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怎样才是教授语言的最佳方法 [Copy link] 中文

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How do students best pick up languages? Martin Williams talksto academics, teachers and multi-lingual speakers to find out about the scienceof learning a language

怎样让学生使用最好的方法学习语言?马丁-威廉姆斯(Martin Williams)与学者,教师和能说多种语言的人进行讨论,试图寻找到科学学习一门语言的方法。



I love you in311 languages: how can teachers help their students learn languages and developa passion for the subject? Photograph: Alamy

用311种语言写出的“我爱你”:教师如何帮助学生学习语言,并且帮助他们培养对此学科的激情呢?

Alex Rawlings was a language teacher's dream. Hefell in love with languages when he was eight and learnt Greek, then German,then Dutch.

亚历克斯-罗林斯(Alex Rawlings)式人物曾是语言教师的梦想。他8岁时,就深深地爱上了学习语言,先后学习了希腊语,德语和荷兰语。

Now, an undergraduate at Oxford,he is the UK'smost multi-lingual student, speaking 11 languages. So what's his secret?

亚历克斯现在是牛津大学的本科生,他是英国掌握语言种类最多的学生,能说11种外语。他能够流利说这么多种语言的秘诀是什么呢?

"I remember seeing people on the beach in Greece when Iwas a kid and not being able to talk to them," says Alex. "I thoughtit'd be nice to be able to talk to anyone in the world in their language. Thathas always stayed with me."

亚历克斯说:“我还记得小时候,有一次在希腊的沙滩上,看到那么多人,但却无法与他们进行交流。因此,从那时起,我就在想,如果能与世界上任何人使用他们国家的语言进行交谈,该是多美妙的一件事情,这种期望一直伴随着我。”

Such enthusiasm is rare: a report by the British Academy this year found there was agrowing deficit in foreign language skills. Increasingly, children are choosingnot to study languages beyond the compulsory stage - and only 9% of pupils whotake French GCSE progress with it to A-level.

不过,对学习语言抱有如此热情的人少之又少:据英国社会科学院2013年的调查报告称,人们外语技能日益下降。越来越多的儿童只选择必修阶段的外语学习,不再额外学习语言。只有9%的学生进入A阶段学习,拿到了法语普通初级中学毕业文凭。

"We're failing to inspire people,"says Alex. "I had a mix of good and bad teachers - the most inspirationalones just focused on giving you the confidence to speak. Then I'd pursue itoutside the classroom: I would watch films, find out new words and readthings."

亚历克斯称:“我们没能够给人们更多学习语言的激情。在我学习的过程中,经历过各种老师,我发现最激励人的教师能够专注于给学生更多信心,鼓励他们开口。除此之外,我还会在课堂外通过看电影,发现新词汇以及阅读学习更多内容。”

Language pedagogy has come a long way since thedays when repetitive grammar-translation methods were regarded as the only wayto learn. Today, task-based approaches are widespread in British schools,emphasising communication and the practical uses of language.

过去,我们认为不断地重复研习语法和翻译才是学习语言的唯一途径,但是今天在英国的许多学校,语言学习最基本的任务已经改变,更加强调沟通和语言的实际用途。

For Christelle Bernard, a French and Spanishteacher at St Gemma's High School in Belfast,these methods of teaching allow her to cast aside the textbook whenever shecan. "You need a little bit of grammar, but my approach is much more topicbased with as little grammar as possible," she explains.

对于贝尔法斯特,圣-杰玛高校的法语和西班牙双语教师ChristelleBernard来说,这些教学法使得她能够在需要的时候,不受教科书的限制。她解释道:“我们只需学习一点点语法内容,我教学更强调主题内容,而非语法内容。”

Her task-based teaching embraces ideas whichrange from lessons using computers, to audio-visual and kinesthetic learning.She explains: "For instance, if I'm teaching pets, I'll bring in soft toysto use in the lessons."

Christelle Bernard的任务型教学法包容各种教学手段,包括电脑,听觉,视觉等。她解释道:“比如,我今天要教孩子们学习宠物,我会把各种毛绒玩具带到课堂。”

"I hardly ever use a textbook - I useTwitter much more," she says, describing lessons where pupils discusstweets written in French. "ICT allows them to collaborate with others. Sothey can work together, but it gives them a choice of medium. And because theyknow how to use computers, it creates a comfort zone where they can focus onthe language."

她说:“我很少再使用教科书,更多地使用推特。我们在课堂上讨论法语发布的信息。信息、通信和技术使得他们能够合作,他们可以一起学习,孩子们都能够熟练使用电脑,这就帮助他们能更加专注于语言。”

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Task-based learning typically involves aninformation gap: students may have to share knowledge to communicateeffectively, or look for language rules themselves before re-applying them.It's an approach favoured by Huw Jarvis, a senior lecturer in the School of Humanities,Languages and Social Science at the University of Salford. He says:"We know that people learn better when they struggle to communicate - sothat needs to be at the core of the kind of delivery and the methodology."

任务型教学法是包含信息鸿沟的典型:学生们试图进行有效交流,就必须进行知识分享,在回复对方之前,不得不自行组织语言规则。斯坦福大学人文语言社会科学院高级讲师Huw Jarvis非常推崇这种教学法,他说:“众所周知,当我们不得不进行交流时,语言学习会更快,因此需求才是这种教学法的核心。”

"The primary purpose of language iscommunication - grammar is important, but there's a bigger picture. Language isno longer seen as being learnt through mechanical exercises, it's developedthrough students interacting and engaging."

“学习语言最基本目的是沟通,语法固然重要,但是学习语言要有大局观。语言不应当只是通过机械练习习得,学生们更应当通过互动和实际应用来学习。”

But there could be a danger in focusing tooheavily on task-based methods of language teaching, according to RichardHudson, emeritus professor of linguistics at University College London. Heexplains: "There was a strong reaction against grammar-translation.Instead, there was the idea that you could make languages available to lessacademic children by focusing on communication.

然而,伦敦大学语言学教授理查德-哈德森(RichardHudson)则表示,过多强调任务型教学法对于语言学习是危险的。很多人强烈反对通过语法-翻译学习语言,希望可以更注重沟通。

"But what happened is that they got rid ofthe grammar and the translation. It was a classic case of throwing out the babywith the bath water. It's not fair on children to leave them to work out therules of language themselves.

但是,摆脱语法和翻译,会发生什么?这是典型的“泼掉洗澡水时,连孩子一起泼出去”(注:暗指在扔掉不要的东西时,把宝贵的东西都无意地一起扔掉),将语言规则的探索留给孩子们自己解决是不公平的。

"What we're moving towards now is teachingwhich still has the aim of producing fluent language speakers, and still has alot of emphasis on realistic situations, but with a lot more emphasis on makingchildren aware of how the language actually works."

我们现在教学的目的仍然是培养能够流利使用语言的人,更强调实际交流,但很多情况下,还是需要孩子们弄懂语言的规则。

So could a conjunction of different ideas withinlanguage pedagogy be the secret to learning and teaching? Michael Erard studiedhyperpolyglots (multi-lingual speakers) in his book Babel No More and says theyused a variety of methods. He explains: "They use a mix, with a focus onaccomplishing tasks, whether it's communicative tasks or translation tasks.

因此,是否有一种教学法能够将众多不同的观点结合起来,解读教与学的秘诀?迈克尔-爱德(Michael Erard)在他所著的《告别通天塔》(注:据《圣经•创世记》记载,人类拟建造能通往天堂的巴别塔。为了阻止人类的计划,上帝让人类说不同的语言,使其相互之间不能沟通,计划因此失败,人类自此各散东西)一书中对精通多国语言的人进行了研究,并称这些人在习得语言过程中,采取多种方法相结合的方式学习。迈克尔说:“他们使用多种方法,专注于完成任务,无论是交流任务,或是翻译。”

"What unites them is that they've learnedhow to learn, and each one has learned how he or she learns best. There is nouniform method or single secret that any one of us can duplicate."

“他们真正的相同之处在于:他们学会了如何学习。这些人都了解自己最快掌握一门语言的方法。没有统一或者单一的秘密,也没人能够复制这种成功。”

Luca Lampariello, a hyperpolyglot and languageconsultant who speaks twelve languages, says: "The best method is themethod you like.

精通多国语言以及语言顾问Luca Lampariello能够说12种语言,他称:“自己喜欢的方法,就是最好的方法。”

"Languages cannot be taught, they can onlybe learnt. The best way is to tell students right away that they areresponsible for their own learning process, and the teacher is just a guide whohas to motivate them."

“语言无法教授,只能自学。最好的方法,就是立刻告诉学生,学习语言只能靠自己负责,教师只有引导和鼓励的作用。”

Another hyperpolyglot, Richard Simcott, 36, isone of the most multi-lingual people in the UK: he has studied more than 30languages and can converse in around 20 of them. "My interest in languagesstarted at a very young age," he says. "I would tend to find a bookfor a language that works for me and then I would try to find additionalmaterials that interest me, like TV, DVDs, music and websites."

另一位精通多国语言的人,Richard Simcott,现年36岁,是英国掌握最多语言的人之一。他学习过30多种语言,能用20种进行交谈。他说:“我很小的时候,就对语言很感兴趣。我会找一本自己感兴趣的书,然后再找更多相关的材料,比如说电视节目,光盘,音乐和网站等。”

"Many students fail to see the relevance,so we would certainly need to inject that into the classrooms now. I would loveto see more schemes set up where the language classes in various countriescould link up to bring the reality of speaking a language home to kids."

“许多学生不注重补充相关知识,所以我们不得不将这些灌输到课堂中。如果能看到不同国家的语言教室里,相关的计划搭建起来,让学生说外语更加简单,我会很高兴。”

But although Brits have long been famed forbeing lazy when it comes to learning foreign languages, the problem may partlylie in the number of hours of language education children are given. "Weonly give about half the amount of time to language teaching that they do incontinental countries," says Prof Hudson.

虽然,说到外语学习,英国人早已以懒惰闻名于世,不过部分原因可能在于语言学习时间。相对于欧洲各国,英国人学习语言的时间仅是他们的一半。

A report by the European Commission in 2011listed the UKjoint-bottom in major rankings showing the number of languages learnt in eachcountry. National curriculum reforms set to be introduced next year - whichwill see foreign languages taught from the age of seven - may help, but figuresshow the UKhas a long way to catch up with other European countries.

欧盟委员会2011年的一份报告显示,英国学习语言数量排行垫底。英国国家课程改革将于明年推出,外语教学将从7岁抓起,不过数据显示,英国想要追赶上欧洲各国,还需要很长时间。

On average, pupils across Europestart learning languages between the ages of six and nine, but for many itstarts even younger. In Belgium,learning starts in pre-primary education at the age of just three, and iscompulsory until 18. And for children in Spain,Italy and Norway,language classes begin at six. Meanwhile, in Luxembourg, students on someeducation pathways have to learn up to four languages in secondary education.

欧洲儿童学习外语的平均年龄为6到9岁,很多甚至更早。在比利时,儿童在学前教育阶段3岁开始,就进行外语的义务制学习,直到18岁。西班牙,意大利和挪威儿童,则是从6岁开始,进行外语学习。同时,在卢森堡,一些学生在中学阶段,同时学习的语言数量多达4种。

Chistelle Bernard says that while methods oflanguage teaching in continental Europe areoften still grammar-based, it's the realisation that languages will be usefulin later life that helps motivate students.

ChistelleBernard表示,欧洲大陆学习教授语言的方法仍为语法型教学,但是毫无疑问,在孩子们以后的人生中,他们会认识到语言学习的重要性,这有助于激励学生。

But for all the innovation of language pedagogy,foreign language teaching in the UK may ultimately be hindered bystudents' lack of understanding of their mother tongue. Alex Rawlings says:"In a lot of European countries they spend more time studying the grammarand structure of their own language - and they do that from a very young age.So by the time they come to learn foreign languages they are aware of the termsand how they're used."

然而,所有语言教学法的创新,都会因为英国学生缺乏对母语的了解而备受阻碍。亚历克斯说:“在欧洲很多国家,他们从小就会花费更多的时间学习母语的语法和构架,因此,他们学习外语时,对相关语法现象和使用方法会理解更深。”

Prof Hudson agrees: "The move towardscommunicative, task-based syllabuses in foreign languages was driven by thefact that teachers couldn't talk about grammar because it had stopped beingtaught in English lessons. The two subjects are so tightlyinterconnected."

哈德逊教授对此表示认同:“英国教师更倾向于任务型教学法的原因是由于英语课不再教授语法这一事实,学生甚至无法理解母语当中的语法结构,教师才不得不更倾向于语言的目的在于沟通这一观点。母语学习与外语学习两者关系如此紧密。”


来源:龙腾网

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