Out with the old, in with the new

Sophie Beriault, Staff Reporter

A new challenge has sprung up for the world language students here at Lakeridge, and it’s not verb tenses or complicated conjugations. After years of the same textbooks and workbooks, it was finally time for a change. All language classes have gotten rid of the admittedly outdated books and upgraded to the brand new online system–and it’s completely different.

Besides the brand new appearance, the new world language textbooks are structured in a way that has brought up some complaints. With less focus on vocabulary and more focus on sentence structure, culture, and conceptual things, it’s definitely something that will take getting used to.

The preferred system seems to differ from student to student. Dulcie Feinstein has been taking Spanish since 6th grade, and she personally likes the older system.

“The content may have been dated, but the information stuck in my brain better by flipping through pages of vocabulary, rather than clicking a mouse to stare at yet another screen in my day-to-day life” said Feinstein, junior.

But some students like the easy access and extra weight off their shoulders. Sophomore Evan Wheeler is taking Chinese 4 this year, and he enjoys the level of detail the new books go into.

“The main problem I have with the new system is the transition. Undeniably though, it is more interactive than the old system” said Wheeler.

With any new change, adjustment takes time. But the errors in the websites students are supposed to use don’t make the transition any easier.

There have been complaints from students in French 2 in particular about the online workbooks extreme technicalities that the old system didn’t have.

“The websites we have to use have too many errors that get in the way of actually learning the language” said Mika Murphy, junior.

Most of the errors have revolved around accessing the online textbook and workbook. The websites are complicated without any clear instructions on how to use it, and the grading system on the computer makes it impossible to get a perfect score. Along with the textbooks and workbook sites, as well as teacher-made sites and online resource sites, things have started to get complicated.

Luckily for the students, one non-online resource for help with the new system is the teachers themselves. While the transition has been difficult for them as well, they’ve all been very lenient while trying to get the sites to work in everyone’s favor.

“I honestly think the teachers are handling it really well…working the new system is frustrating but they’re doing what they can.” said Kalista Marandas, freshman.

Getting the help they need is all the students really need in order to succeed in class. And that is largely in part a burden on the teachers. But they’re willing to do whatever is needed to make things run smoothly.

Brittney Driscoll, a french teacher here at Lakeridge has even resorted to going to the creators of the websites for some answers.

“The biggest issue has been the electronic workbook. It has some glitches. The company needs to fix it because it’s frustrating on my end trying to work around it and it’s frustrating on the students end when something as small as an extra space gives them an incorrect answer.” said Driscoll.

Students can take comfort in the fact that they aren’t alone in their struggles. All world language classes are going through the same things. And with the help of teachers, surely the small kinks in the new system can be fixed and students can return to learning those new verb tenses.