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The Analysis Of The Extract From Language And Language Learning By N Brooks

By Alyona-Afanasyeva Feb 24, 2015 704 Words
The extract taken from the book “Language and Language Learning” is a piece of scientific prose which deals with the problem of comprehension of literature on school level. The author touches upon the theme of topical interest in the field of language learning. That is why this text is of great importance for those who want to comprehend a story in a new language. The author provides the reader with possible steps of solution of this problem. Each of these steps is given in an extended form with a lot of details and explanations, what helps the reader to grasp the idea and reflect on it. According to the author the preliminary step is “acquaintance in the mother tongue with the plot, characters, atmosphere and general significance of a story”. The writer characterizes this step as “excellent” and compares it with the clarification of the words in an expression in the mother tongue before giving its equivalent in the language being learned. The author, undoubtfully (несомненно) being an expert in this sphere, managed to foresee the reader’s possible association of this step with the process of translating. He denies this wrong assumption (предположение) and uses the phrase with a strong negative meaning – “in no sense” to convince the reader in his point of view. As he sees it, “the relating of the two takes place at a psychological level”. It is worth mentioning that the major peculiarity of the text is the author’s constant attempts to involve the reader into the topic and in some way interact with him. For this purpose serve innumerable questions asked at the beginning of the paragraphs, also the personal pronoun “we”. Usually this is not characteristic for a scientific paper, but the author seems to have his own professional approach to the problem. He combines techniques of persuasion together with logical presentation of his hypothesis. Thus, starting to analyze other steps of gaining “a literary level of a work of literature” with another question to the reader (By what steps may the language student gain what can be called knowledge on a literary level of a work of literature?), the writer proceeds with the discrete description of how to read between the lines and why this is so important. The scientific treatment of the subject is seen through the choice of words used in the text. The author resorts to a number of linguistic and literary terms such as comprehending reading, plot, climax, characters. At the same time the writer again address the reader and even give him/her some advice (If answers to the simple questions “where” and “when” are not immediately obvious, that is good reason for the teacher to bring them up.) As the text unfolds, with the help of the conjunction “but” the author introduces the second step, which he considers to be of even greater importance. This step consists in understanding a hidden sense in every literary work. The author presents this idea by stating the disappointing result of the direct perception of all artist’s words. In such a way the author warns the reader. Not to be misunderstood, the writer also pinpoints the main precondition of the reader’s success – “care and thoroughness with which the reader has fulfilled his obligations in step one”. If the first step preconditions the second one, the third step accumulates (суммирует) them both and presents the reader’s feedback to the artist’s presentation of the literary work. The author puts the essence of this step in one question: “How well has the author accomplished what he set out to do?” and gives possible reactions: enjoyment or disappointment, agreement or disagreement. As the author puts it, the reader will always have value judgments of the author’s performance as an artist. To lead the reader to this logical assumption (предположение) the author of the text uses the parallel construction (He will have enjoyed … , he will agree … , and he will have … .). The main conclusion that the author imposes on us to believe (by using the phrase “of course” and the emphasizing constraction “It is …. to …”) is that it is a prime responsibility of the teacher to provide the student with the means of making criticisms (step 3) in the foreign language.

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