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New words:

1. complex (adj): phức tạp, rắc rối

2. acquire (v): thu được, đạt được

3. assess (v): đánh giá, ước định

4. argue (v): biện luận, tranh 1uận

5. achieve (v): đạt được, giành được

6. syllabus (n): chương trình học, đề cương bài giảng

7. entirely (adv): hoàn toàn

8. grasp (n): sự nắm được, sự hiểu thấu

9. scholar (n): học giả

10. compel (v): buộc phải, bắt buộc, thúc ép

11. unconsciously (adv): không tự giác, không có ý định, không có ý thức

12. impart (v): truyền đạt, kể cho hay, phổ biến

13. systematic (adj): có phương pháp



A week in hospital

I had always dreaded the thought of being admitted to hospital. The peculiar smell of the hospital, the sight of deformed and critically ill persons and dead bodies in the hospital are things that I had always wished to avoid. But a serious illness sometime ago necessitated my admission to the General Hospital in Malacca.

Though I was seriously ill and required special attention, yet the knowledge that I was in the hospital made me feel miserable during the first few days. The clothes that I had to wear in the hospital were uncomfortable and the food was tasteless. At night, when all the patients were asleep, I used to wake up and think of what might happen it the dead bodies in the mortuary nearby came back to life. I also thought of the patients who might die at anytime. Sometimes I thought that I myself might not wake up from my sleep; that I might have to leave my dear parents, brothers and sisters and never return. Tears would then flow from my eyes.

From the fourth day, however, my spirits were high. The doctors and nurses assured me that I would recover completely in a few days and that I could move about in the hospital as I wished.

I now began to think of the good work that was being done in the hospital to reduce pain and suffering. Hundreds of sick people were coming to the hospital, many with serious injuries caused by various kinds of accidents, with the last hope of survival. And while many were dying, many more were returning home with smiles on their faces. Working every minute and sacrificing their own pleasures and pastimes, the doctors, nurses, hospital assistants and all the other staffs were doing their utmost to save another life. Their humanity impressed me deeply.

I now realised what an important role the hospitals were playing in our daily life, and the disgust that I fell on the first few days was gone. After being in the hospital for a week, I returned home with a better knowledge of human misery and sacrifice.



New words:

1. dread (v): kinh hãi, kinh sợ

2. peculiar (adj): lạ kì, riêng biệt

3. critically (adv): nguy kịch, trầm trọng

4. necessitate (n): bắt phải, đòi hỏi phải, cần phải có

5. tasteless (adj): vô vị, nhạt nhẽo

6. mortuary (n): nhà xác

7. assure (v): quả quyết, cam đoan

8. sacrifice (v): hy sinh

9. disgust (n): sự ghê tởm, sự kinh tởm



A frightening experience

Discuss "fire is a good servant but a bad master"

How man first learnt to use fire is still unknown, but it is known that even the most primitive man, centuries ago, found it to be of great service to him as it is to us today. Man, in his early days, did not cook his food. He ate everything raw, including meat and fish. But the discovery of fire changed his eating habits completely. He now learnt to cook his food; and, when he found that cooked food was more delicious, fire became an important thing in his life.

Fire also gave the early man warmth and light. Even in his scanty clothes he could keep himself warm in his cave on rainy or cold nights. His cave was no longer dark and he could move about freely at night. Further, fire gave him protection from wild beasts, and his life was more secure than it was before. In fact, fire, like water and air, became indispensable to man; and, today, we use fire for a diversity of purposes. We use it even to operate machinery to produce goods.

But fire has to be kept under strict control, for its capacity to destroy his great. Once it is out of control, it will destroy life and property at tremendous speed and the world has lost things worth millions of dollars because of fire. And, people often use fire's enormous capacity to great advantage. They use it to burn thousands of acres of forest and grow crops: As a result, we now find green fields where once there were forests.

On the other hand, fire has been used by men, especially of the modern age, to destroy men. In every human battle in the past fire was used to destroy the enemy. Even today, thousands of people.in many parts of the world are being destroyed by fire; and, when furious men try to make the best use of fire's extreme anger, misery is hard to avoid. lt then reigns supremes. Innocent people, young and old, must die in thousands. It is, therefore, true to say that, "fire is a good servant, but a bad master".



New words:

1. scanty (adj): ít ỏi, thiẽu, không đủ

2. indispensable (adj): tuyệt đối cần thiẽt, không thể thiếu được

3. diversity (n): tính đa dạng

4. out of control: vượt ngoài tầm kiểm soát

5. tremendous (adj): ghê gớm, kinh khủng, khủng khiếp, dữ dội

6. acre (n): mẫu Anh (khoảng 0.4 hecta)

7. furious (adj): giận dữ

8. supreme (adj): tột đỉnh, tối cao

An accident I have witnessed

One rainy day last year, while I was returning home from Mersing, a town in the east coast of Malaysia, I witnessed an accident which I shall never forget.

I was returning home in my father's car. It was raining heavily and the road could not be seen clearly. My father, an old man, was driving slowly to avoid an accident. The journey, therefore, seemed unusually long, and I began to feel tired. Then, suddenly, a small car, running at great speed, overtook our car. My father was shocked at the recklessness of the driver of that car. We could not count the number of persons in that car, but were sure that there were at least five, including two children. My father at once predicted that tragedy would befall the occupants of the car. After this prediction I began to grow impatient. I did not wish to see any ugly scene resulting from an accident. Though the car had gone quite far its rear lights would still be seen.

In the distance there was a narrow bridge. Looking at the way the car was being driven, I too was now sure that an accident would occur and sure enough it did occur. This is how it happened.

A lorry was coming from the opposite direction. It was already on the bridge. The driver of the small car, however, could not slow down in good time. He lost control of the car which skidded and plunged into the swollen river. Somehow, the driver managed to slip out of the car, but the others were doomed. When we arrived at the bridge, we were touched deeply by what we saw. Two children were struggling in the river and we could do nothing to save them. Their mother, as we came to know later, was at the bottom of the river, trapped in the car, and they were swept away by the rush of the current and drowned. The driver, and father of the children, began to cry piteously for the wife and children he had lost so suddenly. It was indeed a very touching scene and I shall never forget this day.

New words:

1. witness (v): chứng kiến, làm chứng

2. overtake (v): (overtook- overtaken): bắt kịp, vượt

3. recklessness (n): tính thiếu thận trọng, tính hấp tấp, tính khinh suất, tính liều lĩnh

4. tragedy (n): thảm kịch, bi kịch

5. occupant (n): người sở hữu, người sử dụng

6. skid (v): trượt xe

7. swollen (adj): dâng lên cao; phình ra

8. doomed (adj): phải chịu số phận bi đát

9. struggle (v): vùng vẫy, vật lộn

10. piteously (adv): thảm thương, đáng thương hại

The importance of good roads in a country

Good roads are essential for the development of a country. The Romans realised this centuries ago, and wherever they established themselves, , they tried to improve the roads there. Today, the governments of all countries in the world are building more and more roads to gain access to the remotest regions of their countries.

Roads link towns and villages and enable the people of one place to communicate with the people of another place. When food is scarce in one place, it can be brought from another place without much difficulty. Even things which cannot be produced in one region can be brought from another region where they are produced in abundance. The invention of motor-vehicles has made it easy to transport goods from place to place. But these vehicles require good roads to travel quickly, and the better the roads the more goods can be transported from one place to another in a very short time. Thus, trade is improved.

Further, good roads help people to travel easily to places where they can work and develop their lands and industries. In Malaysia, for example, the improvement of roads has made it easy for skilled workers from the towns to work in remote villages. The people of the villages, on the other hand, have been able to learn much from the towns. As a result, there has been a lot of improvement in this country in all spheres of activity.

Finally, in times of war good roads help armies to move about without difficulty. Sometimes, a country is defeated because its army is not able to reach a place in good time owing to bad roads. Even the police may not be able to reach a place where there is some trouble if the roads are bad. For all these reasons: it is always necessary for a country to have good roads.

New words:

1. establish (v): thành lập, thiết lập, kiến lập

2. scarce (adj): khan hiếm

3. abundance (n): nhiều, dư dật, giàu có, phong phú

4. sphere (n): lĩnh vực, phạm vi, tầm ảnh hưởng

5. defeat (v): đánh bại, làm thất bại



Life in the village

The village has always been known to be a place of peace and quiet. The scattered houses among hundreds of plants and trees at once indicate the lack of activity in the village.

The workers in the village leave their homes early in the morning to work in the plantations or towns nearby. Some have their own plantations, and some make certain articles in their homes to sell them in the towns. A few of the villagers, including women, go out to catch fish in the streams and rivers found in the village. Though the people of the village do not usually earn much, yet they seem to be contented.

In the afternoon, most of the villagers are at home. Some of them take a nap after lunch; some work in their small gardens, and some visit the small shops in the village. In various parts of the village children may be seen playing the popular games of the village. Occasionally, a cyclist passes by.

Then, in the evening, the villagers meet one another. Some play cards and other types of games peculiar to the village. Some talk about the day's incidents in the village, and those whose minds go beyond the village discuss world events.

In almost every village there is a headman whose duty is to settle quarrels among the villagers and maintain peace in the village. Whenever there is a dispute, the villagers go to the headman who is held in such esteem that his word has the force or law. In this way the villagers have developed their own simple laws, and the crimes of cities are almost unknown to the people of the village.

During a festival, the whole village is alive with activities. Everyone is in a happy mood and plays his part to make the festival a success. This is the time for the men, women and children of the village to wear their best clothes and the village is full of colour. These simple ways of life in the village, however, must soon change. Progress in science and education has already begun to affect the outlook of the people in the village, and hundreds are leaving the village to seek their fortunes in the towns and cities.

New words:

1. scattered (adj): lác đác, lưa thưa, rải rác

2. article (n): hàng, vật phẩm, đồ đạc

3. contented (adj): thoả mãn, mãn nguyện

4. nap (n): giấc ngủ trưa

take a nap after lunch: ngủ một giấc sau bữa ăn trưa

5. cyclist (n): người đi xe đạp

5. headman (n): trưởng làng, già làng, tù trưởng

7. dispute (n): cuộc bàn cãi, cuộc tranh luận

8. esteem (n): sự kính mến, sự quý trọng

9. mood (adj): tâm trạng, tính khí, tâm tính

10. fortune (n): vận may



My favourite author

My favourite author is William Shakespeare, a man who has written enough for immortality.

Though a few hundred years have elapsed since the death of Shakespeare and volumes have been written on the life and work of this great writer, his early life still remains a subject for speculation and conjecture. It is generally believed that Shakespeare had very little schooling. Yet his keen intellect and mastery of language have earned for him the appreciation and applause of the literary world.

Shakespeare's fame, 'I think, originates from his ability to identify his readers with the characters in his stories. In most of his stories we find reflections of our own experiences. This shows strikingly that Shakespeare had an insight into 'human nature and the problems of life. His tragedies such as "Macbeth' and "Hamlet” clearly show his deep knowledge of the human mind. Man's ambition, desperation, sorrows, frustrations and hopes are dealt with in these tragedies with such skill that the reader himself experiences all the mental conflicts and emotions, and thus gets a better idea about human nature. With equal skill, Shakespeare deals with man's joys and pleasures in all his comedies. His comedies like, "Twelfth Night" and "As You Like It,' are a delight to read. Through the characters in his stories Shakespeare conveys his views on life and the world. Most of his characters, such as Hamlet, are vehicles for moral instruction. Man's nature is the theme of all his writings. By a skillful combination of words and situations, he reveals the worst as well as the best in man. His choice of words is masterly and many of his phrases are literary gems. As man's nature is his theme, what he wrote years ago remains true even today, and it will remain so till the end of time. It is for all these reasons that I enjoy reading Shakespeare.

However, I do enjoy reading the works of other writers too, such as those of Charles Dickens and Jane Austen. But they do not give the satisfaction that Shakespeare gives. I find Shakespeare's stories so interesting that I have read the same stories several times in last few years; and, every time I read the same story, I learn something new about human nature. Shakespeare was indeed a genius.

New words:

1 favourite (adj): được mến chuộng nhất được ưa thích nhất

2. immortality (n): bất tử bất diệt, bất hủ, danh tiếng muôn thuở

3. elapse (v): (nói về thời gian) trôi qua

4. speculation (n): sự nghiên cứu, sự suy xét

5. conjecture (n): sự phỏng đoán

6. applause (n): sự hoan nghênh, sự tán thưởng

7. ambition (n): hoài bão, tham vọng

8. frustration (n): sự làm thất bại, tâm trạng vỡ mộng

9. conflict (n): sự xung đột, cuộc xung đột

10. theme (n): đề tài, chủ đề

11. combination (n): sự kết hợp, sự phôí hợp

12. reveal (v): bộc lộ, biểu lộ, khám phá

13. masterly (adj): rất giỏi, bậc thầy, tài tình

14. gem (n): đá quý, viên ngọc

15. genius (n): người thiên tài, người anh tài, bậc kỳ tài



A frightening experience

I am not one who is frightened easily; but I must admit that one night I saw a figure that struck terror into my heart.

It was a moonlit-night. I was returning home on foot from a town a few miles away. That was the first night in my life that I was out alone. The road along which I was walking was not used much at night. Even during the day, it was used only by those who worked in the rubber and banana plantations long that road. As I was walking, I could hear the noises made by squirrels, insects and owls. Creatures that love the night world such as bats were very active, and there were hundreds of shadows. All these did not, however, frighten me. I held a stick in my hand and moved rapidly towards home for my dinner. Then, suddenly, I caught sight of an old lady, a short distance away. Her head was covered with a white cloth, and she was waving to me.

Curious to know why she was there at that time of the night, I stopped for a while. As I stood there, however, vague memories of stories about ghosts began to come back to my mind. I was soon gripped with fear and took to my heels. I ran as fast as I could, and when I reached home I could hardly speak.

On the next day, however, I visited that place again to make sure that the woman was indeed a real person and not a ghost. But I could find no footprints there. Only a banana plant stood there with its leaves moving in the breeze. I realised then that it was the banana plant with its leaves moving in the breeze that looked like a woman waving her hand. I had indeed made a tool of myself; but after the previous night's experience, this discovery was small relief to me.

New words:

1. frighten (v): làm hoảng sợ, làm sợ

2. moon-lit night: đêm sáng trăng

3. vague (adj): mơ hồ, lờ mờ, mập mờ

4. breeze (n): gió nhẹ

5. previous (adj): trước



The value of higher education

Since the dawn of civilization, great thinkers like Plato and Aristotle have been doing their utmost to spread education to the remotest corners of the earth. It is realised that education develops the intellect and enables one to discriminate between the good and the bad. More and more universities and other education institutions are therefore being opened in all parts of the world to provide higher education.

In almost every country today, there is a lot of unemployment. Only those who have received a high standard of education are able to secure high positions in society and in the various professions. It has therefore become necessary for many people to attend institutions or higher learning to improve their prospects of employment.

Higher education confers many other benefits. It broadens the mind and increases one's powers of thinking, reasoning and imagination. Further, it makes one more sympathetic towards others. It helps us to understand the problems and weaknesses of man, and we become less suspicious of strangers and others. We also become more thoughtful of the feelings and needs of others. As a result, we are able to mix better with people. Besides, higher education helps us greatly in deciding what is right and what is wrong, what is true and what is false. Therefore, people can hardly deceive or mislead us. Higher education also teaches us how to spend our leisure moments. We learn to make the best use of our spare time. Even during old age we know how to keep ourselves occupied. Again, higher education develops self-confidence. We learn to have faith in our own abilities. As a result, we are able to meet and talk with people anywhere. All these qualities, acquired through higher education, combine to make one a leader among men. One is able to live a better life in society.

The benefits of education are therefore many, and everyone should try his best to acquire the highest of education, either by attendance at an educational institution or by private studies.

New words:

1 civilization (n): nền văn minh

2. discriminate (v): phân biệt

3. institution (n): cơ quan, tổ chức

4. suspicious (adj): nghi ngờ, tỏ ra có sự nghi ngờ

5. mislead (v): làm cho mê muội, làm cho lạc đường, lạc lối

6. self-confidence (n): sự tự tin, lòng tự tin

7. combine (v): phối hợp, kết hợp



The rainy season

When the grass dry, the trees have lost their leaves, the rivers have very little water in them and the fields are parched, everyone prays for the coming of rain. But when it continues to rain for several days, there are prayers everywhere for the rain to stop, for heavy and continuous rain often causes great hardship to many people, especially in the equatorial region. The rainy season is therefore welcomed at times, and at other times, it is hated.

In equatorial countries like Malaysia, the rainy season often causes much damage to crops, life and property. People who work in the paddy- fields, rubber and other plantations have to stop their work for sometime. As a result, they lose income and suffer hardship. Farmers too suffer as they have to stop selling vegetables and poultry for a few days. Even school children experience a lot of inconvenience. They find it difficult to go to school in comfort and ease. Some places are completely under water and many children are unable to go to school. Sometimes the schools have to be closed. Even to go to the market becomes a problem, and people cannot go out to enjoy or do any work.

Continuous rain during the rainy season also causes much illness among children and adults. Sometimes many children are drowned in the floods caused by heavy rains. Bridges and houses are swept away by the floods and there is much suffering.

But if the rains are not heavy, the rainy season can bring a lot of joy to farmers and others. Rains bring water for our crops and for use in our homes. Light rains make the day cool and pleasant and people find it easy to work in the fields and other places. The soil remains moist. Plants and flowers grow easily to make our gardens beautiful. Vegetables too grow well and markets are full of green vegetables. Even animals, like cows and goats find enough grass to eat. There is also enough water for them to drink.

Yet, those who live in places where there is a lot of rainfall do not realise how fortunate they are. Only those who live in the hot deserts realise the value of rainfall. They would surely welcome the rainy season.



New words:

1. parch (v): khô nẻ, rang, nung

2. equatorial (adj): (thuộc) xích đạo, gần xích đạo

3. poultry (n): gia cầm, gà, vịt, thịt gia cầm

4. inconvenience (adj): sự bất tiện, sự phiền phức

5. moist (adj): ẩm ướt



The importance of water

Since the beginning of time, water has continued to be an important thing to all living things. Without water nothing could live. We may change our food according to the climate of a place but we find no substitute for water. Man has always looked for pure fresh water to slake his thirst.

Water not only quenches our thirst but it is also a source of food to us. From the sea we catch large quantities of fish and other creatures. We use water to irrigate our lands to produce crops. Many parts of the world are dry and barren because there is no water there. People in such places lead a very hard life. Even the plants and animals find it a real struggle to survive. They can obtain water only by some means of ingenuity. Water also helps to increase the fertility of the land in several parts of the world. The alluvium that is brought down by rivers is very fertile and yields large quantities of crops. Even electricity, which has changed our lives completely, is produced by water-power in many countries.

Further, water is an important means of communication. We use waterways to carry our goods or trade. Water transport is cheaper than land transport and in many remote regions, rivers are the only means of communication. In many countries rivers are used to bring down timber from the hilly regions to the lower regions where the timber mills are. In this way much money is saved.

It is true, however, that water has also caused much destruction to life and property throughout human history. Heavy rainfall, swollen rivers and the angry waves of the sea have killed thousands of people and destroyed homes and crops. Yet, water is indispensable to life, and people everywhere are trying their best to bring water to places where it is scarce, to control its flow in times of floods and to make greater use of it.



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