Early one morning, more than a hundred years ago, an American inventor called Elias Howe finally fell asleep. He had been working all night on the design of a sewing machine but he had run into a very difficult problem: It seemed impossible to get the thread to run smoothly around the needle.
Though he was tired, Howe slept badly. He turned and turned. Then he had a dream. He dreamt that he had been caught by terrible savages whose king wanted to kill him and eat him unless he could build a perfect sewing machine. When he tried to do so, Howe ran into the same problem as before. The thread kept getting caught around the needle. The king flew into the cage and ordered his soldiers to kill Howe. They came up towards him with their spears raised. But suddenly the inventor noticed something. There was a hole in the tip of each spear. The inventor awoke from the dream, realizing that he had just found the answer to the problem. Instead of trying to get the thread to run around the needle, he should make it run through a small hole in the center of the needle. This was the simple idea that finally made Howe design and build the first really practised sewing machine.
Elias Howe was not the only one in finding the answer to his problem in this way.
Thomas Edison, the inventor of the electric light, said his best ideas came into him in dreams. So did the great physicist Albert Einstein. Charlotte Bronte also drew in her dreams in writing Jane Eyre.
To know the value of dreams, you have to understand what happens when you are asleep. Even then, a part of your mind is still working. This unconscious(无意识的), but still active part understands your experiences and goes to work on the problems you have had during the day. It stores all sorts of information that you may have forgotten or never have really noticed. It is only when you fall asleep that this part of the brain can send messages to the part you use when you are awake. However, the unconscious part acts in a special way. It uses strange images which the conscious part may not understand at first. This is why dreams are sometimes called “secret messages to ourselves”.
1..According to the passage, Elias Howe was________.
A. the first person we know of who solved problems in his sleep
B. much more hard-working than other inventors
C. the first person to design a sewing machine that really worked
D. the only person at the time who knew the value of dreams
2.The problem Howe was trying to solve was________.
A. what kind of thread to use
B. how to design a needle which would not break
C. where to put the needle
D. how to prevent the thread from getting caught around the needle
3.Thomas Edison is spoken of because________.#p#分页标题#e#
A. he also tried to invent a sewing machine
B. he got some of his ideas from dreams
C. he was one of Howe’s best friends
D. he also had difficulty in falling asleep
4.Dreams are sometimes called“secret messages to ourselves” because___.
A. strange images are used to communicate ideas
B. images which have no meaning are used
C. we can never understand the real meaning
D. only specially trained people can understand them
Language learning begins with listening. Children are greatly different in the amount of listening they do before they start speaking, and later starters are often long listeners .Most children will “obey” spoken instructions some time before they can speak, though the word “obey” is hardly accurate as a description of the eager and delighted cooperation usually shown by the child .Before they can speak, many children will also ask questions by gesture and by making questioning noises.
Any attempt to study the development from the noises babies make to their first spoken words leads to considerable difficulties. It is agreed that they enjoy making noises, and that during the first few months one or two noises sort themselves as particularly expressive as delight, pain, friendliness, and so on. But since these can’t be said to show the baby’s intention to communicate ,they can hardly be regarded as early forms of language. It is agreed, too, that from about three months they play with sounds for enjoyment, and that by six months they are able to add new words to their store. This self-imitation(模仿)leads on to deliberate(有意的)imitation of sounds made or words spoken to them by other people. The problem then arises as to the point at which one can say that these imitations can be considered as speech.
It is a problem we need to get out teeth into. The meaning of a word depends on what a particular person means by it in a particular situation and it is clear that what a child means by a word will change as he gains more experience of the world .Thus the use at seven months of “mama” as a greeting for his mother cannot be dismissed as a meaningless sound simply because he also uses it at other times for his father, his dog, or anything else he likes. Playful and meaningless imitation of what other people say continues after the child has begun to speak for himself, I doubt, however whether anything is gained when parents take advantage of this ability in an attempt to teach new sounds .