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英语沙龙:美国教授对欲赴美留学者的忠告

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An American Professor’s Advice to Chinese Students
美国教授对欲赴美留学者的忠告

Try a little to stretch yourself and integrate into1 the greater society around you. It’s definitely a challenge. It can be difficult and unpleasant. But it can also be fun and enriching2, rewarding and of the utmost benefit in the long run3.

试着扩展你的生活范围,参与到身边更广阔的社会中去。这肯定是个挑战,会是困难和不愉快的,但这也是有趣和充实的、有价值并从长远来看有最大收益的。

Chinese TOEFL scores are averaging a little above 600, an amazing standard. But U.S. admissions officers are keenly aware that elevated4 TOEFL scores do not necessarily indicate truly superior command of the language.

中国人的托福平均成绩在600出头,这是一个惊人的高水准。但是美国的招生官员非常清楚,托福成绩高并不一定表明真正很好地掌握了这门语言。

The phenomenon of the Chinese graduate student who can’t speak English is quite common and widespread among U.S. universities. When they arrive with stunted5 verbal skills, this brings into serious question their competence and, in many cases, the continuation of their scholarships.

在美国大学,中国研究生不能说英语的现象非常普遍,司空见惯。他们来到美国时口语技能很差,这就使他们的语言能力成了严重问题,而且在很多情况下,这还会影响到他们的奖学金延续。

Some U.S. universities now conduct phone interviews of prospective Chinese graduate students. All this to insure that students culled6 from the highly reputed Chinese talent pool have the linguistic7 skills to bring their talents to bear on those tasks with which the university needs help.

现在美国一些大学对预期的中国研究生实行电话谈话。这是为了保证从非常有名的中国人才库中挑选出的学生,具备使其才能得以施展的语言能力,以胜任学校需要帮手的工作。

For most Chinese graduate students the language problem soon begins to resolve itself after arrival in the U.S. Be that as it may, a large number of Chinese graduate students continue to struggle with English years after arrival and even years into their professional lives here, which does have a negative impact on employment especially in times like these when market downturns dictate8 massive layoffs9 across many industrial sectors.

大多数中国研究生的语言问题,会在他们抵达美国后很快就得到解决。但是还有一种可能的情况就是,有大量的中国研究生在来到美国后仍需努力学习英语,甚至在美国从事专业工作数年后仍要刻苦学习英语,以克服这个障碍。这对他们的就业,确实有着不利的影响,特别是在市场衰退导致许多行业大量裁员的那些时期尤为不利。

The crux10 of the problem lies in the Chinese student community. Not surprisingly, most Chinese graduate students begin their U.S. experience in a shared apartment or house exclusively with other Chinese. If they happen to work in a lab where there are other Chinese graduate students then there is often hardly any need to interact with Americans.

这个问题的症结在于中国学生的群体观念。大多数中国研究生开始他们在美国的生活时毫无例外地都是与其他的中国学生合租公寓或合租住房。这是不会令人感到意外的。如果他们工作的实验室里恰好有其他中国研究生,那么通常就几乎没有必要和美国人打交道了。

The long and short of this is that it is well worth a Chinese student’s trouble to learn English well. Spoken English. Not just test--taking, TOEFL--blasting English. U.S. university admissions officers are less and less to be fooled by only a poor to middling command of the spoken language. And for those with little or no opportunity of improving this aspect of their foreign language skill while still in China, if you are lucky enough to get a chance to come to the U.S. for study, take full advantage of opportunities here. Take an English as a second language class. Most universities have them. City governments and community colleges offer them. Join some university clubs to begin to get to know some American students. Get to know your American classmates and office mates. Do Not Be Shy. Force yourself to join conversations. Find an American roommate. This last can be such a big boost11 in so many ways if you find the right match.

无论从长远还是短期来看,中国学生费点力气学好英语都是十分值得的。要学口语,不只是应试或托福式的短期英语。美国大学的招生官员越来越不会受骗了,只有蹩脚的口语和一般的口语水平是通不过的。对于那些仍在中国、很难有机会提高外语口语能力的人来说,如果你有幸能有机会来美国学习,那就要充分利用机会。参加一个英语为第二语言的学习班, 大多数学校都开设此类课程。市政府和社区大学也提供这些课程。参加一些大学俱乐部来结识美国学生,去认识你的美国同学和同事。别怕难为情,强迫自己进行交谈。找一个美国室友。如果你找到了合适的对象,最后这个方法会在许多方面使你有很大提高。

注解

1.integrate into 使成一体,使结合
2.enrich [In5rItF] vt. 充实,使丰富
3.run [rQn] n. 一段时间
4.elevated [5elIveItId] adj. 提高的,升高的
5.stunted [5stQntId] adj. 发展不良的,受阻的
6.cull [kQl] vt. 挑出,选出
7.linguistic [lIN5gwIstIk] adj. 语言的,语言学的
8.dictate [dIk5teIt] vt. 发号施令地规定,命令
9.layoff [5leIBf] n. 临时解雇(期),失业期
10.crux [krQks] n. 关键,症结
11.boost [bu:st] n. 推动,促进,激励

重点单词   查看全部解释    
widespread ['waidspred]

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adj. 分布(或散布)广的,普遍的

 
benefit ['benifit]

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n. 利益,津贴,保险金,义卖,义演
vt.

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stretch [stretʃ]

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n. 伸展,张开
adj. 可伸缩的

 
insure [in'ʃuə]

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vt. 保险,确保
vi. 买保险

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enrich [in'ritʃ]

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vt. 使富足,使肥沃,添加元素

 
massive ['mæsiv]

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adj. 巨大的,大规模的,大量的,大范围的

 
integrate ['intigreit]

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v. 整合,使 ... 成整体
adj. 组合

 
command [kə'mɑ:nd]

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n. 命令,指挥,控制
v. 命令,指挥,支配

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challenge ['tʃælindʒ]

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n. 挑战
v. 向 ... 挑战

 
negative ['negətiv]

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adj. 否定的,负的,消极的
n. 底片,负

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