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如何取悦托福写作E-Rater

2016-07-25 11:44

来源:宁波新东方学校

作者:胡赛儿

首先开宗明义,这里要分享的是写作在论述内容时(特别是在叙事时)如何合理安排信息的位置以期获得更高的机器评分。

相信同学们都知道,在托福独立写作这块,有一个很不同于其他考试的作文评分方式,它采取人机联合判分,即人和e-rater电脑程序一起。首先阅卷官和机器独立判分,但他们无法相互看到对方的评分。两者的分差大于动态给定值时,第一位阅卷者和机器的分数作废,引入2位新的阅卷者重新评分。然而这样的情况少之又少,人机的Pearson Correlation已经达到了95%以上,考试的最终成绩由阅卷者和机器的成绩混合组成,请注意,两者的权重并不是50%50%,而是动态变化,最大值会达到33.3%人+66%机或66.6%+33.3%机。其实GMAT考试才是最早应用ERater这个利用自然语言处理技术与信息撷取技术的程序来进行英语写作能力测评的考试。自1999年起,用e-rater TM 技术测评应试者的作文已逾60万篇,经与常规人工批阅作文的结果比较,e-rater TM 评分的准确率超过百分之九十七。

从上述的情况我们可以看出“取悦”E-rater真的很重要!很多同学会说,老师,让冰冷的机器满意,臣妾做不到啊!

机器的行为都是程序参数设定的,它其实比多愁善感、反复无常的人类好征服得多。作为硕士阶段在自然语言处理有过研究的老师今天来给大家揭开的神秘傲娇的E-rater面纱的一角,从语篇的角度讲讲同样的表达内容如何行文才能有更高分。

我们首先来看来个对比,思考下差异在哪里:

AThe Prince Andrea stepped off the planeHe was immediately surrounded by journalists. He passed through the crowed under the protection of his bodyguards.

BThe Prince Andrea stepped off the plane. Journalists immediately surrounded himThe bodyguards protected him from the crowed, helping him pass the through.

如果上述句子没有差异,再比较下下面这组:

AWe have an old musical instrumentIt is called a clavichordIt was made in Germany in 1681

BWe have an old musical instrumentPeople call it a clavichordSomeone made it in Germany in 1681

不知道大家是否发现两个(A)之间有相同点:

AThe Prince Andrea stepped off the planeHe was immediately surrounded by journalistsHe passed through the crowed under the protection of his bodyguards.

BThe Prince Andrea stepped off the planeJournalists immediately surrounded himThe bodyguards protected him from the crowed, helping him pass the through.

AWe have an old musical instrumentIt is called a clavichordIt was made in Germany in 1681

BWe have an old musical instrumentPeople call it a clavichordSomeone made it in Germany in 1681

两个(A)句都是以前文提到过的信息做为下一个新句子的开头。这样的行文方式更有利于读者的信息加工,也被认为是更连贯的论述。这篇文章的标题“主位推进(Thematic progression)”看起来很高级的样子,内容实际很简单。主位(Theme)就是信息的发出点,一般它都是旧信息(上文已给的)。跟它相对的还有个概念,叫述位(Rheme),它是中心信息,通常是新信息(上文未给的)。在自然语言处理领域完全可以分析出考生作文中每句话主语、宾语等各个名词性成分的语法地位(包括短语),所以主位和述位的推进方式可以作为文章“cohesion”的一个评判标准。

在用主位推进取悦e-rater 前,首先要明白哪些语法成分/结构可以充当主位:

The man in the wilderness said to me.

From house to house I wend my way.

Conversely, possibly, females felt more at ease responding to non-specific female address.

On the other hand maybe on a weekday it would be less crowed.

通过总结上面四个例子,可以发现主位是出现在句首的circumstantial adverbs (表地点,时间,方式,程度…),若句首没有circumstantial adverbs,那么主位就是句子的主语 。主位推进一共有三种方式,今天给大家介绍下比较常用的两种

主位同一型

1

The brain (T1) contains 10 billion nerve cells, making thousands of billions of connection with each other (R1). It (T2=T1) is the most powerful data processor we know (R2). The brain (T3=T1) is also in control of peoples speaking and comprehension ability (R3).

延续型

2

Outside my window (T1) is a big lawn (R1). In the middle of the lawn (T2=R1) is a flowerbed (R2). This bed (T3=R2) is full of daffodils (R3).

 总结这次的分享:写作中,在对信息进行推进时,可以每次由”old information” 递进到“new information”,具体方式见上。

下面给大家一个小练习,给写下面的小段落,让其主位和述位的推进方式更通畅。

My father just bought a new houseThere are four bed-rooms and two bathroomsI can see the garden behind the house from my bedroom windowMy father has planted fruit trees in the garden

附参考的修改版:

My family bought a new houseIn the housethere are four bedrooms and two bathroomsFrom my bedroom window I can see the garden behind the houseIn the garden my father has planted fruit trees

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