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Old 01-10-2013, 02:18 PM
 
1,866 posts, read 2,704,044 times
Reputation: 1467

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Hi, I was wanting to reach out to any foreign language teachers as I am having a big problem in my classroom due to apathy and a lack of interest in the class.

I am teaching at a school that is a majority african american school, i do have some hispanics but not a lot. I like spanish, I think it is fun and I like to teach it, but since I have came to this school, I have been told that I don't speak spanish well(it was a second language for me) that spanish is boring, and the students do not do the work at all. I really cannot make it fun for them because we have strong budget cuts and all we are given is the book and work books, no manipulatives or anything. Its like this generation is if it is not interesting, then I don't want to know about it. I have told them why they should learn a foreign language, and that they should study for 15 mins a day but they never do it.

It is so frustrating, having to battle day in and day out with these kids. They are in high school and apparently think that they know everything, not only do they criticize my spanish ability, but they criticize everything about me, clothes, hair, you name it. I feel like they are using me as an emotional punching bad and sometimes I want to say something back so bad, but I hold my tongue. Some students it just seems want to pick a fight with me, i recently said something about a jar of mayonnaise in spanish for example and someone asked why you couldn't put it in a can, i gave my best explanation and this girl kept arguing with me that you could(you can but its just idiotic). Has anyone else had these problems in a spanish class? This is also the person that insulted my speaking ability.
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Old 01-10-2013, 03:09 PM
 
137 posts, read 248,773 times
Reputation: 127
While I have never been criticized for my speaking ability I had some very disrespectful students my first year. I reminded them I wasn't there to entertain and eventually starting kicking some out when they argued just to argue. As far as ensuring they study I would suggest pop quizzes. These kinds of classes are hard. I was fortunate enough to move to a new town after that and teach a very respectful and eager group.
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:47 PM
 
1,866 posts, read 2,704,044 times
Reputation: 1467
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof2000 View Post
While I have never been criticized for my speaking ability I had some very disrespectful students my first year. I reminded them I wasn't there to entertain and eventually starting kicking some out when they argued just to argue. As far as ensuring they study I would suggest pop quizzes. These kinds of classes are hard. I was fortunate enough to move to a new town after that and teach a very respectful and eager group.
you know what? That is a good idea, i will do that. I am tired of them not studying and talking mess behind my back. They even make up stuff! I had one student tell another that apparently I tell jokes that aren't funny and then laugh at them. I have NO idea how i did that because that period was horrible and ticked me off so I made them do nothing but work the whole 6 weeks and there was no laughing or joking which the other classes got to do fun stuff.
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Old 01-11-2013, 01:12 PM
 
Location: Sudcaroland
10,662 posts, read 9,326,775 times
Reputation: 32009
I'm not a Spanish teacher, but I'm a language teacher. I used to teach English in France, and also taught French in England. (I am French, FYI).

I worked once with a bunch of boys who couldn't care less about school, and who would tell crazy things to me, like "if you wore short skirts and high heels we would listen to you", or "if only you spoke English with a French accent, we may understand better''
Some also would not believe what I said. Once a girl asked me the English word for "pates" ("pasta" in English). When I answered "pasta", she told me "oh come on, in English ma'am, not in Italian! Please be serious!".
One day another girl told me "ma'am I'm not interested in English, because I'll never go to England, because the English are ugly"

Don't let what they say hurt or upset you, or at least don't show it. And if one tells you you don't speak the language properly or whatever, remind him that you got degrees in this subject, and that those degrees are not given to incompetent people. Please don't let "arguments" escalate or anything. They will just use it to be mean to you or laugh at you, and give you a bad reputation.
You say the school doesn't give you much, so you must find ways to provide your own stuff: articles and pictures found on the internet, music CDs that belong to you etc. Don't stick to the manual if yourself don't find it that interesting. Most school books aren't interesting anyway.
Another thing: if they find Spanish boring, why do they take Spanish classes?
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Old 01-11-2013, 04:07 PM
 
137 posts, read 248,773 times
Reputation: 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sound_of_Reason View Post
you know what? That is a good idea, i will do that. I am tired of them not studying and talking mess behind my back. They even make up stuff! I had one student tell another that apparently I tell jokes that aren't funny and then laugh at them. I have NO idea how i did that because that period was horrible and ticked me off so I made them do nothing but work the whole 6 weeks and there was no laughing or joking which the other classes got to do fun stuff.
Be glad you only have one class like that. I taught at a school where the entire student body was like that.
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Old 01-26-2013, 08:44 AM
 
43,695 posts, read 44,455,186 times
Reputation: 20585
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sudcaro View Post
I'm not a Spanish teacher, but I'm a language teacher. I used to teach English in France, and also taught French in England. (I am French, FYI).

I worked once with a bunch of boys who couldn't care less about school, and who would tell crazy things to me, like "if you wore short skirts and high heels we would listen to you", or "if only you spoke English with a French accent, we may understand better''
Some also would not believe what I said. Once a girl asked me the English word for "pates" ("pasta" in English). When I answered "pasta", she told me "oh come on, in English ma'am, not in Italian! Please be serious!".
One day another girl told me "ma'am I'm not interested in English, because I'll never go to England, because the English are ugly"

Don't let what they say hurt or upset you, or at least don't show it. And if one tells you you don't speak the language properly or whatever, remind him that you got degrees in this subject, and that those degrees are not given to incompetent people. Please don't let "arguments" escalate or anything. They will just use it to be mean to you or laugh at you, and give you a bad reputation.
You say the school doesn't give you much, so you must find ways to provide your own stuff: articles and pictures found on the internet, music CDs that belong to you etc. Don't stick to the manual if yourself don't find it that interesting. Most school books aren't interesting anyway.
Another thing: if they find Spanish boring, why do they take Spanish classes?
I too have taught English overseas. One of my students told me that he never plans on visiting an English speaking country and therefore why should he study English. I replied to him that in his future if he ever wants to do business or have better job opportunities or encounter English speakers visiting his country knowing English might give him an advantage. So the same logic could be used with students learning any language.

Also as already mentioned one needs to incorporate their teaching materials and one can find plenty of extra materials online to teach various languages.
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