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大学英语精读第五册 Unit 1

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                 UNIT 1

TEXT

    The author is not a preacher, and yet he does deliver a kind of sermon here. Who is his audience? Interestingly, his audience is your teachers of Advanced English as a foreign language. The author seeks to help them in their difficult task of teaching advanced students, their task of leading their students to a higher lever of ability and fluency1.
    Does it encourage you to know that you are not the only one who is struggling at this level of language acquisition?

             A Kind of Sermon
                      by W.S.Fowler

    It is probably easier for teachers than for students to appreciate the reasons why learning English seems to become increasingly difficult once the basic structures and patterns of the language have been understood. Students are naturally surprised and disappointed to discover that a process which ought to become simpler does not appear to do so.
    It may not seem much consolation2 to point out that the teacher, too, becomes frustrated3 when his efforts appear to produce less obvious results. He finds that students who were easy to teach, because they succeeded in putting everything they had been taught into practice, hesitate when confronted with the vast untouched area of English vocabulary and usage which falls outside the scope of basic textbooks. He sees them struggling because the language they thought they knew now appears to consist of a bewildering variety of idioms, clichéd and accepted phrases with different meanings in different contexts. It is hard to convince them that they are still making progress towards fluency and that their English is certain to improve, given time and dedication4.
    In such circumstances it is hardly surprising that some give up in disgust, while others still wait hopefully for the teacher to give them the same confident guidance he was able to offer them at first. The teacher, for his part, frequently reduced to trying to explain the inexplicable5, may take refuge in quoting proverbs to his colleagues such as: "You can lead a horse to water but you can't what you say. It's the way that you say it." His students might feel inclined to counter these with: "The more I learn, the less I know."
    Of course this is not true. What both students and teachers are experiencing is the recognition that the more complex structures one encounters in a language are not as vital to making oneself understood and so have a less immediate6 field of application. For the same reason, from the teacher's point o view, selecting what should be taught becomes a more difficult task. It is much easier to get food of any kind than to choose the dish you would most like to eat on a given day from a vast menu.
    Defining the problem is easier than providing the solution. One can suggest that students should spend two or three years in an English-speaking country, which amounts to washing one's hands of them. Few students have the time or the money to do that. It is often said that wide reading is the time or the money to do that. It is often said that wide reading is the best alternative course of action but even here it is necessary to make some kind of selection. It is no use telling students to go to the library and pick up the first book they come across. My own advice to them would be: "read what you can understand without having to look up words in a dictionary (but not what you can understand at a glance); read what interests you; read what you have time for (magazines and newspapers rather than novels unless you can read the whole novel in a week or so); read the English written today, not 200 years ago; read as much as you can and try to remember the way it was written rather than individual words that puzzled you." And instead of "read", I could just as well say "listen to."
    My advice to teachers would be similar in a way. I would say "It's no good thinking that anything will do, or that all language is useful. It's no good relying on students to express themselves without the right tools for expression. It's still your duty to choose the best path to follow near the top of the mountain just as it was to propose a practicable short-cut away from the beaten track in the foothills. And if the path you choose is too overgrown to make further progress, the whole party will have to go back and you will have to choose another route. You are still the paid guide and expert and there is a way to the top somewhere."
 
NEW WORDS

    sermon
n.  a talk given in church by a priest; a long and solemn piece of advice 布道;说教
    consolation
n.  (a person or thing that gives) comfort during a time of sadness and disappointment 安慰
    untouched
a.  not touched; not dealt with
    usage
n.  (a) generally accepted way of using a language 习惯用法
    scope
n.  the area within the limits of a question, subject, action, etc.; ranged
    idiom
n.  a phrase which means something different from the meanings of the separate words from which it is formed 习语;成语
    cliche7
n.  an expression or idea used so often that it has lost much of its expressive8 force 陈词滥调,陈腐思想
    context
n.  what comes before and after (a word, phrase, statement, etc.), helping9 to fix the meaning (文章的)上下文
    fluency
n.  a smooth, easy flow 流利;流畅
    fluent
a. 
    dedication
n.  self-sacrificing devotion 献身;忠诚;专心
    dedicate
vt.
    disgust
n.  strong feeling of dislike or distaste 厌恶
    hopefully
ad. in a hopeful manner; if our hopes succeed 怀着希望;但愿
    guidance
n.  the act or process of guiding; advice on vocational or educational problems given to students
    inexplicable
a.  incapable10 of being explained 无法说明的;费解的
    refuge
n.  shelter or protection from danger or distress11 避难;庇护
    refugee
n.  难民
    quote
vt. repeat in speaking or writing (the words of another person) 引用,引述
    proverb
n.  a brief popular saying 谚语
    respectfully
ad. in a way or manner that shows respect
    respectful
a. 
    grammatically
ad. according to the rules of grammar
    grammatical
a. 
    ain't
    (spoken) a short form of "am not", "is not" or "are not"
    counter
vt. oppose
    recognition
n.  the act of recognizing  认识;承认
    immediate
a.  with nothing between; coming at once
    given
a.  specified12, fixed13 特定的,一定的
    define
vt. explain the meaning of; state, show or describe clearly 给...下定义;界定
    selection
n.  the act of selecting
    novel
n.  a long story in prose about either imaginary or historical people
    rely
vi. be dependent, count
    practicable
a.  capable of being done, put into practice or accomplished14; feasible
    shortcut
n.  a route more direct than that usu. taken; a quicker way of doing sth.  捷径
    beaten
a.  much walked on or traveled (路)踏平的;人们常走的
    overgrown
a.  covered with plants growing uncontrolled

PHRASES & EXPRESSIONS
 
put into practice
    apply; carry out
confront with
    bring face to face with; force to deal with or accept the truth of
give up
    stop attempting sth.; admit defeat
for one's part
    as far as one is concerned
reduce to
    bring or force (sb.) to (esp. a weaker or less favorable state)
take refuge in
    find shelter of protection in
wash one's hands of
    have no more to do with; refuse to be responsible for
come across
    meet, find, or discover by chance
look up
    find (information) in a book
at a glance
    with (information) in a book
no good / not much good
    useless or bad
not any good
rely on
    trust; have confidence in; depend on

PROPER NAMES

     W.S.Fowler
     W.S.福勒


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 fluency ajCxF     
n.流畅,雄辩,善辩
参考例句:
  • More practice will make you speak with greater fluency.多练习就可以使你的口语更流利。
  • Some young children achieve great fluency in their reading.一些孩子小小年纪阅读已经非常流畅。
2 consolation WpbzC     
n.安慰,慰问
参考例句:
  • The children were a great consolation to me at that time.那时孩子们成了我的莫大安慰。
  • This news was of little consolation to us.这个消息对我们来说没有什么安慰。
3 frustrated ksWz5t     
adj.挫败的,失意的,泄气的v.使不成功( frustrate的过去式和过去分词 );挫败;使受挫折;令人沮丧
参考例句:
  • It's very easy to get frustrated in this job. 这个工作很容易令人懊恼。
  • The bad weather frustrated all our hopes of going out. 恶劣的天气破坏了我们出行的愿望。 来自《简明英汉词典》
4 dedication pxMx9     
n.奉献,献身,致力,题献,献辞
参考例句:
  • We admire her courage,compassion and dedication.我们钦佩她的勇气、爱心和奉献精神。
  • Her dedication to her work was admirable.她对工作的奉献精神可钦可佩。
5 inexplicable tbCzf     
adj.无法解释的,难理解的
参考例句:
  • It is now inexplicable how that development was misinterpreted.当时对这一事态发展的错误理解究竟是怎么产生的,现在已经无法说清楚了。
  • There are many things which are inexplicable by science.有很多事科学还无法解释。
6 immediate aapxh     
adj.立即的;直接的,最接近的;紧靠的
参考例句:
  • His immediate neighbours felt it their duty to call.他的近邻认为他们有责任去拜访。
  • We declared ourselves for the immediate convocation of the meeting.我们主张立即召开这个会议。
7 cliche jbpy6     
n./a.陈词滥调(的);老生常谈(的);陈腐的
参考例句:
  • You should always try to avoid the use of cliche. 你应该尽量避免使用陈词滥调。
  • The old cliche is certainly true:the bigger car do mean bigger profits.有句老话倒的确说得不假:车大利大。
8 expressive shwz4     
adj.表现的,表达…的,富于表情的
参考例句:
  • Black English can be more expressive than standard English.黑人所使用的英语可能比正式英语更有表现力。
  • He had a mobile,expressive,animated face.他有一张多变的,富于表情的,生动活泼的脸。
9 helping 2rGzDc     
n.食物的一份&adj.帮助人的,辅助的
参考例句:
  • The poor children regularly pony up for a second helping of my hamburger. 那些可怜的孩子们总是要求我把我的汉堡包再给他们一份。
  • By doing this, they may at times be helping to restore competition. 这样一来, 他在某些时候,有助于竞争的加强。
10 incapable w9ZxK     
adj.无能力的,不能做某事的
参考例句:
  • He would be incapable of committing such a cruel deed.他不会做出这么残忍的事。
  • Computers are incapable of creative thought.计算机不会创造性地思维。
11 distress 3llzX     
n.苦恼,痛苦,不舒适;不幸;vt.使悲痛
参考例句:
  • Nothing could alleviate his distress.什么都不能减轻他的痛苦。
  • Please don't distress yourself.请你不要忧愁了。
12 specified ZhezwZ     
adj.特定的
参考例句:
  • The architect specified oak for the wood trim. 那位建筑师指定用橡木做木饰条。
  • It is generated by some specified means. 这是由某些未加说明的方法产生的。
13 fixed JsKzzj     
adj.固定的,不变的,准备好的;(计算机)固定的
参考例句:
  • Have you two fixed on a date for the wedding yet?你们俩选定婚期了吗?
  • Once the aim is fixed,we should not change it arbitrarily.目标一旦确定,我们就不应该随意改变。
14 accomplished UzwztZ     
adj.有才艺的;有造诣的;达到了的
参考例句:
  • Thanks to your help,we accomplished the task ahead of schedule.亏得你们帮忙,我们才提前完成了任务。
  • Removal of excess heat is accomplished by means of a radiator.通过散热器完成多余热量的排出。
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TAG标签:   大学英语  精读  第五册  unit
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