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Departments in the YSU College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics may now decide for themselves whether they want to include a foreign language requirement in their respective curriculums.
The Academic Senate ruled 31 to 27 in favor of the freedom-granting motion.
It’s a commendable move, considering that it decentralizes liberty in determining appropriate course requirements.
Martin Abraham, founding dean of STEM, doesn’t see foreign languages as an essential degree component, especially with the limited time frame students have to graduate.
It’s time for the rest of campus to follow suit.
Two semesters of a foreign language fail to thoroughly prepare students for fluency in another language.
Students interested in becoming bilingual or trilingual must, most likely, major or minor in a foreign language or seek further instruction on their own time.
We get that learning a foreign language is important.
It equips us with a greater understanding of another dialogue, and cultural lessons are communicated along the way.
The world is getting flatter. We’re growing closer to the farthest reaches of the world. We need to be able to communicate clearly with others.
But forcing minimal instruction down college students’ throats isn’t the most efficient way to create effective communicators.
In Sweden, students must demonstrate proficiency in Swedish and English before they’re even accepted into a higher learning institution.
At YSU, the instruction comes far too late.
Either revoke the two-semester requirement entirely or mandate extensive instruction until fluency is attained.
Until then, YSU students will know how to greet a foreigner, then immediately ask where the nearest restroom is.