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   RE: Are modern language classes classified as elective in your district/state?
 From: Angie Sherbondy
 To: Language Educators
 Posted: 09-05-2017 09:54
 Message: Hi, Lonnie:

That is an awful situation!  You and your students are being set up for failure.  At our school, we agreed as a department what the requirements were and had diagnostic tests for incoming students.  We worked with the counselors to ensure that no student who received C- or lower could advance to the next level.

Our district is poised to require world language for high school graduation.  The state may be considering it, not sure.

World Language is not like other disciplines.  If you don't pass a history class and you go to the next one, you can still understand what the teacher is saying.  In world language, if you don't meet proficiency, you can't even understand the teacher's instructions.  Sometimes I get so frustrated at administration's lack of understanding of the particulars of each discipline.  They need to rely on and have more confidence in the expertise of the experienced teachers in each discipline.

I tried to convince my principal that we needed to require candidates to give a short samle lesson during the interview.  He felt that was unnecessary.  There is no way you can ascertain a teacher's ability to deliver comprehensible input by what they say alone.  We had an amazing candidate get up and teach her lesson entirely in English.   My principal hired her against my advice and she had no success bringing the students to proficiency.  Sigh.

Good luck, Lonnie!  Can you work with the counselors?

Angie


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Angie Sherbondy
altespoir@sbcglobal.net
Spanish Teacher
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Original Message:
Sent: 09-04-2017 12:21
From: Rita Barrett
Subject: Are modern language classes classified as elective in your district/state?

I teach at a small Christian high school where modern language is an elective, as is not required for graduation in our state. However, universities usually want to see 2-3 years of consecutive language study, so most of our students do take my class.

It sounds like you need to educate your administration! What kind of conversations have you had? I have taught 10 years at my school and have successfully changed the culture regarding modern language. There were a lot of misconceptions and I also felt my department received less respect, especially from students. "It´s just Spanish." But we have come a long way! It is possible!

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Rita Barrett
rbarrett@paasda.org
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Original Message:
Sent: 09-01-2017 08:12
From: Lonnie Dai Zovi
Subject: Are modern language classes classified as elective in your district/state?

Are modern language classes classified as elective in your district/state? We are. Because of our classification, we get super large classes, never get the respect from the administration that other academic classes (put kids in French even if they signed up for Spanish, put them in the second level even if they didn't pass the first level (even if they got a 20%) or in Spanish 3 even if they never even took Spanish 2. Just wondering if you folks experienced the same thing.

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Lonnie Dai Zovi
lonnie@vibrante.com
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