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从CCSS浅析SAT Informational 文章考查重点

2016-11-28 18:48

来源:广州新东方学校

作者:钟小媛

  Redesigned SAT(以下简称"新SAT")考试,是依据Common Core State Standards(以下简称"CCSS")做出的改革。CCSS,又称美国共同核心州立教育标准,是由美国教育部以及哈佛、哥伦比亚大学等名校提出的,按照美国大学招生要求制定的教学大纲。它涵盖从幼儿园到12年级所有的学科内容 ,目的在于培养有批判性思维和创新能力的21世纪美国公民 ,让孩子们在高中毕业时为上大学和就业做好充分的准备,这一标准还将确保学生在一个校区转学到另一校区时,可以顺利衔接。

  CCSS对English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects有一套独立的标准,在英语的听、说、读、写以及语言理解5个方面,对各年级的学生,有明确的标准及要求。在阅读方面,CCSS把阅读文章分为Literary(文学类)以及Informational(信息类)两大分类,两大分类文章的比例随年级不同有所调整与变化。

  National Assessment Governing Board 对阅读文章框架比例如下:

  Distribution of Literary and Informational Passages by Grade in the 2009 NAEP Reading Framework

Grade

Literary

Informational

4

50%

50%

8

45%

55%

12

30%

70%

  从此表可以看出, 随着年龄的增长,阅读文章中,文学类文章比例逐渐下降,而信息类文章的比例逐渐上升,这也是新SAT考试,文学类文章数量下降到1篇,而信息类文章(包括科学、社会科学、历史)数量为4篇的一个重要原因。

  CCSS对信息类文章,在key ideas and details, craft and structure, 以及Integration of knowledge and ideas三个纬度,对各个年级的学生有不同的要求。本文将从三个纬度的细则,浅析CCSS对新SAT信息类文章的考查重点。

从CCSS浅析SAT Informational 文章考查重点

  综合以上9点内容,笔者认为,新SAT的信息类文章,主要是依照argument的要素展开考查的。分析、评估Argument,也是美国高中9年级英语课本的重点内容。

  Purpose, Structure, Rhetoric, and Words in Context

  在分析argument的要素之前,我们首先要明确,信息类文章是以purpose为导向的,详见CCSS第6点:

  6. Determine an author's point of view or purpose in a text in which the rhetoric is particularly effective, analyzing how style and content contribute to the power, persuasiveness, or beauty of the text.

  信息类文章,或以表达新观点并与老观点形成对比为意图,或以to persuade or convince readers为意图,或以解释科学理论发展为意图,或以评论社会现象等等为意图。

  以历史类文章为例,在美国9年级的课本中,把有历史/文学重要性的文章,称为seminal documents(详见CCSS第8条)。一般来说,都是以to inform or explain, to persuade, to express thought or feelings, or to entertain等等为意图。

  科学/社科/历史类文章的意图各异,但是作者的意图,驱动着文章的发展,也决定了文章的行文结构,所以在新SAT阅读的informational 文章中,作者意图以及行文结构是常见考点。

  例1:Official Guide Test 1 Passage 4(历史)

  32. The main purpose of the passage is to

  A) emphasize the value of a tradition.

  B) stress the urgency of an issue.

  C) highlight the severity of social divisions.

  D) question the feasibility of an undertaking.

  例2:Official Guide Test 4 Passage 3(科学)

  22. The primary purpose of the passage is to

  A) present the background of a medical breakthrough.

  B) evaluate the research that led to a scientific discovery.

  C) summarize the findings of a long-term research project.

  D) explain the development of a branch of scientific study.

  例3:Official Guide Test 4 Passage 5(科学)

  43. Over the course of the passage, the focus shifts from

  A) a criticism of a scientific model to a new theory.

  B) a description of a recorded event to its likely cause.

  C) the use of ice core samples to a new method of measuring sulfates.

  D) the use of radiocarbon dating to an examination of volcanic glass.

  同时,在第6点中,CCSS同时提到了rhetoric(修辞)。作者在表达文章的意图/目的的过程中,需要运用rhetoric(修辞)来推动文章的发展。何为rhetoric?简单来说,就是运用特定的词语或者语言结构使得文章的信息更让读者印象深刻。

  狭义的修辞,在新SAT考试中,体现在对文章修辞手法的分析,比如说排比,并列等结构(详见CCSS第9条):

  9. Analyze seventeenth-, eighteenth-, and nineteenth-century foundational U.S. documents of historical and literary significance (including The Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address) for their themes, purposes, and rhetorical features.

  广义上的修辞,简单来说,就是语境使词语发生了意义的临时改变。在新SAT考试中,体现在words in context的考查,详见CCSS第4点:

  4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze how an author uses and refines the meaning of a key term or terms over the course of a text (e.g., how Madison defines faction in Federalist No. 10).

  例4:Official Guide Test 1 Passage 4

  That excuse shall not serve you, Madam. As you know from your own experience, and there are facts that prove it, the daughters of educated men have always done their thinking from hand to mouth; not under green lamps at study tables in the cloisters of secluded colleges. They have thought while they stirred the pot, while they rocked the cradle. It was thus that they won us the right to our brand-new sixpence.

  这里的sixpence,不能理解为六便士,而应该理解为机会。在文章的语境中,sixpence的意思发生了临时改变,产生了更深层的修辞意义,这便是修辞。考查语境对单词意思所产生的修辞影响,是SAT考试的重点。

  在明确argument的目的之后,首先,我们要明晰argument的要素。

  Argument

  1. premise/assumption: 作者在提出观点/立场时所做出的假设;

  2. claim: 作者对于话题所提出的观点/立场;

  3. reasons:作者支撑观点/立场的原因;

  4. evidence: 作者支撑原因是所引用的证据,证据可以是数据、例子、个人逸事、引用名人名言等等;

  5. anticipating opposing viewpoint(s):作者在论证自己的观点/立场过程中,预料他人/读者的反对;

  6. proving counterargument;作者反驳他们/读者的反对的时候,提出的驳论;

  Claim, Assumption and evidence

  作者在表达自己的意图的同时,离不开表达自己的立场/观点,比如说,作者是支持女性保持传统角色,还是支持女性争取更多权力呢?或者说作者是支持Civil Act的通过,还是反对呢?能体现作者态度的,就是claim。应该留意的是,一篇文章中,不仅仅是作者会表明自己的观点,作者也会引用他人的观点,与自己的观点形成形成对比,要注意区分观点以及辨认观点之间的关系,是argument的一个难点。

  那什么是assumption呢?assumption 也称premise简单来说,作者/他人在表达立场的时候做出的前提假设。举个例子:2007年5月SAT真题中:

  Some people might believe that measuring sleepiness is a fairly trivial task. Couldn't you, for instance, simply count the number of times a person yawns during any given hour or so?

  态度/立场:测量困意是一件简单的事情,难道不能够通过通过一个人打哈欠的次数来判断吗?

  此立场是基于一个前提假设的,那就是,打哈欠跟困意有直接关联(暂且不考虑影响困意的其他因素),所以,能通过打哈欠的次数判断一个人的困意。

  对于Claim以及assumption/premise的考查,详见CCSS第6条以及第8条。

  6. Determine an author's point of view or purpose in a text in which the rhetoric is particularly effective, analyzing how style and content contribute to the power, persuasiveness, or beauty of the text.

  8. Delineate and evaluate the reasoning in seminal U.S. texts, including the application of constitutional principles and use of legal reasoning (e.g., in U.S. Supreme Court majority opinions and dissents) and the premises, purposes, and arguments in works of public advocacy (e.g., The Federalist, presidential addresses).

  应对CCSS,新SAT Official Guide 中对于claim 与assumption也是做了相应考查的:

  例5:Official Guide Test 1 Passage 4(历史)

  33. The central claim of the passage is that

  A) educated women face a decision about how to engage with existing institutions.

  B) women can have positions of influence in English society only if they give up some of their traditional roles.

  C) the male monopoly on power in English society has had grave and continuing effects.

  D) the entry of educated women into positions of power traditionally held by men will transform those positions.

  例6:Official Guide Test 3 Passage 3(科学)

  23. Which statement best captures Ken Dial's central assumption in setting up his research?

  A) The acquisition of flight in young birds sheds light on the acquisition of flight in their evolutionary ancestors.

  B) The tendency of certain young birds to jump erratically is a somewhat recent evolved behavior.

  C) Young birds in a controlled research setting are less likely than birds in the wild to require perches when at rest.

  D) Ground-dwelling and tree-climbing predecessors to birds evolved in parallel.

  至于Evidence(详见CCSS第1条),无论是explicit 或者implicit的evidence,都是新SAT 中Command of Evidence题型考查的重点,这里笔者不再赘述;此外,值得留意的事,应对CCSS第7条,新SAT还加入数据/表格等等形式呈现的证据,这也是新SAT考查的重点。

  1. Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.

  7. Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words in order to address a question or solve a problem.

  Reasons, Anticipating Possible Objection and Providing Counterargument

  Reasons,指的是作者在支撑自己的观点/立场时所提出的原因。

  Anticipating Possible Objection,指得是作者在论述自己观点的同时,也预料到了他人/读者可能的反对。这点,在新SAT Official Guide以及5月真题中,都有作相应的考查。

  例7:Official Guide Test 2 Passage 2(社科)

  12. In the passage, the author anticipates which of the following objections to criticizing the ethics of free markets?

  A) Smith's association of free markets with ethical behavior still applies today.

  B) Free markets are the best way to generate high profits, so ethics are a secondary consideration.

  C) Free markets are ethical because they are made possible by devalued currency.

  D) Free markets are ethical because they enable individuals to make choices.

  counterargument,就是作者在预料他人/读者可能做出的反对后,提出的驳论。

  总结: 新SAT 阅读中Informational类别的文章,是基于argument的要素进行考查的,考生在备考过程中,需要加强自身对argument的理解分析能力,以高效备考。

  作者介绍:

从CCSS浅析SAT Informational 文章考查重点

  钟小媛:广州新东方学校SAT/ACT项目教研组长,SAT/阅读老师。

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