掌握因果關係 快速解決問題

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在上一篇我們討論了托福閱讀常見的兩種文章結構類型:「時間或流程順序型」和「比較對照型」,這次我們來討論另外兩種文章組成類型,透過閱讀思考問題和相關指標字詞,更能掌握托福閱讀文章最常見的文體。

圖片來源:English OK提供

因果關係型

這類因果關係的文章結構通常會描述導致某事件或狀況的原因、後續結果或影響。

A. 閱讀思考問題:1. What is/are the cause(s)?(哪些是原因?)
2. What is/are the effect(s)?(哪些是結果?)
3. What is the outcome, product or end result?(最終結局、產品或結果是什麼?)
4. How are the causes and effects related? Is the relationship logical?(原因與結果之間的關連為何?其中邏輯關係合理嗎?)B. 相關指標字詞:• 表示原因:for this reason, on that account, because, as a result of, as a result
• 表示結果或影響:consequently, hence, so, in effect, thereforeNot all reefs begin naturally. For example, an ocean current may encounter a man-made object, like a sunken ship. As a result, the water around the ship may become rich with tiny animals called plankton. A lot of small fish gather there to feed on the plankton. Consequently, larger animals are attracted to the ship. Because the ship has many little openings, many creatures also have a place to hide. In time, the ship becomes covered in polyps. As a result, soon, it no longer looks like a ship at all.
(題目來源/Reading Explorer 2, by National Geographic Learning)

本段在說明珊瑚礁的形成,仔細閱讀會看到好幾個表示「原因」或「結果」的字詞,如As a result、Consequently 和Because,因此可以預測是在解釋珊瑚礁形成的「因果關係」,順著此一因果關係的邏輯找下去,會發現這段落的主題重點是「珊瑚礁形成的主要原因是廢棄在海底的船體」。

問題與解決型

此種文章類型在托福的閱讀測驗中相當常見,然而通常在此一段落中,也會同時出現因果類型,因為需同時解釋問題成因或解決之道。

A. 閱讀思考問題:

1. What is/are the problem(s) stated?(問題是什麼?)
2. What is/are the solution(s)?(解決之道有哪些?)
3. What might be the advantages/disadvantages of the solution(s)?(解決之道有何優勢或缺點?)
4. What is/are the outcome(s) of the solution(s)?(解決之道的最終結果為何?)

B. 相關指標字詞:

• 描述問題:issue, problem, problematic, challenge, challenging, difficult, threat, survive, survival, threaten, risk, danger, dilemma, concerning issue
• 解釋解決之道:propose, solution, answer, remedy, prevention, fix
• 說明解決之結果或影響:negative effect(s), impact

Various human activities can cause great harm to the world’s coral reefs. For example, reefs can be damaged when the coral is taken for use in building materials, jewelry-making, or to fill aquariums. Illegal fishing methods like blast and cyanide fishing also harm the reefs, because the reef is damaged by the cyanide which kills large numbers of coral polyps, and by the fishermen who break apart the reef looking for the stunned fish. Another threat to a reef is water pollution. In addition, due to global warming, many reefs have become sick, turning white in a process known as coral bleaching. These threats to coral reefs are very serious, but there is reason to hope that they will survive. If we take steps toward coral reef conservation, it is likely that these tiny creatures can survive and will be able to rebuild the reefs that so much ocean life depends on.
(題目來源/改寫自Reading Explorer 2, National Geographic)

此類文章類型通常可能分成強調「問題」或「解決之道」的文本,例如上面這一段是強調「問題」的描述或解釋,到段落最後才有一句話If we take steps….,可見此一段落重在問題面的解釋,因此閱讀重點就該找出這個great harm to the world’s coral reefs 問題的形成,如先掃讀本段可發現主要四個轉換詞,先以for example 說明第一個原因,之後就會讀到also, another 及in addition,因此本段接著這四個轉換詞詳細解釋these threats…are serious。直到最後一句才簡單扼要地以take steps toward coral reef conservation 來說明solution。

透過上次專欄討論的「時間或流程順序型」、「比較對照型」以及此次介紹的兩種文體,我們充分了解托福閱讀文章組成的方式,相信能更有效地提升閱讀理解層次與速度。下次再來討論其他不同的閱讀文章技巧,希望大家藉著這些技巧及策略,能夠越來越快速掌握閱讀重點,進而提升閱讀速度。

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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