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學外語最佳方法:造一個文化孤島

Source: 恒星英語學習網    2015-07-14  我要投稿   論壇   Favorite  

Are you trying to learn a new language in a foreign land? You might be better off if you stopped looking at that picture of your family and friends.
你是否正身處異國他鄉,正在努力學習一門新的語言?如果你能放下那張家人和親友的照片不再看它,也許你的學習之旅或許能事半功倍。

When learning a new language, your brain is running a whole new neuropathway, creating new patterns and trying to fix those new pathways permanently in your gray matter. New research from Columbia University found that prompting someone who is learning a new language with images and reminders of their own culture could temporarily wreck everything that the brain was trying to build.
當我們學習一門新語言的時候,我們的大腦里新的神經通路就開始發揮作用,大腦會創造新的認知模式,并使這種新的認知模式與大腦灰質構建永久性的聯系。哥倫比亞大學的一項新研究證實,當人們用一個初學者本土文化的意象和物象來刺激他的二語習得時,大腦在二語習得過程中試圖架構的模式和聯系可能被徹底摧毀。

學外語最佳方法:造一個文化孤島

When native Chinese students were asked to converse with a Caucasian avatar versus a Chinese avatar, their English skills were so different. Simply exposing students to a Chinese person affected their ability to speak English. Subjects who talked with the Chinese version felt more comfortable in their speech, but they produced 11% fewer words per minute. They actually became less fluent speakers.
研究人員讓來自中國的學生與一個金發碧眼的網絡虛擬形象對話,然后與一個黑發黑眼的中國人的網絡虛擬形象對話,結果學生們前后表現出的英語表達技能大不相同。讓學生們面對一個中國的對話對象確實會影響他們說英語的水平。與中國人的網絡虛擬形象對話時,學生們在對話中感到更加輕松自如,但是他們每分鐘使用的語匯少了11%。他們使用英語的流利程度真的降低了。

To make sure it wasn't just the avatar, researchers also showed people random images of China while the participants told a story. When pictures of their homeland appeared, fluency dropped 16% and volunteers were 85% more likely to use a literal translation, for example, calling pistachios "happy nuts". Because that's literally what the Chinese word for pistachio means.
為了確證上述實驗現象不僅僅出現在學生們與網絡虛擬形象對話的過程中,研究者們還請學生們講述故事,并在此過程中向學生們展示隨機選出的中國人圖像。當這些祖國同胞們的圖像出現的時候,學生們講述故事的流利程度降低了16%、使用牽強附會的中式英語的幾率多了85%。比如,他們會把開心果說成“快樂的堅果”。因為在中文中開心果的意思直譯成英語就是這個意思。

The brain is constantly sucking in information and, let's be honest, it's lazy, so when the brain can do something it already knows how to do, it will. In this case the shortcut is reverting to its old patterns and neuropathways.
我們的大腦會持續不斷的吸收信息,而且,說實在的,我們的大腦很懶惰。所以,當大腦察覺它可以用熟知的方式去完成一件事的時候,它就會選擇熟知的方式。如此一來,原本需要構建的新認知模式被認知的捷徑取代,大腦又退返到使用舊的認知模式和神經通路。

Culture and communication are a large part of our everyday lives, and those are well-worn pathways, so they're really difficult to alter. This effect doesn't force only on language processing either. When the students were shown pictures of fish with one swimming ahead of the others, their cultural prompt would change how they look at the photo. With Chinese prompts, like photos of the Great Wall or Chinese Dragon, etc. saw more students thinking that the fish was being chased, whereas an American prompt, like pictures of Marilyn Monroe or Superman, saw those students believing that it was a leader fish... Why are our cultural symbols Marilyn Monroe and Superman?
文化和交流是我們每日生活的一大組成部分,正是這些在我們的大腦中構建了我們再熟悉不過的思維通路,這些思維通路很難換道。已有思維通路的頑固作用不僅出現在語言習得這一個方面。當研究者們向學生們展示一幅研究圖片時,文化原型會影響他們對圖片的理解方式。對一幅表現一條魚在前,一群魚在后的圖片。中國學生的認知模式受到中國文化的文化原型影響,他們的文化原型體現在長城和中國龍等圖像中,在他們看來,研究圖片表現的是一條魚正在被一群魚追趕。而美國文化的文化原型則表現在瑪麗蓮·夢露或超人的形象上,因而美國學生會認為研究圖片所表現的是一只魚帶領著一群魚。不過為什么美國人的文化原型象征會是瑪麗蓮·夢露和超人呢?……

The bottom line is: when attempting to learn a new culture it is far better to surround yourself with that culture than create an island of the old one amidst the new one. Part of this can be seen in highly multicultural cities with isolated ethnic areas. Folks in these isolated communities would not only see less exposure for the culture and the language of the surrounding city, but they learn fluency far more slowly.
底線是:如果你想學好一門新語言,就讓自己浸淫在這種新文化之中,讓自己置身于一個與原有的文化場域隔海相望的文化孤島。那些文化雜交性顯著,居民的種族身份相對集中的城市地區就能看出文化孤立的重要性。在這些城市地區,居民接觸本地區之外的文化和語言的機會較少,不僅如此,他們掌握本地區之外的新語言的效率也相對很低。


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