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Friday, September 13, 2013

Final Reflection

I just had my last day at Colegio Los Robles. I have sat in on English classes from grades 1 through 7 and I have observed how the students level of English progresses. From grades 1 to 4 the students English improves tremendously but after 4th grade it seems to level off a little bit and the 6th grader’s oral skills are not much better than the 4th graders. Their written skills continue to improve but orally they have not achieved a high level of fluency even though they continue to spend half the day in Spanish and half the day in English. I’m not entirely sure what the reason for this is but I think it may have to do with a variety of factors. First of all, as pre-teens the student become more conscious of what their peers think of them and they worry more about embarrassing themselves in front of their friends. I think this new social consciousness them from speaking openly in English without fear of making mistakes. I also wonder if the fact that the teachers are not native English speakers affects the student’s progress in learning English. Because they know their teachers speak fluent Spanish they are quicker to resort to Spanish when they can’t express something in English. I also observed that the teachers make some grammatical mistakes when they speak and the vocabulary they use is not very complex. Despite these factors that may affect their progress, I am still surprised that after spending so many years studying English the students still cannot carry on a fully conversation in English.   

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