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Saturday, January 29, 2022

Students express interest in learning new languages not taught at the university – UNIVERSITY PRESS

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The university currently offers eight language courses that students can take.

Photo courtesy of Marcella Monson

Some FAU students have expressed a curiosity in learning a new language for their own knowledge or find it necessary due to family ties.

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The aspect that prevents them from studying the language they are interested in is that the courses are not currently offered at the university.

Knox Johnson, a second-year business administration student, wants to learn Portuguese because his father is from Brazil and has family in the country.

“I’ll be in Brazil all next summer and I need to connect,” Johnson said. “I’m also in a soccer league made up mostly of Brazilians, which makes sense [in] Boca Raton is where there is such a large Brazilian population.”

according to Statistical Atlas, the Boca Raton region has about 1.7% of Brazilian people.

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Currently, Portuguese is not one of the university’s language options for students interested in learning it.

While American Sign Language (ASL) is not offered on a university course, Walker Booth, a junior theater student, became interested in learning the language because of a deaf character in a recently released movie.

“ASL has always taken an interest in me,” Booth said. “I think it’s a great language, especially with all the new interest it’s received thanks to the Eternals.”

“Eternals”, the latest Marvel movie, features The first deaf superhero Played by Lauren Ridloff.

The university has an ASL club but it was Inactive Since the 2019-2020 academic year, according to the Boca Raton Campus Council of Student Organizations (COSO).

The university is currently studying eight languages Available to students: Arabic, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Spanish and Latin.

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Arabic was the most recent foreign language added by the Department of Languages, Linguistics and Comparative Literature (LLCL) in 2012 and by 2013 an Arabic minor was available to students. Prior to 2012, Arabic was available starting in 2007 but only as a class with honors.

Shadi Shaheen, a senior political scientist, has studied Spanish 1 and Spanish 2 and hopes the university will offer more options for other languages ​​and professors.

But languages ​​like Arabic [are] “You didn’t apply every semester,” Shaheen said.

Marcella Munson, LLCL Head, explained that the department’s goal is to offer integrated programs and not just language courses.

“It doesn’t get the full results we want if we’re only able to offer one or two semesters only because it doesn’t serve the entire student community,” Munson said. “If we can’t offer the elementary, intermediate, and advanced levels, we won’t really offer a full programme.”

The LLCL department tracks language requests and suggestions by students over time. Comments are received from students enrolled in the language course to inquire about course offerings for programs and initiatives hosted by the Office of Education Abroad in Study Abroad Directions.

“We get a lot of valuable information by paying attention to the countries outside the United States students want to study in and the world languages ​​that this includes,” Monson said.

Monson stated that the most in-demand language is Mandarin Chinese not only because of China’s economic and political power but because the language is available in local schools.

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According to the Palm Beach County School District Location, Chinese is one of the seven languages ​​taught in the school district.

Mia Monix, a first-year social sciences student, wants to learn Mandarin because it’s such a difficult language.

“It’s a good opportunity to have ways to connect with people from different backgrounds,” Monics said.

To start a new language program, more necessary resources are needed than simply bringing in a professor for a semester or two. One good example of this, Monson said, is the Title VI grant the department received from the US Department of Education in the past, which was used to create the Arabic language program.

“The grant was just under $30,000 and that’s what it took to get a program up and running,” Monson said. “It’s a lot of money.”

Johnson believes that increasing language courses will be beneficial in contributing to The importance of diversity in the University.

“It will help us understand each other better and each other’s culture,” Johnson said. “Just make us generally good experienced students.”

Natalia Ribeiro is a staff writer at University Press. For information regarding this email or other stories [email protected] Or tweet her @nataliar_99.

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