- Do you enjoyed travelling?(Why/Why not?)
- Have you done much travelling?(Why/Why not?)
- Do you think it’s better to travel alone or with other people?(Why?)
- Where would you like to travel in the future?(Why?)
Describe a child that you know.
You should say:
who this child is and how often you see him or her
how old this child is
what he or she is like
and explain what you feel about this child.
You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes.
You have one minute to think about what you are going to say.
You can make some notes to help you if you wish.
Relationships between parents and children
Children’s free-time activities
The Child of Having a Large Number of Toys
Write about the following topic:
Some parents buy their children a large number of toys to play with.
What are the advantages and disadvantages for the child of having a large number of toys?
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Beyond the blue horizon
Ancient voyagers who settled the far-flung islands of the Pacific Ocean.
An important Q2 archaeological discovery on the island of Efate in the Pacific archipelago of Vanuatu has revealed traces of an ancient seafaring people, the distant ancestors of today’s, Polynesians. The site came to light only by chance. An agricultural worker, digging in the grounds of a derelict Q1 plantation, scraped open a grave – the first of dozens in a burial ground some 3,000 years old.
It is the oldest cemetery ever found in the Pacific islands, and it harbors the remains of an ancient people archaeologists call the Lapita.
They were daring blue-water adventurers who used basic canoes to rove across the ocean. But they were not just explorers. They were also pioneers who carried with them everything they would need to build new lives – their Q3 livestock, taro seedlings and stone tools. Within the span of several centuries, the Lapita stretched the boundaries of their world from the jungle-clad volcanoes of Papua New Guinea to the loneliest coral outliers of Tonga.
The Lapita left precious few clues about themselves, but Efate expands the volume of data available to researchers dramatically. The remains of 62 individuals have been uncovered so far, and archaeologists were also thrilled to find six complete Lapita pots. Other items included a Lapita Q4 burial urn with modeled birds arranged on the rim as though peering down at the human remains sealed inside. ‘It’s an important discovery,’ says Matthew Spriggs, professor of archaeology at the Australian National University and head of the international team digging up the site, ‘for it conclusively identifies the Q5 remains as Lapita.’
DNA teased from these human remains may help answer one of the most puzzling questions in Pacific anthropology: did all Pacific islanders spring from one source or many? Was there only one outward migration from a single point in Asia, or several from different points? ‘This represents the best opportunity we’ve had yet,’ says Spriggs, ‘to find out who the Lapita actually were, where they came from, and who their closest descendants are today.’
There is one stubborn question for which archaeology has yet to provide any answers: how did the Lapita accomplish the ancient equivalent of a moon landing, many times over? Q6 No-one has found one of their canoes or any rigging, which could reveal how the canoes were sailed. Nor do the oral histories and traditions of later Polynesians offer any insights, for they turn into myths long before they reach as far back in time as the Lapita.
‘All we can say for certain is that the Lapita had canoes that were capable of ocean voyages, and they had the ability to sail them,’ says Geoff Irwin, a professor of archaeology at the University of Auckland. Those sailing skills, he says, were developed and passed down over thousands of years by earlier mariners who worked their way through the archipelagoes of the western Pacific, making short crossings to nearby islands. Q7 The real adventure didn’t begin, however, until their Lapita descendants sailed out of sight of land, with empty horizons on every side. This must have been as difficult for them as landing on the moon is for us today. Certainly it distinguished them from their ancestors, but what gave them the courage to launch out on such risky voyages?
The Lap it as thrust into the Pacific was eastward, against the prevailing trade winds, Irwin notes. Those nagging headwinds, he argues, may have been the key to their success. ‘They could sail out for days into the unknown and assess the area, secure in the knowledge that if they didn’t find anything, they could turn about and catch a swift ride back on the trade winds. Q8 This is what would have made the whole thing work.’ Once out there, skilled seafarers would have detected abundant leads to follow to land: seabirds, coconuts and twigs carried out to sea by the tides, and the afternoon pile-up of clouds on the horizon which often indicates an island in the distance.
Q9 For returning explorers, successful or not, the geography of their own archipelagoes would have provided a safety net. Without this to go by, overshooting their home ports, getting lost and sailing off into eternity would have been all too easy. Vanuatu, for example, stretches more than 500 miles in a northwest-southeast trend, its scores of inrervisible islands forming a backstop for mariners riding the trade winds home.
All this presupposes one essential detail, says Atholl Anderson, professor of prehistory at the Australian National University: Q10 the Lapita had mastered the advanced art of sailing against the wind. ‘And there’s no proof they could do any such thing,’ Anderson says. ‘There has been this assumption they did, and people have built canoes to re-create those early voyages based on that assumption. But nobody has any idea what their canoes looked like or how they were rigged.’
Rather than give all the credit to human skill, Anderson invokes the winds of chance. Q11 El Nino, the same climate disruption that affects the Pacific today, may have helped scatter the Lapita, Anderson suggests. He points out that climate data obtained from slow-growing corals around the Pacific indicate a series of unusually frequent El Ninos around the time of the Lapita expansion. By reversing the regular east-to-west flow of the trade winds for weeks at a time, these super El Ninos might have taken the Lapita on long unplanned voyages.
Q13 However they did it, the Lapita spread themselves a third of the way across the Pacific, then called it quits for reasons known only to them. Ahead lay the vast emptiness of the central Pacific and perhaps they were too thinly stretched to venture farther. They probably never numbered more than a few thousand in total, and in their rapid migration eastward they encountered hundreds of islands – more than 300 in Fiji alone.
Q14 It is likely that the majority of Lapita settled on Fiji. NOT GIVEN
Canadian writer Jay Ingram investigates the mystery of why leaves turn red in the fall.
A One of the most captivating natural events of the year in many areas throughout North America is the turning of the leaves in the fall. The colours are magnificent, but the question of exactly why some trees turn yellow or orange, and others red or purple, is something which has long puzzled scientists.
B Q4 Summer leaves are green because they are full of chlorophyll, the molecule that captures sunlight converts that energy into new building materials for the tree. As fall approaches in the northern hemisphere, the amount of solar energy available declines considerably. For many trees – evergreen conifers being an exception – the best strategy is to abandon photosynthesis* until the spring. So Q2 rather than maintaining the now redundant leaves throughout the winter, the tree saves its precious resources and discards them. But before letting its leaves go, the tree dismantles their chlorophyll molecules and ships their valuable nitrogen back into the twigs. Q13 As chlorophyll is depleted, other colours that have been dominated by it throughout the summer begin to be revealed. This unmasking explains the autumn colours of yellow and orange, but not the brilliant reds and purples of trees such as the maple or sumac.
C Q1 The source of the red is widely known: it is created by anthocyanins, water-soluble plant pigments reflecting the red to blue range of the visible spectrum. They belong to a class of sugar-based chemical compounds also known as flavonoids. What’s puzzling is that anthocyanins are actually newly minted, made in the leaves at the same time as the tree is preparing to drop them. But it is hard to make sense of the manufacture of anthocyanins – why should a tree bother making new chemicals in its leaves when it’s already scrambling to withdraw and preserve the ones already there?
D Some theories about anthocyanins have argued that they might act as a chemical defence against attacks by insects or fungi, or that they might attract fruit-eating birds or increase a leafs tolerance to freezing. However there are problems with each of these theories, including the fact that leaves are red for such a relatively short period that the expense of energy needed to manufacture the anthocyanins would outweigh any anti-fungal or anti-herbivore activity achieved.* photosynthesis: the production of new material from sunlight, water and carbon dioxide.
E Q5 It has also been proposed that trees may produce vivid red colours to convince herbivorous insects that they are healthy and robust and would be easily able to mount chemical defences against infestation. If insects paid attention to such advertisements, they might be prompted to lay their eggs on a duller, and presumably less resistant host. The flaw in this theory lies in the lack of proof to support it. No one has as yet ascertained whether more robust trees sport the brightest leaves, or whether insects make choices according to colour intensity.
F Perhaps the most plausible suggestion as to why leaves would go to the trouble of making anthocyanins when they’re busy packing up for the winter is the theory known as the ‘light screen’ hypothesis. Q11 It sounds paradoxical, because the idea behind this hypothesis is that Q10 the red pigment is made in autumn leaves to protect chlorophyll, the light-absorbing chemical, from too much light. Why does chlorophyll need protection when it is the natural world’s supreme light absorber? Why protect chlorophyll at a time when the tree is breaking it down to salvage as much of it as possible?
G Chlorophyll, although exquisitely evolved to capture the energy of sunlight, can sometimes be overwhelmed by it, especially in situations of drought, low temperatures, or nutrient deficiency. Moreover, the problem of oversensitivity to light is even more acute in the fall, when the leaf is busy preparing for winter by dismantling its internal machinery. The energy absorbed by the chlorophyll molecules of the unstable autumn leaf is not immediately channelled into useful products and processes, as it would be in an intact summer leaf. The weakened fall leaf then becomes vulnerable to the highly destructive effects of the oxygen created by the excited chlorophyll molecules.
H Q3 Even if you had never suspected that this is what was going on when leaves turn red, there are clues out there. One is straightforward: on many trees, the leaves that are the reddest are those Q6 on the side of the tree which gets most sun. Not only that, but the red is brighter on the Q7 upper side of the leaf. It has also been recognised for decades that the best conditions for intense red colours are Q8 dry, sunny days and cool nights, conditions that nicely match those that make leaves susceptible to excess light. And finally, trees such as maples usually get much redder the more north you travel in the Q9 northern hemisphere. It’s colder there, they’re more stressed, their chlorophyll is more sensitive and it needs more sunblock.
Q12 Leaves which turn colours other than red are more likely to be damaged by sunlight. NOT GIVEN
I What is still not fully understood, however, is why some trees resort to producing red pigments while others don’t bother, and simply reveal their orange or yellow hues. Do these trees have other means at their disposal to prevent overexposure to light in autumn? Their story, though not as spectacular to the eye, will surely turn out to be as subtle and as complex.