Monday, April 23, 2007
I have been teaching for twenty-two years and there has not been a year, where parents have not requested to have their children learn a second language in Middle school. We have bombs for Iraq, but we don’t have money for education. I remember when I started the class sizes were down to 25, nowadays I have 40 to 45 students sitting in my class. I think I don’t have to explain that this is a big distraction for some of the kids. If you looked at the class sizes in Europe it seems that you are on a whole different planet. Culture plays a big part. Europeans are anxious to learn another language. It is so easy for them to travel around and speak another language. For us Americans it is quite hard, all we have really close is Canada and Mexico. That’s why I really recommend the trips that we organize for kids. It is so important to go to a country where the language is spoken. That is the only way you really get better at languages. Besides to the low class sizes in Europe the behavior of students is another factor that makes the difference. It seems to me that we have to deal here with so much behavior issues that seem not to exist in the good old Europe. Well and another thing that does not exist in Europe is after-school-activities. Sports here are a big part of a teenager’s life here. I have at least two to five students per trimester who give me excuses that they weren’t able to do their homework or to study because they had a game the day before. Motivation and the attitude to education are way lower here in the United States. Politicians do a lot of “lip-service”. They say that Education is more important than Sports but look at it. We all know it is not true. Americans are not really forced to learn another language. The media is mostly in English. Pop culture is mostly in English. Remember when we banned German as a world language after WWII. Man, that was a mistake! There is no such thing as permanent Allies only permanent interest.