English Learning

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English Learning

  1. 1. English Language, Literature, and Composition: Essays (0042) Test at a Glance Test Name English Language, Literature, and Composition: Essays Test Code 0042 Time 2 hours; approximately 30 minutes for each question Number of Questions 4 essay questions Format (1) One literature question that asks examinees to interpret a work of poetry (2) One literature question that asks examinees to interpret a work of prose (3) One issue question that asks examinees to evaluate the argument and rhetori- cal features of a passage that addresses an issue in the study of English (4) One issue question that asks examinees to take and defend a position on an issue in the study of English, using references to works of literature Number of Percentage of Content Categories Questions Examination IV I I. Interpreting Literature: Poetry 1 25% II. Interpreting Literature: Prose 1 25% III. Issues in English: III II Understanding Literary Issues 1 25% IV. Issues in English: Literary Issues and Literary Texts 1 25%About This TestThe English Language, Literature, and Composition: Essays test is designed for those who plan to teach English at thesecondary level. The test addresses two key elements in the study of literature: the ability to analyze literary texts and theability to understand and articulate arguments about key issues in the study of English. The test consists of four essayquestions, which are weighted equally. Two questions ask examinees to interpret literary selections from English, American, orworld literature of any period. The first question always focuses on a work of poetry, while the second always features a workof prose. The third question asks examinees to evaluate the argument and rhetorical features of a passage that addresses anissue in the study of English. The fourth question asks examinees to take and defend a position on an issue in the study ofEnglish, using references to works of literature to support that position. The questions asking examinees to discuss issues inthe study of English may deal with such matters as the nature of literary interpretation, the value of studying literature, thequalities that define the discipline of literary study, the kinds of literary works we choose to read and teach and why we makethose choices, and so on. Copyright © 2008 by Educational Testing Service. All rights reserved. ETS, the ETS logo, LISTENING. LEARNING. LEADING., PRAXIS I, PRAXIS II, and PRAXIS III are registered trademarks of Educational Testing Service (ETS). PRAXIS and THE PRAXIS SERIES are trademarks of ETS. 8601 1
  2. 2. English Language, Literature, and Composition: Essays (0042)Sample Test QuestionsThis section presents sample questions and responses along with Snowthe standards used in scoring the responses. When you read these The room was suddenly rich and the greatsample responses, keep in mind that they will be less polishedthan if they had been developed at home, edited, and carefully bay-window waspresented. Examinees do not know what questions will be asked Spawning snow and pink roses against itand must decide, on the spot, how to respond. Readers take these Soundlessly collateral and incompatible:circumstances into account when scoring the responses. World is suddener than we fancy it. Interpreting Literature World is crazier and more of it than we think,Below is a sample of the first question in the test, which presents Incorrigibly plural. I peel and portiona poem and asks examinees to analyze some of the literaryelements in the poem. The second question in the test is similar A tangerine and spit the pips and feelin format, except that it will ask examinees to analyze literary The drunkenness of things being various.elements in a prose selection instead. And the fire flames with a bubbling sound for worldRead carefully the following poem by Louis MacNeice. Then Is more spiteful and gay than one supposes—discuss how MacNeice uses imagery and diction to convey On the tongue on the eyes on the earsthe qualities of what the narrator calls “world.” Be sure to use in the palms of one’s hands—at least THREE specific examples from the poem to support There is more than glass between the snowyour points about MacNeice’s use of imagery and diction. and the huge roses. From The Collected Poems of Louis MacNeice, ed. by E. R. Dodds, copyright © 1966 by The Estate of Louis MacNeice. Reprinted by permission of Faber & Faber Ltd. and David Higham Associates, agent for The Estate of Louis MacNeice. 2 Copyright © 2008 by Educational Testing Service. All rights reserved. ETS, the ETS logo, LISTENING. LEARNING. LEADING., PRAXIS I, PRAXIS II, and PRAXIS III are registered trademarks of Educational Testing Service (ETS). PRAXIS and THE PRAXIS SERIES are trademarks of ETS. 8601
  3. 3. English Language, Literature, and Composition: Essays (0042)This scoring guide is used to evaluate responses to the poetry andprose questions. 1 SCORING GUIDE The response demonstrates some ability to engage Interpreting Literature with the selection but is flawed in one or more of theThe score range is 0 to 3. following ways: • Incorrectly identifies literary elements in the selection or3 provides a superficial analysis of those elements • Analyzes the specified literary elements in the selection • Demonstrates an insufficient or inaccurate accurately and with some depth understanding of the selection • Shows a sound understanding of the selection • Fails to support points with appropriate examples from • Supports points with appropriate examples from the the selection selection and explains how the examples support • Lacks coherence or has serious problems with the those points control of language, including diction and syntax • Is coherent and demonstrates control of language, • Contains serious and persistent writing errors including diction and syntax • Demonstrates facility with the conventions of 0 standard written English A zero is given for blank papers, off-topic responses, responses containing severely inaccurate or incoherent2 observations, or responses that merely rephrase the • Analyzes the specified literary elements in the selection question. with overall accuracy but may overlook or misinterpret some elements • Demonstrates understanding of the selection but may contain some misreadings • Supports points with appropriate examples from the selection but may fail to explain how the examples support those points • Is coherent and demonstrates control of language, including diction and syntax • Displays control of the conventions of standard written English but may have some flaws 3 Copyright © 2008 by Educational Testing Service. All rights reserved. ETS, the ETS logo, LISTENING. LEARNING. LEADING., PRAXIS I, PRAXIS II, and PRAXIS III are registered trademarks of Educational Testing Service (ETS). PRAXIS and THE PRAXIS SERIES are trademarks of ETS. 8601
  4. 4. English Language, Literature, and Composition: Essays (0042)Sample Response That Received a Sample Response That Received aScore of 3: Score of 1:In the poem “Snow,” by Louis MacNeice, the narrator uses The author uses imagery and diction to convey qualities ofconflicting imagery and unusual diction to draw a picture of a what the narrator calls “world.” In the poem “Snow,” thestrange and contradictory world. author shows different views of the world. One of the five Throughout the poem, the narrator uses conflicting images senses, sight, is used as a device of imagery in the firstto create his “world.” The first is the description of snow and stanza. The world is described as “suddener,” which meansroses at a single bay-window. This image confuses the sense that its reality is nearer than a mere window.of season. Snow normally falls in the winter, while roses The second stanza describes the world to be “crazy” andbloom in the summer months. Then the narrator remarks that “incorrigibly plural” which could be interpreted as meaningthe two are “collateral and incompatible,” again employing that there is more than one way to view the world. In thisconflicting imagery. Another example of the narrator’s use of stanza, another one of the five senses, taste, is used as anconflicting imagery is his description of the fire bubbling. imagery device, with peeling the tangerine.Usually, fire is expected to crackle and water is expected to In the third stanza, a sound is heard describing the world.bubble; people usually talk about “fire and water” as if they The words “spiteful” and “gay” are contradictory. This use ofare two conflicting things. The narrator’s use of imagery and diction again tells of different ways the world can be seen.description in the poem gives the reader a greater concept of Taste, sight, sound, and touch are utilized in thethe contradictory world he is describing. This world is full of last stanza to relate the many ways the world can becontradictions and incompatible things. While the images experienced. The final line of the poem sums up the entireillustrate the poem, it is the narrator’s use of language that point.brings it to life. Imagery and diction play an important role in the In this poem, the narrator uses vivid but odd diction in order interpretation of the poem. The imagery makes the reader feelto add life to his idea of “world.” For example, he never refers and relate to what the narrator is trying to describe as theto “a world” or “the world,” but only “world,” like it is “world.”something strange and new. The elaborate language createsan illustration of what the narrator is describing. For example,he refers to feeling the “drunkenness of things being various.”Not only do things change in “world,” but the changes aresharp and quick, enough so that one can feel intoxicated bythe experience. The language even sounds intoxicated whenit says, “On the tongue on the eyes on the ears...” Thenarrator also uses a variety of vivid and surprising verbsthroughout the poem. This tactic avoids stale, repetitivelanguage that can often bore readers. In one case, thewindow in the first stanza was said to be “spawning snow andpink roses.” While the idea is physically impossible, the wordchoice creates an unmistakable picture for the reader. It alsoemphasizes the idea that “world” is contradictory andstrange. The overall effect of the narrator’s use of imagery anddiction was brilliant. The elaborate descriptions, verbvariance, and conflicting images created a beautifully “crazy”world for the reader. 4 Copyright © 2008 by Educational Testing Service. All rights reserved. ETS, the ETS logo, LISTENING. LEARNING. LEADING., PRAXIS I, PRAXIS II, and PRAXIS III are registered trademarks of Educational Testing Service (ETS). PRAXIS and THE PRAXIS SERIES are trademarks of ETS. 8601
  5. 5. English Language, Literature, and Composition: Essays (0042) UNDERSTANDING SCORING GUIDE LITERARY ISSUES Understanding Literary Issues The score range is 0 to 3.Read carefully the following excerpt from an essay by Annie 3Dillard. Then, in your own words, identify Dillard’s central • Paraphrases or summarizes the central idea fullyidea in the passage and show how the method of and accuratelydevelopment and the prose style (sentence structure, word • Analyzes important writing techniques accurately andchoice, and figurative language) clarify and support her with some depthpoint. Be sure to refer to specific examples from the passage • Supports points with appropriate examples from thein your discussion. selection and explains how the examples support those points Oddly, almost everyone who can read feels • Is coherent and demonstrates control of language, qualified to discuss works of fiction, and even to discuss their merits and demerits in print. You could including diction and syntaxLine work yourself into a genuine froth over this: everyone • Demonstrates facility with the conventions of standard 5 who reads fiction seems to feel qualified to review it. written English One might as well let children, who eat, judge 2 restaurants. Some book reviewers have no training in • Paraphrases or summarizes the central idea with overall literature whatever. Now, no one would collar a man accuracy but may overlook some aspects in the street to review a showing of a contemporary • Analyzes important writing techniques with overall10 painter’s work. The man in the street would be decent accuracy but may overlook some aspects enough to beg off. So why do people with no special • Supports points with appropriate examples from the training in literature discuss so unabashedly their tastes selection, but may fail to fully explain how the examples in fiction? support those points The preceding paragraph was a hoax. I want you to • Is coherent and demonstrates control of language,15 feel, as I mostly do, that although its argument has a few including diction and syntax merits in the abstract, it is essentially elitist, • Displays control of the conventions of standard written curmudgeonly, and morally wrong. Why? We would English but may have some flaws swallow the same argument about painting or music without demur. Clearly, our assumptions about fiction 1 are different. The response shows some understanding of the essay20 but is flawed in one or more of the following ways: In the simple answer to this exaggerated question lies • Inaccurately paraphrases or summarizes the central idea one of fiction’s great strengths. It is of course • Contains a superficial or inaccurate analysis of that fiction, as a field, is not entirely the prerogative important writing techniques of specialists. And the fact that fiction is not the • Fails to support points with appropriate examples25 prerogative of specialists militates in favor of its from the selection traditional virtues simply because nonspecialists prefer • Lacks coherence or has serious problems with the depth to abstract surface. Specialists are interested in control of language, including diction and syntax form; nonspecialists like lots of realized content. • Contains serious and persistent writing errors 0 A zero is given for blank papers, off-topic responses, responses containing severely inaccurate or incoherent observations, or responses that merely rephrase the question. 5 Copyright © 2008 by Educational Testing Service. All rights reserved. ETS, the ETS logo, LISTENING. LEARNING. LEADING., PRAXIS I, PRAXIS II, and PRAXIS III are registered trademarks of Educational Testing Service (ETS). PRAXIS and THE PRAXIS SERIES are trademarks of ETS. 8601
  6. 6. English Language, Literature, and Composition: Essays (0042)Sample Response That Received a Sample Response That Received aScore of 3: Score of 1:Annie Dillard is arguing that literature possesses “depth” (line Ms. Dillard, the author of A Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, is27) because it is the art of the people. This makes it unique. It concerned with the virtues of literature. She makes the pointis the art form we are most likely to feel qualified to respond that too many people think they can talk about literature, but Ito, regardless of our training in literature, because it touches say, why should that be the case for literature if it’s not theour feeling for depth, not our knowledge of form. This fact of case for art? It’s a very good point about children eating inliterature’s populist status is emphasized when we consider restaurants—just because people can read doesn’t mean thathow less qualified most people feel when they are asked to they should be able to be literary critics.critique other art forms. Ms. Dillard’s argument is effective because she pretends to Dillard makes her first “false” argument clear by giving be self-contradictory, stating one thing and then changing heranalogies that seem convincing. The idea of letting children mind as a “hoax,” but really she is sticking to one centraljudge food just because they eat at restaurants seems silly— point—that literature should not be put down as beneath thebecause we recognize children often dismiss food for being other arts when really it is just as important and “artistic” asthe wrong color or because it isn’t served with action figures. any of the others. Just because literature is read by everyone,Similarly, the analogy of the man on the street refusing to even children, doesn’t mean that we don’t need experts,critique a work of art seems possible. While most of us “know literary critics, to help people appreciate it.what we like,” when it comes to painting, not many people This essay is also effective because, like all of Annieknow the pretentious language that goes with it—“modernity,” Dillard’s work, the writing is conversational and slightly“content versus form,” “pointillism,” etc. humorous: the critic collars a man in the street and the man The “gotcha” ploy of Dillard’s passage, her admission that “begs off.” These images, like the imagined scene of a childthe first argument is a hoax, is key to her method of judging a restaurant, engage us.development. It coerces the reader into seeing her point ofview. So while her initial analogies are convincing, a doubtbegins to creep in as we read, awakening our sense ofliterature as a non-specialist’s art form. Significantly, she triesto arouse feelings—“hey, this sounds right but it’s deadwrong!”—rather than make a structured argument. In otherwords, she tries to appeal to our feeling for depth rather thanour appreciation of form. In this manner, content (what she isarguing) and form (how she argues it) come together in thispassage. 6 Copyright © 2008 by Educational Testing Service. All rights reserved. ETS, the ETS logo, LISTENING. LEARNING. LEADING., PRAXIS I, PRAXIS II, and PRAXIS III are registered trademarks of Educational Testing Service (ETS). PRAXIS and THE PRAXIS SERIES are trademarks of ETS. 8601
  7. 7. English Language, Literature, and Composition: Essays (0042) LITERARY ISSUES AND SCORING GUIDE LITERARY TEXTS Literary Issues and Literary TextsThe writer’s primary function in society is to pass judgment on The score range is 0 to 3.political issues, social conditions, and people themselves. 3 • Analyzes the literary issue introduced in the statementChoose TWO works from the list below and then write a well- thoughtfully and in depthorganized essay in which you SUPPORT the statement above. • Develops a thesis according to the demands of theDevelop your thesis using specific references to elements of question and uses appropriate examples from twothe works you select (e.g., characters, plot, themes, styles, literary works to support the thesislanguage, point of view). • Is coherent and demonstrates control of language,Literary Works including diction and syntax • Demonstrates facility with the conventions of standardMaya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings written EnglishJames Baldwin, Go Tell It on the MountainCharles Dickens, Great Expectations or Oliver Twist 2 • Demonstrates understanding of the literary issueF. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby introduced in the statement but may fail to analyze theNathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter issue in depthHarper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird • Develops a thesis according to the demands of theArthur Miller, The Crucible question and uses appropriate examples from twoGeorge Orwell, Animal Farm or 1984 literary works to support the thesis, but may include some inaccuracies in the discussion of the works • Is coherent and demonstrates adequate control of language, including diction and syntax • Displays control of the conventions of standard written English but may have some flaws 1 The response demonstrates some ability to engage with the issue statement but is flawed in one or more of the following ways: • Provides a superficial response to the issue introduced in the statement, or misunderstands the position articulated in the statement • Fails to develop a thesis, fails to support the thesis with appropriate examples from two literary works, or provides a number of distorted, inaccurate, or overly general characterizations of those works • Lacks coherence or has serious problems with the control of language, including diction and syntax • Contains serious and persistent writing errors 0 A zero is given for blank papers, off-topic responses, responses containing severely inaccurate or incoherent observations, or responses that merely rephrase the question. 7 Copyright © 2008 by Educational Testing Service. All rights reserved. ETS, the ETS logo, LISTENING. LEARNING. LEADING., PRAXIS I, PRAXIS II, and PRAXIS III are registered trademarks of Educational Testing Service (ETS). PRAXIS and THE PRAXIS SERIES are trademarks of ETS. 8601
  8. 8. English Language, Literature, and Composition: Essays (0042)Sample Response That Received a has been accused of a crime against a white woman, isScore of 3: criticized by the community at large, the daughter is at first unsure of who is at fault; her dad or the community. TheLiterature is, at bottom, a criticism of society and of father shows his daughter the irrationality of judging peopleindividuals. Writers don’t just blindly “imitate” the world on the basis of their skin color.around them but represent the world, its politics, societies, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible also critiques contemporaryand individuals, in such a way that we see them, and society through literary devices. Like To Kill a Mockingbird,ourselves, more clearly. Point of view, symbolism, allegory, The Crucible addresses a contemporary problem in such aand other literary devices help writers critique the world way that we are provided with new eyes. Published duringaround them. The author shows us the hypocrisy and frailty the McCarthy period, The Crucible, which on the surfaceof the human world as we rarely see it when looking at it with seems to be only a dramatization of the Salem Witch Hunts,our own eyes. is actually a condemnation of the hunt for communists To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is a perfect example of during the 1950’s.this critique through portrayal. It shows the racism in the Both To Kill a Mockingbird and The Crucible criticizeAmerican South during the Depression. It portrays people political institutions and social norms, and they do so in aresistant to change and distrustful of outsiders. But it also way that compels us to see injustices we are often blind to.shows us the humanity of the very people it critiques, as well Seen through the eyes of a child, injustice becomesas a flicker of promise in their mostly ineffective institutions. inexcusable. Portrayed as an example of injustice andHarper Lee’s book accomplishes this subtle critique because superstitiousness similar to a witch hunt, the McCarthyliterature is uniquely suited to showing us the complexity of hearings become more than just an embarrassing episode inthe world as experienced by a sensitive observer, the book’s American history; they become a ludicrous chapter innarrator, a 6-year-old girl. This child is simultaneously persecution that must never be repeated. It is the primaryaccepting and questioning of the world around her, which role of writers to expose such dangerous thinking throughallows us to see the South from a fresh perspective. When their art.her father, a lawyer defending an African American man who 8 Copyright © 2008 by Educational Testing Service. All rights reserved. ETS, the ETS logo, LISTENING. LEARNING. LEADING., PRAXIS I, PRAXIS II, and PRAXIS III are registered trademarks of Educational Testing Service (ETS). PRAXIS and THE PRAXIS SERIES are trademarks of ETS. 8601
  9. 9. English Language, Literature, and Composition: Essays (0042)Sample Response That Received a A Note About the “Literary Issues and LiteraryScore of 2: Texts” Question The list of literary works included in the “Literary IssuesI agree with the statement made by the author about the and Literary Texts” question will change from test to test.writer’s primary function in society. Both The Scarlet Letter A representative sample of the range of literary works you may encounter in this question is included below. Note that this listand I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings were written by is NOT exhaustive. The list of works you encounter on theauthors who criticize hypocritical societies. actual test may or may not include some of the works below. In The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne writes about Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apartthe Puritan experience and how the Puritan ethos shaped Isabel Allende, The House of the SpiritsAmerican culture. Hester is a marked woman, forced to wear Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudicethe Scarlet Letter A for Adultery on her breast as punishment Pearl S. Buck, The Good Earthfor the sin of adultery. However, it is the private shame and Sandra Cisneros, The House on Mango Streetguilt of the congregants that Hawthorne finds damnable. Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness Maya Angelou’s I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings is an Charles Dickens, Great Expectationsautobiography of an African American woman who grows up Ralph Ellison, Invisible Manin the South during the Depression. Her experiences with F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsbyracism, religious fundamentalism and sexism lead to her William Golding, Lord of the Fliesgreater understandings of her place in the world. She is a Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sunwoman that suffers many setbacks: prejudice, poverty. Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to ArmsUltimately, she triumphs and becomes the Presidential Poet Homer, The OdysseyLaureate writing the inauguration speech for President Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching GodClinton. Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis Both of these novels are passing judgment on political Maxine Hong Kingston, The Woman Warriorissues, social problems, and individual people. They were Jamaica Kincaid, Annie Johnwritten over a century apart, but in both cases the writers are Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesmanfulfilling the same function in society: to show what is wrong N. Scott Momaday, House Made of Dawnwith a hypocritical society so that people can see themselves J. D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Ryeclearly and be inspired to make things right. William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet Leslie Marman Silko, Ceremony Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Alice Walker, The Color Purple Edith Wharton, Ethan Frome Elie Wiesel, Night Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie 73305-73305 • WEBPDF78 9 Copyright © 2008 by Educational Testing Service. All rights reserved. ETS, the ETS logo, LISTENING. LEARNING. LEADING., PRAXIS I, PRAXIS II, and PRAXIS III are registered trademarks of Educational Testing Service (ETS). PRAXIS and THE PRAXIS SERIES are trademarks of ETS. 8601

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