過去這個週末學生考了 2017 年 6 月的 ACT 考試。如果這是你最後一次考 ACT，恭喜你完成了一個艱難的任務！
我們整理了 2017 年 6 月 ACT 考試當中的 4 篇閱讀文章，幫助學生準備未來的考試。
首先，讀這些文章。你覺得他們讀起來很簡單還是很難？裡面有沒有很多生字，尤其是那些會影響你理解整篇文章的生字？如果有的話，雖然你可能是在美國讀書或讀國際學校、也知道 “如何讀跟寫英文”，但你還沒有足夠的生字基礎讓你 “達到下一個階段” （也就是大學的階段）。查一下這一些字，然後把它們背起來。這些生字不見得會在下一個 ACT 考試中出現，但是透過真正的 ACT 閱讀文章去認識及學習這些生字可以大大的減低考試中出現不會的生字的機率。
在我們的 Ivy-Way Reading Workbook（Ivy-Way 閱讀技巧書）的第一章節裡，我們教學生在閱讀文章之前要先讀文章最上面的開頭介紹。雖然你的 ACT 考試不會剛好考這幾篇文章，但你還是可以透過這些文章找到它們的來源，然後從來源閱讀更多相關的文章。閱讀更多來自這些地方的文章會幫助你習慣閱讀這種風格的文章。
所有 2017 年 6月 ACT 考試閱讀文章
Passage A is adapted from the short story “Leaving Memphis” by Lauren Birden (©2008 by Narrative Magazine, Inc.). Passage B is adapted from the short story “Mandarins” by Ryunosuke Akutagawa (©2006 by Fiction, Inc.).
You see her first in the Memphis bus station on a
two-hour layover. You pretend you haven’t because she
looks ready to talk. “Stonewashed jeans,” you think,
watching her tap her platform sandals at the front of the
boarding line. When she catches you staring, you pull
your lips tight and stare at the floor in front of her. She
starts toward you anyway. She plops down in the hard
plastic seat next to you, moving her purse to her lap.
You motion to your open novel and shrug as if to say,
“Can’t stop now,” but she asks, “Where you from?” and
now you can’t shake her.
You’re not a bad person. You just wish Greyhound
assigned seating. It’s not the straw-blond hair teased up
around her face, not even the sad, neglected teeth that
make you want to turn off the overhead reading lamp
and smile at ber in the dark. “I have a sneaking suspicion
that we’re the same person,” she says, and you say,
“That’s funny,” because you know you’ve been inventing
yourself this whole time. She smiles and waits for
you to agree how similar the two of you are.
She tells you about the man she’s taking the bus to
see. “Left for a construction job in Palm Beach. Says
my eyes are as blue as the Atlantic Ocean, and he can’t
bear to look at the thing but one more time if I’m not
there with him. You can’t trust a man with a gun or a
heart, but he swears he loves me.” She waits for you to
tell her of a better love. You can’t think of a story to
She says, “We’re the same person.” She’s waiting
for yon to tell her yes, that you both have had the same
heartache and know about scars and love the same. But
you’re thinking at the window again as a radio tower
passes that reminds you of the Eiffel Tower.
Firefly porch lights are perched, fat and throbbing,
outside every occasional home you pass. You say, “You
know, you’re so very right,” and then, nothing more.
The woman resigns herself to turning sway in the quiet.
You’re telling the truth for once.
This passage is adapted from the article “Travels with R.L.S.” by James Campbell (©2000 by The New York Times Ccmpany).
Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) preferred to
circumnavigate civilization, with its increasing reliance
on contraptions, and steer toward the rougher fringes.
He self-consciously turned his back on the Victorian
idol. pores,. In similar spirit. he chose the past more
often than the present as a setting for fiction. His most
popular novels—Treasure Island, Kidnapped, The
Master of Ballantrae—are set in a semimythical realm,
where the fire of adventure catches on every page.
Stevenson loved the sound of clashing swords; he
didn’t want them getting tangled up in telephone wires
Stevenson, though, was destined to be a modem
man. He was born into a Scottish family of civil enginears,
esteemed for its technological genius. His grandfather,
also Robert. was Britain’s greatest builder of lighthouses,
and his graceful towers continue to guide sailors today.
Three of Robert’s sons followed him into the profession,
including Robert Louis Stevenson’s father, Thomas, who
made his own mark in the field of optics—his louvre-boarded
screens for the protection of thermometers are still in use today.
It was expected that Robert Louis would enter the
family business in twin, and a great wringing of hands
geeted his announcement to the contrary. He told his
father that be wanted to be a writer, which Thomas
Stevenson regarded as no profession at all. We can
imagine the consternation when Stevenson’s letters
arrived bearing pleas such as “Take me as I am . . . I
must be a bit of a vagabond: And a vagabond was pre-
cisely what he set out to be: longhaired, careless about
food, walking through France or planning an epic ocean
voyage, a far cry from the offices of D. & T. Stevenson.
Engineers. He was forging the template for generations
of college-educated adventurers to come. “I travel not
to go anywhere, but to go: he wrote in Travels With a
Donkey (1879). 1 travel for travel’s sake. The great
affair is to move.”
Stevenson would not be an engineer, but he left his
own lights, in Scotland and across the world, by which
it is possible to trace his unceasing movement. No other
writer, surely, is as much memorialized by the words
“lived here” as he is. There are five houses with
Stevenson associations in Edinburgh alone, not to men-
tion the little schoolhouse he attended as a child and the
lavish gardens opposite the family home in Heriot Row,
where he played and, the fanciful will have you believe,
first acted out the quest for Treasure Island. I have
shadowed Stevenson up to the northeast of Scotland,
where he tried his hand at being an apprentice engineer.
back down to the Hawes Inn at South Queensferry,
where David Balfour is tricked into going to sea in Kid-
napped. There are landmarks in Switzerland, France
and on the Pacific Islands where the adventure of his
final years took place.
Recently, I stumbled across Abernethy House
where Stevenson lived briefly in London when he was
23. It stands in a secluded corner of Hampstead. high
up on a bill. and separated from foggy London by farms
and heath. It was while standing on Hampstead Hill one
night that he gazed down on London and imagined a
technological miracle of the future. “when in a moment,
in the twinkling of an eye, the design of the monstrous
city flashes into vision—a glittering hieroglyph.” He is
anticipating the effects of electricity and a time when
the streetlamps would be lighted “not one by one” by
the faithful old lamplighter, but all at once, by the touch
of a button. Not for him improvements in optics;
give him the flickering gas lamp and the “skirts of
civilization” any day.
Lamps occur frequently in Stevenson’s writing.
There are the essays “A Plea for Gas tamps” and “The
Lantern Bearers, and his poem for children, “The
Lamplighter,” which celebrates an old custom: “For we
are very lucky, with a lamp before the door, / And
Leerie stops to light it as he lights so many more.”
Then there is his memoir in which he describes how,
when a child and sick, his nurse would take him to the
window, “whence I might look forth into the blue night
starred with street lamps, and set where the gas still
burned behind the windows of other sickrooms.” And
the lights shine again, with a subdued glow, in the obituary
he wrote of his father. Thomas Stevenson’s name
may not have been widely known, yet “all the time, his
lights were in every part of the world, guiding the
A year later, Stevenson chartered a schooner and
became a mariner himself, sailing circuitously through
the South Seas He had, in a sense, entered the family
business at last.
This passage is adapted from the article “Proceed with Caution: Using Native American Folktales in the Classroom” by Debbie Reese (©2007 by the National Council of Teachers of English).
Traditional stories include myths, legends, and
folktales rooted in the oral storytelling traditions of a
given people. Through story, people pass their religious
beliefs, customs, history, lifestyle, language, values.
and the places they hold sacred from one generation to
the next. As such, stories and their telling are more than
simple entertainment. They matter—in significant
ways—to the well-being of the communities from
which they originate. Acclaimed Laguna Pueblo writer
Leslie Marmon Silko writes that the oral narrative, or
story, was the medium by which the Pueblo people
transmitted “an entire culture, a worldview complete
with proven strategies for survival.” In her discussion of
hunting stories, she says:
These accounts contained information of critical
importance about the behavior and migration patterns
of mule deer. Hunting stories carefully described key
landmarks and locations of fresh water. Thus, a deer-hunt
story might also serve as a map. Lost travelers and lost
piflon-nut gatherers have been saved by sighting a rock
formation they recognize only because they once heard
a hunting story describing this rock formation.
Similarly, children’s book author Joseph Bruchac
writes. … rather than being ‘mere myths,’with ‘myth’ being
used in the pejorative sense of ‘untruth’, those ancient
traditional tales were a 90 distillation of the deep knowledge
held by the many Native American nations about the work-
lags of the world around them.
Thus, storytelling is a means of passing along
information, but it does not mean there is only one corrept
version of any given story. During a telling, listeners can
speak up if they feel an important fact or detail was omitted,
or want to offer a different version of the story. In this way,
the people seek or arrive at a communal truth rather than
an absolute truth. A storyteller may revise a story according
to his or her own interpretation, or according to the
knowledge of the audience, but in order for it to be
acceptable to the group from which the story originated,
it should remain true to the spirit and content of the original.
Traditional stories originate from a specific
people, and we expect them to accurately reflect those
people, but do they? As a Pueblo Indian woman, I
wonder, what do our stories look like when they are
retold outside our communities, in picture book format,
and marketed as “Native American folktales” for children?
Are our religious, cultural, and social values presented
accurately? Are children who read these folktales learning
anything useful about us?
Much of what I bring to bear on my research
emanates from my cultural lens and identity as a Pueblo
Indian woman from Nambe Pueblo. I was born at the
Indian hospital in Santa Fe. New Mexico, and raised on
our reservation. As a Pueblo Indian child, I was given a
Tewa (our language) name and taught to dance. I went
to religious ceremonies and gathenngs, and I learned
how to do a range of things that we do as Pueblo
people. This childhood provided me with “cultural intuition.”
Cultural intuition is that body of knowledge anyone acquires
based upon their lived experiences in a specific place.
As a scholar in American Indian studies, I know there are
great distinctions between and across American Indian
tribal nations. For instance. my home pueblo is very
different from the other pueblos in New Mexico, among
which there are several different langunge groups.
I draw upon both my cultural intuition and knowledge
when reading a book about Pueblo Indians. For example,
when I read Gerald McDermott’s Arrow to the Sun:
A Pueblo Indian Tale (1974). I wondered what Pueblo
the book is about. There are 19 different Pueblos
in New Mexico. and more in Arizona. In which Pueblo
did this story originate? That information is not included
anywhere in the book, and there are other problems as
well. In the climax of the story, the boy must prove himself
by passing through “the Kiva of Lions, the Kiva of Serpents,
the Kiva of Bees, and the Kiva of Lightning” where he fights
those elements. McDermott’s kivas are frightening places of
trial and battle, but I know kivas are safe places of worship and
Depictions that are culturally acceptable at one
Pueblo are not necessarily acceptable at a different
Pueblo. As such, elders at one Pueblo would say the
book could be used with their children, while elders at
another Pueblo would disagree. This is not a question
of cultural authenticity; it is one of appropriateness in
teaching, given a specific audience.
This passage is adapted from the article “The Asphalt Jungle” by Peter Del Tredici(©2010 by Natural History Magazine, Inc.).
The ecology of the city is defined not only by the
cultivated plants that require maintenance and the protected
remnants of natural landscapes, but also by the spontaneous
vegetation that dominates the neglected interstices.
Greenery fills the vacant spaces between our roads,
homes, and businesses; lines ditches and chain-link fences;
sprouts in sidewalk cracks and atop neglected rooftops.
Some of those plants, such as box elder, quaking aspen,
and riverside grape, are native species present before
humans drastically altered the land. Others, including
chicory. Japanese knotweed, and Norway maple, were
brought in intentionally or, unintentionally by people.
And still others—among them common ragweed,
path rush (Juncus tenuis), and tufted lovegrass
(Eragrostis pectinacea)—arrived on their own,
dispersed by wind, water, or wild animals. Such species
grow and reproduce in many American cities without
being planted or cared for. They can provide important
ecological services at very little cost to taxpayers, and
if left undisturbed long enough they may even develop
into mature woodlands.
There is no denying that most people consider
many such plants to be “weeds” From a utilitarian perspective,
a weed is any plant that grows on its own where people do not
want it to grow. From the biological perspective, weeds are
opportunistic plants that are adapted to disturbance in all its
myriad forms, from bulldozers to acid rain. Their pervasiveness
in the urban environment is simply a reflection of the continual
disruption that characterizes that habitat—they are not its
cause. In an agricultural context, the competition of
weeds with economic crops is the primary reason for
controlling them. In an urban area, a weed is any plant
growing where people are trying to cultivate something
else, or keep clear of vegetation altogether. The com-
plaints of city dwellers are usually based on aesthetics
(the plants are perceived as ugly, or as signs of blight
and neglect) or on security concerns (they shield human
activity or provide habitat for vermin).
From a plant’s perspective, it is not the density of
the human population that defines the urban environment,
but the abundance of paving (affecting access to
soil and moisture) and prevalence of disturbance. In
other words, a sidewalk crack is a sidewalk crack
whether it is in a city or a suburb. Urbanization is a
process, not a place—a process that tends to leave the
soil in a compacted, impoverished, and often contami-
The plants that grow and survive in derelict urban
wastelands are famous (or infamous) for their ability to
grow under extremely harsh conditions. Through a quirk
of evolutionary fate, they developed traits in their native
habitats that seem to have “preadapted” them to
flourish in cities. One study, by biologist Jeremy T.
Lundholm of St. Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova
Scotia, and his then student Ashley Marlin, concluded
that many successful urban plants are native to exposed
cliffs, disturbed rock outcrops, or dry grasslands, all of
which are characterized by soils with a relatively high
pH. Cities, with their tall, granite-faced buildings and
concrete foundations, are in a sense the equivalent of
the natural limestone cliff habitats where those species
originated. Similarly, as the British ecologist and
“lichen hunter” Oliver L. Gilbert noted in his classic
book The Ecology of Urban Habitats, the increased use
of deicing salts on our roads and highways has resulted
in the development of microhabitats along their margins
that are typically colonized by calcium-loving grass-
land species adapted to limestone soils or by salt-loving
plants from coastal habitats.
In general, the successful urban plant needs to be
flexible in all aspects of its life history, from seed germination
through flowering and fruiting; opportunistic in its ability
to take advantage of locally abundant resources that may
be available for only a short time; and tolerant of the stressful
growing conditions caused by an abundance of pavement
and a paucity of soil. The plants that grow in our cities managed
to survive the transition from one land use to another as cities
developed. The sequence starts with native species adapted
to ecological conditions before the city was built. Those
are followed, more or less in order, by species
preadapted to agriculture and pasturage, to pavement
and compacted soil, to lawns and landscaping, to infra-
structure edges and environmental pollution—and
ultimately to vacant lots and rubble.