Photo by Jorge Aguilar
Sorry, but I still can't figure out how to put the inverted question mark in front of the sentence from my laptop, If you are unable to read any Spanish, it probably doesn't matter to you anyway. It says, Second language anyone?
Forty-two years working in kindergarten through twelfth grade education and neither in my past private schools I have originated and managed or in public schools I have taught in, have I encountered a good second language program.
I have hired some very good teachers who worked very hard. But not one student has left my schools speaking Spanish or German or Chinese fluently. The lack of effort or the omission of innovation wasn't the reason.
We tried traditional textbooks, tape programs, computer programs, and a mixture of all three means of helping our students learn to speak, read and write in a second language. There is nobody else to blame except me.
Nothing worked. So, here I go again. This time I am focusing on a method I observed many years ago at a private school in north Phoenix named Phoenix Country Day School.
In this program, a group of twelve high school students was sitting in a circle with their French teacher. During the instructional period, the teacher would speak in French and expect her students to respond to her statements or questions back to her in a complete sentence in French.
Of course, the French students had to study vocabulary and phrases beforehand.
That will be my next foray into foreign language instruction. Small study and small daily conversations. Maybe thirty minutes four days a week for elementary students. The middle academy and senior academy students will spend 45 minutes daily.
The students will spend two days in conversation with a fluent Spanish speaker. The other days will be spent learning grammar and vocabulary.
Foreign language at Maricopa Christian Academy is going to be different, with a purpose, of course. All to his glory, The grace of the Lord be with you.