(中学篇)2013年第03期:对高考英语作文评分标准中“复杂结构”的解读(江苏:王干华)

 【摘 要】高考英语书面表达评分标准鼓励使用较复杂结构,因此部分考生刻意追求句子的复杂性而欲得高分。但是如何解读高考英语作文评分标准中“复杂结构”的含意,如何正确理解评分标准中关注“复杂结构”的真实意图,以及如何将“复杂结构”的理念融入到教学实践中,这些都是值得深入探讨的课题。

【关键词】高考作文,写作,书面表达,复杂结构
 
       一、解读的背景 
       《2010年普通高等学校招生全国统一考试大纲英语科说明》对高考英语写作的评分标准明确了各档次要求,其最高档次(21~25分)的要求是:“完全完成了试题规定的任务;覆盖所有内容要点;应用了较多的语法结构和词汇;语法结构或词汇方面有些许错误,但为尽力使用较复杂结构或较高级词汇所致。”
       江苏高考英语满分120分,作文25分,占近21%。因此,近年来为提升考生作文档次,师生都做出了很大努力,特别在高三阶段,教师们提供了范文背诵、过渡词总结、写作模板等促进手段。虽有一定的效果,但每年考生的作文分数仍难以令人满意,最终取得第五档分数(21~25分)的考生仍屈指可数。于是,部分师生将结构复杂化看成是提高得分的要诀所在。一位高三学生曾拿来自主练习的2012年江苏省高考英语作文让笔者批改。试题如下:
       生活中冲突时有发生。假设你班同学苏华和李江打篮球时发生争执,导致关系紧张。请你结合此事,并根据以下提示,用英语写一篇短文,向学校英文报“Happy Teens”专栏投稿。
简要描述事情的经过
打篮球、碰撞、争执,等等
分析发生冲突的原因
1.遇事不冷静
2.……
谈谈避免冲突的做法
(请考生根据自己的经历或感想,提出至少两种做法)
       该学生的习作如下:
       Conflicts with others are common in everyday life. Su Hua and Li Jiang quarreled with each other immediately they struggled for the ball, which led to their relationship's becoming nervous.
       As far as I am concerned, it was their attitudes to the basketball game, which is merely the way to relax, rather than the basketball itself that made the problem serious. What's more, so calm were they not faced with the problem.
       Here are some solutions to avoiding the conflicts personally. Angry as you are, think twice before you say something may hurt others. Furthermore, you can't be too modest. Usually it is not until the conflict happen, resulting in the relationship being worse, that people regret very much. Only if you follow my advice can you avoid conflicts.
       可以看出该生很用心地写了这篇作文,但笔者阅读该生的习作后感觉行文很复杂:习作中用了大量近年来英语高考作文评分标准中提出的较复杂结构句,文中有复合句、倒装句、省略句、强调句等,但让人感到句子冗长难懂,惊叹结构复杂却体会不到作者欲表达之意。当问其为何使用这么多的复杂句子时,学生坦言:自己的课外老师要求每句话都要用复杂句子来表达才能得高分。笔者不禁自问:究竟什么是复杂结构?写作是不是结构越复杂就越好呢?
       二、“复杂结构”的体验
       考试说明中并没有对复杂结构给出解释,与要点完整、语言无误、行文连贯、表达清楚等评分标准相比,师生就产生了不同的理解。部分师生认为长句、复合句、倒装句等就是复杂句,从而刻意创造复合句、倒装句等,结果行文反而晦涩难懂,有过分炫耀词句技巧之嫌。
       但如何帮助学生真正理解复杂结构,并从整篇作文的角度来定位好的句子呢?我们很难给复杂结构下个确切的定义,但可从以下几个方面探讨对“复杂结构”的理解。
       1. 简单句也可能成为好句子
       (1)恰当的形容词、副词——表达意见,情感流露的载体。例如:
       It turned into a quarrel. → It turned into a horrible/terrible/fierce quarrel.
       虽然只是添加了一个形容词,但quarrel 的程度、作者的态度和场景的再现更好地表现了出来。又如:
       They began to quarrel. → They began to quarrel with each other blindly/furiously.
       (2)同位语——精巧完善欲达之意。例如:
       Li Jiang, who is Su Hua's classmate, is also to blame. → Li Jiang, Su Hua's classmate, is also to blame.
       定语从句固然带来了复杂结构,但简洁明了是行文的基本要求,该惜墨处勿泼墨。又如:
       The boy went back home and was full of fear. → The boy went back home, full of fear.
       形容词短语full of fear作状语的表达既简洁明了,又生动形象。
       (3)评注性状语——娓娓道来,突出了写作的交际性。例如:
       It was Su's fault but Li was also to blame. → To be honest/To be frank, it was Su's fault but Li was also to blame.
       评注性状语是插入语的一种,它与状语很接近,但它并不修饰谓语或其他词,而是对整个句子进行解释或说明,表明说话人的看法或态度,给读者以娓娓道来之感。又如:
       To be short, it is everyone's responsibility to keep the world clean.
       (4)非谓语结构——简洁生动之美。例如:
       Sandy struck the USA and caused great damage to the infrastructure. → Sandy struck the USA, causing great damage to the infrastructure.
       非谓语结构是丰富句子的有效结构,书面性强,表达更为生动。又如:
       After I finished my homework, I often relaxed myself by playing computer games. → Having finished my homework, I often relaxed myself by playing computer games.
       (5)被动语态——地道之美。例如:
       Some people say this kind of milk contains different levels of nutrients. → This kind of milk is said to contain different levels of nutrients. → It is said that this kind of milk contains different levels of nutrients.
       受母语负迁移的影响,学生在表达动作发出者不明确时常用主动语态表达,有中式英语之嫌;而使用被动结构却能给句子带来地道英语之美。又如:
       People believe that mutual understanding contributes to a permanent friendship. → It is generally believed that mutual understanding contributes to a permanent friendship.
       2. 复杂自有其道
       (1)复合句——长短之变,节奏之美。例如:
       Su Hua and Li Jiang played basketball on the playground. They both jumped up to catch the flying ball. → Su Hua and Li Jiang were playing basketball on the playground when they both jumped up to catch the flying ball.
       复合句使用了定语从句、状语从句,明确了概念的外延,增大了概念的内涵,逻辑性强。再有,长短句结构交替使用后,语句内部抑扬顿挫的节奏感就出来了,从而使文章流畅自然,生动活泼。
       (2)倒装句——强化情感,让句子结构趋于平衡。例如:
       Su said many mean words to Li and shouted at the top of his voice as well. → Not only did Su say many mean words to Li but also shouted at the top of his voice.
       倒装句常带来承上启下、平衡结构、强化情感之效。又如:
       A man, who is in all black, is standing with a gun in hand in front of her. → Standing in front of her is a man, who is in all black, with a gun in hand.
       (3)强调句——为了突出句子中的某一部分常使用强调句,以便能引起他人的注意,更明确地表达自己的意愿和情感。例如:
       He didn't come back until the clock struck twelve. → It was not until the clock struck twelve that he came back.
       (4)省略句——干练,无冗长之嫌。例如:
       While they were catching the flying ball, they bumped into each other. → While catching the flying ball, they bumped into each other.
       (5)虚拟语气——极尽感激、遗憾或悔恨之情。例如:
       No one put himself in the other's place. They found no fun in the game. → If one of them had put himself in the other's place, they could have found more fun in the game.
       另外,虚拟语气还可以表示说话人的一种愿望、假设、怀疑、猜测、建议等含意。书面表达题中常用“假如你是……,你会如何……?”来考查考生的个人认识或解决问题的能力。
       前文提到的那位高三学生是一名英语基础很好的学生,向其呈现了以上探讨后,心领神会,修改习作如下:
       Conflicts with others are common in everyday life. These conflicts can turn out to be serious problems if we don't deal with them properly.
       Last week, Su Hua and Li Jiang were playing basketball on the playground when they both jumped up to catch the flying ball. Unfortunately, they bumped into each other. Su began to say mean words and Li shouted back in response. A terrible quarrel occurred all of a sudden.
       How to avoid these quarrels effectively? First, we should often stand in others' shoes when faced with conflicts. Second, stay as cool as a cucumber. Think twice and you may find that things are not so bad as you thought first. What's more, we should be good sports. Competitive sports involve unavoidable bumps or even injuries, which should be taken into consideration when you participate in a game.
       三、“复杂结构”的再思量
       在高三上学期基本语法学完之后,许多老师会让学生在写作中尝试运用各种复合句或特殊结构。陈幸佩(2011)在《高三英语写作复习课的有效性——以宁波市第六届课例评析为例》一文中描述了一位授课教师在写作技能环节总结的四句口诀:①肯定不如双否好;②陈述不如倒装巧;③单句不如复句妙;④从句不如短句傲。但该作者也鲜明地指出此举容易造成学生刻意或生搬硬套地运用这些复杂句的可能。
       那么,到底应该如何理解复杂语法结构?
       在“要点完整,语言无误,行文连贯,表达清楚”的评分标准指导下,考生往往在书面表达中只用五种基本简单句来表达,以防出错,从而导致中学生写作的层次不高,略显乏味。“应用了较多的语法结构和词汇;语法结构或词汇方面有些许错误,但为尽力使用较复杂结构或较高级词汇所致”的新评分标准有其深刻的背景,它虽能引领师生重视并提升写作的品质,但却没有或不便明确说明内容决定形式、简单与复杂并存等要素。由此,部分师生误以为多用结构复杂的句子就会有层次,可以得到高分。事实上,简单句本身同样可以发挥其精妙的表情达意之功。有时一个简单的介词短语也能增添情感的魅力或激发读者的共鸣。例如,一位学生习作(谈双休日的利与弊)中有这样的句子:
       With the two-day weekends, we can have more time to chat with our parents. → With the two-day weekends, we can have more time to chat with our parents around the table.
       句中的around the table能让读者头脑中浮现出生活的场景,唤起了家庭的温馨之感。
       可见,复杂结构并不仅是复杂的句子结构,它应是根据内容和行文需要,巧妙使用高中所学的词汇和各种语法知识,长短句结合,恰当、连贯地传递信息和表达自己的思想,充分体现写作的交际本质。
       四、“复杂结构”的应对建议
       1. 明确认识
       句子结构分为简单句(simple)、合成句(compound)、复杂句(complex)和合成复杂句(compound-complex)。如前文所讨论,结构复杂不是各个个体句子的复杂化,而是多种语法形式的综合运用。如果仅从外形上看,往往把句子分为长句和短句。从整篇的角度来看,长短句的结合是行文的基本要求,短句通常用来陈述某个重要的事实和观点,长句是为了解释看法和理论,或对细节繁多事物的描述(丁往道、吴冰等,1984)。例如,在常见的漫画作文中,对图片描述不妨借用长句以较短的篇幅呈现,而针对漫画中反映的问题提出建议时应以短句体现简洁明了。
       2. 深化语法学习
       教师在语法教学中往往侧重于学生对语法结构形式的认知,以解答单选题为终极目标,忽视了它们的语用价值。正如一篇高三作文末段提出:假如你是父或母,你将如何教育自己的子女?很多学生却不知用虚拟语气来描述,尽管他们已对虚拟结构烂熟于心。因此,打破传统模式,深化语法学习是必须的。除了了解语法形式、交代语法现象的意义以外,创设情景、注重语法在交际中的运用是语法教学的准则。
       3. 向母语阅读课学习,完善阅读教学,加大关注词汇的语用价值
       教师要引领学生对作品的词汇进行品味和鉴赏。例如,母语学习中,诗句“春风又绿江南岸”中“绿”字虽简单,但此处却生动、形象,使得读者一下有了画面感。那么“Refugees continue to come into neighboring countries.”与“Refugees continue to flood into neighboring countries.”比较,flood一词的功效就非同小可;“A blind man climbed up the hill with heavy bags.”与“A blind man struggled up the hill with heavy bags.”比较,struggle一词就用得很妙。
       学校可编制校本阅读材料,一方面帮助学生打破当前“快餐式”的阅读方式,如刻意改变原文中的词汇、句式,要求学生来改进;另一方面让学生在有限的时间内欣赏优秀的作品,体悟词汇的传情达意效果,更多关注用词的精准和达意。
       4. 教师要勤修内功
       译林版牛津英语教材的Task部分虽有话题作文指导,但具体写作技巧的介绍不够系统,加之教师本身也缺乏相关培训,所以没有丰富的写作实践经历,无法和学生分享自己的写作经验和技巧(王志军、傅丹灵,2011)。教师要主动了解二语写作教学的学术动态和研究成果,改变传统观念,吃透写作技巧,补充写作指导校本教材。同时自己也要丰富写作经验以与学生分享(夏春来,2011)。教师创作的过程能使其体验简单与复杂的优劣,从而才能更好地帮助学生在其习作中巧妙提升其表达的复杂程度。比如,教师可以利用幻灯片,将学生作文中的一般表达与教师以微创方式变成的“复杂”表达对比呈现,学生在叹服之余自然会加深领悟。
       五、结语
       根据英国剑桥考试中心官方网站公布的数据,从雅思学术类考试成绩来看,写作每年都是中国内地考生成绩最低的一项,在全球排名也相当靠后。此外,根据国内外专家的研究,即使雅思和托福能得高分的二语写作者到了国外,但一遇到真实的写作任务如撰写学术论文或报告,就束手无策(转引自王志军、傅丹灵,2011)。
       评分标准中第五档的复杂结构意义深远,误读标准会走弯路,有时的简单是为了意味复杂(如:We should study harder to further beautify our homeland. → We should study harder to make our homeland more beautiful.),有时的复杂是为了简化理解(如:Psychology is a subject that studies the human mind and the reasons for people's behaviour.)。师生要正确理解考试说明中“较复杂结构或较高级词汇”的表述,当然也期待专家学者及教育主管部门能更明确和细化指导性文件,让高中英语写作有章可循。
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参考文献
陈辛佩. 2011. 高三英语写作复习课的有效性——以宁波市第六届课例评析为例[J]. 中小学英语教学与研究,(7):57-60.
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       本文作者声明:未经本人及北京师范大学中小学外语教学编辑部书面同意,任何媒体不得转载或摘编本文。
       附作者信息:王干华    江苏省南京市宁海中学