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英文阅读碎片化阅读

作者:佚名    文章来源:本站原创    更新时间:2018/5/1
 在机不离手的时代,我们似乎每天都在阅读,但是你真的理解你所读到的东西吗?人人都会阅读,能够理解才算得上是好的读者。有人认为手机助长了阅读恶习,每时每刻的碎片化浏览导致人们在阅读“严肃”文章时不能透彻理解其中包含的信息。当然,词汇量是阅读理解的基礎,除此之外,本文作者认为,最关键的是要拥有广泛的知识,而这一点却常常被人们忽视。手机并不是问题的根源,错误的教学习惯才是造成阅读理解能力差的罪魁祸首。
  Americans are not good readers. Many blame the ubiquity1 of digital media. We’re too busy on Snapchat to read, or perhaps internet skimming has made us incapable of reading serious prose.2 But Americans’ trouble with reading predates3 digital technologies. The problem is not bad reading habits engendered by smartphones, but bad education habits engendered by a misunderstanding of how the mind reads.4
  Just how bad is our reading problem? The last National Assessment of Adult Literacy from 2003 is a bit dated, but it offers a picture of Americans’ ability to read in everyday situations: using an almanac to find a particular fact, for example, or explaining the meaning of a metaphor used in a story.5 Of those who finished high school but did not continue their education,13 percent could not perform simple tasks like these. When things got more complex—in comparing two newspaper editorials with different interpretations of scientific evidence or examining a table to evaluate credit card offers—95 percent failed.6
  Many of these poor readers can sound out words from print, so in that sense, they can read. Yet they are functionally illiterate7—they comprehend very little of what they can sound out. So what does comprehension require? Broad vocabulary, obviously. Equally important, but more subtle, is the role played by factual knowledge.
  All prose has factual gaps that must be filled by the reader. Consider“I promised not to play with it, but Mom still wouldn’t let me bring my Rubik’s Cube8 to the library.” The author has omitted9 three facts vital to comprehension: you must be quiet in a library; Rubik’s Cubes make noise; kids don’t resist tempting toys very well. If you don’t know these facts, you might understand the literal meaning of the sentence, but you’ll miss why Mom forbade the toy in the library.
  Knowledge also provides context. For example, the literal meaning of last year’s celebrated fake-news headline, “Pope Francis Shocks World, Endorses Donald Trump for President,” is unambiguous—no gap-filling is needed.10 But the sentence carries a different implication if you know anything about the public (and private) positions of the men involved, or you’re aware that no pope has ever endorsed a presidential candidate.  You might think, then, that authors should include all the information needed to understand what they write. Just tell us that libraries are quiet. But those details would make prose long and tedious11 for readers who already know the information. “Write for your audience” means, in part, gambling on what they know.
  These examples help us understand why readers might decode12 well but score poorly on a test; they lack the knowledge the writer assumed in the audience. But if a text concerned a familiar topic, habitually poor readers ought to read like good readers.
  In one experiment, third graders—some identified by a reading test as good readers, some as poor—were asked to read a passage about soccer. The poor readers who knew a lot about soccer were three times as likely to make accurate inferences about the passage as the good readers who didn’t know much about the game.13
  That implies that students who score well on reading tests are those with broad knowledge; they usually know at least a little about the topics of the passages on the test. One experiment tested 11th graders’general knowledge with questions from science (“pneumonia affects which part of the body?”), history (“which American president resigned because of the Watergate scandal?”), as well as the arts, civics,14 geography, athletics and literature. Scores on this general knowledge test were highly associated with reading test scores.
  Current education practices show that reading comprehension is misunderstood. It’s treated like a general skill that can be applied with equal success to all texts.15 Rather, comprehension is intimately intertwined with16 knowledge. That suggests three significant changes in schooling.
  First, it points to decreasing the time spent on literacy instruction in early grades. Third-graders spend 56 percent of their time on literacy activities but 6 percent each on science and social studies. This disproportionate emphasis on literacy backfires in later grades, when children’s lack of subject matter knowledge impedes comprehension.17 Another positive step would be to use highinformation texts in early elementary grades. Historically, they have been light in content.
  Second, understanding the importance of knowledge to reading ought to make us think differently about year-end standardized tests. If a child has studied New Zealand, she ought to be good at reading and thinking about passages on New Zealand. Why test her reading with a passage about spiders, or the Titanic? If topics are random, the test weights knowledge learned outside the classroom—knowledge that wealthy children have greater opportunity to pick up.18
 Third, the systematic building of knowledge must be a priority in curriculum design. The Common Core Standards for reading specify nearly nothing by way of content that children are supposed to know—the document valorizes reading skills.19 State officials should go beyond the Common Core Standards by writing content-rich grade-level standards and supporting district personnel20 in writing curriculums to help students meet the standards.
  Don’t blame the internet, or smartphones, or fake news for Americans’ poor reading. Blame ignorance. Turning the tide21 will require profound changes in how reading is taught, in standardized testing and in school curriculums. Underlying all these changes must be a better understanding of how the mind comprehends what it reads.22
  1. ubiquity: 无处不在,普遍性。
  2. Snapchat: 由斯坦福大学两位学生开发的一款“阅后即焚”照片分享应用;prose:散文,文章。
  3. predate: 发生于……之前,先于……出现。
  4. 这个问题不是由智能手机引起的不良阅读习惯,而是由于对大脑阅读方式的错误理解而造成的不良教育习惯。engender:造成,导致。
  5. literacy: 读写能力;almanac:年鉴,历书;metaphor: 隐喻,暗喻。
  6. 当遇到更复杂的情况——比较对科学证据有着不同解析的两篇报纸社论,或是审查表格来评估信用卡报价——95%的人都做不到。
  7. illiterate: 不会读写的,文盲的。
  8. Rubik’s Cube: 魔方。
  9. omit: 省略,忽略。
  10. Pope Francis: 指教宗方济各(1936— ),他是天主教第266任教宗,本名豪尔赫·马里奥·贝尔格里奥(Jorge Mario Bergoglio),是第一位耶稣会教宗,也是第一位拉丁美洲教宗;endorse: 赞同,支持;unambiguous: 清楚的,明确的。
  11. tedious: 枯燥乏味的,冗长的。
  12. decode: 解读。
  13. 特别了解足球但阅读能力差的测试者,能够根据文章做出准确判断的可能性是不太了解足球的优秀阅读者的三倍。
  14. pneumonia: 肺炎;resign: 辞职;Watergate scandal:水门事件,是20世纪70年代发生在美国的一场震惊世界的政治丑闻。1972年民主党全国委员会位于华盛顿特区的水门综合大厦发现被人侵入,时任总统理查德·尼克松及内阁试图掩盖事件真相。直至窃听阴谋被发现,尼克松仍然阻挠国会调查,最终导致宪政危机。尼克松于1974年宣布辞去总统职务;civics: 公民学,市政学。
  15. 阅读理解能力被视为一种普遍技能,可以成功應用于所有文本中。
  16. be intertwined with: 缠绕,与……紧密相连。
  17. disproportionate: 不成比例的,不相称的;backfire: 产生事与愿违的结果;impede: 阻碍,妨碍。
  18. 如果题目是随机的,那么这个测试看重的则是学生在课外学到的知识——家庭富裕的孩子有更多机会学到这些知识。
  19. 阅读的共同核心标准基本没提到孩子应该从阅读内容中了解哪些知识,而是更加看重阅读技能。Common Core Standards,即Common Core State Standards,“共同核心州立标准”,它是美国的一套教学标准,详细定义了K-12(幼儿园到高中)的各年级在英语语言艺术、数学课程中的学习内容;valorize: 赋予……(更高)价值。
  20. personnel: 人事部门。
  21. turn the tide: 扭转形势。
  22. 而改变这些的根本在于必须要了解大脑是如何理解它所读到的内容的。underlie: 作为……的基础。 The Californian's tale
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英文阅读碎片化阅读

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