Country life vs city life

[from E.T 31]

country life

  • relaxing and peaceful
  • the air is clean and it's easy to park.
  • l'll convince you that gardening's more interesting than the pollution and chaos of the city.
  • l'd die of boredom? lt would be a problem for my work too.
  • Sure, but country life is so isolating, you don't meet new people.

city life

  • Exciting but stressful
  • The city offers so many things, it's fantastic
  • You rush around all day long.
  • The traffic and finding a parking space in city is stressful

boredom 厌倦,无聊

rush around 东奔西跑

park space 停车位

car park 停车场

London - Global financial centre

[From E.T 33]

Brief Introduction

the City of London is the financial heart of the UK. London is very small but very important in the world of finance. Did you know that the City of London, that's its full name, is just one square mile or 2.6 kilometres? And that only 7000 people live there? But more than 320,000 people a day commute into the City to work there.

Why is London so important

The City is a global financial centre with hundreds of banks, financial exchanges, insurance companies and investment companies. You know, there are more than 500 companies in the City. And it also has several important commodity markets. The City's the place to buy commodities such as oil, gold and silver. ln the City people carry out all kinds of financial transactions, they borrow money, save money, invest money, buy and sell commodities, buy and sell insurance for all kinds of things, from oil tankers to skyscrapers!

Together with Tokyo and New York the City is one of the world's most important financial centres. lt's situated between the time zones of Asia and America. ln fact, offices in the City don't have just one clock, they have at least four, with clocks showing the time for Tokyo, Zurich and New York.

Lots of other highly skilled people work there. For example many lawyers, accountants and computer experts work there. They help the banks and insurance companies to work smoothly.

Beautiful City

It's worth remembering too that the City's a beautiful place to visit. lt can be ultra-modern and medieval at the same time. There are some beautiful old buildings, especially the churches, and some innovative new buildings such as the Lloyd's insurance building and the Swiss Re Building, or the 'gherkin' as it's now known. But remember: don't visit the City at weekends! There's nobody there! And most of the shops and pubs are closed.

finance 财政,金融

commute = to travel regularly from work to home to work

commuter = A person who commute is called a 'commuter'.

Financial Institutions:

banks = A bank is an institution that carries out financial transactions.

insurance companies = These are companies that insure people or property.

investment companies = Companies that buy shares of other companies to make a profit.

commodity markets 大宗商品市场(coffee, oil, gold, silver)

carry out = to do

Financial transactions:

borrow money = To 'borrow' means to take
save money = To 'save' means to keep secure.
invest money = To 'invest' means to buy something or put your money into a company to have a financial return.

oil tankers 游轮

skyscrapers 摩天大楼

time zones 时区

ultra-modern 超现代化

medieval 中世纪

Lloyd's insurance building 劳埃德保险大厦

your text

Swiss Re Building 圣玛莉艾克斯30号大楼

your text

gherkin 小黄瓜,指上面这个楼有时候像小黄瓜

your text


[From E.T 33]

what is migration

First of all let's look at the difference between 'migration' and 'immigration'.

Migration is the movement of people from one country to another. A 'migrant' is a traveller who moves from one country to another. There are two kinds of migrants: 1. economic migrants, who come from poor countries and look for work in Europe. 2. 'Asylum seekers'and 'refugees', people who must leave their home country because their lives are in danger there.

immigration is the migration of people into a country to live there. So an immigrant is a person who goes to a foreign country to live there.

Current situation

According to the data from the latest European conference on migration the number of migrants arriving in Europe has increased enormously over the last five years. EU politicians are divided on this issue. Some of them believe that migration is a bad thing and causes lots of problems. On the other hand, other politicians maintain that migrants contribute to the developing of the economy.


They take jobs from local people and push down pay rates for both unskilled and skilled workers. ln fact migrants are often paid less than the legal minimum wage.

Unfortunately many migrants come into Europe illegally.

They doesn't have access to healthcare and education. That's why they sometimes get involved in criminal activities. l think some immigration is ok, especially if the immigrants are asylum seekers or refugees who can't return to their home countries. Apart from this l think European governments should put a stop to immigration.


Many employers use immigration to plug labor shortages, for example in agriculture. Farmers employ thousands of Eastern European workers to pick their crops as they can't find local workers to do the work.

in most European countries, particularly in Spain and ltaly. The economies of these countries need more workers, especially for difficult jobs that local people don't want to do. And it's important to remember that migrant workers contribute to the economy because they pay taxes.

People have always moved around the world. Don't forget for example the millions of Europeans who migrated to North America at the beginning of the last century. They experienced the same problems that the Africans are experiencing today.

People have always moved to where it is possible to make a living. Maybe we should get used to the idea that our society is becoming more and more multiracial.


Well, the EU should do more to help develop the economies of North and West Africa. This would help economic migrants, migrants who come to Europe to work, to stay at home, find a job and develop their local economies.

migrant n. 候鸟;移居者;随季节迁移的民工 adj. 移居的;流浪的

immigration 移民

economic migrants 经济移民

asylum seekers 寻求庇护者

refugees 难民

maintain 主张

plug 填补

labor shortages 劳动力短缺

pay taxes付税

multiracial 多民族的

Economic growth in China and India

[From E.T 34]

Current Situation

You know for the last five years the economies of these countries have been growing at almost double digit rates. In 2005 the Chinese economy grew by 9.9%, the Indian economy by 8%. Compare this with an average of only 1.3% in Europe's Euro zone.


I don't see these growing economies as a threat to European producers. I believe that China and India offer new, important markets to European manufacturers. You know, both countries have middle classes that are becoming larger and larger, these people are becoming wealthier and are looking to spend their money on luxury goods made in Europe.

India and China are selling much more to Europe But don't forget Tom that cheap Chinese goods have helped to keep inflation low in European countries. And this has helped keep interest rates low too. So consumers have been able to save money and spend this money on other things. What's more, today more and more European companies are building factories in China or are having their goods produced there.


Well, I'm rather concerned about it. And I believe that many European industrialists are concerned too. These two Asian giants with their enormous populations are threatening European manufacturing and jobs. The fact is that labour costs are so low in China and India that European manufacturers just can't compete. European industrialists are deciding to have their goods produced in these countries because labour costs are lower. If we continue like this lots of factories in Europe will close and the numbers of unemployed will rise.

Economic growth 经济增长

double digit 两位数

producers 制造商 = manufacturers

luxury 奢侈

inflation 通货膨胀

interest rates 利率

consumers 消费者

giants 巨人

labour costs 劳动力成本

unemployed 失业的


[From E.T 34]

current situation

Are you nearing retirement, are you already retired? Perhaps you have your working life ahead of you? Anyway, one thing is for sure, the meaning of the word 'retirement' is going to change in the future!

The traditional division of life into three cycles: education, employment and retirement must change. People in developed countries are living longer. By 2025 in developed countries the share of the population over 60 will have reached 26%. All these pensioners will certainly wield a lot of power. But you know experts are beginning to talk about the concept of 'active aging'. Just think that by 2050 the average lifespan in developed countries will be in the mid 80's. And this increasing longevity is already starting to have a negative impact on public finances, economic growth and general living standards.


The problem is that there is increasing pressure on social security systems and public funds for retirement and health care expenses. Economists are increasingly questioning the sustainability of the European social model with its high welfare standards. So, how can we solve this problem?


Well, governments really must encourage older people to continue working. There should be programmes for lifelong learning to help people learn up-to-date job skills as they get older. People about to retire should plan ahead and find some way of working, maybe a part-time job. Well, some American companies already have 'phased retirement' programmes. Retired employees go to the company website where they can find project work for the company. This may last two days or two months and the retired workers can manage their own time and work when and where they want. lf they need some training to do the job they can go to the company website and take a short course using the lnternet to learn what they have to do. ln this way retired people have more money and the companies can use the skills of their retired workers.

retirement 退休

three cycles 三个阶段

pensioners 领退休金的人

active aging 积极老龄化

lifespan 寿命

social security systems 社会保障制度

public funds 公基金

social model 社会模型

welfare standards 福利标准

phased retirement 分阶段退休