Ty Rillorta / Staff reporter
COVID-19 has heavily impacted language classes and has forced teachers to adapt at Gleneagle. Teacher are editing their courses to fit with the new COVID-19 regulations, but language teachers are experiencing the most trouble.
The main issue is fitting classes into the new quarter system and reducing contact. “We had to find creative ways to reducing the amount that we’re teaching, but still leaving students set up for next year; that’s been a really big challenge,” said Brittany Galliford, Spanish teacher. The problem is that language courses are set up for the longer semester system. “As a department, we’ve been trying to find what the really important pieces are, as opposed to the extra.”
Social distancing is done in non-cohort classes and have presented somewhat of a problem. “I have had to keep students more separated because normally for language, I would have them doing more speaking interaction,” said Brie Wish, French teacher.
“Language classes were a lot more about practicing with others to improve, but now it is more individualized,” said Rowan Adrian, grade 11 student.
Oral testing has become extremely difficult because of social distancing and masks muffling students’ voices, so both Galliford and Wish have found ways to get around this. They now get oral marks through asking questions at the start of class which allows them to hear each student’s speaking skills each day. Pronunciation is a key component of language, so oral testing and presentations are done digitally through Teams or a recording. This allows teachers to clearly hear their students.
Teachers still believe that they are readying students for next year’s classes. “I think that it’s going as well as it could. I think that it will get better next quarter,” said Wish.
Galliford and Wish are both in favour of the new quarter system, as it allows them to get to know their two classes better. Many teachers prefer the new system, but others oppose it, whether it is used in the future is still up for debate.