It’s really been more than a tug-of-war. It’s been like a war. Why has the natural process of acquiring our first language – you’ve done a great design there, by the way – become such an exercise in futility? Only you know how it got this way. But get this way it did! So what should we do now with COVID?
Before COVID, it pleased you to show us how to teach a language using comprehensible input, after all those years of futile textbook teaching. It gave us hope. Back in those days, it was really bad, but it kind of seemed all right. That was because the students from families with money memorized what they were supposed to, and those without the money just didn’t get into our classes, and it all worked all right at the time.
We weren’t thinking then about the equity piece. We weren’t aware of how many students were suffering, suffering, suffering because of our elite -oriented instruction, which was for the few. You are for everyone, so why can’t our instruction be for everyone?
At least we have jobs. Thank you for that. But what about all those millions of kids across the globe who have for so long now felt the sting of failure, the shame of being judged as not good at learning a language. What about that?
Maybe that is what COVID means for language teachers. Maybe COVID is here because we have forgotten what you want us to be – loving, non-judging, full of compassion for our students, as you are full of compassion for us. There is no doubt in my mind and in my heart that we have forgotten most of the kids, favoring only the few. We taught the few.