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ویرایش توسط BLaDe : 26-07-2012 در ساعت 05:23 PM
was on holiday in Greece with my parents and my brother Joe. It was all very beautiful and mostly I was enjoying myself, but my family were getting on my nerves.
They told me things, all the time. They were usually interesting things, but I got really fed up with the way they always knew stuff I didn't. They told me stories from Greek myths; they showed me how olives and lemons grow; they taught me how to eat an artichoke. I can't think of anything they didn't tell me.I remember sitting outside a cafe on the beach eating honey cake and thinking that my head was so full it didn't have enough room for a single extra fact or figure.
Then my father suggested visiting a tiny rocky island we could see, so we went down to the water's edge where the boats were moored, and my father talked with two fishermen. An older one only spoke Greek, but his son, Stefanos, spoke English. Although he was really friendly and helpful, when my father asked about a trip to the island, he shook his head and said it was only a rock and no one went there. My mother said we'd like to have a picnic on it, but Stefanos said that was out of the question because there were a lot of submerged rocks around it, which made landing too risky. But to make up for it he offered to take us night fishing.
He took us out at sunset, and it was beautiful. There were big lamps fixed to the prow and when Stefanos lit them they made a soft hissing sound. My mother was watching the land, where thousands of tiny fireflies were flickering among the trees. But I was looking in the other direction because I'd seen something amazing - a silver seal. My father said he wasn't sure if there were seals in Greece and my mother said there definitely wouldn't be silver ones. I think Joe believed me, but by the time he looked where I was pointing, it had gone - and even I was beginning to wonder if I'd imagined it. Stefanos didn't say anything. He stopped rowing and lowered a net into the water, saying that we might get fish there. He said they came to the light.
And then I saw it again, moving towards us, trailing shimmering streaks through the water. It looked completely magical. Joe shouted out that I was right, it was a seal. It submerged again and my father explained to us that it wasn't really silver; it was just that there was phosphorescence in the water. I expect he told us all about the microscopic sea creatures that form phosphorescence, but I didn't listen. Stefanos said the seals were rare and shy, but I just wanted to know where mine had gone. After that I couldn't pay attention to anything else - I think they caught some whitebait and a small octopus - I just stared at the sea until Stefanos rowed us back to shore again. But there was no sign of the seal.
When I saw it the next day, it was a long way out, and I stood at the edge of the sea near Stefanos and his father, who were sorting their nets, and watched it through my mother's binoculars. Stefanos' father said something to him in Greek. He sounded cross. Stefanos translated for me. He said his father was angry because the seals took all the fish. Stefanos said it was the big fishing boats that took most of the fish.
The old man grumbled about something else.
'He says the seals get caught in the nets and tear them. That's true, but it doesn't happen often,' said Stefanos. I asked if the seals escaped from the nets and Stefanos said that they sometimes did. Later on, I got a fright because my seal dived and didn't come up again. I pictured him struggling in a net. But Stefanos put my mind at rest, explaining that seals stay underwater for a long time. Perhaps I hadn't seen the last of my seal after all
The 'Gap Year': experiencing new sights, climates and cultures
A Richard Olmos The time between leaving school and starting university seemed ideal for seeing the world. After thirteen years at school, and having spent that time living with my family, I felt it was time to do something different. I wanted to link my gap year with project activities and gain new skills. I knew there would be real benefits in doing it, provided I used the time to maximum advantage. I spent four months on a teaching project in Ghana before travelling through Africa. Working with people who came from such a different world to me really opened my mind. When I started my degree back home, I could tell who had been on a gap year and who hadn't. Those who had were very obviously more mature. My advice to others is that at the end of their time away they should evaluate what they have learnt and mention it when writing to prospective employers. You don't want your good work to be dismissed as simply a 'holiday'.
B John Saffron Believe it or not, it is possible to choose to spend a gap year focusing on sports. I live in London, I'm mad about football, so when I read in a magazine about a new gap year scheme that the Arsenal football club was organising, I jumped at the chance of applying. Basically, I spent four months working with children who were underperforming in maths and IT in a London school, encouraging them to get their work done by giving them a football session in the afternoons. At the same time, I was given the opportunity of taking a course in coaching. Then I spent some time doing the same thing in a school in Australia. The thing is you don't have to be brilliant at the sport. It is more important to have enthusiasm and good communication skills - you need to show you have them when they interview you. The coaching certificate I got can lead to a future job, I've made good friends and, most importantly, I've helped to make some kids happier.
C Louisa Powell When you go on a gap year, you often have to cover your own expenses, you are a self-funding volunteer, and as I am a poor student, I had to divide my gap year into two blocks - a 'saving' block then an 'experiencing' block. As soon as my exams were over, I frantically applied for jobs and more jobs. As well as working in an office, I squeezed in an extra few hours working in a cafe to save up for my gap year. I then spent six months working on one of South Africa's wildlife conservation projects. From my gap year I learnt that I couldn't cook, and that I was completely ignorant about anything that wasn't 'western'. Furthermore, I came to realise that I wasn't nearly as clever as I thought I was. Before going on the gap year, I'd decided I wanted to do engineering at university. But back from Africa, I decided that that wasn't what I wanted after all, and I'm now on a geography course.
D Frank Holler I was attracted to a gap year abroad by a talk given in my school by a representative from an organisation that helps students find their ideal placement. She said it was a good idea to spend a minimum of six months in one place. Another important thing she stressed was the need to know exactly how you are going to write up all your activities in a gap year. She suggested keeping a journal, which I did. I needed to raise funds for my gap year, and I did it by asking lots of people for small donations. I spent my gap year working as a language assistant in English language classes in Japan. I was given free accommodation, all meals, and some pocket money. I went to some ordinary classes to improve my Japanese and to get to know other students. It was a great way to experience a different culture, and the best way to learn Japanese. After my gap year, everyone said I seemed more worldly. But I'd recommend going with somebody else, as it can be quite isolating if you're on your own
Pauline Koner (1913-2001)
Pauline Koner, born in New York in 1913, was the daughter of Russian immigrants. As a toddler, she would dance whenever she heard music. After a performance by the great Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova left a lasting impression on her, the child's destiny seemed to be decided. Shortly afterwards, a family friend recommended that she studied under Michel Fokine, the Russian-born ballet teacher. But Pauline's parents were dismayed to find he charged $5 a lesson, an unheard-of sum in the 1920s. Pauline's father, a well-known lawyer, came to an agreement with Fokine: he would offer his legal services in exchange for the ballet lessons. Pauline loved Fokine, but classical ballet was not quite for her. 'I couldn't express what I wanted in toe shoes,' she recalled. 'My feet hurt too much.'
Pauline went on to study Spanish dance and several types of Asian dance, and she performed with Japanese dancers who combined Asian dance with their own particular modern movements. In 1930, Pauline was offered her first solo concert. This so delighted John Martin, an influential critic on The New York Times, that he declared that the programme 'exhibited her unquestionable fight to stand alone.' Pauline continued to dance solos around the world, touring Egypt and Palestine in 1932. She also taught and performed in the Soviet Union from 1934 to 1936, one of the first American dancers to appear there.
Pauline Koner was always curious about the customs, costumes and dances of other nations. As a child, she would paste National Geographic photos into scrapbooks. She thought that she was able to 'absorb' divergent styles and influences because, as she put it: 'Dance was so much my life that when I studied a dance form, I was really living that way of dancing and not just keeping in shape.' She was convinced that students could also 'absorb' other dance forms provided that 'they do not allow themselves to be overwhelmed by a single technique.'
Working as a soloist, sometimes offering programmes of twelve to fourteen items, taught her much about performing. She said: 'I soon realised that before the curtain rises, you must go into a state of inner focus so that nothing exists for you except that one moment. Then, when the curtain opens, you and the audience must seem linked together.' Because she valued this feeling of union, Pauline preferred to use the term 'magnetism' rather than 'projection'. 'You must attract the audience to you,' she said. 'I never wanted people just to look at me; I wanted them to feel with me.'
Although usually considered a modern dancer, Pauline enjoyed pointing out that she had never had a modern dance lesson in her life. Rather, she had developed her own modern style after studying a remarkable variety of other styles. But why did she never study modern dance? Pauline answered that question with a bit of history. In the late 1920s, modern dance was so new that there were few modern dance schools in America. By 1930 there were some, but Pauline had already established herself as an artist: she had, in effect, become a modern dancer entirely on her own.
Then in 1945 came a momentous change in Pauline's artistic life. After one of her programmes, a modern dance choreographer called Doris Humphrey, whom she particularly admired, sent Pauline a note filled with praise. Yet it also contained some criticism. Pauline found this so perceptive that she asked Humphrey to be her choreographic adviser, her 'outside eye', as she liked to call it. Doris Humphrey served as artistic adviser to the Limon Dance Company in the 1940s and 1950s, and she and Limon found Pauline such a kindred spirit that they invited her to be what they called a 'permanent guest artist' with the troupe.
After leaving the Limon company, Pauline became increasingly active as a teacher. Today, she is especially known for her book Elements of Performance, written in 1993, in which she carefully analyses the qualities that make performances remarkable. The personal aura of great performers is surely inimitable. But the principles upon which their art is built can be learnt. And, by teaching them, Pauline Koner was helping a new generation go its own way with flair and authority
New kids on the frock
Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) is a great place to study fashion, according to four recent graduates
A Stewart Parvin I chose to study at ECA because I thought there would be fewer social temptations in Edinburgh than in London, and I wanted to concentrate on my work. It was a great place to be a student because we felt like we were at the heart of everything - an important part of the city - you don't get that in London. My approach has always been very commercial, even at college, and I was lucky in that I was encouraged to explore that at ECA, even though others on the course were more creative and original. A lot of colleges are either one thing or the other - creative or commercial - but we had a good mix. The ECA was the first Scottish college to be included in Graduate Fashion Week in London. It's a high profile event and so some very talented students were attracted to the fashion course as a result. Studying with them hasn't done me any harm at all.
B Zoe Donald I was keen to make my graduate collection very personal. My mum's Chinese and my dad's Scottish, so I wanted to interpret the two cultures into my designs. I graduated in the college's centenary year, so I also thought about how much paper the college must have got through over that time, and so I made my designs very layered to reflect that. My granny was a very glamorous model and a few years ago I inherited her wardrobe, which has also given me ideas. I've really enjoyed the ECA. The great thing about studying here is that it feels like part of an art college, rather than just a fashion department. There is a lot of interaction with the rest of the school, and so I've got to do a bit of graphics and sculpture, too. Edinburgh was a great place to study and work as a fashion designer, because you really feel you can set your own trends here. But I don't think my own particular ideas fit in very well in Scotland, so I may not stay here. I'd love the opportunity to work with a designer such as Commes des Garcons, but we'll have to wait and see.
C David Fraser A main focus of my collection is a big prominent knot somewhere in each outfit, on a sleeve or on a shoulder, and I've looked to knots in yachting for inspiration. I also get ideas from Halston - his minimalist designs and the simple elegance of his cutting. I also like the fact that he was the first celebrity designer, and I have to admit that side of the industry does appeal to me. I love London, so I'm looking forward to going down there. You really have to make your own opportunities in Scotland, and it's tough establishing yourself as a young designer. I don't know what the future holds, but I like the idea of working in an established fashion house, and my dream is to be a creative director of a leading house like Calvin Klein or Balenciaga.
D Rachel Barrett I like to design clothes that I'd wear myself. I began the work for my graduate collection by looking at shapes in traditional Mongolian dress. I wanted to use durable fabrics, so my collection includes a lot of leather, which makes it look a bit punky, but it's not really a retro style. I wanted to study fashion although my parents are both architects, so I guess they allowed me to indulge my artistic side. The great thing about ECA is that the studio is a really great environment in which to work. Studying here instead of London has meant that I'm free from all the influences there, so I've developed my own style. At the same time, it's very difficult to stay up here and have a career. For example, we all have to go to London to source the fabrics for our collections because they're just not available here. Although I'd like to set up my own label at some point, initially I'm looking for employment - with Sportmax in Milan if I could choose
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