I can’t take it anymore. I have one professor who speaks English but with a Spanish accent. (And this is not a Spanish class!). Sometimes he mixes up English words or says them in such a way that I have no idea what he is talking about. He writes stuff on the board to help but what is on the board doesn’t match up with his words and I’m often lost. I have talked to others in the class about this and many of them have the same problem. What should I do? Don’t tell me to drop the class because we are already more than halfway through the semester and the last thing I want to do is take this class again. Have any other suggestions?
Don’t despair. I didn’t have a Spanish-speaking teacher throughout my journey in college, but I knew plenty of people who did. The most frustrating thing for them was trying to understand the teacher so that they, in turn, could do their work. Ultimately, however, they realized it was up to them to get the understanding they needed to pass the class. Though it was frustrating at times, they realized it was up to them to do what was necessary to get beyond the “speech” wall their teacher was presenting.
And so I offer you 7 ideas to get you through:
1. Talk to your instructor. I know, “talking” may be more confusing to you than remaining silent, but hear me out. Your teacher may understand your feelings. He may try harder when he lectures in class to be understood. He may make sure you participate more so that you understand better (Don’t freak out, this is a good thing). He may even give you some suggestions in having a better experience in class. It can never hurt to ask. I was struggling in a math class for a different reason and found out—by talking to the teacher—that he held a math group once a week to go over all of the assigned problems.
2. Talk to your friends about starting a study group. Offer to be the leader of the group. Meet at least once a week before class to go over what was discussed the week before. Fill in the gaps that you didn’t get but someone else in your group figured out.
3. Don’t wait to do your homework until the last minute.
4. Get some tutoring help. Math tutors’, for example, are only a walk away—and they’re free.
5. Ask someone for help that took the class the previous semester. If you have to pay them a little for their help it may just be worth it.
6. If the class is Math, make sure you look through the answer book. These books usually have every other answer to a question, and often, the steps to the answer. This way you can check your work.
7. Don’t give up. Often, a change in attitude can bring you forward in understanding where other options may not. Respect your teacher. He, in turn, will respect you.