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文∕吳詩綺

 

在本篇文章中,詩綺老師要介紹大考、多益雙贏秘笈的第九式「告往知來」,也就是英文學習策略裡懂得辨別因果的能力,亦即英文的“Cause and Effect"。這項能力在聽力、閱讀方面皆很重要,例如在短篇對話裡,我們必須藉由一來一往的提問與回應,找出主題的關聯;或者在文章裡頭提及某個事件的發生,我們得藉由內文線索,推敲何者為原因、何者為結果。換句話說,就是要培養自己能夠告往知來,明瞭事物的因果同異關係,據此知彼而順利答題。以下介紹「告往知來」的三大心法如下:

心法一:了解因果定義
所謂因、果, 就是事件發生的「原因(cause)」,以及事件發生後產生的「結果或後果(effect)」。個別的定義如下:
Cause:引發事件發生的原因。若有兩個事件連續產生的話,則指「先發生的事情」。要決定何者為原因,需關注在“Why did ithappen?"
Effect:事件發生後,產生的後續結果。若是兩者以上的相關事件,則指下一個、或最後一個發生的事情。要確定何者為結果,則提問“What happened?"
以下我們先藉由幾個句子來看看自己是否能夠清楚辨析因果關係:
1. The little boy dropped his lollipop and then he started to cry.
2. The dog couldn’t come inside the house because he rolled in the mud.
3. The cat hissed when the kid pulled on the tail.
上述三句話,你能夠分辨何者為原因(cause)、何者為結果(effect)嗎?答案如下:
1. Cause:The little boy dropped his lollipop. Effect:The little boy started to cry.
2. Cause:The dog rolled in the mud. Effect:The dog couldn’t come inside the house.
3. Cause:The kid pulled the cat’s tail. Effect:The cat hissed.
 
心法二:辨析因果訊號
討論「因果關係」的問題常以下列方式呈現:
‧What cause ____ to ____?
‧What effect did ___ have on ___?
‧What might happen if ______?
‧What is the effect of ____?
‧What are the events that caused _____?
‧Why does ____ decide to _____?
‧What were the result of ____?
而因果關係的呈現,在英文使用裡頭也有常見的訊號字眼,整理如下:
原因類
‧because (因為…) ‧due to (因為…)
‧for (因為) ‧owing to (因為)
‧result from(起因於…) ‧since (因為…)
‧for this / that reason (就此原因)
‧that’s why (這就是為何…)
結果類
‧as a result (結果…) ‧bring about 導致
‧cause 導致 ‧if…then (如果…則…)
‧result in 導致 ‧so that… (因此就…)
‧therefore (所以) ‧this led to (這導致了…)
‧consequently, accordingly, thus, (因此)
‧then…so (然後…所以)
接著我們試著把這兩個事件組合成一個句子:
‧Jack came home late.
‧Jack missed her favorite TV program.
上述兩件事情,我們可知「Jack 晚回家」是原因,而「Jack 錯過電視節目」是後果。因此利用上列各式連接詞語,組合的句子列舉如下:
1. Because Jack came home late, he missed his favorite TV program.
2. Jack came home late; consequently, he missed his favorite TV program.
3. Jack missed his favorite TV program, for he came home late.
心法三:確認因果前後位階
因果關係的聽力題目常見於在多益聽力的第三部分「簡短對話」以及第四部分「簡短獨白」,尤其當你已經預先看到題目出現“Why"字樣時,更要謹慎說話者提及的原因或理由。例如:
W:Alex, I can’t attend the meeting with our purchasing department this afternoon because I’ll be visiting a client. Could you go instead?
M:Sorry, but I have to finish editing the catalog by tomorrow morning, and those purchasing meetings usually last all afternoon.
W:OK, well, maybe I can go see the client this morning, and then be back here in time for this afternoon’s meeting.
(題目來源:TOEFL Official Test-Preparation Guide 3, P264)
53. Why is the woman unable to attend the meeting?
(A) She has to see a client.
(B) She has to pick up a catalog.
(C) She has a dentist’s appointment.
(D) She has to buy some supplies.
55. What does the woman decide to do?
(A) Cancel an appointment
(B) Visit someone earlier than planned
(C) Finish her project tomorrow
(D) Help the man complete his work
解析》由上述對話我們可知道事情推展的順序如下:
1. 女士因要去拜訪客戶,致電請Alex 代為出席會議;
2. Alex 回應自己也有事,無法代替出席;
3. 因Alex 拒絕,女士只好自己下午趕回公司開會。因此,藉由三位階的因果關係,我們可以清楚辨別第53 題,女士無法參加開會的原因在於她電話一開頭所提的“because",後面陳述的原因是要去拜訪客戶,因此答案為(A)。而第55 題則是當Alex 拒絕後,女士最後的決定,也在她最後一段提到“…gosee the client this morning",故答案為(B)。
另外「告往知來」的因果辨析能力在學測的「綜合測驗」與「閱讀測驗」兩大題,也是重點項目。我們來看看今年104 學年度學測英文的閱讀測驗,一篇介紹泰武國小古謠傳唱隊(the Taiwan ElementarySchool Folk Singers)成立由來的文章,以下藉由題目與文章的對應,對檢測自己因果關係的判讀能力。
Winning international fame, however, was neither the original intention nor the main reason why Camake founded the group in 2006. The most important thing was to make children understand why they sing these songs and to preserve and pass on their culture. Referring to the relocation of Taiwu Elementary School and Taiwu Village following Typhoon Morakot in August 2009, Camake said,“We could not take the forest or our house in the mountain with us; but we were able to bring our culture along. As long as the children are willing to sing, I will always be there for them, singing with them and leading them to experience the meaning of the ballads."
44. What did Camake realize after the incident of Typhoon Morakot?
(A) The significance of the relocation of Taiwan Elementary School.
(B) The need to respect nature to avoid being destroyed by it.
(C) The importance of passing on the traditional culture.
(D) The consequence of building houses in the forest.
解析》裡面提及幾個事件的因果順序:
1. 傳唱隊成立的原因: 不在贏得國際聲譽(international fame),而是讓孩子明白為何而唱,並保存(preserve)和傳承(pass on)自己的文化;
2. 泰武國小在颱風過境後搬遷(relocation)帶來的想法:雖無法帶走房子所在的森林與山,但要把自己的文化帶走。
因此當題目問到Camake 在莫拉克颱風事件後了解到什麼,無論是從傳唱隊成立的原因,以及學校搬遷後的另一層體悟,都聚焦在傳統文化傳承(passingon)的重要性,故答案為(C)。
牛刀小試
1. The doctor has warned us that if left untreated, the condition will eventually _____ (result from, lead to) blindness.
2. Anna’s book made it to the best-seller list _____ (due to, resulting in) its amusing stories.
3. The angry passengers argued furiously with the airline staff ___ (because, so that) their flight was cancelled without any reason.
(題目來源:104 學測第10 題)
答案
1. lead to 2. due to 3. because
結語
無論在英文的聽力、閱讀甚或者口說、寫作四項技能,要能夠辨別事件的因果關係、確認前後事件的順序,才能夠聽懂意涵、讀懂資訊並透過寫作傳達正確資訊,這就是為什麼要熟悉第九式「告往知來」的重要性。下回詩綺老師將介紹一次搞定大考、多益雙贏秘笈的第十式「合縱連橫」,下回見。
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