Thursday, October 4, 2007

Brouhaha de Español.

My Spanish teacher sat the class down for a heart-to-heart this morning.

Apparently there's a big flap in the Spanish department because the average test scores in all 20 classes of first-year Spanish were very low. Also, the range from highest to lowest score was very wide, some 45 points (which for some reason is also a bad sign, though I'm not sure why).

This is the first year they've used this textbook and curriculum, and they're thinking maybe it's not going so well. They've decided that they can't -- again I don't know why -- help a brother out and adjust the test scores on a curve, but what they can do is lower the test's percentage value toward our final grade. Also, our teacher passed out a survey for us to evaluate the course so far and offer suggestions. For some reason I'm not feeling very secure in this little expedition. It's slightly encouraging to find out that it's not just me at sea. But, still, I'm at sea. And I think the boat is leaking.

I don't mind being a guinea pig -- I spent most of last year doing it for a living. But if they want me to test out their new curriculum, they should be paying me, not the other way around.


Mike M said...

Kick ass dude, you are so proactive. Most of those students would just do the "oh well", but you took it straight at em..WTG.

It is a bit different how involved we get when the money paying for our studies is more real to us.

I still think you should be watching Telenovellas. Most of them are produced in Miami- Cuban accents. The speed, the inflections, the lack of S's. Heh.. All you need is a cheap TV and some rabbit ears. Soon it will be like Santas Little Helper and the doggie obedience school episode of the Simpsons. No more blah, blah, blah, blah. It will start sounding like heaven to your ears.

m00nchild said...

that sure doesn't seem very fair to you or the other students. i've taught college-level language acquisition before (German). if the material is too difficult, students will not learn. the material has to be changed or students need positive reinforcement by building grading expectations around what works as an incentive to learn.