1981-09-14, English, Article, Journal or magazine article edition: THE SATURDAY SCHOOL OF COMMUNITY LANGUAGES A POOR ALTERNATIVE (14 September 1981) N.S.W. Teachers' Federation

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THE SATURDAY SCHOOL OF COMMUNITY LANGUAGES A POOR ALTERNATIVE (14 September 1981)
 
Bookmark: https://trove.nla.gov.au/version/258487674
Physical Description
  • 997 words
  • article
  • photo
  • Journals
  • Magazines
Published
  • xna, The Federation, 1981-09-14
Language
  • English

Edition details

Title
  • THE SATURDAY SCHOOL OF COMMUNITY LANGUAGES A POOR ALTERNATIVE (14 September 1981)
Appears In
  • Education : journal of the N.S.W. Public School Teachers Federation., v.62, no.16, 1981-09-14
Author
  • N.S.W. Teachers' Federation
Other Contributors
  • By Dimitris Langadinos
Published
  • xna, The Federation, 1981-09-14
Physical Description
  • 997 words
  • article
  • photo
  • Journals
  • Magazines
Part Of
  • Education : journal of the N.S.W. Public School Teachers Federation.
  • Vol. 62 No. 16 (14 Sep 1981)
Subjects
Summary
  • THE SATURDAY SCHOOL OF COMMUNITY LANGUAGES A POOR ALTERNATIVE By Dimitris Langadinos The establishment of the Saturday School of Community Languages (SSCL) appears to have been advantageous to some “small” community language groups, such as Latvian and Lithuanian, but non-beneficial to “large” community languages such as Modern Greek and Italian. At the same time certain inadequacies have arisen, extremely disadvantageous to all languages concerned. A normal school year consists of 42 or 43 five-day teaching weeks, yet the SSCL students are only able to attend 34. or in the case of senior students, around 25 one-day weeks, taking into account public holidays, school vacations, and possible sick leave by teachers. Junior students are taught for two-hours, while senior classes last two-and-a-half hours. No recess at all is allowed for senior students, while the juniors may be given a very short five-minute break, depending on the discretion of individual centre supervisors! Unfair This is not only unjust and unfair, it is immoral as well! During these two or two-and-ahalf half hours, students are supposed to try their best, concentrate, behave themselves and be educated in their mother tongue. This after an exhaustive five days in their normal school, while their other school friends rest at home or partake in their favourite sport or otherwise enjoy themselves in non-school activities. The two or two-and-a-half hours on each Saturday morning is a very short period for the students to learn satisfactorily. Valuable time is often spent by teachers telling restless students to behave. Students are supposed to remember their lesson from last Saturday seven days ago and in several cases, two, three or even four (in case of vacations) Saturdays ago, while at a normal school they have almost daily contact with their teachers and fellow students. Composite Classes Composite classes present great problems. In a great number of classes, mixed classes of Years 7- 8, 9-10, 11-12, are taught together, doing exactly the same lessons (!), while in normal circumstances, in a normal school, each year would do different lessons, appropriate only for that particular year. In the SSCL composite classes students regress, they do not progress, as at least two different years, which are supposed to be doing different things, are stacked together and forced often to do difficult lessons, in the case of the younger members of the class, and a repeat of lessons in the case of the older members. The problems are accentuated to an exasperating degree, in composite Years 11-12. Being senior students they have to be taught certain demanding material, as each subject syllabus specifies. Yet because of the limitations faced by these composite classes, students are extremely disadvantaged. Year n students must be taught Year n material. Year 12 must be taught Year 12 material, However, due to limitations of time, these legitimate requirements ments cannot be met. Instead, Year 11 students are often forced to do advanced Year 12 work, which in most cases is a lot of literature and little language work. Language learning, which is what the students mostly need, is thus neglected. Failure at the HSC exams is often the result of this unjust situation. General reports of HSC exams often make the point that the written (mother) language of the 2/​Unit HSC candidates is not very good. The SSCL is only making the situation more difficult for these students. HSC trial exams and other tests also cut down on precious teaching time. Moreover HSC trials mean another precious day lost for Year 11 students, in the case of the composite classes. Text books lacking In many cases students are not provided with the necessary text books for their course. Often they are obliged to buy such books out of their private funds, while other students at normal schools are supplied such books freely by their individual schools, at the very beginning of each school year! Another major problem is the employment of unqualified people to teach at the SSCL. An example is the case of a Turkish teacher, and a Greek teacher, both of whom lack all teaching qualifications. This is very unfortunate, when there is a long waiting list of unemployed qualified teachers. Often overseas qualified teachers lack the essential Australian requirements and knowledge to teach in an essentially Australian environment. ment. They are not aware of the existence and function of various teaching aids and machines. They therefore tend to ignore and neglect to use such valuable resources, considered so essential in the normal schools. If the SSCL must continue, in any form or role, then these teachers must clearly be “retrained” in special seminars. Demoralizing It is not unusual however, for qualified to Australian standards teachers, who have joined the SSCL out of a sense of duty, to become demoralized and frustrated at the inadequacies of the SSCL, so much so that they resign in disgust. Students of the larger community languages should be able to get a teacher in their individual normal schools, during their normal school hours, when a sufficient number of them (five to eight?) could form a class. For this purpose a “travelling 11 teacher or casual teacher could be employed. This will enable the community languages to develop naturally and fulfil the purpose of the policy of multiculturalizm within our multicultural Australian society. SSCL encourages segregation rather than integration and racizm rather than multicultural pluralizm. It pushes the community languages out of the normal school system, into something completely separate and strange, as if the people represented by these languages are second-rate citizens! It is up to teachers, parents, the community in general to act now, before it is too late. They should support federation’s submission to the department for the employment of 40 community language teachers additional-to-staff in secondary schools in 1982. The Saturday school was allegedly introduced as a temporary measure, but it is growing alarmingly. Soon all community languages could be displaced from all secondary schools, into the Saturday school, where they will die a slow death!
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Language
  • English
Identifier
  • 370.5 (DDC)

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