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Old 06-10-2012, 10:37 AM
 
Location: State of Transition
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevxu View Post
None of the American or British young people that I have given a ride into town has ever had a book, unless it has been out of sight.
I don't know how literature is taught in those countries, but US schools don't teach how to understand literature. Many students are completely lost at reading literary fiction. I carry several books with me when I travel, but none of them are literary works.
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Old 06-10-2012, 10:40 AM
 
Location: Toronto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
I don't know how literature is taught in those countries, but US schools don't teach how to understand literature. Many students are completely lost at reading literary fiction. I carry several books with me when I travel, but none of them are literary works.
Don't they teach Shakespeare, or examples of American literature like John Steinbeck's novels, or the Catcher in the Rye or the Great Gatsby or something like these?

I'm not American, but even in high school, I had to read some of those novels in class, and discuss/analyze them.
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Old 06-10-2012, 10:46 AM
 
Location: Minnysoda
8,622 posts, read 8,526,373 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stumbler. View Post
Don't they teach Shakespeare, or examples of American literature like John Steinbeck's novels, or the Catcher in the Rye or the Great Gatsby or something like these?

I'm not American, but even in high school, I had to read some of those novels in class, and discuss/analyze them.
I have a 16 yr old Daughter in highschool right now....She has had to do many 'book reports' but they have been books of her own choseing. I have not seen many required books..Maybe Mark Twain??
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Old 06-10-2012, 10:52 AM
 
Location: State of Transition
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stumbler. View Post
Don't they teach Shakespeare, or examples of American literature like John Steinbeck's novels, or the Catcher in the Rye or the Great Gatsby or something like these?

I'm not American, but even in high school, I had to read some of those novels in class, and discuss/analyze them.
Analysis didn't happen. We weren't given the tools to analyze a novel (terms like "motif", and the structure of a novel weren't presented). We were only told to discuss novels as they relate to "life". But 13, 14, and 15-year olds don't have a life. How can they discuss adult themes? And there was often the problem of the teacher discussing "symbolism". It was never explained how one decided what item in the story served as a symbol, and how one divined what it was a symbol for. It all seemed so arbitrary. No one had any clue what was going on, except the students who seemed to have an intuitive knack for literature. Plus much of the literature we were given in school was full of stomach-churning violence. Horrific stuff. Not Gatsby, though, no violence there. Didn't get the other ones you mentioned.
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Old 06-10-2012, 11:00 AM
 
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I graduated high school in '07. It was required that we read one work by Shakespeare each year: Hamlet, Macbeth, Romeo & Juliet, Taming of the Shrew. Other required works were Catcher in the Rye , The Odyssey, Oedipus, Of Mice and Men, Animal Farm, The Giver, Canterbury Tales and a few others that I can't remember. We read A LOT. Most of what we read were classics.

I'm still wondering what this has to do with conversational skills, though.

Last edited by luckynumber4; 06-10-2012 at 12:10 PM..
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Old 06-10-2012, 11:11 AM
 
775 posts, read 993,544 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
Analysis didn't happen. We weren't given the tools to analyze a novel (terms like "motif", and the structure of a novel weren't presented). We were only told to discuss novels as they relate to "life". But 13, 14, and 15-year olds don't have a life. How can they discuss adult themes? And there was often the problem of the teacher discussing "symbolism". It was never explained how one decided what item in the story served as a symbol, and how one divined what it was a symbol for. It all seemed so arbitrary. No one had any clue what was going on, except the students who seemed to have an intuitive knack for literature. Plus much of the literature we were given in school was full of stomach-churning violence. Horrific stuff. Not Gatsby, though, no violence there. Didn't get the other ones you mentioned.


This is NOT good and is definitely NOT representative of the educational system in the US.

I started learning about symbolism/metaphors in Junior High. In high school we learned about those concepts even more in depth as well as how to analyze different works such as short stories (motifs, symbolism, protagonist/antagonist, plot plan, theme statement etc.) poetry (free verse, prose, iamb, sonnets, copulets, etc.), and theatre (breaking the 4th wall etc.) The fact that you didn't learn any of that is scary.
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Old 06-10-2012, 11:39 AM
 
15,034 posts, read 13,621,855 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luckynumber4 View Post


This is NOT good and is definitely NOT representative of the educational system in the US.

I started learning about symbolism/metaphors in Junior High. In high school we learned about those concepts even more in depth as well as how to analyze different works such as short stories (motifs, symbolism, protagonist/antagonist, plot plan, theme statement etc.) poetry (free verse, prose, iamb, sonnets, copulets, etc.), and theatre (breaking the 4th wall etc.) The fact that you didn't learn any of that is scary.
No, what Ruth is talking about is VERY representative of the educational system in US, yours example on another hand is not typical.
When I'm looking at my son's education in American school - no classical literature, no understanding of classical literature whatsoever, and in many ways - thus failure in teaching English also, because the students don't see good examples of English language, and how it should be used.
( They try to patch it all up in colleges, with PAID education, when it's a already a bit too late.)
I wish my son could go back in time and get education in a good old Soviet school, after looking at American education in public schools.
At this point in time I can REALLY appreciate Soviet system of education.
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Old 06-10-2012, 11:56 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
LOL! I must have lead a sheltered life during my time in Russia, I never ran into any "mad dogs". haha! Well...maybe one.

erasure: Don't you find that Americans are friendly on a more superficial level, whereas some Russians have a deeper understanding of friendship?

Well it can't be any other way, really, because the reason behind it I think is the original idea of collectivism behind Russians as a nation, whereas for Anglo-Saxons it's the idea of individualism.
I mean the culture that strives in many ways to be different from its original roots ( I'm talking about the US at this point,) for "connectedness of people" if I can use this word, lol, and friendly relations with the neighbor - at the end of course these relations are going to be less meaningful and profound than among Russians.
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Old 06-10-2012, 12:11 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
78,584 posts, read 70,482,002 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luckynumber4 View Post


This is NOT good and is definitely NOT representative of the educational system in the US.

I started learning about symbolism/metaphors in Junior High. In high school we learned about those concepts even more in depth as well as how to analyze different works such as short stories (motifs, symbolism, protagonist/antagonist, plot plan, theme statement etc.) poetry (free verse, prose, iamb, sonnets, copulets, etc.), and theatre (breaking the 4th wall etc.) The fact that you didn't learn any of that is scary.
I'm jealous! You scored, literature-education-wise! Where did you go to school?

Last edited by Ruth4Truth; 06-10-2012 at 12:24 PM..
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Old 06-10-2012, 12:18 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
78,584 posts, read 70,482,002 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erasure View Post
No, what Ruth is talking about is VERY representative of the educational system in US, yours example on another hand is not typical.
When I'm looking at my son's education in American school - no classical literature, no understanding of classical literature whatsoever, and in many ways - thus failure in teaching English also, because the students don't see good examples of English language, and how it should be used.
( They try to patch it all up in colleges, with PAID education, when it's a already a bit too late.)
I wish my son could go back in time and get education in a good old Soviet school, after looking at American education in public schools.
At this point in time I can REALLY appreciate Soviet system of education.
Well, these days the schools are even worse in terms of grammar and literature. I have young friends in highschool, and they said in their Freshman year, their assignments weren't even about reading and writing. They were about making videos, and preparing lectures with audio-visual illustrations. The public school system in some parts of the country has been notorious over generations for not teaching grammar at any stage. (University professors complain they receive writing assignments that are unintelligible.) I've taught in public schools where the "English" teachers openly say it's not their job to teach English grammar, it's the foreign language teachers' job. It's appalling that this is considered an acceptable thing to say openly, in front of other teachers.

Erasure, in the US it's very important to choose well the community in which you live, for the quality of the school. But even that doesn't guarantee good (or any) instruction in grammar, writing and literature reading skills.
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