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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Budding Writers
How to read a letter with many new words
    2017-June-21  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

Last week we learned how to read English letters written by native English speakers. We started with an introduction letter written by a professor from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to help He Sisi who is my teacher’s daughter to get her visa from the U.S. General Consulate in Guangzhou .

When I read the letter, the first feeling I had was how unfamiliar it was — I couldn’t understand almost half of the words in the letter. However, my teacher taught ushow to read the letter step by step .

First, she asked us how we might read and understand a letter like this in two to three minutes. She said we would see many articles on exams like this, so we must ignore some unimportant words or phrases to save time, such as the names of people, places, buildings, organizations, technical terms and so on. We can guess what the sentence is talking about by its key words.

For example, “I am an assistant professor of molecular and integrative physiology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.” In this sentence, we just need to know “I am an assistant professor” and we can ignore “molecular and integrative physiology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign” because they are names of a major and a university.

Second, after skimming through the article, we can read it more carefully to focus on certain phrases, expressions or sentences. For instance, “Her timely re-entry into the United States will allow us to proceed with these important studies, funded in part by U.S. tax revenue.” This sentence is very persuasive because it tells the visa officer how important He Sisi’s job is.

It also tells us that their research is funded by U.S. tax revenue, so it is very important. What’s more, it implies if He Sisi can’t get her visa to go back to the United States, they have to stop the research.

Finally, my teacher guided us on how to read the important parts of every paragraph and conclude what the main ideas were. We can also guess the meaning of the new words. For example, “I have over 40 publications in scientific journals or textbooks. I included a copy of my CV which lays out the details of my scientific expertise.” My classmates guessed the words “publications” “journals” and “CV” correctly from the context.

This is our first lesson on reading English letters written by native speakers. Next week, we will learn how to read original English novels.

 

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