Filed under Guest Columns

If ESU Had German, You Could Read This

(Betr.: „For Whom The Bell Tolls“ und „Foreign Language Education Embraces Change“) Es ist schade und auch schlechte Politik, dass ESU ihren Sprachprogrammen den Garaus macht. Zuerst ging die chinesische Sprache durch die Holzschreddermaschine, dann die französische und deutsche. Trotzdem behauptet ESU, dass sie die Geisteswissenschaften hochschätzen würde und dass sie sich bemühe, ihre Studentinnen auf einen globalen Markt vorzubereiten.

Fakt ist aber, wenn eine Studentin z.B. Deutsch studieren wollte, könnte sie bei ESU nur die ersten zwei Semester belegen—um weiter zu studieren, müsste sie sich an eine andere Uni wenden oder ESU sogar ganz verlassen. Das könnte es auch erschweren, Studenten für das Honors College anzuwerben.

Angeblich wollen manche an ESU alle die Bäume vor der Plumb Hall fällen—wenn wir in der Tat unsere „akademischen Bäumchen“ umschlagen, könnten wir gleich auch den Namen von einer jeden Sprache in jeden Baum einritzen bevor wir den niederhauen. Angesichts der Tatsache, dass wir die Geisteswissenschaften bis jetzt so tapfer verteidigt haben, wird die Symbolik sicher verstanden werden.


 

(Re: “For Whom The Bell Tolls” and “Foreign Language Education Embraces Change”) It is both sad and bad policy that ESU is killing off its language programs. First Chinese went through the wood chipper, then French and German. And yet ESU claims to treasure the liberal arts and claims that it strives to prepare students for a global marketplace.

At present, if a curious or ambitious student were interested in studying, say, German, she could only take two semesters at ESU—to go any further, she would have to take courses from another school or simply transfer out of ESU. That might make it hard to attract students to the honors program, too.

Apparently some at ESU want to chop down all the trees in front of Plumb Hall—if we do end up eliminating our “grove of Academe,” we might think about carving the name of a language into each tree before cutting it down to a stump. Given our valiant defense of the humanities so far, the symbolism is sure to be understood.

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3 Comments

3 Responses to “If ESU Had German, You Could Read This”

  1. Lindsey Bartlett on August 22nd, 2014 12:40 pm

    Dr. Emmer,

    On your Facebook page you claim that French and German are not being taught at all this semester. As a member of EMLJ I would like to point out that is wrong. Both French and German, at least at the basic level, are being taught. Renate Kerwick is teaching German, and Doug Amend is teaching French. Please check course listings before giving out false information. Thanks.

  2. Czarli Rex on September 19th, 2014 3:14 am

    I completely agree with Dr. Emmer! I was one of the few students enrolled in Chinese when it was cut. I was so dissapointed! I don’t understand how ESU has a school of business but isn’t encouraging it’s students to learn languages used in businesses all over the world. The top pharmaceutical companies in the United States are French. Business in pharmaceuticals is good business and you can make a lot of money, but you can’t go very high in the good companies if you only speak English because their headquarters are in France. China is known for their business acumen but students aren’t encouraged to take that language either. Teachers are encouraged to take Spanish but are going out into schools where Spanish isn’t the only other language spoken and in some places isn’t the second dominant language spoken. When I took Sociology at ESU I learned that other languages are on the rise in the US. Some studies think we have as little as 10 years before English is no longer the dominant language spoken in the US and yet language is not a priority at ESU. The trend of putting languages online is disturbing. If you want to learn online, why take courses from ESU when you can get Duolingo for free. Or you can pay about the same cost to get Rosetta Stone which is known as the best immersion source for learning a new language. It was an incredible disappointment to see ESU reduce its language program and to see the intention to get rid of most of the languages except for Spanish. One of the things that doesn’t make sense is that ESU has such a huge and diverse international student population, yet few courses available to learn the languages of those students coming to ESU. Wouldn’t it show the pride that we have in our international students to provide access to their languages so that ESU students native to the US could speak to their new friends in their own languages, or at least try? What a complete shame.

  3. C. E. Emmer on October 12th, 2014 2:38 am

    “Want to attend college for free? It can happen if you learn German.”
    — opening line from the article, “German colleges offer free degrees to Americans”
    CBS, wtsp.com (October 9, 2014)
    http://www.wtsp.com/story/news/2014/10/03/german-colleges–free-degrees–americans/16658027/

    ————-
    Lindsey Bartlett: Thank you for your input! Unfortunately, I only now saw that someone had made comments on this editorial. Yes, I did post an erroneous statement on Facebook after a conversation misled me, but I did correct it soon after (of course, I welcome all corrections!). On the other hand, my point from the published guest column stands: at ESU there are no majors in French, German, or Chinese any more, and students can only take beginning courses in French and German. Not good!

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