Language requirement changes will help students

To the Daily:

Concerning Suhael Momin’s column (Parlez-vous une autre langue?, 9/19/2005), it seems to me that Momin did not do his research concerning the changes to the foreign language requirement proposed by the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts Student Government. In his column, he conveniently forgets to mention that students can still fulfill the language requirement by taking four semesters of one language. No one is pressuring students to only use the “2-2” option.

The “2-2” requirement will actually provide the students with more options – options that I would have appreciated when I first started at the University. While I understand the argument that students won’t be proficient after only two semesters in one language, a student also may not be proficient after four semesters in one language. It all depends upon the student’s willingness to learn, and no one can force someone else to learn. It’s not that students don’t want to deal with the “academic rigor of studying a foreign language;” the issue is that students come here to pursue their academic interests. What is wrong with allowing them to pursue these interests in a manner that they want?

I was appalled when Momin claimed that if a student “is interested in dabbling around in different languages, he has plenty of time to do so after demonstrating proficiency in one language.” Not every student, myself included, has the leisure to do so, no matter how interested he is in languages. Personally, I am a double concentrator and am dually enrolled in both the LSA and the School of Education. Therefore, I lack the free time to pursue my interest in Spanish, Italian, Chinese and German.

I am extremely proud to have a student government that is working for me and not afraid to initiate changes in current University policy when it is in the best interest for the students. While that quote from William Paulson might be relevant, the important thing to remember is that it was said back in 1997, and last time I checked, it’s 2005. LSA-SG has learned from the past actions concerning the foreign language requirement and has proposed to change parts that are no longer relevant to today’s students. I think that we all have something to learn from LSA-SG’s actions: Change is good and we, the students, should have a loud voice in our education

Christina Talamonti

LSA and Education junior

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