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阅读量越大 词汇量越大 [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2008-12-22 15:58:45 |Display all floors
阅读量越大 词汇量越大

上海海洋大学 吴丽华 编译


一.        引言:

阅读的好处数不胜数:使人视野开阔、情趣高雅、思想深邃、拥有丰富的人生,等等。阅读给我们带来的好处,远不止上述这些。在本文中,我要谈的是大量外语阅读与词汇增长的关系。

对于大多数英语学习者来说,英语词汇的学习是一个很大的挑战。不少学生,为了达到一定的词汇量,手捧一本本词汇手册,付出了不少的时间和精力。然而他们收效甚微,并未有效地扩大词汇量、提高语言驾驭能力。造成这种问题的原因何在?有没有切实可行且见效快的扩大词汇、提高语言能力的好办法?

二.        原因分析:

英语词汇确实难学:对于外语学习者来说,尤其如此。要学会哪怕一个英文单词,也是及其不容易。原因在于:
1)一个英文单词通常有很多种意思:有人统计过,牛津英语词典的2000个最常用词中,每词平均有21种不同的意思。当然,外语学习者不必掌握所有这些意思,但了解其中三五种常用意思是非常必要的。

2)就某一单词,学生须懂得,这个单词适用什么语境,有哪些固定搭配等。就如一个动词,带宾语时是否需与介词搭配,可接什么补充成分(不定式、动名词、或接宾语从句等)。

3)要真正了解一个词语的意思,学习者还需学习该词的近义词、反义词等。只有这样,学习者才能真正了解,这个词语在什么场合可用或不可用。

三.参考办法:

对于外语学习者来说,花时间来掌握一定量词语的正确用法是非常有必要的。这个“一定量”的最低限是2000词左右。大多数中国学习者完成高中阶段的英语学习时,就能基本达到。然而,为了更高的阅读目标,或者更高层次的语言发展,这2000词是远远不够的。如何有效地扩大学习者的词汇量,使学习者最终能够自由阅读、自主地获取所需的信息,成了教育者和学习者共同关注的话题。

非洲许多中学所设置的一门英语阅读课程,对于外语学习者的词汇提高,非常有效。我们不妨参照一下。

他们的学生在上中学前,需达到1500-2000左右的词汇量(大概3年的小学学习过程中习得的)。中学第一年(阅读平稳期),学生阅读基于2000基本词汇的书籍。在这一年中,他们需读60本简短书籍,其中14本指定书籍课堂完成,另46本由学生自主选择,在图书馆或完成。一学年共30周,每周2本,每本书大概100页。学生在每本书读完后,撰写和递交读书报告。

第二年,学生进入阅读过渡期,从简写本过渡到非简写本:使用含3000-7000常用词汇的简短书籍,一学年读50本,其中14本课堂完成,另外36本自选书图书馆完成。同样,学生撰写和上交每本书的读书报告。

第三年,学生进入自由阅读期。他们阅读8到9本原版书籍,像:海明威的《老人与海》;奥威尔的《动物庄园》;戈尔登的《蝇王》等。

三年之后,或者说,经历6年的英语学习之后(小学和中学),学生就能达到自由阅读非简写版书籍的程度。假设他们从每本第二年所阅读的50本书籍中学习100个单词(每页学习1个单词),那么他们的词汇量即可从2000一跃而至7000。如果在每本第三年阅读的9本书中学到330个单词(每本约150页,每页2个单词),那么他们的阅读词汇即可达到10,000。

四.结束语:

不少学习者,从2000词汇扩展到4200(大学英语四级基本要求),跌跌撞撞。词汇量的局限,也就限制了学生语言运用能力的提高。为了更有效地学习词汇、提高外语阅读能力,我们目前的教育环境,照搬非洲国家的上述做法,挑战很大。比如:我们的学生是否有足够的阅读时间;我们是否能获取如此多的英文阅读书籍;学生是否合作,等等。但我们每个学期指导学生读一本书(教材)的做法,显然未能让我们取得理想的效果。

改变我们目前的课程设置,不是易事。但我们应当尽所能地鼓励学生多阅读,最大限度地给他们提供适宜的书籍和宽松的环境,并给予他们尽量多的专业指导,坚信阅读不会浪费时间。大量阅读书籍的学习者,不可能一夜间成为语言高手。有良好阅读习惯的人,往往要经历1、2年的时间后,才会有突破性的语言能力的提高。坚持大量阅读,词汇知识、听说读写的能力,一定会稳步提高。正如有人说的,提高外语能力的最好办法是去使用该语言的人群中生活;第二好的办法即是大量地阅读用该语言撰写的书籍。

注:原因分析和参考办法译编自:Len Fox 的《论二语词汇习得》。

参考书目:
1.《非本族语英语教学方法论:阅读手册》
Fox, L. On acquiring an adequate second language vocabulary. in M.H. Long & J.C. Richards. Methodology in TESOL: A Book of Reading. Heinle & Heinle. 1987.
2.《外语阅读技巧教学》
Nuttall C. Teaching Reading Skills in a Foreign Language.Macmillan Education. 2000


[ Last edited by Alishawu at 2008-12-22 04:07 PM ]

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Post time 2008-12-22 17:21:00 |Display all floors
I partly agree with you.
When I was in University, my vacabulary is ok. And I passed CET 6 very easily.
But 3years later, my vacabulary has reduced a lot. Many many fixed phrases have been forgotten...
Now I am working in a foreign company. It seems that English has been regard as a very important communication tools. As this job need, I must re-study and improve English again.
But I feel it is very difficult to re-study English. Because sometimes I know this word or I used to know this word, but now I could not understand at once, a lot of situation like this. To recite dictionary is impossible. So I could not find a suitable English book for us, for WORKING people. A lot of books are for students.
So I learn English from movies always.

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Post time 2008-12-22 21:45:34 |Display all floors
Yes, English is a very important tool for communication. However, it is no easy task to build up English vocabulary. Besides hard work,
efficient skills are necessary. I have introduced some of the skills for vocabulary-building in another text. Hopefully they will be of help and
save some of your troubles.

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Post time 2009-1-9 21:01:59 |Display all floors
in my opinion,writing is a crucial and effective approach to vacabulary study,especially for those who are not accessiable to face-to-face communication with native speaker.

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Post time 2009-1-10 10:34:57 |Display all floors
All of you have many good points. One thing I’d like to single out is to pay attention to the usages of  words in terms of in what situation you are, to whom you speak, by what means you communicate, in writing or in speaking … etc. Where is the line drawn between  “formal” and “informal”? sometimes, it is hard to tell. Besides, these two things are converging these days or the line is getting blur. I’d say, as long as you keep a keen eye on what people write and speak, you will figure it out sooner or later. For examples.   


I would like to withdraw $100 from my checking account.  (formal, in writing)

I would like to take $100 out of  my checking account. (informal and vivid, in speaking)


Manchester United was defeated by Derby.  (formal, in writing )

Manchester United was beaten by Derby. (less formal)

Manchester United was stunned by Derby. (informal and vivid)

Manchester United was sunk by Derby. (informal and vivid and figurative)

Manchester United was knocked out by Derby. (informal and vivid and figurative)

Manchester United was out as Derby marched on. (informal and vivid and figurative)


Keep it up.

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