It is required that each student who attends a Texas public school is required to have two consecutive years of the same foreign language. So why do students not like the language they choose to learn?
It is not the teachers fault per say, it is more likely the way the class is approached. While teachers are masters of their craft, but language is completely different then just another elective.
When the teachers have control, the students see learning as the teacher’s responsibility, while language requires an active and attentive mind. The language would be easier to learn in more of a tutorial setting, where the teacher facilitates and guides the students, rather then try and cram enough knowledge in each student so they can pass the upcoming test.
According to The Economist, workers who know more then one language on average get payed more then workers who don’t. Spanish-English speakers get an average of 1.5% more money then those who don’t. German-English make an average of 3.8% more than their counterparts.
Texas schools seem to approach language as a skill, rather than a field to study. Students are reluctant to learn something they are not at all invested in. To them it is just a class with words they need to memorize and never use again.
Some might argue that the way things are going are fine for most of the students in a language, according to their grades, but grades do not always reflect the way each class is run.
If the students had the ability to use the language in real world situations, they are far more likely to subconsciously learn the grammar rules. Reading words over and over again but not knowing how to use it properly in a sentence is not learning, its throwing more useless words at students that already have four core classes and two other electives.
Language needs to be taught in a way that requires initiative from the student that requires them to choose what they learn, so that the students are engaged the entire time. It should be more of a tutorial session rather then a teacher run class.