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An impressive English lesson


1.If I am the only parent who still corrects his child's English, then perhaps my son

is right.To him, I am atedious oddity: a father he is obliged to listen to and a man absorbed in the rules of grammar, which my son seems allergic to.

1 如果我是唯一一个还在纠正小孩英语的家长,那么我儿子也许是对的。对他而言,我是一个乏味的怪物:一个他不得不听其教诲的父亲,一个还沉湎于语法规则的人,对此我儿子似乎颇为反感。

2.I think I got serious about this only recently when I ran into one of my former

students, fresh from anexcursion to Europe."How was it?" I asked, full ofearnest anticipation.

2 我觉得我是在最近偶遇我以前的一位学生时,才开始对这个问题认真起来的。这个学生刚从欧洲旅游回来。我满怀着诚挚期待问她:“欧洲之行如何?”

3.She nodded three or four times, searched the heavens for the right words, and

then exclaimed, "It was, like, whoa!"

3 她点了三四下头,绞尽脑汁,苦苦寻找恰当的词语,然后惊呼:“真是,哇!”

4.And that was it. The civilization of Greece and the glory of

Roman architecture were captured in a condensed non-statement. My student's "whoa!" was exceeded only by my head-shaking distress.

4 没了。所有希腊文明和罗马建筑的辉煌居然囊括于一个浓缩的、不完整的语句之中!我的学生以“哇!”来表示她的惊叹,我只能以摇头表达比之更强烈的忧虑。

5.There are many different stories about the downturn in the proper use of

English. Surely students should be able to distinguish between their /there / they're or the distinctive difference between complimentary and complementary. They unfairly bear the bulk of the criticism for these knowledge deficits because there is a sense that they should know better.

5 关于正确使用英语能力下降的问题,有许多不同的故事。学生的确本应该能够区分诸如their / there / they're之间的不同,或区别complimentary跟complementary之间显而易见的差异。由于这些知识缺陷,他们承受着大部分不该承受的批评和指责,因为舆论认为他们应该学得更好。

6.Students are not dumb, but they are being misled everywhere they look and

listen.For example, signs in grocery stores point them to the stationary, even though the actual stationery items – pads, albums and notebooks –are not nailed down.Friends and loved ones often proclaim they've just ate when, in fact, they've just eaten.Therefore, it doesn't make any sense to criticize our students.

6 学生并不笨,他们只是被周围所看到和听到的语言误导了。举例来说,杂货店的指示牌会把他们引向stationary(静止处),虽然便笺本、相册、笔记本等真正的stationery(文具用品)并没有被钉在那儿。朋友和亲人常宣称They've just ate。实际上,他们应该说They've justeaten。因此,批评学生不合乎情理。

7.Blame for the scandal of this language deficit should be thrust upon our

schools, which should be setting high standards of English language proficiency.Instead, they only teach a little grammar and even less advanced vocabulary.Moreover, the younger teachers themselves evidently have little knowledge of these vital structures of language because they also went without exposure to them.Schools fail toadequately teach the essential framework of language, accurate grammar and proper vocabulary, while they should take the responsibility of pushing the young onto the path of competent communication.

7 对这种缺乏语言功底而引起的负面指责应归咎于我们的学校。学校应对英语熟练程度制定出更高的标准。可相反,学校只教零星的语法,高级词汇更是少之又少。还有就是,学校的


8.Since grammar is boring to most of the young students, I think that it must be

handled delicately, step by step.The chance came when one day I was driving with my son.As we set out on our trip, he noticed a bird in jerky flight and said, "It's flying so unsteady."I carefully asked, "My son, how is the bird flying?""What's wrong? Did I say anything incorrectly?"He got lost."Great! You said incorrectly instead ofincorrect. We use adverbs to describe verbs.

Therefore, it's flying so unsteadily but not so unsteady."

8 因为语法对大多数年轻学生而言枯燥且乏味,所以我觉得讲授语法得一步一步、注重技巧地进行。有一天机会来了。我跟儿子开车外出。我们出发时,他看到一只小鸟飞得很不稳,就说:“它飞的不稳。”(It's flying so unsteady.)我小心翼翼地问:“儿子,鸟怎么飞?”“有问题吗?我说得不对吗?(Did I say anything incorrectly?)”他一头雾水。“太好了,你说的是incorrectly而不是incorrect。我们用副词来描述动词。所以,要用unsteadily来描述鸟飞,而不是unsteady。”

9.Curious about my correction, he asked me what an adverb was.Slowly, I said,

"It's a word that tells you something about a verb."It led to his asking me what

a ver

b was.I explained, "Verbs are action words; for example, Dad drives the

truck. Drive is the verb because it's the thing Dad is doing."

9 他对我的纠正很好奇,就问我什么是副词。我慢慢解释道:“副词是用来修饰动词的词。这又导致了他询问我什么是动词。我解释说:“动词是表示行为的词,例如:爸爸开卡车。‘开’是动词,因为它是爸爸在做的事。”

10.He became attracted to the idea of action words, so we listed a few more: fly,

swim, dive, run.Then, out of his own curiosity, he asked me if other words had names for their use and functions.This led to a discussion of nouns, adjectives, and articles.Within the span of a 10-minute drive, he had learned fromscratch to the major parts of speech in a sentence.It was painless learning and great fun!

10 他开始对表示行为的词产生兴趣,所以我们又罗列了几个动词:“飞行”、“游泳”、“跳水”、“跑步”。然后,他又好奇地问我,其他的词有没有说明它们的用法和功能的名称。这就引发了我们对名词、形容词和冠词的讨论。在短短十分钟的驾驶时间内,他从对语法一无所知到学会了句子中主要词语的词性。这是一次毫无痛苦而又非常有趣的学习经历。

11.Perhaps, language should be looked upon as a road map and a valuable

possession: often study the road map (check grammar) and tune up the car engine (adjust vocabulary).Learning grammar and a good vocabulary is just like driving with a road map in a well-conditioned car.

11 也许,语言应该被看成是一张路线图和一件珍品:我们要常常查看路线图(核对语法)和调整汽车的引擎(调节词汇)。学好语法和掌握大量的词汇就好比拿着路线图在车况良好的车里驾驶。

12.The road map provides the framework and guidance you need for your trip, but

it won't tell you exactly what trees or flowers you will see, what kind of people you will encounter, or what types of feelings you will be experiencing on your journey.Here, the vocabulary makes the journey's true colors come alive!A good vocabulary enables you to enjoy whatever you see as you drive along.Equipped with grammar and a good vocabulary, you have flexibility and excellent control.While the road map guides your journey to your destination, an excellent vehicle helps you to fully enjoy all of the sights, sounds and experiences along the way.

12 路线图为你的旅行提供所需的基本路线和路途指南,可是它不会告诉你一路上你究竟会看见什么树或什么花,你会遇见什么样的人,或会有什么样的感受。这里,词汇会使你的旅途变得五彩缤纷、栩栩如生。大量的词汇让你享受到开车途中所见的点点滴滴。借助语法和丰富的词汇,你就有了灵活性,掌控自如。路线图会把你带到目的地,而一台好车却能让你完全陶醉于旅途的所有景色、声音及经历之中。

13.Effective, precise, and beneficial communication depends upon grammar and a

good vocabulary, the two essential assets for students, but they are not being taught in schools.

13 对学生来说,有效、准确且富有成效的沟通技能取决于语法和词汇这两大有利条件,可是学校并没有教他们这些。

14.Just this morning, my son and I were eating breakfast when I attempted to add

milk to my tea."Dad," he said, "If I were you, I wouldn't do that. It's sour."

14 就在今天早上,我跟儿子吃早饭时,我想把牛奶加入我的茶里。“爸爸,”他说,“如果我是你的话,我不会这样做。牛奶会变酸。(If I were you, I wouldn't do that. It's sour.)”

15."Oh my!"I said, swelling with pride toward my son, "That's a grammatically

perfect sentence. You used were instead of was."

15 “哦,上帝!”我满怀着无比的骄傲说道,“这是一句语法完全正确的句子。你用了were 而不是was。”

16."I know, I know," he said with a long agreeable sigh. "It's

the subjunctive mood."

16 “我知道,我知道,”他愉悦地舒了口气,“这是虚拟语气!”

17.I was, like, whoa!

17 这下轮到我“哇!”了。

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