Topic 24: The leisure industry is growing rapidly. The active role of modern technology in people's leisure lives nowadays has made them less creative. Do you agree or disagree?
Nowadays, leisure time activities are set to play a larger part in people's daily lives than ever before. There has been a perception that nowadays people could not derive the same pleasure as they did from the entertainment of yesteryear, as technology has made them less creative. This view is open to debate.
The maturity and popularity of network technology, together withthe expansion of the software industry, has given today's entertainment seekers many opportunities to share pleasure, and enhance their intelligence. In the past, people could only play chess, cards, or other similar games with their friends. Now they can challenge other players via the Internet, professionalor non-professional, familiar or unfamiliar. Some online games, by simulatingreal life conditions, enable players to exercise various tactics in dealing with difficulties. They improve players' abilities as well.
Technology also enables any person in a contemporary society to become enlightened and empoweredand exhibits a high degree of creative power. Creativity stems primarily from knowledge. In the past, one's knowledge developed slowly or even stagnatedthroughout much of his/her life, simply because the access to information was limited. The situation has been subject to dramatic change, with the advent of modern technology. By gathering information from a variety of sources, modern people can adopt, adjust and restructuredifferent strategies to address an issue. Even in doing simple jobs, such as gardening, dressing, people can expand their creative energy and add new varieties, regarding it as a means of self-expression.
Some people might argue that watching TV, a common leisure activity, has seriously hampered the viewers' development in creativity. Their argument is based on an assumption that TV viewers are passive when absorbing information presented by TV and respond with no active thinking. However, there is evidence that television programmes are becoming increasingly educational and instructive. For example, quiz shows encourage critical thinking, while educational channels, such as Discovery, broaden watchers' knowledge. While advertisements bearaesthetical and ideological values, talk shows display the art of languages.
What have been discussed above refutes a prevailing notion that modern technologies stifle people's creativity and make them passive and mechanical entertainment seekers. Modern technologies, as shown in above discussion, have made people more creative, and also given them more enjoyment in leisure activities.
2. together with = accompanied by = coupled with = combined with = alongside
3. intelligence = intellect
4. professional = proficient = trained = skilled
5. non-professional = inexperienced = amateur
6. unfamiliar = strange = unusual
7. simulate = replicate = imitate
8. empowered = competent = authorised = capable
9. stagnate = stand still = languish = remain unchanged
10. restructure = reform = reorganise
11. bear = have
Topic 25: Many people think that public libraries should only provide books and should not waste their money on expensive hi-tech media, such as software, DVDs or videos. Do you agree or disagree?
A library, generally, refers to a place storing and managing books that can be booked or borrowed. In these years, there is a trend toward integrating new technologies, such as DVDs and videos, in libraries. Opponentsargue that the emphasis should be placed on providing books, rather than on increasing modern equipment. Modernisation is, in my opinion, an inevitable tendency, although the enlargementof a library's reserveshould not be treated lightly.
One of the main advantages of using computers or other hi-tech products is improving efficiency. By recording information of books such as titles, authors, dales of publishing, or even summaries in a computer system, e-library allows readers to find a book promptly. Likewise, librarians are more able to store, seek out and manage books. Moreover, with the central network connecting libraries throughout a country or worldwide, a library user can easily locate a book in n library wherever it is.
Meanwhile, one should note that e-books have become increasingly popular increasing the likelihood that e-library will sooner or later take the place of a conventional library. Compared with paper books, e-books not only use much less space but also give readers more enjoyment in reading. For example, readers can customise their viewing experience easily by adjusting font, size and style of characters, accessing the books that have the same subject, and modifying screen contract, and so forth. E-books appeal to young users or children specifically because of its remarkable ability to demonstrate or explain a subject vividly via pictures, videos or even movies.
The importance of updating the facilities is therefore evident, but it should be stressed that the primary responsibility of libraries is to provide as many books as possible to the public. A good library is judged not by the extent to which its facilities are modernised, but by how much information it can supply. The more books the library can make available, the more visitors it can attract. At the international level, nearly every distinguished library gains its fame by providing a vast collection and a delicateselection of books.
As suggested above, the library should focus not only on the instalment of modern equipment, but also on purchasing more books. The top priority for a library is to maximise the reserve of books and make the resource available.
1. opponent = challenger = antagonist
2. enlargement = amplification = growth = rise
3. reserve = storage
4. distinguished = famous = renowned = celebrated = notable