pandemo (pandemo) wrote,

Why Good Literature?

As a teacher, I get irritated with our "English Only" advocates who use such a minuscule amount of the variety and elegance of the language available to us that I found myself saying to the eighth graders, as they maneuvered carefully to prevent mastery of even one new idea or word, "It's a shame when a Chinese IMMIGRANT's sentence structure and vocabulary so far exceeds yours that you cannot even UNDERSTAND her impeccably written ideas. You ought to be ashamed of yourselves for NOT HAVING MASTERED *YOUR* native language.

I was heartened to see this quote today:

James Earl Jones once said: "When I read great literature, great drama, speeches, or sermons, I feel that the human mind has not achieved anything greater than the ability to share feelings and thoughts through language."

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