It has recently come to my attention that the University of Small Town USA (aka USTUSA), is teaching it’s World Language/Education students a curriculum I would like to call “Big Band World Language Pedagogy”. Here’s how it works: there are two completely separate worlds, the World of the Target Language (ie learning about the language) and the World of Pedagogy. In order to be a World Language teacher, you simply take the two worlds, slam them together, and BANG. You have a World Language classroom.
What USTUSA doesn’t seem to realize (or want to realize, or perhaps maybe they just don’t want to share with their students) is that there is a COMPLETELY separate (and highly efficient and sustainable) world called “World Language Pedagogy”. People in this world don’t always agree, but no matter what your position, there is research upon which to base it. There are courses on World Language Pedagogy that you can take, as well as courses in second language acquisition.
It’s understandable for Non-Traditional teachers (like me) to come to the profession under-informed. At least we are well-enough versed in the goings on of a business to know that we must educate ourselves to stay on top of our own learning and to best teach our students. But to make a student pay thousands of dollars for a “degree” that doesn’t even begin to prepare them for the job that lies ahead? That’s stealing. It’s stealing from the college students, and it’s stealing from the thousands of students that those new teachers will teach.
In my opinion, this Big Bang approach is responsible for perpetuating the failure of World Language programs nationwide.
When are we going to demand a change?
DISCLAIMER: USTUSA is not a real thing. If it is, just let me know. I’ll gladly change my euphemism. 🙂