As much as I hate recognizing that anybody but me has a point, my colleagues brought up something important I hadn’t considered.
Teaching languages in a mask is not viable. Students already struggle with understanding what we say. When they can’t see our lips move, the sound is muffled, and you have to keep six-feet between you, how are they going to understand?
We use the communicative method of teaching languages, which means we teach through speaking the language. There’s almost no English spoken in the classroom above the 101 language.
But in the English literature classes it’s not much better either. These classes are about the beauty of the language, and how can you appreciate the beauty when you are mumbling through a mask?
God knows I don’t want to teach remotely again. But the kind of in-person teaching we are allowed to do is even worse.