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I’ve been at FSI in Arabic for 14 weeks. I’ve got 6 weeks left before my exam and I’m trying my hardest to make the most of them. Arabic is hard and unfortunately, FSI hasn’t done much to make the learning process very smooth for someone coming in with prior knowledge. I have some pretty strong fundamental disagreements about the curriculum and the way certain topics are introduced but I have to keep reminding myself that FSI’s program is only set up for people to reach a 2/1 so I can’t expect classes geared toward earning a 3/3, even though that’s what I want.

I know that I’m not going to get a 3/3 this round, especially not with only 20 weeks of instruction. But it still irks me that I have spent almost half of my time here in classes that were far too simple and slow-moving. It makes me crazy that I’ve had to beg and plead to get a teacher who is equipped to answer my grammatical questions and who is willing to help me excel. Shouldn’t all teachers be able to answer grammatical questions? Shouldn’t every teacher want their students to excel?  Shouldn’t the goal of every language program be to get every student as far along down the language learning path as possible?

I’m trying really hard to be positive, especially since I’m pretty confident that I’ll get at least the 2/1 I need, but I’m an over-achiever. “Just” passing makes me crazy, especially when I know I can do better. I just don’t know if I can do better by myself, and the teacher that I have now does not seem at all equipped or motivated to help me get where I want to be.

I’m going back into the office tomorrow to see if I can switch to a new teacher or get a one-on-one class. I’m hoping they can make it work for me, but I’m afraid that I’m going to have to really, really fight to get the kind of instruction I know I need. Blergh. It should not be this complicated.

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