Lu Peixian: a writer, a translator of ancient poetry, an expert in Medieval English and an expert in Milton Studies
Lu Peixian talks about English learning
I came into contact with English in my childhood. At that time, it was just listening to the music and singing in imitation. That's still there twenty Remember me at the time of the age . My father bought some books called babble Book The book, with a small record, is to teach children to sing. These books are somewhat of the same nature as they are now ABC Song or Do Re Mi But less musical. I remember it was The Happy miller ； Mary Had a little lamb ； Where Are You going to ， My pretty Maid ？ wait. Children's imitation and memory is strong, so listen to the gramophone to learn. Although the meaning of libretto is only a little understood, and the language structure is not experienced at all, the pronunciation is still correct and the tone is still in the ear. I still think that this method is not bad if we have been exposed to English since primary school. Do not talk about theory, more interesting pronunciation imitation, for beginners, learning in it. The only requirement is that the teacher's pronunciation and intonation should be correct.
My initial English foundation was in a church middle school five It's hard to make in the past year. As far as learning English is concerned, this kind of school has its own uniqueness. But it's not that they have any superb teaching methods. The only two characteristics are : 1、 In addition to reading this course, we also use various titles, such as dictation ， grammar ， composition ， conversation ， translation And so on, expand the number of English class hours. 2、 The textbooks used in all subjects except Chinese are in English. In the first two years of class, the teacher mixed English and Chinese three All classes were conducted in English in 1997, and students could only answer and do their homework in English. For example, in geometry class, we use Hall and Stevens: A School Geometry 。 Students have to understand the internal mathematical concepts on the basis of skilled and natural recitation "If any two sides and the included angle of a triangle are equal to two sides and the included angle of another triangle, each to each, then the two triangles are equal in all respects. ”Such a theorem, but also know how to use English to prove the process. In fact, it is not only learning geometry, but also practicing English through living practice.
In the second half of middle school, I gradually began to read the Shanghai English newspaper mainland news（ China Press ） In the United States Comic strips 。 Remember a call Bring up father (more difficult ) It's called Matt and Jeff (easier ) And then what happened Pop eye I don't like it very much ) 。 These are comic strips with dialogues. They are easy to understand by reading articles and pictures. From the perspective of comic strips At the beginning, he looked at all kinds of advertisements, and even developed into watching news. By the time I graduated from middle school, I could already understand the mainland newspaper and the Zi Lin Xi Bao.
In the last year of middle school, I also finished reading a thick one thousand and hundreds of pages Conan Doyle By Complete Sherlock Holmes( Sherlock Holmes ) 。 When I read many detective stories, I never thought of improving my English practice. I was only attracted by the plot of the story. My curiosity made me unable to put down books before the unknown perpetrator was Huai. In the process of reading, there may be four or five, or as many as six or seven new words or phrases that are not fully understood at a time on a page. However, because they are eager to read on, they can guess according to the context. Unless they are words closely related to the content, they will not bother the dictionary. This kind of extensive reading after class is very important to improve English level. I'll turn it over now Conan Doyle Although the artistic value of the works is not high, the style of writing is smooth and smooth. The dialogue is not like some writers who deliberately use many nonstandard language to describe the characters, but use normal language, that is, the so-called so-called common core ； In addition, vocabulary has a good foundation of social life. These points make this book one of the good materials for self-study of English language. There is also a beauty, it is a fascinating plot for sugar coating, so that the more difficult language of this pill is easy to swallow.
After graduating from high school, there was a small twists and turns. Because he wanted to study engineering at that time, he entered a British office in Shanghai Henry Lester Technical Institute Read mechanical engineering. I have been studying mathematics and physics in English for a year and a half. It's very exciting. But he dropped out of school because of lung disease and eye disease. As a result, he had to quit his work and study in the University of St. John. The school is run by the American church, and its educational system and teaching methods are the same as those of American universities. It is stated in the Charter :English is the medium of understanding in the university In addition to Chinese, all documents, notices, textbooks and teaching should be in English. However, we still have to say that Chinese is still spoken between students and Chinese teachers. I learned it there seven Two semesters, major in English, minor in Chinese, two subjects read the academic score is almost equal. My ability to read, understand and appreciate British and American literature was initially developed at that time. First of all, it is different from middle school in that the amount of reading has been greatly increased. Besides prose, poetry and drama also account for a large proportion. I thought that they were very interested in reading at that time, and benefited a lot from the romantic poets and nineteen The works of a century essayist. Of course, in the three and a half years, as a Chinese student who first dabbled in English literature, the experience was superficial. This is still after graduation as teaching work, from the constant reading to have a deeper experience.
In retrospect, there were a few things that were very impressive and interesting when I was studying at St. John's University. I remember that when my credits had accumulated to the top four of LAN Xia, I chose it three Credit for Shakespeare, which is one of the required courses in English department. Generally speaking, Shakespeare's drama course is offered in English Department of foreign universities six Credit, often with one thousand and six hundred Year is the boundary, one thousand and six hundred Works before and after three Credits, about every semester six Plays. However, the old man wrote both Shakespeare and Milton three Credit courses. Each academic year the first two semesters teach in turn. Of course, all of Milton's English poetry plus Aeropagatica 。 I first read his Milton three Credits, the next semester will be Shakespeare. Unexpectedly, he listed it when teachers and students met on the first day of school fifteen A complete collection of Shakespeare's plays and sonnets, which he has calculated this semester sixteen Week, so read one book a week, and at the end of the sixteenth week read a total one hundred and fifty-four There are five or six main recitations in the first fourteen lines. In addition, we hand in an extra-curricular reading report every month for a total of one semester three And promised to publish the selected reading materials within one week. The course is held on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, so each class must finish two acts（ acts ）On Friday, they only learn one act and review the whole play. Not only that, he has to hold every class ten A minute quiz to check whether students have assigned reading assignment I have read all of them, and basically understand their contents. He copied it out five Little lines, no matter what Romans , countryman ,lovers , hear me for my cause or Parting is such a sweet sorrow Ask the students to write down who said it and who they told them to listen to ten Points. In the next class, he will give you the score of the test in the next class. He will keep the bottom as a very important term score basis. In fact, for the beginners of Shakespeare's drama, it is unheard of to solve two acts in each class. In Shakespeare's play textual difficulties He never explained a word in a semester. I can only tell you the plot in class. Occasionally, when he has a little extra time, he will only put forward the image Do you think there can be such a wicked human being as Iago? Ask the students to express their opinions or ask a boy to be the one Ferdinand Girls Miranda Let's read the lines and listen to the bell. After class, we'll have a laugh. In fact, his teaching method is not only to force students to be hard, but also to make fun of Shakespeare himself. As a student, I want to be here three The only way to get a good score is to fight hard. I still have an exercise book on my bookshelf, which I wrote down when I ate two acts every other day Summary by scenes ( Because I knew at that time that it would be impossible for me to have time for the final exam one If you reread a play, you can only read your own notes. ) I still have to check this book. It's very useful. This is the advantage of this old gentleman's teaching method. Another advantage is that after a semester of this exercise, due to the amount of reading, for some Shakespearian language I'll be familiar with it. Tell me a joke. I think it's a curse Fie on thee It's very pleasant. It's very interesting.
I have explained this matter in great detail. The purpose is to take my own learning experience as an example to illustrate that it is very beneficial to read a lot of books after having a foundation, even if it is difficult for me to know the general situation for a while, but I can not fully understand it. I believe that after reading more, I will gradually understand what I didn't understand before. Moreover, I am deeply impressed and deeper than the experience of teachers. I wrote in the last semester Honour thesis( St. John's University generally does not require writing papers, only the so-called "A.A.S." is required ) I chose Byron Research. Before I start writing, I put Byron Complete works, from Hours of Idleness All the way to Don Juan Read it all. This ability, oneself know is from three It's from Shakespeare's plays.
During my study in St. John's, I was deeply impressed by another course. It's a class three But only count two Credit Public speaking be supposed to Speaking, In fact, most of the speeches are recited on the stage, and only one third or one fourth of the speeches prepared by ourselves are actually prepared. The content of recitation is from Hamlet Of To Be or Not to Be reach Lincoln Of Gettysburg Speech , from Mi1ton Of Sonnet on His Blindness , to Masefield Of Sea-Fever , have everything that one expects to find. Because the class size is ten Within people, each person has a total of twenty Minutes on stage. Modern linguists mentioned that communicative language I say this is English as a emotion-communicative language Practice. At the same time, I think that in addition to the well-known essays and poems, I can also write down the chapters that I feel deeply in my personal reading. Scholars at home and abroad have always had this habit.
After graduating from college, I taught nine After working in English, I read some literary works about the same amount as I read in my college days, nineteen More than a century ago, twenty After the century less, and to the Milton There was interest. Later, when I went to the United States to study abroad, I found that my literary preparation was better than that of my native English graduate students.
The above is my experience of learning English. It should be emphasized that I lived in the so-called church school in the semi colonial deformed society of old Shanghai. All roads lead to Rome. There are many ways to learn English well. What's more, we think English is useful now, mainly because we want it to serve the four modernizations of our motherland. For our learning purpose, the time and energy required can be greatly reduced. At present, audio visual teaching is popular. I didn't have it at that time. It is an excellent teaching tool and must be greatly used. For a small number of English major comrades who love literature and are interested in studying literature, of course, the time will be much longer. College graduation can only be regarded as the beginning, and at the same time, it must be connected with Chinese literature. At that time, a lot of reading is the most fundamental and important link.