I have been feeling a little down lately because of an article I read in the Gauntlet. I wonder how many of my students read the student paper here at the University of Calgary. When I was an undergraduate student, I read it every week. Anyway, just for fun the other day I picked up a copy to read while I was reading lunch, and right there on page 7 was an article about the LEAP program. However, this certainly wasn't the LEAP program that I know about. Basically the article was arguing that the LEAP program wasn't fair to international students because it was a waste of their time and money because they are not learning anything. Eeep. Students were also claiming that they were learning things in class that they were already familiar with. I guess they mean stuff like they had already studied how to do the present perfect tense, so why study it again?
Anyway, this is the online link to the article http://gauntlet.ucalgary.ca/story/11102, but if you pick up a current issue of the Gauntlet, you can read the article there too. I wonder what my LEAP 4 students would think of this article. I really hope that now, because of the program, they are able to do things in March that they could not do in January. I guess that is the real measure of a program. If a student can say "now I can do this, but I couldn't do it before" that would be a way of demonstrating that they have learned something. Anyhow, I won't let this article get me down, but sometimes I do feel that I am faced with an almost impossible task compared with a normal professor at the university. It almost seems like if students fail in the LEAP program it's the teacher's fault for not teaching, but if they fail in normal university it's the learners fault for not learning. Complex stuff . . .