A Blow To His Confidence 27

More from K:
Bonjour M. Slavic,
J’ai une question pour vous. Je fais mes devoirs d’ete pour PIB French 2 et J’ai un problème. Je dois lire une histoire et puis écrire un résumé. Nous sommes censés utiliser l’imparfait. Mais, je tiens à dire “Il a dit que Jean-Pierre ne pouvait pas avoir un chien” ou “Il voulait un chien.” Ceux-ci utilisent l’imparfait. La plupart des étudiants ne savent pas l’imparfait. Mais je sais l’imparfait [ed. note: she learned it in 8th grade, a class that was not accepted by the high school for a year of credit because it was a middle school class]. Je ne veux pas que mon professeur de penser que je trichais. Alors, J’ai envoyé un e-mail à son. (Ce n’est pas mon professeur de l’année prochaine, mais elle attribué les devoirs alors elle corriger.) Elle dit que je ne pouvais pas utiliser l’imparfait parce que la plupart des étudiants ne savent pas l’imparfait. Si elle voyait l’imparfait dans leurs documents, elle leur manquent pour avoir triché. Il ne serait pas juste pour me permettre d’utiliser l’imparfait quand tout le monde ne pouvait pas. J’ai dit que je suis prête à passer un test sur l’imparfait. Elle a dit non. Au contraire, elle m’a dit pour changer l’imparfait au passé compose même si elle nest pas correcte parce que tout le monde sait le passe compose. Je suis fachée. Je suis heureuse qu’elle n’est pas mon professeur l’annee prochaine mais ma question est que dois je faire?
(I have a question for you. I am doing my summer homework for French 2 and I have a problem. I have to read a story and then write a synopsis. We are not allowed to use the imperfect tense. But I insist on saying, “He said that Jean-Pierre could not have a dog” or “He wanted a dog.” These use the imperfect. Most of the students don’t know the imperfect. I don’t want my teacher to think that I was cheating. So, I sent her an email. (It’s not my teacher for next year, but she assigned the homework so she is correcting it). She says that I wouldn’t be able to use the imperfect because most of the students don’t know the imperfect. If she saw the imperfect in their papers, she would take points off for cheating. It wouldn’t be right to allow me to use the imperfect when every one else couldn’t. I said that I am ready to pass a test on the imperfect. She said no. On the contrary, she told me to change the imperfect into the the passe compose even if it is wrong because everyone knows the passe compose. I am angry. I am happy that she is not my teacher next year but my question is what should I do?)
K further comments:
This [situation] is very messed up, and a major problem with the traditional method. They only teach you a limited number of topics per year and you are limited to using that information even if you know more. The idea that a student would study and learn French outside the classroom is very foreign to them and so if they see something “advanced” in writing, they assume they used a translator, which is cheating. So, now I must use the wrong tense even though I know the correct one, just because others don’t know it. We are making mediocrity the standard… and they say IB is better than that…. Ha! Grrrr!



4 thoughts on “A Blow To His Confidence 27”

  1. OK I think it’s STUPID:
    I think a teacher is stupid to not acknowledge a higher level student! Whenever I have students that forge ahead, I support them and am proud of the initiative. The people that succeed in life have not just sat back to be spoon fed, they have worked hard and pushed ahead. Isn’t this the AMERICAN way? Isn’t it this type of person that has made America great?
    I think it’s stupid to give an assignment the students coudn’t possibly do correctly! What teacher in their right mind would do such a thing! The students will never correctly learn the imparfait that way… So, is it cheating to search out more information to complete an assignment correctly? Do students need to submit reports from prior teachers to show that have already ‘introduced’ certain grammar points? Everyone knows that computer grammar checks aren’t that accurate… (Does anyone remember way back to an article that showed all the flaws in those grammar checks?? The paragraph was hilarious…) Did the teacher stipulate that the use of a computer was forbidden?
    I also think it’s stupid to grade a summer assignment. If the teacher is worried that students have ‘cheated’ it should be given the first week of class, IN class. Is looking up a verb conjugation cheating? Is checking the meaning of a word in a dictionary cheating? Is it cheating to be able to use your own brain?
    I’m sorry that I have not given K any advice to help but I can’t even print what I really think about this, it would be censored!! lol I can say this: K stick to your guns. You’ve been handling this whole situation super well, bravo!!

  2. Let’s apply this teacher’s logic to other disciplines:
    -From Math: We haven’t learned decimals yet, so solve the following problem using fractions. In a group of 35 students, 9 speak English, 10 speak Spanish, 4 speak Korean, 6 speak Arabic, and 6 are bilingual. What percentage of the students speak only one language? Remember, use fractions only.
    -From History: We haven’t talked about the Balkan states yet, so without reference to any events in Sarajevo, explain the causes of World War I.
    -From PE: We haven’t practiced batting, so without actually hitting the ball, go play a game of baseball. If anyone uses a skill we haven’t covered in class, he’s obviously cheating, so all of you baseball players who have done Pop Warner and Little League can’t use what you’ve learned in those settings. If you do, you will fail.
    How many students and parents would simply roll over and let a teacher get away with that in these other disciplines? How is this teacher pulling it off in a language class? This is worse than poor teaching, this is mind control disguised as teaching.

  3. I agree with you all. The limitations on this summer assignment are ridiculous. But please don’t blame IB. I’m in a program in which I have IB students, and while we had to submit our curriculum at the start of our school’s participation in the program, IB doesn’t mandate how teachers teach.

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