When it comes to foreign language courses, students are expected to polish their skills to develop a strong foundation for future foreign language pursuits. In order to expedite this process, the foreign language teachers have implemented classroom policies that expect students to communicate only using their language of study during class. Despite these efforts, students continue to speak English in foreign language classes. In order to establish a more effective learning environment, teachers should enforce these classroom policies more actively by engaging students in activities that require the use of foreign languages.
By constantly reminding students to converse in Chinese or Spanish, teachers can provide students with the opportunity to practice all elements of the language. According to Binbin Wei, Chinese teacher, the best way to learn and successfully master a new language is to interact with native speakers in its country of origin. Because this option is impossible to simulate, it is essential for students to practice conversational skills under their teachers’ guidance to ensure that they can readily apply this knowledge in the future.
Students learning new languages find it difficult to incorporate new material they have just learned in conversation. Nevertheless, in order to eliminate this sense of discomfort, they must be willing to commit themselves to endeavors that require constant application and practice. Only through this application can students learn the language thoroughly and be willing to take on greater challenges that they may encounter in the future.
These classroom policies should not call for a straight-out ban of English in higher level foreign language courses, as important messages must be relayed clearly to all students. Nevertheless, teachers should encourage students to abide by the current language classroom policies and exhibit efforts to speak in their foreign language whenever possible during activities that involve conversation. Only by enforcing such policies will students be able to fully develop their foreign language skills throughout their high school careers and beyond.