In "Speak", what do events in Melinda's Spanish class communicate about the students in her school?

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clane eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Melinda's Spanish class the students do not have respect for their teacher and this lack of respect was established the first day of class according to Melinda. The teacher thought that she could go the entire year without speaking English to a room full of students who do not speak Spanish and so the students checked out of her class mentally and they seem very apathetic toward learning Spanish now. Melinda makes mention that if the Spanish teacher had done a better job of building a rapport with her students they might have paid attention and tried to learn, but since she chose not to they choose not to learn. When the teacher tried interjecting some English and really animated pantomimes the students tease her a little bit and do not even try to understand what she might be saying or acting out. The way these students act collectively against the teacher might suggest that the students in Melinda's school often times can be more powerful than the teachers. They care more about making the Spanish teacher pay for speaking Spanish than they do about actually learning the language.