[B-Greek] ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines/why are we so hard on ourselves??
TuNeCedeMalis67 at aol.com
TuNeCedeMalis67 at aol.com
Sat Feb 12 18:47:04 EST 2005
I downloaded the pdf and bookmarked the website, so I can study them later.
Why are classical standards so much higher than modern standards?? I'm
starting to understand why I was being so hard on myself!
Success at a classical language is being able to read a literary work that
most people are not able to read in their native language, and anything less
than that is looked at as failure.
In contrast, a person studying a modern language would be considered WAY
above average to attempt one of the classical books translated into the modern
language they are learning, since reading it in their native language is almost
I'm all for setting high standards, but are we discouraging people from
tackling these languages by setting higher standards? When we expect full
comprehension of complex reading material after just one year, after never having the
chance to be exposed to shopping lists, TV, computer games, kiddie books, etc.,
that is in great contrast to how modern language students are evaluated.
In a modern language, the following is mid intermediate:
Can write short, simple letters. Can express present time or at least one
other time frame or aspect consistently, e.g., nonpast, habitual, imperfective.
Writing tends to be a loose collection of sentences or sentence fragments on a
given topic and provides little evidence of conscious organization. Can be
understood by natives used to the writing of nonnatives.
Awareness of literary style isn't expected till high advanced.
In contrast here is mid intermediate in a classical language
Recognize typical content and stylistic features of selected genres and
Identify the stylistic features of poetry and prose.
After reading a passage, identify the author from a given list and provide
reasons for this selection.
Evaluate an author's use of language and literary devices.
Write an original passage in English or Latin incorporating the stylistic
features of a specific author.
I don't want it to sound like I'm complaining, being negative, or looking for
lower standards to make me feel better about my inefficient teaching.
I just find it interesting to compare the standards and I feel just as
committed to trying to get to the advanced level in reading and writing Greek, but I
feel like a lot has clicked into place about WHY this is taking so long! In
COMPARISON to many other things we are trying to do, this REALLY is a LOT of
We have a long way to go, but we have mastered 4 levels of writing so far. I
hadn't looked at it that way before. Just because the first 3 levels are in
just one chapter, doesn't mean we didn't actually go through these stages. The
fact that the 3 stages was condensed into 1 chapter is what made it so
difficult to learn and why we needed so many books and resources to accomplish them.
Because we are setting the final GOAL so VERY high, we are filtering the
expectations all the way down the line, preventing us from really looking at how
many stages beginners are going through!
In a message dated 2/12/2005 4:53:58 PM Eastern Standard Time, pender at wfu.edu
Not for Koine in specific, but for Classical Languages:
Here is a more specific example, for Latin, from my state (altho' it has
been supervised by a soon-to-be-published revision).
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