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  对于绝大多数中国考生而言,Presentation Skills的缺乏势必导致两大误区:

  第一大误区是先Beat around the bush,再渐渐切入正题,最后才做出较为精准的总结。这显然与以汉语为母语的语言交流习惯有关,这在平时的一般交流中或许不那么致命,甚至有些英语为母语的人平时讲话也有这种习惯,但是在一分钟甚至是45秒的答题时间里这样做,就无异于浪费宝贵的答题时间,将60秒或45秒的可用来得分的空间缩小到30秒甚至是20秒,使整个答案的质量大打折扣。

  第二大误区是毫无计划地想到哪,说到哪,甚至中途改变主意,否定前面所说内容,做出一个自相矛盾的答案。对于ETS的命题者来说,这两种误区都恰恰暴露了中国学生没有受过系统的Presentation训练的弱点。要知道,在西方特别是北美,这是一项从中小学就开始注重培养的跨学科的综合技能。

  那么怎样才可以避免以上两种误区呢?下面就结合新托福口语的三大题型分别作以解析:

  一、独立回答题:

  Describe a class you have taken in school and explain why the class was important to you. Include details and examples to support your explanation.

  Preparation time: 15 seconds

  Response time: 45 seconds

  阅读题干应该在5秒内完成,这样就能保证在答题之前有20秒的时间(包括narrator读题时间)进行brain-storming.有关在学校上过的一门课的重要性不外乎从以下几个方面来叙述。

  第一,这门课对于其它后续课的奠基作用。第二,所积累的知识对于今后实际运用的指导作用。第三,对于个人综合素质及品位的提高。

  为什么要分成这么多点论述呢?因为如果只就一个要点深入阐述,很容易走题或者进入一个英语无法表达的死角;同时分成若干点还便于控制时间。比如这道题目的45秒答题时间可以分配给每个分点10秒,这样就不会过早或者过晚地完成整个答题的语言结构。

  至于选什么课来说则遵循什么容易就讲什么的原则,这是因为托福口语考试和ETS其它考试一样是不需要任何专业背景的知识的。因此,考生大可以谈一些中学里学过的主课,如数学,语文和外语,而避免谈大学里的专业课,如生物,化学及各类工程类课程等。

  在开始答题的时候,应首先说出一句Topic Sentence 点出这门课的名称。如果准备不是很充分,为了避免出现答题空白,可以附带交代这门课的背景信息,如何时选修的,哪位教授任课,但一定要控制在10秒以内。这种技能叫Skill of Buying Time.随后,三条理由依次列出,切不可忘记Important是论述的核心,千万不能无意中转而强调这门课Difficult或Interesting.

  本题参考答案:

  In my previous studies at college, there are quite a few importance courses and one of the most important one of them, if I had to choose one, would be Calculus. Well, as I am an engineering major, in my curriculum there are many courses requiring complicated calculation, equation deduction and math model building. All these need knowledge in calculus as a foundation. Besides, mastery of some quantitative analysis methods will greatly benefit my ability to make a sensible judgment in a complex situation in workplace, no matter what job I'll take up in the future. Finally, without a good sense of advanced mathematics, I will not be able to appreciate the beauty of symmetry in many artistic forms.

  二、读听后回答题

  Reading Time: 45 seconds

  Announcement from the president The university has decided to increase tuition and fees for all students by approximately 8 percent next semester. For the past 5 years, the tuition and fees have remained the same, but it is necessary to increase them now for several reasons. The university has many more students than we had five years ago, and we must hire additional professors to teach these students. We have also made a new commitment to research and technology, and will be renovating and upgrading our laboratory facilities to better meet our students' needs.

  Narrator

  Now listen to two students as they discuss the announcement. [2 seconds]

  Student A Oh great, now we have to come up with more money for next semester.

  Student B Yeah, I know, but I can see why. When I first started here, classes were so much smaller than they are now. With this many students, it's hard to get the personal attention you need……

  Student A Yeah, I guess you're right. You know, in some classes I can't even get a seat. And I couldn't take the math course I wanted to because it was already full when I signed up.

  Student B And the other thing is, well, I am kind of worried about not being able to get a job after I graduate.

  Student A Why? I mean you're doing really well in your classes, aren't you?

  Student B I'm doing ok, but the facilities here are so limited. There are some great new experiments in microbiology that we can't even do here…… there isn't enough equipment in the laboratories, and the equipment they have is out of date. How am I going to compete for jobs with people who have practical research experience? I think the extra tuition will be a good investment. [2 seconds]

  Narrator The woman expresses her opinion of the announcement made by the university president. State her opinion and explain the reasons she gives for holding that opinion.

  Please begin speaking after the beep. [2 secs beep]

  The woman expresses her opinion of the announcement made by the university president. State her opinion and explain the reasons she gives for holding that opinion.

  Preparation time: 30 seconds

  Response time: 60 seconds

  对于该题,首先要快速读完文字通知部分,再听懂AB两者间的对话方可答题。若在答题前先扫描题干,可以看出这道题也是一道Issue题,只是其观点并非由答题者自由发挥,而是必须在听明白其中那名女生的观点后加以有条理的复述。

  请特别注意,这道题的关键是要阐述她的观点并加以说理,若一些举例性的细节实在没有听清楚可以略过。不过这也意味着归纳总结能力是此题所考查的英语语言运用能力之一。

  本题参考答案:

  The woman is in favor of the university's decision to raise the tuition and fee for all students. One of her reasons is that the university needs to hire more faculty members so that class size would be made smaller. She has noticed that the ever-expanding class size has kept students from getting enough personal attention they need. She also agrees that the lack of faculty members has led to the limited opportunity for students to take the courses they are interested in. Besides, she thinks it is highly necessary for the university to be financed to purchase better research facilities so that students would have the opportunity to conduct all the experiments they need to master for their future career.

  三、先听后答题

  Narrator Please Listen Carefully

  Narrator You may begin to prepare your response after the beep. [2 secs beep]

  Narrator Now listen to a conversation between two students.

  Student A Hey Lisa, how's it going?

  Student B Hi Mark. Uh, I'm OK, I guess, but my schoolwork is really stressing me out.

  Student A [sympathetically] Yeah? What's wrong?

  Student B Well, I've got a paper to write, and two exams to study for. And a bunch of math problems to finish. It's just so much that I can't concentrate on any of it. I start concentrating on studying for one of my exams, and then I'm like, how long's it gonna take to finish that problem set?

  Student A Wow sounds like you've got a lot more work than you can handle right now. [Not wanting to sound too pushy] Look have you talked to some of your professors……I mean, you know , try to explain the problem. Look, you could probably get an extension on your paper, or on the math assignment……

  Student B You think? It would give me a little more time to prepare for my exams right now.

  Student A Well, I mean another thing that you might do …… I mean have you tried making yourself a schedule? I mean that's what I do when I'm feeling overwhelmed.

  Student B What does that do for you?

  Student A Well, I mean it helps you to focus your energies. You know, you make yourself a chart that shows the next few days and the time till your stuff is due and……

  Student B Uh-huh [meaning “I'm listening”]

  Student A I mean think about what you need to do, and when you have to do it by. You know then start filling in your schedule——like, all right 9:00 [nine] to 11:30 [eleven-thirty] A.M., study for exam. 12:00 [twelve] to 3:00 [three], work on problem set. But I mean don't make the time periods too long. Like, don't put in eight hours of studying——you know, you'll get tired, or start worrying about your other work again. But if you keep to your schedule, you know you'll just have to worry about one thing at a time.

  Student B Yeah, that might work. [somewhat noncommitally]

  Narrator The students discuss two possible solutions to the woman's problem. Describe the problem. Then state which of the two solutions you prefer and explain why.

  Please begin speaking after the beep. [2 secs beep]

  [Appearing on screen]

  5. The students discuss two possible solutions to the woman's problem. Describe the problem. Then state which of the two solutions you prefer and explain why.

  Preparation time: 20 seconds

  Response time: 60 seconds

  本题参考答案:

  I would prefer the second solution suggested by the woman in the dialogue because I think studying with certain measure of pressure is good exercise for one's ability to budget and make full use of time. In this way, making effective schedules is very important for it optimizes the distribution of time resource over different study tasks, keeping the learner from spending time irrationally over long periods of low-efficiency work. Also once a schedule is made, by strictly observing it, a learner can avoid any unconscious behavior of procrastination or slacking off, keeping himself energetic in the alternation of different study tasks. Application for an extension on the paper or assignment might be a good idea, but it does not solve the problem eventually. Sooner or later, all the tasks have to be carried out and sometime it's hard to foresee if another test is one the way…


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