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大学英语四六级阅读指导

 

    

  阅读理解除了要求正确理解事实细节的能力外,还经常需要考生根据一定上下文对某些词汇的意义进行推断、根据所读材料理解文章隐含的意义和深层次的含义、归纳文章主题思想、通过概括得出结论、综合判断作者态度等,这就要求考生具备相应的阅读理解微技能,与四级考试密切相关的一些微技能包括词汇的理解、预测、判断、归纳和推理。

  词汇的理解

  对于阅读中碰到的生僻词,我们首先要学会识别哪些情况下即使不了解词义也不影响对短文的理解;其次是转变对生僻词义认识上的态度,即在许多情况下不必了解该词的确切意义,尤其没有必要了解它在英汉辞典中的中文释义,而只需对该词词义的大概而笼统的理解就行。实践中,在确定了短文中哪些生僻词的词义有必要作一大概了解后,我们可以从以下两个角度来猜度词义:

  (1) 构词知识

  即利用单词的构词要素词根,前后缀来识记单词。

  词根是一个单词的根本部分,代表词的基本意义;前缀是加在词根或单词前面的部分,通常也有一定含义;后缀是加在词根或单词后面的部分,通常在增加词义的同时还改变词性。通过词根词缀构词的方式有多種,现简单归纳如下:

  ①前缀+词根:inter(中间)+vene→intervene(介入)

  ②词根+后缀:circl(圆)+let(小)→circlet(小环)

  ③词根+词根:tele(远)+scope(镜)→telescope(望远镜)

  ④前缀+词根+后缀:in(不)+aud(听)+ible(可)→inaudible(听不见)

  ⑤双前缀+词根:re(再)+dis(取下)+cover(盖)→rediscover(再发现)

  ⑥词根+双后缀:care(用心)+less(不)+ly(地)→carelessly(不小心地)

  ⑦前缀+双词根:tri(三)+gono(角)+metry(测量)→trigonometry(三角几何)

  ⑧双词根+后缀:biblio(书)+phil(爱)+ist(人)→bibliophilist(书籍爱好者)

  ⑨双前缀+词根+后缀:ir(不)+re(反对)+sist(站)+ible→irresistible(不可抵抗的)

  前缀+词根+双后缀:se(离)+greg(群)+ation+ist→segregationist(種族隔离主义者)

  双前缀+词根+双后缀:un(不)+pre(先)+ced(走)+ent+ed→unprecedented(史无前例的)

  (2) 上下文线索

  利用上下文线索猜测词义的方法很多,但其核心是寻找与该生僻词相关的上下文意义线索,这些线索主要可归纳为以下几種:

  ①同义定义为了便于读者理解作者本义,作者有时会对文中的生僻词或专业性较强的词直接给出定义。在下定义时,作者常使用一些信号词,如:is/are(called),means,can be defined as,refer to,is/are known as,signify等,例:

  Food fallacies refer to beliefs about food that are not true.

  或标点符号,如——,()等,例:

  Multiplexing ——transmitting independent signals at the same time in the same channel——increases the efficiency of radio channels.

  有时,作者用同位语形式或连词or给出定义,例:

  Nerve cells evidently first appeared in coelenterates, “hollowgutted” organisms like hydra and the sea anemone.

  Intelligent behavior remained impossible until the appearance of relatively big,complex types of brain——the types we find among the vertebrates,or backboned animals.

  ②近义复述同一短文中上下毗邻的句子通常有互释作用,我们可以从上下文的复述中获取与某一单词相关的信息来猜度词义。例:

  Mr. and Mrs. Firth had a long courtship. They dated for nine years before they got married.

  Although he often had the opportunity,Mr. Tritt never stole money from a customer. This would have endangered his position at the bank,and he did not want to jeopardize his future.

  ③反义对照在表示对照的上下文中,常包含有意义相反的词语或概念,这些意义相反的概念可以互为线索,帮助我们猜度词义。常有以下一些信号词:although,but,however,though,whereas,while,yet,on the contrary,on the other hand等。

  例:Chimpanzees(猩猩) in the wild use simple objects as tools,but in laboratory situations they can use more sophisticated items.

  Most dentists-offices are drab places,while Emilio’s new office is a bright,cheerful place.

  ④搭配集合利用词与词的搭配或该词所出现的语境,我们也能推知词义的大概轮廓。例:

  People gathered to look. Three fine streams of hot water sprouted from holes in the jacket(套,壳) of the radiator.

  A man is watering his lawn just as an attractive,well dressed girl walked by. As he ogles her,he accidentally turns the hose on his ugly,dowdy wife.

  ⑤比较举例上下文中的比较和举例,能揭示比较物或列举物之间的共性,我们可根据这些共性来推知有关词语的意思。例:

  The consequences of epochal events such as wars and great scientific discoveries are not confined to a small geographical area.

  Doctors believe that smoking cigarettes is detrimental to your health. They also regard drinking as harmful.

  ⑥因果时间因与果、时间的先与后都是事物发展变化过程中的必然关系,在利用上下文推测词义时,这些关系也至关重要。例:

  Robert is considered peremptory administrator because he makes decisions without seeking the opinions of others.

  When Mark was in pedantic mood,he assumed the manner of a famous professor and gave long lectures on boring, insignificant topics.

  ⑦常识包括我们的生活经历、经验常识以及自己专业方面的知识,在阅读到与自己专业相近的文章时,我们都会感到相对容易,这正是我们的专业知识在帮我们理解。例:

  An apple falls down instead of up because of gravity.

  An atomic clock is so precise that it can be used to check the accuracy of predictions based on Einstein’s relativity theories.

  预测

  在对付难文的阅读时,一定要善于在理解已知信息的基础上对随之可能出现的信息进行积极预测。预测时,应学会借助主题句、关联词语等篇章信息来提高预测的准确性。如,有一篇短文以这样一句开头:

  Many people believe the glare from snow causes snowblindness. Yet…这里根据表示转折的关联词Yet,预测到下面可能出现的是主题句,又必然要否定本句中许多人的观点,即snowblindness(雪盲)可能由glare from snow以外的其它原因引起。原文紧接着的是:Yet,dark glasses or not,they find themselves suffering from headaches and watering eyes,and even snowblindness,when exposed to several hours of “snow light”.

  据此主题,我们可以比较有把握地预测到下文将着墨于引起“雪盲”的真正原因,原文如下:

  The United States Army has now determined that glare from snow does not cause snowblindness in troops in a snow-covered country. Rather,a man’s eyes frequently find nothing to focus on in a broad expanse of barren snow-covered terrain. So his gaze continually shifts and jumps back and forth over the entire landscape in search of something to look at. Finding nothing hour after hour,the eyes never stop searching and the eyeballs become sore and the eye muscles ache. Nature offsets this irritation by producing more and more fluid which covers the eyeball. The fluid covers the eyeball in increasing quantity until vision blurs,then is obscured,and the result is total,even though temporary,snowblindness.

  但预测不一定总是正确,它需要在继续阅读中予以肯定、否定或修正。上例中下文的内容与预测相近,表示理解过程正确。如预测与下文不一致,则可能:①对前面内容的理解有偏差;②据以预测的那部分语言信息可能有多種不同理解,因而可据以作出多種不同的预测。

  预测有顺向预测和逆向预测两種,上面提到的为顺向预测。所谓逆向预测,实为预测的一種特殊形式,应用于已知下文要推知上文的场合。阅读中积极运用顺向和逆向预测,除了上面谈到的能提高对文章的理解深度外,还可帮助我们读懂本来难以读懂的章节。

  判断

  在阅读中,我们有时需要对文章内容的正误作出判断,有时需要借助上下文对个别词语的大意作出判断,有时需要根据关联,对上下文进行预测性判断,有时需要在综合分析的基础上,通过判断得出结论,有时还需要对作者语气态度、思想倾向等等作出判断。判断贯穿于阅读的全过程,也渗透在各種阅读微技能中。例:

  (1) 判断推测句中omnivorous一词的大意

  She has a wide interest and is an omnivorous reader.

  根据句中她“兴趣广”这一上文和被修饰的reader一词,可大概判断omnivorous具有“兴趣广、什么书都喜欢读”等含义。

  (2) 根据前文,判断下文

  Laziness is a sin, everyone knows that. Nevertheless…

  A) laziness can actually be helpful

  B) laziness is a sign of mental illness

  C) laziness is immoral and wasteful

  D) you must be careful when you see someone lazy

  根据第一分句的语义倾向和Nevertheless一词,我们可得出这样的判断,即下文要谈的内容必然与之相反,即谈论Laziness也有其有利、肯定的一面,故A最有可能。

  (3) 判断作者观点

  Which of the following statements was written by someone who prefers small cars to large ones?

  A) Their excellent gas mileage and even their improved interior design notwithstanding,today’s compact cars simply fail to provide the feel a traditional motorist yearns for.

  B) They lack some of the size and even the character of the full-sized autos we were accustomed to; but today’s compacts more than make up for this with their excellent gas mileage.

  本题要求我们对A、B中哪種观点赞成小汽车作出判断。A句中主句对小汽车予以否定,句首对小汽车的肯定性陈述又被notwithstanding一词否定。答案是B,第一分句讲到小汽车的缺陷:缺乏大汽车的空间和气派;第二分句则认为小汽车的紧凑及其优秀的低耗油特征能远远弥补上述不足,前面以转折连词将作者观点转向第二分句。

  归纳

  归纳是一種由特殊(个别)到一般的概括,从阅读理解角度说,所谓个别即具体细节,所谓一般即章节段落的大意或主题,归纳是由特殊细节推向一般主题的概括过程。我们可以借助词的上下义关系来领会掌握并运用归纳这一方法。

  (1) 句子的归纳

  A) Microwave ovens have eliminated many of the inconveniences previously associated with the preparation of meals.

  B) Many foods can go directly from the freezer to the microwave oven without being defrosted.

  C) Many microwave ovens can be pre-set to cook food while you are away from the kitchen.

  D) The microwave oven has greatly reduced the amount of time it takes to cook a meal.

  题中四句话都提到微波炉的好处,其中B、C、D 分别从方便、解冻、定时三个不同的方面具体讲述微波炉不同于传统炊具的优势,而A则从整体上覆盖了上述三句的内容,故A是对B、C、D的概括,上述分析、寻找最具概括意义之选项的过程即为归纳过程。推而广之,我们可用之于段落和短文主题的归纳。

  (2) 段落大意的归纳

  Although most universities in the United States are run on a semester system, which offers classes in the fall and spring, some schools observe a quarter system comprised of fall, winter, spring, and summer quarters. The academic year, September to June, is divided into three quarters of eleven weeks each beginning in September, January, and March, the summer quarter, June to August is composed of shorter sessions of varying length. Students may take advantage of the opportunity to study year around by enrolling in all four quarters, Most students begin their programs in the fall quarter, but they may enter at the beginning of any of the other quarters.

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