“The situation reminds me of Ivan Illich (1926-2002) and his book Deschooling Society (1970).
Illich maintained that schooling was a model of the centralized consumer society. Schools teach the students to confuse process and substance. Once these become blurred, a new logic is assumed: the more treatment there is, the better are the results, or, escalation leads to success. The pupil is thereby ”schooled” to confuse teaching with learning, grade advancement with education, a diploma with competence, and fluency with the ability to say something new. In brief, institutions tend to end up working in ways that reverse their original purpose.
This description seems to apply fairly well to many European classrooms. We may only think of many European students who learn about language without acquiring language. Or think of boys who may behave as if languages were for girls only. The relation between grammar classes and language usage is not clear. This realism, if we may call it that, of many boys means that they have learned how little they master a foreign language for practical usage. It is indeed difficult to actualize rules of grammar when participating in a discussion.”
Keynote Paper: Professor (emer.) Christer Laurén University of Vaasa, Finland: Assessing the impact of immersion programmes,
The Sixth Annual Conference of EALTA, Turku, Finland 4th - 7th of June, 2009