I still find students from bilingual groups reluctant to use and work with the English language out of the classes included within the bilingual program. Needless to say that this mustn’t be that way.
In Valores Éticos, a 2º ESO subject, in a bilingual group, we are working with the film “Cadena de Favores”. I told my students that the title of the film in English was Pay it Forward. I tried to explain them that there is an expression, pay back, that means devolver, and the title was based on pay back but making a pun. In the film favours are not paid back, but paid forward, favours are done to people who need help but not in return for something they previously did. The people that help others only expect that the latter help some other people, they don’t expect to get anything for themselves.
To understand the film better, I thought that it was interesting to know this. However, a student protested and said that we were not in English or in a bilingual class. Obviously, I told him that his attitude towards English shouldn’t be that, mainly taking into account that he belonged to the bilingual program.
I am writing this to drive all the students’ attention, and not only the bilingual ones, to the fact that in today’s world English is a necessary tool if we want to get fully integrated in this globalized world and if we want to get the most of what we are offered and what we can get.
Students must understand that it is not relevant the language in which the source of information or knowledge is, but what matters is the knowledge or information transmitted itself. And their attitude towards any source must be the same, regardless of the language used to transmit it. They must be critical and sensible but they can’t be reluctant because of the language used.