Can a foreign language be learned in the classroom?
The odds are stacked against the teacher. The kids enter the classroom speaking all day in their native language and, no matter how hard the teacher tries, it's impossible to switch that off. Students also don't understand why they need to learn something they are never planning to use in their daily life. On top of it, English is much easier to learn compared to other languages that have conjugations. So, by the time an average US student wraps his mind around what #conjugations really are, they are edging towards the tail end of the second year. In the end the #one_to_many#classroom_setting is NOT an effective way to learn a #foreign_language.
The Existing Problem
On top of everything else, the first thing they are acquainted with in a foreign language are grammar rules. The homework assignment is to read a text and memorize the words that are hardly ever used in a day-to-day conversation. How often do we start learning a foreign language with words like "horse" or "rabbit"? These seem like very useful words if you plan to become a veterinarian. To make things worse, the instructions are done entirely in English. It's safe to conclude that the students not only don't learn a foreign language, but they actually develop resentment towards the teacher and the language being learned.
Gamification through Apps
The teacher can continue to go through the motion or they can do something about it. The best way to learn anything is to arouse curiosity towards that subject. Doing theoretical things that will never be used in life makes it hard. You could add gamification through apps like #rosetta_stone or #duolingo which will probably buy a teacher some time at keeping students engaged. But after a short while they will start falling back towards the feeling of frustration. As a result, almost none of the students who go through 2 years of learning a foreign language are able to carry on a conversation in that language.
Albert Einstein is widely credited with saying, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” We would like to remind the teachers of how they learned a foreign language. They likely spent a significant amount of time studying abroad and through this #immersion eventually became the teachers. It's impossible to do the same thing with all the students in all the classes, but we've come up with a work around. Why not let students teach each other their native language right in the classroom? Read more here.
You can also leave your contact info, so we discuss bringing this right to your classroom.