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Letters to the Editor

April 22, 1997

No foreign languages hurts students

This letter is in response to the April 10 edition of the Lariat concerning the language requirements at Baylor. I am hoping that all University students do not feel the same discontent as was expressed in the article. It frustrates me to see that students are living in the land of opportunity, yet they want to sell themselves short when it comes to a college education.

Last time I checked, a university was supposed to be a stimulating environment for intellectual growth. It seems that now, students want to decline the great opportunity of studying a foreign language. I would like to respond to Ursula Moore's comment by saying, 'Latin is a DEAD language. Where did you get the idea that a dead language was going to help you with your major or career?' In response to John George's comment, 'Anybody who takes a foreign language with the idea that he/she will be fluent in two semesters better re-evaluate his/her reasons for taking the course.' What foreign language teacher expects a student to be fluent in two semesters? In fact, fluency in any foreign language requires much more time, energy and experience outside of the classroom.

Overall, the article and the editorial simply put further weight to the pre-conceived notion that America is utterly selfish and self-centered. In the future, as interactions with foreign countries increase, America will only limit itself from economic and social opportunities by diminishing the foreign language requirement.

Anyone who has ever traveled outside the United States knows that being able to communicate with foreigners by speaking their native tongue earns so much more respect than flipping through a 'How to Survive in This Language' book. Those who restrict themselves to one language have no room to talk about lack of opportunity.

Kenley Lim

Pre-Med/ Computer Science & Russian Major '99

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