WRITING SECTION Integrated writing task Topic discussed: 海洋生物manatee是否如dolphin一般聪明？
manatee 海牛 halobios 海洋生物 cerebral cortex 大脑皮层
Independent writing task Essay question Agree or disagree with it: Movies and TV programs made in one’s own country are more interesting than those made in other countries. 【话题提示】 对于本国和外国电影电视节目的比较，第一个出发点肯定是文化背景，入乡随俗的东西总是更加能够唤起人的共鸣。再者是语言，母语的魅力确实无可比拟，亲切、到位。这些都是一些接地气的考虑，换个角度看看，现在大家看美剧、韩剧也很多，甚至大幅超过国产剧，明星效应有些影响，各种观影渠道的打开也使得大家有更多机会接触到好的外国作品。 Sample answer
As an avid watcher of movies and TV programs, I like to think that I enjoy a fairly diverse range of cinema and television. From a young age, I've been watching movies and shows from a variety of countries (though subtitled) and genres. At the end of the day, though, I still find myself intrigued more by the movies and shows made in my own home country. I think that they have an inherent allure that, while sometimes can be challenged by foreign media, is very difficult to match. First and foremost is the issue of cultural background. When you watch a foreign movie or show, it may be gripping for its plot or interesting for its insight into another culture, but there will inevitably be subtle things that go right over your head because you don't have the same cultural starting point as those who created what you're watching. With the global community being what it is these days, this is of course less of an issue now, but there will still be small culturally-specific things that will escape your notice. Maybe it's a pop culture reference, or just something inherent to the country's language, but without those little details making it to your conscious mind, the viewing experience will be less rich and ultimately less interesting.
Language, which I mentioned above, is the second reason why foreign movies and shows cannot be as interesting as those made in one's own home country. Unless you have a good understanding of the language spoken, you have to settle for reading subtitles while watching the show or movie. This is both distracting mentally and prohibitive in terms of experiencing the subtleties of the actors may impart to their lines. Splitting your attention between reading and watching makes it easy to miss details on the screen, and because you cannot experience the actors' words directly, a lot of nuance is lost and your mind must do its best to fill in the blanks. That's not to say that foreign productions are not worth watching, or that they're even measurably "worse" in terms of the viewing experience. The difference is ultimately not so much that it prevents them from being subjectively very enjoyable. But objectively speaking, they are unavoidably less accessible for the reasons mentioned above, and because of that, there is a hard cap on their potential to be interesting. A good foreign film will still beat out a mediocre domestic production any day of the week, but all else being equal, I think a good domestic movie or show will be more captivating than a good foreign equivalent.