AP英语语言与写作学习指南-江梦思
2018-11-19     13:42 来源: 原创
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为什么要选AP英语语言与写作?

本科学分

一些学校会允许AP考试成绩优异的学生将AP课程充当本科学分,以减轻学生在本科阶段的课程负担,降低本科的学习费用,对学生在本科阶段的学习大为有益。

免修基础课

对于AP成绩优秀的学生,学生可以免修一些基础性的导论课程(introductory-level course),甚至可以免修某些特定科目。

录取加分项

即使一些学校规定AP考试成绩不能充当本科学分,也不能让学生享受本科课程的免修政策,但拥有AP考试成绩会让大部分学校对申请人印象深刻。尤其对于在AP考试中表现优异的学生,意味着他们对于这部分科目的知识掌握程度已经超过了高中课程的要求,因此本科学校通常会将AP考试成绩作为招生过程中考量学生的因素之一。

主要学习任务是什么?

学习文学手法Literary device,总共有360种,但是我们只学常见的,包括轶事anecdote,引用citation,比较与对比compare and contrast,排比parallel structure,比喻simile and metaphor,拟人personification,反问rhetorical question,选词diction等等

怎么学?

Diction(选词)举例,也就是word choice,是组成每个作者个人写作特色的最基础元素。Diction决定了一个作者针对某一目标读者群的信息传递是否成功。下面是一篇是文学大师Mark Twain对题为“Fenimore Coopers Literary Offenses”的文章的评论。

Coopers word sense was singularly dull. When a person has a poor ear for music, he will flat and sharp right along without knowing it. He keeps near the tune, but it is not the tune. When a person has a poor ear for words, the result is a literary flatting and sharping; you perceive what he is intending to say, but you also perceive that he doesn't say it. This is Cooper. He was not a word musician. His ear was satisfied with the approximate word. I will furnish some circumstantial evidence in support of this charge. My instances are gathered from half a dozen pages of the tale called Deerslayer. He used verbalfor oral”; “precisionfor facility”; “phenomenafor marvels”; “necessaryfor predetermined”; “unsophisticatedfor primitive”; “preparationfor expectancy”; “rebukedfor subdued”; “dependent onfor resulting from”;“factfor condition”; . . . brevityfor celerity”; “distrustedfor suspicious”; “mental imbecilityfor imbecility”; “eyesfor "sight"; counteractingfor opposing”;…There have been daring people in the world who claimed that Cooper could write English, but theyre all dead now.

显然,Twain认为Cooper对许多词语的言外之意都非常非常不敏感,正如他所评价的那样“The difference between the right word and the approximate word is the difference between lightningand 'lightning bug”,而Cooper的文章当中显然是“full of bugs”。或许Cooper知道每一个词的定义,但他并不能区别相近词在放入具体语境下的细微差别,他似乎完全不能辨别出每个词汇背后丰富的情感,因此他在选词上做得极为糟糕。

作家通常会从多个可以选择的词汇中选择最贴切的来传达自己的想法,例如:

insult/slur, spit/expectorate, complain/gripe, excellent/superior, eat/stuff one's face

每一组词意思都差不多,但每一个都有不可取代的特殊意义。有些可能更平淡些,有的可能会更跳脱一些;有的可能更像俚语,有的可能更委婉一些,有的会更冷静——总而言之,每个词汇都有属于自己独一无二的色彩。

Connotation(言外之意)通常而言,词汇所表达的言外之意会有两个源头:一是基于人们日常的生活经验,二是源自个人独特的经历。在写作中,词汇不仅仅是传达信息的工具,更能影响读者对其描述的事物的情感。例如rat这个词,不仅指一种特定的啮齿科动物,也就是rat这个词的本意(denotative meaning);更能唤起读者的恐惧感和厌恶感,这就是rat这个词的引申义(connotation)。除了rat之外,还有很多词汇有类似的言外之意,譬如mother, home, candy, money, grease, America, dog等等,都能使读者在阅读时产生特殊的情感。

Connotation随着时间的迁移也会产生变化,这也与我们本身的人生阅历有关。每一段新的经历都有可能在一些特定的语汇上增加一些我们自己独特的体悟,例如一些比较理性的科学方面的词汇可能最初给我们的感觉只是一些冷冰冰的描述物理学现象、科学技术方面的词语,例如cloning, abortion等等,但随着人生经历的丰富,可能这些词汇就会被赋予特殊的“言外之意”。

那些最佳的描述性文字常常能通过作者对带有connotation的词汇的选择而焕发出独特的魔力,以致于越深入地阅读这些文字,越能在其中体味到乐趣。例如下文就是一篇非常注重connotation、非常形象生动的文字:

There couldnt be a more idyllic spot in May than Albion, on the Mendocino coast. The land, strung between redwood groves and sea, is lush with flowers. Summer crowds are weeks away, and its still possible to find a quiet beach or stroll the cliffs above the ocean without seeing another soul. Four miles from the coastal highway, the road narrows, loses its paving, and curves into the woods. A graveled driveway winds to a graceful country house close to a pond and surrounded by park-like grounds. A trellis of interlocking timbers draped with vines leads to the front door of the house. A Chinese lantern hangs overhead. From high on a post a clay mask stares at passersby. Pieces of driftwood lie on a wooden bench weathered to a silver-grey. Attention has been paid to make visitors feel welcome.

作者通过非常谨慎的选词,来表现出自己的喜悦,并且希望和他的读者一起来分享这种愉悦。他使用了一系列容易让人联想到美好情感的事物:redwood groves, flowers, a quiet beach, a country house,来营造一种静谧祥和的氛围。


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