FW: [B-Greek] ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines/why are we so hard onourselves??

Philip Silouan Thompson himself at philthompson.net
Sat Feb 12 21:28:06 EST 2005

Kat Doe [TuNeCedeMalis67 at aol.com] wrote:
> ...here is mid intermediate in a classical language
> Recognize typical content and stylistic features of selected
>   genres and authors.
> 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. 

Dear Kat,

I don't think you're being unreasonable. I wouldn't expect the majority
native US high school graduates to be able to perform those tasks in
English. Give students highly characteristic examples of, say, Hemingway,
Kerouac and  e. e. cummings (to pick three highly-distinctive voices) and
after having been taught about those specific writers' styles an English
class could be expected to recognize them and perhaps attempt a pastiche in
their style. But your average American-on-the-street wouldn't be able to do
those things even though he's got a lifetime's familiarity with the language
and perhaps even with a good deal of its literature.

Philip Silouan Thompson
Walla Walla, Washington

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