找不到文章重點 讓掃讀和略讀來幫你

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在談完學術演講聽力練習後,接下來我們將學習重點轉移到閱讀技巧。首先最重要的第一課:掃讀(scanning)和略讀(skimming)技巧。

Photo: Raul Pacheco-Vega, CC Licensed

先了解一下掃讀和略讀的重要性。學生時常問我:「老師,我很認真預習了,為何還是抓不住文章重點?」簡單說,掃讀和略讀有點像大路標,通常我們看到綠色路標指引的是重要方向、地區或南北向;而咖啡色則是指引重要景點,如日月潭、溪頭等等。

掃讀和略讀就有點這樣的味道,需要先找到大方向,再依據此方向找關鍵字,如朝南或朝北?往台中或南投?這樣才會走對路、盡快到達目的地。事實上很多大型路標都有不少字在上頭,但我們在行進間往往需要依據閱讀目標來「快速讀出」需要的訊息,並沒有時間逐字細讀,這就是掃讀及略讀的重要性。

掃讀簡單來說就是透過「快速閱讀」來辨認出一篇文章的主要重點或主旨,可以透過閱讀標題或次標題(像大路標一樣)的指引來找;而略讀的第一步則是依據閱讀目標快速找出關鍵字,找出與該關鍵字相關的主題字是最容易的方法。

先讀標題 再抓關鍵字

閱讀文章時,若標題是「Dogs in a human world.」,我們會先看到兩個關鍵字「Dogs」及「Human」,閱讀重點應該放在這兩個關鍵字上。我們預期內容可能會有如「狗及人類的關係」、「兩者互動形式」等等;接著再繼續看次標題,看到「Animal carer」及「The working dog」就會更明確掌握整篇文章主旨為說明狗在人類世界扮演的角色。

以托福測驗一篇約350 字範例文章的其中三題為
例,來檢視掃讀和略讀技巧如何幫助掌握閱讀重點:

The Alaska pipeline starts at the frozen edge of the Arctic Ocean. It stretches southward across the largest and northernmost state in the United States, ending at a remote ice-free seaport village nearly 800miles from where it begins. It is massive in size and extremely complicated to operate.

The steel pipe crosses windswept plains and endless miles of delicate tundra that tops the frozen ground. It weaves through crooked canyons, climbs sheer mountains, plunges over rocky crags, makes its way through thick forests, and passes over or under hundreds of rivers and streams. The pipe is 4 feet in diameter, and up to 2 million barrels (or 84 million gallons) of crude oil can be pumped through it daily….

….One of the largest in the world, the pipeline cost approximately $8 billion and is by far the biggest and most expensive construction project ever undertaken by private industry. In fact, no single business could raise that much money, so eight major oil companies formed a consortium in order to share the costs. Each company controlled oil rights to particular shares of land in the oil fields and paid into the pipeline construction fund according to the size of its holdings.

Today, despite enormous problems of climate, supply shortages, equipment breakdowns, labor disagreements, treacherous terrain, a certain amount of mismanagement, and even theft, the Alaska pipeline has been completed and is operating.
(文章來源/ https://goo.gl/aYPwMQ)

Q1. The passage primarily discusses the pipeline’s _____.
A. operating costs
B. employees
C. consumers
D. construction

Q2. According to the second paragraph, 84 million gallons of oil can travel through the pipeline each _____.
A. day
B. week
C. month
D. year

Q3. According to the third paragraph, how many companies shared the costs of constructing the pipeline?
A. three
B. four
C. eight
D. twelve

第一題要讀的是本文的重點,是一題僅需使用「掃讀」技巧的題目。題目「本文主要在討論油管的什麼」是主旨題型,通常會出現在第一段或最後一段。我們在第一段讀到「complicated to operate」,最後一段提到「biggest and most expensive constructionproject」,因此答案無須全文讀完。

看到上面這幾個關鍵字,應該可以約略猜到是選項D,「construction」。而全文也的確在討論油管建設的複雜性、建構油管的作法,與建構油管所需要的龐大開銷。

第二題直接提及「the second paragraph」及「84million gallons of oil」,題目屬於略讀題型,只要略讀到第二段的這幾個關鍵字,再據此去找到each_____的關鍵字,就可以找到和答案有關的「daily」,而「daily」是每天的意思,即可確認選項A「day」即是正確答案。

第三題直接提及「the third paragraph」及「how many companies」,因此只需要略讀第三段並從「companies」找答案,非常容易看到「eight major oil companies」,因此,選項C 的「eight」必定是正確答案。由此可知,這三題只要運用「掃讀」及「略讀」技能,快速讀懂關鍵字句,可能不需要閱讀文章的五分之一或十分之一文字,即可得知答案,且能培養非常有效的閱讀解題技巧。

掃讀及略讀技巧的培養是很重要的,可以幫助我們在閱讀歷程中快速看到並掌握文章的重點、關鍵字或主旨,避免細讀到最後反而忘記重點、失去閱讀方向或目標。閱讀理解必須如找路一樣,先掌握大方向及目的地,才能有效地閱讀、有層次地抓到重點。養成習慣掃瞄,不再一個個字細讀後,自然可以提升閱讀信心。

About林麗菊
現職:國立中正大學語言中心副教授
學歷:美國加州大學聖塔芭芭拉分校教育博士
專長: 社會語言學、教育研究法、學術英文教學、字彙與閱讀教學

 

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