Your Weekly English Digest,ETS該廢了嗎?英文作文考試到底能考出什麼?正反兩方的看法都精彩。



教作文這麼多年,我要說句真話,那就是,作文不好好批改,學生怎樣也不可能進步。ETS未來可能會讓電腦來批改作文,這將是一個大災難。不過說真的,各位的考試真的有被認真批改嗎?大多老師都懶得花時間,這才是問題的癥結。
下面這兩篇作文各有支持與反對的論點,可讀性極高。這篇文章今年三月已經發布過,這次捲土重來,是因為教練我的時間都拿去改作文了,所以才會重上舊文。但是舊文沒啥不好,這篇再上照樣覺得一讀再讀超有fu der。

本周的英文閱讀,來討論作文的必要性。
美國中學生的作文能力低落,一直令教育當局感到頭痛。不久前ETS才宣布,SAT考試的寫作將成為選考項目,更令許多教育學者,對年輕人的未來作文能力感到憂心忡忡。其實學者的擔心是有根據的,因為作文考驗一個人的統整組織能力,也能驗收語言程度。若連文章都寫不好,其他的學術吸收都免談啊。

今天我整合了紐約時報針對此事發表意見的兩篇短文,讓大家來看看專家的說法。我個人認為,光是鼓勵學生寫作文沒有用,老師也該認真批改,才能讓學生有進步的空間。不過不要說是美國了,台灣的中學生也不會寫作文。大考的作文從來也不發回來,有些學校更是摸魚到了極點。老師改作文不仔細,學生哪曉得哪裡出問題?懶惰的老師與錯誤的教育方針真是害人不淺。想要寫好文章的同學,我們還是自求多福。其實要寫好文章不難,請大家多閱讀,多寫作。你可以寫讀後感,這樣可以模仿本文寫一次,不失為練習寫作的起步。

Can Writing be Assessed?

We Don’t Do It Because It Takes Time
Will Fitzhugh is the founder of The Concord Review, which publishes academic research papers by secondary students.
MARCH 10, 2014

From the New York Times
The Opinion Pages
ROOM for DEBATE
We don't assess student writing well because, in fact, we don’t want to take the trouble. We have long preferred formulaic 刻板的 rubricized 評分標準 writing which, if at all possible, we would rather have "scored" by computer.
The Education Testing Service, which develops and administers the SAT, says it can grade "16,000 essays in 20 seconds." With that approach, writing assessment will remain a joke, and students' writing will be the kind of formulaic junk刻板的垃圾文章 they hate and we deplore深感遺憾/哀嘆.

The International Baccalaureate國際文憑組織 assigns 4,000-word extended essays長篇文章, which are evaluated by external readers組織以外的讀者. The National Writing Board spends more than two hours on each high school history research paper ievaluates — and sends the authors a four- to five-page report. These are serious writing assessments嚴謹的寫作評估, but it seems that no consultant, no pundit博學的權威人士, no school system and most teachers don’t allow for that kind of time to read and assess students’  academic writing.

As long as the English department -- instead of, say, the history department -- controls reading and writing, and as long as the colleges ask for only a 500-word personal “college” essay from applicants, nonfiction academic expository 非文學的學術論述型文章writing will remain probably the most dumbed-down蠢化的 activity in our schools.
Better assessment of student writing is possible, as the International Baccalaureate and the National Writing Board have demonstrated, but it takes the understanding that a lot more time and effort are required if we want to do it.

國際文憑組織The International Baccalaureate

國際文憑組織International Baccalaureate Organization)是一個非牟利性質的國際教育基金會,成立於1968年,總部設在瑞士的日內瓦,在新加坡、布宜諾斯艾利斯和紐約分別設有辦事處。國際文憑組織面向全世界的兒童和青少年提供四個國際文憑教育項目:小學項目(PYP)、中學項目(MYP)、大學預科項目(DP)和IBCC。在20092月,全世界有134個國家地區的2572所學校、超過69.8萬學生採用了這些教育項目。國際文憑組織的課程與評估中心(IBCA)設在英國的加的夫。
國際文憑組織的使命宣言是:培養勤學好問、知識淵博、富有愛心的年輕人,他們通過對多元文化的理解和尊重,為開創更美好、更和平的世界貢獻力量。為了實現這個目標,國際文憑組織與眾多的學校、政府以及其它國際組織進行合作,開發出一系列具有挑戰性的國際教育項目和嚴格的評估制度。這些項目鼓勵世界各地的學生​​成長為既積極進取又富有同情心的終身學習者,他們理解儘管人與人之間存在著差異,但他人的意見也可能是正確的。
From wikipedia

It Can Be Taught and Assessed
Beth D. Cohen is a professor of law, associate dean for academic affairs and director of the legal research and writing program at Western New England University School of Law. She is a member of the board of directors of Scribes, the American Society of Legal Writers.
MARCH 10, 2014
Writing can be assessed. Any skill that can be taught, any skill that can be improved, can be assessed. Effective writing is a fundamental skill and a vital form of communication. And it is critically important to students, individually and collectively, that we continue to value and encourage good writing.
Individually, we judge the merits of writing whenever we read. In an educational setting, technical aspects of writing such as spelling, grammar, vocabulary and punctuation can be evaluated. So too can clarity, organization and analysis. Grading rubrics, outlines, checklists and model essays are some of the available tools to help assess written work.
But writing is a process, and the most beneficial assessment is geared toward improvement rather than just assigning a score or a grade. The process of writing and rewriting takes patience, reflection and perseverance -- skills that are related to academic, professional and personal success. Ongoing assessment helps both teaching and learning, and students should be encouraged to write as frequently as possible with rigorous feedback and opportunities for revision.
The newly revised essay-optional SAT may undermine the importance of good writing skills. Because the essay is no longer mandatory, schools may spend less time and effort on teaching and assessing writing. Those who can afford coaching will be most likely to opt in to write the essay and those who cannot will remain at a disadvantage. Since most students lack proficiency in writing, it makes no sense to minimize the significance of this skill on exams. Effective writing is integrally related to critical thinking, communication, mastery of subject matter and problem solving.
It has been said that resilience may be the best predictor of happiness and success. Of all of the academic and test-taking skills, writing, and rewriting, requires resilience.


留言

  1. Coach,

    As I am reading the first paragraph, I find a word looks bizarre.
    That is "rubricized."
    I look up to four well-known dictionaries and two pronunciation websites, which are "Merriam-Webster", "Cambridge", "Vocabulary", "The Free Dictionary", "Forvo" and "Howjsay", but I am not able to find the definition.
    Hence, I leave my message here. lol
    Please help me.

    Thanks.

    回覆刪除
  2. Hi Shih Hsin,

    Rubricized這個字是從rubric來的。英文維基百科的解釋是

    In education terminology, rubric means "a scoring guide used to evaluate the quality of students' constructed responses.
    Rubrics usually contain evaluative criteria, quality definitions for those criteria at particular levels of achievement, and a scoring strategy.They are often presented in table format and can be used by teachers when marking, and by students when planning their work.
    托福考試就有這種記分方式。字典沒有很正常,這是一個美國考試單位(如ETS)超愛用的單字,不是很普遍啦。
    你其他的問題需要花比較多時間回答,我先擱置。這禮拜我非常忙,只能有時間再回答。

    回覆刪除

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