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新托福听力考试制胜攻略之举例目的题

2012年11月23日17:18
来源:搜狐教育

    新托福听力考试的题型可以粗略分为主旨题、细节题、重听题三大类,并且三种题目在每个听力段落(讲座或对话)中的分布都呈现明显的规律:一般情况下,主旨题在第一题的位置出现,重听题有可能出现在最后一题或两题的位置(但并不一定每个段落都有重听题),中间的题目是细节题。

  细心的同学可能会发现,有一种细节题出现得特别频繁,它们的提问形式一般是这样的:

  (1)Why does the professor mention…?

  (2)Why does the man/woman talk about…?

  (3)The professor talks about…. What points does he/she want to make?

  这种题目考什么呢?一般考的是讲座中的教授提到某个事物或者举某个例子的目的何在。当我们打开听力原文,去寻找题目对应的句子时,往往会发现这样的题目对应的出题句一般在老师讲课中举例的前后。可题目问的通常不是老师所举例子中的具体细节,而是举例目的。这种题目(下文称作“举例目的题”)容易导致大家丢分,我们来分析一下它的出题思路、考察方式、解题技巧。

  首先,举例目的题的出现和老师在一般讲座中的说话习惯有关。

  老师在讲话中提出一个观点时,为避免说话内容的空洞抽象,经常会用不少细节、例证对观点作进一步佐证及阐释。这其实是好的习惯,能让说话内容具体详实,同时也解释了为什么好的托福独立口语答案一定是有“specific details and examples”的。但请记住,老师举例也好,罗列细节也好,其目的并非仅仅是举例及罗列细节而已,而是要为说明观点服务,即说话的重心永远在举例之前所提出的观点上。细节和例证只是supporting information。

  但是由于细节和例证在讲话内容中所占篇幅较大,而且内容丰富,充斥着各种细节甚至故事情节,所以相对而言更容易引起我们的听觉注意。最直观的感受是很多考生听完一个“观点+例证”的段落后,脑海中和草稿纸上全是例证中提到的各种信息,比如一件事情的时间、地点、人物、起因、经过、结果,抑或是事物的名称、颜色、位置等等琐碎的信息,可至于老师先前提出的观点,倒只剩下了模糊的印象。而考试题目一般针对的恰恰是老师举例的目的,这样一来大家便容易遗漏重要信息。

  当考生看到题目想不起来答案时,一般的做法是转而仔细看各个选项,试图借助选项的帮助,在模糊的记忆中寻找似乎听到的只字片语。但老奸巨猾的出题人,往往会利用考生的这种习惯,在错误选项中设置考生明显听到了的词或词组,以吸引考生选择错误答案。如此一来,很多考生便容易在举例目的题上失分。

  解决这一问题的办法是,当在讲座中听到老师举例或者罗列细节时,立即建立对其接下来讲话内容的预期,而不是在讲话者罗列细节的过程中集中精力记录琐碎细节。当讲话内容出现总结性的语句时,集中精力听懂总结性语句,并且适当地做笔记。

  托福听力的学术讲座都是经过精心设计、编写、朗读的文章。通过对大量听力真题原文的分析和总结,我们发现在很多情况下,被考察到的举例目的题对应的原文往往具有一定的特征:讲话人会在提出观点后进行举例,举例结束以后往往会以某种方式引起听众的注意,接下来进行总结。而讲座中“老师试图引起听众的注意”从某种程度上来说可以理解为“出题人试图引起考生的注意”,相当于给出一个出题信号。当我们经过训练,能足够敏感地捕捉到这些信号时,就降低了遗漏重要信息的几率。

  常见的“出题信号”有:

  well, now, you know等语气词;

  明显、刻意的停顿;

  老师的自问自答(答案的内容就是对举例的总结);

  其他表示引起听众注意的声音信号。

  【例一•TPO12-Lecture1-Q9】

  听力原文:

  Now a telomere is a highly repetitious and genetically meaningless sequence of DNA, what we were calling junk DNA. But it does have an important purpose. It’s sort of like the plastic tip on each end of a shoelace. It may not help you tie your shoe but that little plastic tip keeps the rest of the shoelace, the shoe string from unraveling into weak and useless threads. Well, the telomeres at the ends of chromosomes seem to do about the same thing—protect the genes, the genetically functional parts of the chromosome from being damaged.

  译文:

  呃…,端粒是一段高度重复、没有遗传意义的DNA序列,也就是我们通常所说的“垃圾DNA”。但它却有一个非常重要的作用——像是鞋带两头的塑料片,可能它们不能帮你系上鞋带,但能保持鞋带的其他部分不散成柔软无用的丝线。……嗯,染色体两端的端粒似乎也有同样的作用,也就是保护具有遗传功能的基因,以防止其受到损坏。

  刚才这段听力原文是对染色体端粒的介绍,大家能看到,老师通过举了一个鞋带的例子来说明端粒的作用。原文中有很多细节,比如塑料片、鞋带、丝线等等,如果听力反应不够快或是没有完全听懂,很可能会搞得云里雾里。但在听力中能很明显地听到一个表停顿和调整的语气词“well”,后面的句子是对例证的总结:端粒的作用就是保护DNA。在整个段落中,考生只需要对众多细节有一个大概的印象即可,不需要详细记录,但需要把总结句完全听懂,并进行适当记录。针对本段的考题如下:

  9. Why does the professor mention shoelaces?

  A. To point out that chromosomes are arranged in pairs.

  B. To describe the coiled shape of a chromosome.

  C. To illustrate how chromosomes are protected from damage.

  D. To explain how chromosomes are joined before dividing.

  答案选C,to illustrate how chromosomes are protected from damage,是对原文protect the genes, the genetically functional parts of the chromosome from being damaged的同义改写。这符合听力考题正确选项的特征——对应原文,并且一般对原文进行适当改写或同义转述。

  【例二•TPO5-Lecture1-Q7】

  听力原文:

  Have you ever heard the one about alligators living in New York sewers? The story goes like this: a family went on vacation in Florida and bought a couple of baby alligators as presents for their children, then returned from vacation to New York, bringing the alligators home with them as pets. But the alligators would escape and find their way into the New York sewer system where they started reproducing, grew to huge sizes and now strike fear into sewer workers. Have you heard this story? Well, it isn’t true and it never happened. But despite that, the story has been around since the 1930s. Or how about the song “Twinkle, twinkle little star”, you know, “twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I wonder what you are.” Well, we’ve all heard this song. Where am I going with this? Well, both the song and the story are examples of memes. And that’s what we would talk about, the theory of memes.

  译文:

  你们听说过那个关于住在纽约下水道里的鳄鱼们的故事吗?故事大概是这样的:一家人去佛罗里达州度假,给孩子们带回来几只鳄鱼宝宝做礼物,然后带着几只鳄鱼回到了纽约的家中当宠物。但是后来鳄鱼们溜走了,钻进了纽约的地下管道系统,开始生长繁衍,长成庞然大物,还把管道工们吓得屁滚尿流。听过这个故事吗?呵呵,这当然不是真的,从来没发生过。但尽管如此,这个故事从20世纪30年代开始便一直在流传。呃,那么,你们听过《小星星》这首歌吗?——“一闪一闪亮晶晶,满天都是小星星……”我们都听过这首歌……我要说什么来着……?这首歌和这个故事都是米姆(meme,可以自行复制传播的文化基因)的例子,今天我们就来探讨一下米姆的理论。

  但愿在考生们听鳄鱼的故事和老师唱歌的时候,不要奋笔疾书!冗长的例子之后,老师居然还唱了起来(在讲座听力中,老师真的有唱歌哦),真是天雷滚滚。这些例子占据大量篇幅,但只是为后面的总结句——“今天我们来探讨米姆理论”做铺垫,它们作为supporting information,对我们解题并不重要。在老师一句自问自答“我今天要说什么来着”(明显是出题方引起考生注意的信号)之后,大家一定要打起精神,听清后面这句话。虽然同所举例子相比篇幅实在太小——只有一句话而已,但它才是解题的关键。针对本段的考题如下:

  7. Why does the professor tell the story about alligators?

  A. To explain the difference between true and false stories

  B. To draw an analogy between alligator reproduction and cultural transmission

  C. To give an example of a piece of information that functions as a meme

  D. To show how a story can gradually change into a song

  答案选C,to give an example of a piece of information that functions as a meme,是对原文both the song and the story are examples of memes. And that’s what we would talk about, the theory of memes.的同义改写。

  再来看以下几道例题(“考题信号”用粗斜体标出):

  【例三•TPO6-Lecture3-Q8】

  听力原文:

  Say you have three friends, their car runs out of gas on the highway. John gets upset. Mary remains calm. Teresa takes charge of handling the situation. And let’s say, both John and Mary defer to her leadership. They call you to explain what happen. And when John tells you he got mad, you’re not surprised, because he always gets frustrated when things go wrong. Then he tells you how Teresa took charge, calmed him down, assigned tasks for each person and got them on their way.

  Again, you’re not surprised. It’s exactly what you’d expect.

  Well, you need to know your characters, like you know your friends.

  试题:

  8. The professor discusses an example of three friends who run out of gas. What point does he use the example to illustrate?

  A. Writers should know their characters as well as they know their friends.

  B. Writers should create characters that interact in complex ways.

  C. Friends do not always behave the way we expect them to behave.

  D. Friends’ behavior is often more predictable than fictional characters’ behavior.

  答案:A

  点评:“say”有“比方说”的意思,之后所举的例子可谓情节跌宕起伏、一波三折、满是细节。但考生只需要有印象“讲座中提到过一个修车的例子”即可,对答题有帮助的句子只有 “well”一词之后的这句“you need to know you characters, like you know your friends”,答案是对它的同义改写:Writers should know their characters as well as they know their friends.

  【例四•TPO4-Lecture1-Q10】

  听力原文:

  What’s interesting is that studies have been done that suggest that the animal’s environment may play a part in determining what kind of behavior it displays.

  For example, there’s a bird, the “wood thrush,” anyway, when the “wood thrush” is in an attack-escape conflict, that is, it’s caught between the two urges to escape from or to attack an enemy, if it’s sitting on a horizontal branch, it’ll wipe its beak on its perch. If it’s sitting on a vertical branch, it’ll groom its breast feathers.

  The immediate environment of the bird, its immediate, um, its relationship to its immediate environment seems to play a part in which behavior will display.

  试题:

  10. Why does the professor mention the wood thrush?

  A. To contrast its displacement activities with those of other animals species

  B. To explain that some animals display displacement activities other than grooming

  C. To point out how displacement activities are influenced by the environment

  D. To give an example of an animal that does not display displacement activities

  答案:C

  点评:for example后提到的两种鸟均为举例中的supporting details,不需要重点做笔记。考生应关注的是举完例子之后的总结句。答案即是对总结句的改写。考试时听力原文无法像阅读文章那样给人直观的分段的视觉印象,但能通过信号词等感觉出语意的转折。

  本文介绍的是针对特定题型的听力技巧,要求考生具有一定的听力基本功。希望以后有机会和大家探讨提高听力基本功的“听写-跟读-听读”三步法。

  选更好的,当然是新东方名师住宿班!

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