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Ask an American schoolchild what he or she is learning in school these days and you might

even get a reply, provided you ask it in Spanish. But don't bother, here's the answer: Americans nowadays are not learning any of the things that we learned in our day, like reading and writing. Apparently these are considered fusty old subjects, invented by white males to oppress women and minorities.

What are they learning? In a Vermont college town I found the answer sitting in a toy store book rack, next to typical kids' books like Heather Has Two Mommies and Daddy Is Dysfunctional. It's a teacher's guide called Happy To Be Me, subtitled Building Self Esteem.

Self-esteem, as it turns out, is a big subject in American classrooms. Many American schools see building it as important as teaching reading and writing. They call it "whole language" teaching, borrowing terminology from the granola people to compete in the education marketplace.

No one ever spent a moment building my self-esteem when I was in school. In fact, from the day I first stepped inside a classroom my self-esteem was one big demolition site. All that mattered was "the subject", be it geography, history, or mathematics. I was praised when I remembered that "near", "fit", "friendly", "pleasing", "like" and their opposites took the dative case in Latin. I was reviled when I forgot what a cosine was good for. Generally I lived my school years beneath a torrent of castigation so consistent I eventually ceased to hear it, as people who live near the sea eventually stop hearing the waves.

Schools have changed. Reviling is out, for one thing. More important, subjects have changed. Whereas I learned English, modern kids learn something called "language skills." Whereas I learned writing, modern kids learn something called "communication". Communication, the book tells us, is seven per cent words, 23 per cent facial expression, 20 per cent tone of voice, and 50 per cent body language. So this column, with its carefully chosen words, would earn me at most a grade of seven per cent. That is, if the school even gave out something as oppressive and demanding as grades.

The result is that, in place of English classes, American children are getting a course in How to Win Friends and Influence People. Consider the new attitude toward journal writing: I remember one high school English class when we were required to keep a journal. The idea was to emulate those great writers who confided in diaries, searching their souls and honing their critical thinking on paper.

"Happy To Be Me" states that journals are a great way for students to get in touch with their feelings. Tell students they can write one sentence or a whole page. Reassure them that no one, not even you, will read what they write. After the unit, hopefully all students will be feeling good about themselves and will want to share some of their entries with the class.

There was a time when no self-respecting book for English teachers would use "great" or "hopefully" that way. Moreover, back then the purpose of English courses (an antique term for "Unit") was not to help students "feel good about themselves." Which is good, because all that reviling didn't make me feel particularly good about anything.

Which of the following is the author implying in paragraph 5?

A.Self-criticism has gone too far.

B.Communication is a more comprehensive category than language skills.

C.Evaluating criteria are inappropriate nowadays.

D.This column does not meet the demanding evaluation criteria of today.

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更多“Ask an American schoolchild what he or she is learning in school these days and you might”相关的问题

第1题

A.Because she will tell him what time they are leaving.B.Because she will ask him whet

A.Because she will tell him what time they are leaving.

B.Because she will ask him whether his car is available.

C.Because she will find out what kind of food he is bringing.

D.Because she will find out whether he wants to go canoeing.

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第2题

When a teacher ask students to brainstorm what they will write about an unforgettable trip, he/ she mainly focuses on

A.ideas

B.layout

C.style

D.feedback

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第3题

When a teacher ask students to brainstorm what they will write about an unforgettable trip, he/ she mainly focuses on

A.ideas

B.layout

C.style

D.feedback

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第4题

When you ask the guest whether he or she makes any orders, you could ask:“________________”

A、Can I help you?

B、What about the dish?

C、Are you ready to order?

D、What drink would you like?

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第5题

____? A sample-book.
____? A sample-book.

A.For what did he ask

B.What did he ask for

c.What did he ask

D.For what did he ask for

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第6题

______he goes, she will go, and she never cares ______happens.A.Wherever, whatB.Wherever,

______he goes, she will go, and she never cares ______happens.

A.Wherever, what

B.Wherever, that

C.Where, that

D.Where, what

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第7题

If you ask an American how far it is from the next village, he will ____________.A.tell yo

If you ask an American how far it is from the next village, he will ____________.

A.tell you the exact distance if he knows it

B.tell you it is close although he knows it isn't

C.say that he doesn't know and encourage you to go on

D.decide whether you are tired or not, and then give you an answer

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第8题

() what she would do, she didn’t say anything.

A、Ask

B、Asking

C、Asked

D、To ask

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第9题

______he goes, she will go, and she never cares ______happens. A. Wherever, what B.

______he goes, she will go, and she never cares ______happens.

A. Wherever, what

B. Wherever, that

C. Where, that

D. Where, what

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第10题

If you ask an American how far it is from the next village, he will ______.A.tell you the

If you ask an American how far it is from the next village, he will ______.

A.tell you the exact distance if he knows it

B.tell you it is close although he knows it isn't

C.say that he doesn't know and encourage you to go on

D.decide whether you are tired or not and then give you an answer

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