16 octobre 2017

Whatever Happened to French? And German? And Arabic?

http://www.insidehighered.com/sites/default/server_files/styles/large/public/confessions_of_a_community_college_dean_blog_header.jpgBy Matt Reed. Disappearing language departments.
This one isn’t my field of expertise, so I’m hoping folks who know it at a deeper level than I do will chime in.
At the three community colleges at which I’ve worked, I’ve seen the same trend in language departments. Spanish dominates the field, and American Sign Language is picking up strength. Every other language is niche, declining, or dead.
It wasn't always so. There was a time in my memory when French was vital. At many colleges, undergraduate German was, too. Now, we can’t run enough sections to justify a hire.(If you follow Rebecca Schuman’s darkly comic series about job postings in German, it’ll become clear quickly that this isn’t just a quirk of a few places.). At various points, Japanese, Arabic, Portuguese, Russian, Italian, and even Latin have had flashes of interest, but none has lasted. The jury is still out on Chinese; we haven’t been able to get steady instructors to really find out one way or the other. More...
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