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03

22

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QW 032212 “Low level?”

A week ago in QW 031412, I wrote about how I’ve been trying refuting my classmates’ argument. I was anticipating such moment that I would have to pump up my energy, though nobody asks me to do so, would come again, but it never did. Instead there was an uncomfortable for me to bear. I hate to hear any school English teacher refer to their students as “low level”. I do mind such unconscious arrogance in teachers that they easily label their students as low, middle, and high according to their preconception or biases. That was when Professor Childs mentioned the percentage of Japanese high school graduates who proceed to higher education, such as junior colleges or universities. He always casts doubt on the provision of “one-size-fits-all” type English education to high school kids some of whom never intend to go to university, and have little or zero motivation to learn English, at least within school settings. When he touched upon this topic, a student who’s been teaching English at high school for long and is seemingly a strong advocate of Grammar Translation Method with the full use of Japanese started talking. She said that she often feels as if she was teaching Japanese to her students because they just don’t understand what she’d try to explain in Japanese, their first language, so at times she spends much more time explaining basic concepts of whatever she’d mention in Japanese in “English” class. Is it really so? Is it because her students are, quote “low level” English proficiency wise and so is their literacy? Is it possible that her explanation is just redundant and unintelligible to young kids who may seem to have come from a different plant in the eyes of our older generation? Is there any way that she could’ve explained the matter in much more effective and efficient ways? Is it true that we need to “explain” teaching points in Japanese in English class? Well, all those questions came around and went around my head, but I remained calm. I don’t why. I was shutting my mouth up and thinking of my dear students. Because thinking of them always makes me just happy.

(40 minutes / 365 words)

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Aya

Author:Aya
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