B1 Intermediate 15 Folder Collection
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- [David] Hello, readers.
I'm here in the legendary study of the famous
fictional dogtective Sherlock Bones
of 221 B Barker Street.
Mr. Bones, you're here to teach me about
using details from a text to make inferences, aren't you?
- [Sherlock Bones] Yes, my boy!
It's simplicity itself.
But first, let me deduce a few things about you, shall I?
- [David] Well, Mr. Bones, we're trying to do this
about writing, not about people, so...
- [Bones] Give me your hand.
- [David] Waugh!
- [Bones] Ah, you like to cook,
you have a nervous disposition
and you work for Khan Academy.
- [David] Now how did you know that?
- [Bones] You have a callus on your finger
from how you hold a knife,
your fingernails are bitten, not clipped
and your messenger bag says Khan Academy.
- [David] Well and I told you who I was
before I showed up.
- [Bones] That too.
- [David] But what does this have to do with
reading a book?
- [Bones] I correctly deduced several truths
about your person based on clues, my good David.
Indeed, all inference is making sense of clues.
When you read a story, you are constantly making inferences.
- [David] I see.
Okay, I'll read a passage and then see
what I can make of it.
An hour later, thick smoke poured up the stairs.
The smoke detector screamed
and I could hear Uncle Paleo stumbling around
with the fire extinguisher.
When he came upstairs afterward, his footsteps
sounded slow and heavy.
He was a wreck, broken glasses, black smudges on his face
and singed hair.
Okay, so I can surmise that there was some kind of
fire or explosion downstairs,
where the character Uncle Paleo was.
- [Bones] Hm, how do you know?
- [David] Well his hair was singed,
that's another word for burned and his face
was covered in black smudges like you get
from soot from a fire and there was all the smoke
and the smoke detector went off.
- [Bones] And there is also the matter
of the fire extinguisher.
- [David] Also that.
- [Bones] I see something else in that passage too.
- [David] What's that, Mr. Bones?
- [Bones] Uncle Paleo was exhausted
by putting out the fire.
- [David] How can you tell?
Where does it say that?
- [Bones] Well, it doesn't.
That's inference, my lad.
Note here how it said his footsteps sounded slow and heavy.
Why might that be?
- [David] He stepped in something sticky.
No, oo, he's wearing shoes made of lead.
- [Bones] Well, those are indeed possible explanations
but you want to think of the most likely option.
- [David] He was running around to put the fire out
and it made him tired.
- [Bones] So, you were reading
between the lines, were you?
Drawing conclusions from the text?
- [David] I was.
So we know for sure Uncle Paleo was tired, right?
- [Bones] WE DO NOT, SIR.
- [David] Oh!!
- [Bones] An inference is only one possible conclusion
but is not the only conclusion.
- [David] So what are we to do?
- [Bones] The more clues you discover,
the stronger your inferences will become.
You have to look at what you already know
about a character, about the setting of the story,
the events of a story's plot and piece it
together from there.
You know that fires create lots of black dust or soot
so it strengthens your argument in favor of a fire.
And it's background knowledge like that,
about the way the world works that will serve you
as a reader and as a maker of inferences.
Apply what you know to the world of the story
and make inferences based on that.
- [David] And then, I can become the world's
greatest consulting detective?
- [Bones] You can become like the world's 50th
greatest consulting detective,
top of the heap's rather full, I'm afraid.
- [David] Well, thank you for your time today, Mr. Bones.
Best of luck with your case work.
- [Bones] Thank you; I shan't need it.
- [David] You can learn anything. David out.
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Making inferences in literary texts | Reading | Khan Academy

15 Folder Collection
林宜悉 published on March 28, 2020
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