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【托福阅读】阅读部分的表格题详解

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2011-05-24 18:45

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  表格题是新托福考试中的新题型,它在听力部分和阅读部分都出现过。但与听力部分不同的是,表格题在阅读部分出现时既包括了对全文重点内容的发问又包括了对全文主题和结论发问。它们以对比表格和总结表格的形式出现。因此,相对于听力表格题来说,阅读部分的难度系数更大一些。在IBT阅读的3篇文章中有两个此类问题,且通常是文章最后一道题目,为2分。 

  一、表格题分为两大类:总结表格题和对比表格题。 

  1、总结表格题 

  相对而言, 总结表格题的出现频率要高于对比表格题,这是由它们自身特点,出题方式和原文是否具备对比对照关系这三方面的因素决定的。 

  2、题的出题模式有两种: 

  一种是针对全文内容出题,答案由全文的主题,细节和重点支持段落的概述三部分组成。另外一种是针对文章中的重点支持性段落出题,答案由这些重点支持性段落主题,段落结论,以及重点支持性例子的概述三部分组成。这里我们重点看第一种出题模式。 

  我们来看一个例子, 

  The Atlantic Cod Fishery 

  Off the northeastern shore of North America, from the island of Newfoundland in Canada south to new England in the United States, there is a series of shallow areas called banks. Several large banks off Newfoundland are together called Grand Banks, huge shoals on the edge of North American continental shelf, where the warm waters of the Gulf Stream meet the cold waters of Labrador Current. As the currents brush each other, they stir up mineral from the ocean floor, providing nutrients for plankton and tiny shrimp-like creatures called krill, which feed on the plankton. Herring and other small fish rise to the surface to eat the krill. Groundfish, such as the Atlantic cod, live in the ocean’s bottom layer, congregating in the shallow waters where they prey on krill and small fish. This rich environment has produced cod by the millions and once had a greater density of cod than anywhere else on Earth. 

  Beginning in the eleventh century, boats from the ports of north western Europe arrived to fish the Grand Banks. For the next eight centuries, the entire Newfoundland economy taking fish back to European markets. Cod laid out to dry on wooden “flakes” was a common sight in the fishing villages dotting the coast. Settlers in the region used to think the only sea creature worth talking about was cod, and in the local speech the word “fish” became synonymous with cod. Newfoundland’s national dish was a pudding whose main ingredient was cod. 

  By the nineteenth century, the Newfoundland fishery was largely controlled by merchants based in the capital at St. John’s. They marketed the catch supplied by the fishers working out of more than 600 villages around the long coastline. In return, the merchants provided fishing equipment, clothing, and all the food that could not be grown in the island’s thin, rocky soil. This system kept the fishers in a continuous state of debt and dependence on the merchants. 

  Until the twentieth century, fishers believed in the cod’s ability to replenish itself and thought that overfishing was impossible. However, Newfoundland’s cod fishery began to show signs of trouble during the 1930s, when cod failed to support the fishers and thousands were unemployed. The slump lasted for the next few decades. Then when an international agreement decided to build up the modern Grand Banks fleet and make fishing a viable economic base for Newfoundland again. All of Newfoundland’s seafood companies were merged into one conglomerate. By the 1980s, the conglomerate was prospering, and cod were commanding excellent prices in the market. Consequently, there was a significant increase in the number of fishers and fish—processing plant workers. 

  However, while the offshore fishery was prospering, the inshore fishermen found their catches dropping off. In 1992, the Canadian government responded by closing the Grand Banks to groundfishing. Newfoundland’s cod fishing and processing industries were shut down in a bid to let the vanishing stocks recover. The moratorium was extended in 1994, when all of the Atlantic cod fisheries in Canada were closed, except for one in Nova Scotia, and strict quotas were placed on other species of groundfish. Canada’s cod fishing industry collapsed, and around 40,000 fishers and other industry workers were put out of work. 

  Atlantic cod stocks had once been so plentiful that early explorers joked about walking on the backs of the teeming fish. Today, cod stocks are at historically low levels and show no signs of imminent recovery, even after drastic conservation measures and severely limited fishing. Fishermen often blame the diminishing stocks on seals, which prey on cod and other species, but scientists believe that decades of overfishing are to blame. Studies on fish populations have shown that cod disappeared from Newfoundland at the same time that stocks started rebuilding in Norway, raising the possibility that the cod had migrated. Still, no one can predict whether and when the cod will return to the Grand Banks.

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