Editorial: Foreign language option could be costly for students

It is important for students to broaden their horizons.

That is why the Modern Language Association wants departments in these studies to help students expand their study of language. This organization believes that all English majors should have language skills to study literature in another language and that foreign language majors should be able to study literature in English.

The MLA is dedicated to bringing awareness to study, criticism and research in English and foreign language studies. But this could be a concern if students in both majors are required to take courses in one another’s field. It would take longer for students to complete their schooling, which includes the cost of extra courses, fees and living.

Now, it’s not a bad option for students to be well versed in both the English and other foreign language, it could be a slight problem if students were required.

And right now, it’s a good thing it is just an option.

Stephen A. Canfield, department chair for the foreign language department, thinks this is a good idea.

“It seems as if this group of people are taking a shift back to a more traditional emphasis,” he said.

Canfield said in the foreign language department professors are constantly comparing the foreign language they teach to English.

“We do this so students become more grounded,” he said. “It helps students get a better grasp of their own language.”

Canfield said there is not a requirement for students to take up any courses in order to develop the language skills in English but there are three elements within the program that help them do so.

“The bulk of it is in the language they are studying, also to have two semesters of another foreign language and three to nine semester hour courses taught in English pertinent to the language they are studying,” he said.

Dana Ringuette, department chair for the English department, said there is a lot to think about when requiring students to obtain literature skills in another language.

“We encourage students to try to take courses in another language so they can take advance classes and apply it towards their major,” he said. “We never discourage students to do otherwise.”

Ringuette feels if a student takes the steps to learn another language they could become well educated.

“I think there is no doubt, having more experience and familiarity with language will develop into a much more educated person,” he said.

While this is true, there is a price of education that not everyone can afford.