Why you should stop using Spanish teaching materials
Posted On June 17, 2021
A recent article from Vice News found that teaching materials for Spanish in the United States have become so widespread that some teachers are using Spanish for assignments and lesson planning.
Some teachers, such as one in Michigan, have even resorted to using English language learners’ lessons.
The article cited a report by the National Association of State Education Directors that found that in the last two years, more than 80% of the teacher-approved materials used by educators in the U.S. were either Spanish or English language learner materials.
The report also found that some of the materials included lessons that were meant to be taught in English, with a total of 13,500 items.
The report also noted that the number of instructional materials that have been approved for use by teachers in the classroom is actually much lower than the amount approved by the federal government.
For example, in 2014, there were more than 15,000 approved instructional materials in use, while in 2018, there was only about 3,500.
The most commonly approved instructional material is a textbook.
A study conducted by the American Association of School Administrators found that the average teacher approved a textbook in 2014 was a certified English teacher.
The study found that only about 8% of all teachers approved textbooks in 2014.
The majority of teachers approved instructional aids in 2014 and 2015, which was roughly 8% and 9% respectively.
The study also found a decrease in the number approved textbooks from 2012 to 2014, as compared to 2014.
It also found more teachers approved materials in 2016 and 2017, and a decrease from 2017 to 2018.
A teacher in New Jersey, where the use of Spanish teaching material is on the rise, recently used a Spanish text-book to help her students understand the concept of “síntomas” — a type of social awkwardness in Spanish.
According to the report, some educators have begun using materials from non-English-language publishers that are designed to teach English in a way that is easier for English-speaking learners to understand.
For instance, the UVA professor who used this material was told by his teacher that he would need to take the materials out of context.
Another teacher who uses this material, said the text was “so difficult to understand for English speakers, she couldn’t comprehend it.”
The article also highlighted a study by the Center for Teaching Innovation in the American Public Schools that found Spanish teaching is becoming more popular among teachers in schools in areas with lower numbers of English learners.
In the report cited by Vice News, the study found the average amount of Spanish materials approved by teachers is roughly $25.
Teachers in areas where there is a large number of English-language learners are using an average of about $40 to $50 per teacher-initiated lesson.
For those teachers, the average approved textbook costs about $20, with most textbooks costing between $10 and $20 per lesson.