The view over a valley of a tiny village with thatched(草盖的) roof cottages around a church; a drive through a narrow village street lined with thatched cottages painted pink or white; the sight over the rolling hills of a pretty collection of thatched farm buildings-these are still common sights in parts of England. Most people will agree that the thatched roof is an essential part of the attraction of the English countryside.
Thatching is in fact the oldest of all the building crafts practised in the British Isles(英伦诸岛). Although thatch has always been used for cottage and farm buildings, it was once used for castles and churches, too.
Thatching is a solitary(独自的) craft, which often runs in families. The craft of thatching as it is practised today has changed very little since the Middle Ages. Over 800 full-time thatchers are employed in England and Wales today, maintaining and renewing the old roofs as well as thatching newer houses. Many property owners choose thatch not only for its beauty but because they know it will keep them cool in summer and warm in winter.
In fact, if we look at developing countries, over half the world lives under thatch, but they all do it in different ways. People in developing countries are often reluctant to go back to traditional materials and would prefer modern buildings. However, they may lack the money to allow them to import the necessary materials. Their temporary mud huts with thatched roofs of wild grasses often only last six months. Thatch which has been done the British way last from twenty to sixty years, and is an effective defence against the heat .
1. Which of the following remains a unique feature of the English countryside?
A) Cottages with thatched roofs. B) Churches with cottages around them.
C) Rolling hills with pretty farm buildings. D) Narrow streets lined with pink or white houses.
2. What do we know about thatching as a craft?
A) It is quite different from what it used to be.
B) It is in most cases handed down among family members.
C) It is practised on farms all over England.
D) It is a collective activity.
3. Thatched houses are still preferred because of ________.
A) their durability B) their easy maintenance
C) their cheap and ready-made materials D) their style and comfort
4. People in developing countries also live under thatch because ______-.
A) they like thatched houses better than other buildings
B) thatch is an effective defence against the heat
C) thatched roof houses are the cheapest
D) thatched cottages are a big tourist attraction
5. We can learn from the passage that _______.
A) the English people have a special liking for thatched houses
B) most thatched cottages in England are located on hillsides
C) thatching is a building craft first created by the English people
D) thatched cottages in England have been passed down from ancient times