Language classes adjust to changes

In the Middle

Students and teachers at KO have been adjusting to significant changes in their language classrooms brought about by the limitations of mask-wearing and social distancing.

French teacher Kathy Dunn has adapted her teaching style to conform to the new changes. “Usually my students and I are moving around the room all the time, and now we are just staying put, so that’s been a huge adjustment,” Mrs. Dunn said. “I’ve probably slowed down a lot compared to how I usually teach because I have people who are remote, and I need to make sure that I am staying conscious of where they are.”

Eighth-grader Julia Sohn, who is taking Spanish C, has noticed changes and adjustments in learning. “Over the summer, you forget a lot, so it is not as easy to learn things,” Julia said when speaking about the challenges she is facing. 

Moving around a classroom is no longer an option, in order to prevent any spreading of the virus. Eighth-grader Azul Montiel is taking Chinese at KO. “We used to do a bunch of role-playing activities,” Azul said. Obviously, these activities are no longer possible.

Learning in language classrooms before COVID-19 was described by Mrs. Dunn, Julia, and Azul as being very active and hands-on. Both Julia and Azul spoke about the classes now being less proactive. Julia said that her class is now more textbook-oriented than it used to be.

Overcoming new obstacles may be a challenge, but students are finding ways to problem-solve. “My advice for someone learning a language with the new restrictions is to write a journal in the language you’re learning,” Azul said. “That will give you a quick idea of what words you’re missing, and it’s really good for everyday sentences.” 

Nonetheless, although following the new COVID-19 protocols may be challenging and most definitely different, students and teachers alike have been able to abide by the new rules successfully and still enjoy time in the classroom.