This spring finally marks the time when it is all going to be trashed and a new classroom designed in its place. The era of learning languages mainly by being spoonfed teacher-selected tapes to passively listen to is over - thank goodness. Moreover, about a third of the players were constantly out of order, making it too expensive to keep having them repaired almost monthly. Although there will probably be times when I miss the chance of silencing a rowdy group into silent listening in the last restless class of the afternoon, I am really looking forward to having a more flexible working space. Hopefully a group working space with laptops, webcams, microphones, Skype - all the world at your fingertips! Budget permitting, of course.
We received these pictures from a partner school in South Korea, and I am really envious of their table arrangement and spacious room.
I wonder what our solution will look like. All I hope is that there will be enough funds to build something a bit more than the traditional classroom setting with straight rows of desks and the almighty teacher in front. It's quite surprising how many colleagues want nothing but that, probably because it's safe, disciplined and oh so familiar. Unfortunately, these old-style classrooms lend themselves poorly to group work, for example. At the end of the day, though, it's not the space or the tools. If you want to bring the world into your classroom, you'll make do with what you've got!