培養英文閱讀的實力–Critical Reading

閱讀能力不管是在什麼語言中都很重要,但是如果孩子只是把每個字句看過去,覺得每個句子都看得懂什麼意思,這樣就是讀完,對於培養思考能力是很有限的。

事實上,看得懂每個字句的意思,跟真正懂得「文意」還有很大的差距,要能夠透徹理解文意,老師必須要能帶領孩子做 Critical Reading (批判性閱讀) 的練習。舉個康橋小學一年級 Reading Street 的閱讀作業其中一個段落來當例子:(在進行critical reading前,雪人會先確認孩子已經理解每個單字意思)

“Some people used smoke to send messages. They would wave blankets over a smoky fire. Puffs of smoke would rise into the air. Different numbers of smoke puffs meant different things. For example, one puff of smoke might mean danger! People far away saw the smoke and could read the messages.” (From Betty Bacon’s ”The Story of Communication”)

雪人會問學生 ”According to this paragraph, why could people far away see the smoke?” 要能正確回答這個問題,學生除了要先理解每句話單獨的意思,再來就是要能夠思考文章裡面句子跟句子的「關係」。因此,正確答案在於段落的第三句 ”Puffs of smoke would rise into the air.” ”Puffs of smoke would rise into the air.” 跟 “People far away saw the smoke and could read the messages.”這兩句話屬於「因果關係/cause & effect」」,前者是「因/cause」後者是「果/effect」。

因果關係是英文閱讀測驗中出題率最高的種類,除了它,在進行critical reading時還有以下幾種常見且重要的語句關係需要注意:

讓步關係

“Drum and smoke signals could send messages quickly and far away. But the messages couldn’t be very long.”

怎麼問?According to the paragraph, what is the disadvantage of using drums and smoke to send messages?

目的手段

“Even though people ran or rode fast horses, the mail took a long time to get from one place to the next. Pigeons are small, fast birds that
can be taught to fly from one place to another. People would strap a small note to a pigeon’s leg. The pigeon would then fly with the note.”

怎麼問?How did people send their messages more quickly?

比較同異compare / contrast 

“Some people used smoke to send messages. They would wave blankets over a smoky fire. Puffs of smoke would rise into the air. Different numbers of smoke puffs meant different things. For example, one puff of smoke might mean danger! People far away saw the smoke and could read the messages.

Some groups of people used drums to send messages. The sounds the drums made could be heard far away. People played drums to tell others when hunts or parties were going to happen.

Drum and smoke signals could send messages quickly and far away. But the messages couldn’t be very long. ”

怎麼問? What is the advantage when using smoke and drums to send messages? And what is the disadvantage?

語氣

“In 1876, Bell built the first telephone, a machine that sent spoken words by electricity. Now people could talk to each other right away!”   

怎麼問?How does the author feel about the invention of telephone?

推論

“Over the years, people have found many ways to communicate over great distances. Soon, we may learn even more.”

怎麼問?Does the author believe people will have more ways to communicate over great distance in the future?

事實上,這些語句關係對高年級學生更加重要,因為所有的留學考試都要求學生要有夠強的閱讀能力。而當英文語句變長變複雜,光是要單獨理解每個句子的意思往往就很燒腦袋了,更不用說還要去注意語句之間的關係來抓到整個段落甚至是整個文章究竟想要表達什麼。因此,學生常常在上完雪人老師的進階閱讀課或是寫作課後覺得筋疲力盡,因為會一直被雪人逼著要動腦思考啊!!!

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