The agonizing over opening schools, those conversations, is usually explained as based on a fear that kids will get behind. I don’t know about other subjects, but there is never being “behind” in languages. Everyone is exactly where they are.
At the end of ten months of torture in traditional classes, the kids are en masse promoted to the next level and life is good. The kids and the teacher recover over the summer and the nightmare begins again in the fall.
The teachers at the end of level two take a deep breath as more kids drop out after each year to where 96% are gone from their program (what if it were a business? – with the real talent (read “white privilege” – no blame, but let’s get real and put on our big boy pants when we say things like that) go on to the AP classes to receive the blessing of the College Board in the form of “AP Spanish” or “AP German”, etc. on their transcript and everybody keeps pretending that the non-CI language program is not a piece of shit.
Nobody needs to know that half or more of the AP class got 1s and 2s on the exam. I know of an AP French class where – one year – even the “smart” kids – a class of ten – all scored 1s on the AP French exam, except for one kid who got a 3. The kids don’t care.
No one cares. The school wants to advertise that they have AP French. Students scores are reported silently to the counselor in mid-summer anyway. Don’t ask, don’t tell. Nobody WANTS to know. They’re off to college, and the “AP Spanish” label did its job, the College Board got its money, the teacher got to say that they are an AP teacher, and all is well in the district.
But back to the narrative of being behind in Spanish class. Let me spell it out for any admins who might be reading this:
Have you ever wondered why so many people as adults, when the subject of language study comes up, that they “took four years and can’t say a word”? When the language students in your district are not hearing comprehensible input in their classes, which still happens even after knowing about the research for forty years, they aren’t really learning anything and so they say things like that. If it is learned, it’s on its way to being forgotten. Therefore, don’t worry about the language students in your district getting behind. Mostly, they’ll be getting their sleep at home instead of in your district’s non-CI language teachers classrooms. Get with the research and please stop listening to what teachers from the last century tell you. Don’t wait until the 22nd century to get caught up on what is happening now. Have a nice day!