it at home, since you will have to surrender (交出) the item in order to get through airport security.

Protect your money. Instead of carrying a lot of cash with you, use your card to pay. 5. Take some cash just in case, but don’t put all your cash in one place. Put some money in jackets, pockets and different bags. In case your wallet gets lost or stolen, you still have cash in other places.

A. Don't forget to take medicine.

B. Be aware of your own special needs.

C. This makes payment easier and safer to manage.

D. In case you want to tour around and look for places, maps app is a must.

E. If traveling by car, have a map with you and know your route in advance.

F. Also, it must be presented at airline counters and airport security checkpoints.

G. Remember the Swiss Army knife your grandfather gave you when you were ten years old?


Whether or not your mouth is moving right now, you are talking to yourself. As you read these words, your facial muscles are having quick, invisible movements, sounding out the words so you can actually hear them in your head. This kind of speech is called "subvocalization", and unless you're a speed-reader who has trained yourself out of this habit, you're doing it every time you read or even imagine a word.

Now, MIT researchers want to use those subvocalization to know what's in your mind and translate it into digital orders, using a wearable smart headset called AlterEgo. The headset combines human and machine in some ways.

According to the MIT Media Lab, the device would allow users to send silent orders to the headset simply by thinking of a word. A neural (神经的) network would translate the muscle movements to speech and do the user's orders—totally hands-and-voice-free. Let's say you want to ask AlterEgo what time it is. First, you think the word "time". As you do, your facial muscles make micro-movements to sound out the word in your head. Electrodes(电极) on the headset record these movements and then send them to a computer. The neural network processes these signals the same way a speech-to-text program might, and responds by telling you the time.

In a small study, 10 volunteers read a list of numbers to themselves while wearing AlterEgo headsets. AlterEgo correctly got which numbers the participants were reading with an average accuracy of 92 percent. For comparison, Google's microphone-based speech-to-text translation service has an accuracy of about 95 percent.

“We basically can’t live without our digital devices,” said Pattie Maes, an MIT professor. "But at the moment, the use of those devices is causing some problems in our life. My students and I have been experimenting with new types of experience that enable people to still benefit from all the wonderful knowledge and services that these devices provide but do it in a way that lets them remain in the present.”

1.We can learn from the first paragraph that “ subvocalization” _______.

A. is less used in life now

B. is more effective than speed reading

C. refers to a silent way of reading something

D. means reading something in a detailed way

2.What does Paragraph 3 mainly talk about?

A. How AlterEgo works.

B. The production of AlterEgo.

C. The disadvantages of AlterEgo.

D. How to wear AlterEgo correctly.

3.The test in Paragraph 4 suggests that AlterEgo _______.

A. has good working performance

B. has become a popular digital product

C. works better than Googles similar service

D. is unable to complete complex tasks at present