Course in Norwegian ready to be offered, students needed
Wednesday October 31, 2001
Students may soon be able to take a course Norwegian through the UA's Critical Language Program.
Plans for the Norwegian course - which include audiocassettes and tutor-led discussions - are in the works, but these plans have been hindered due to a lack of student interest.
Shirley McDowell, the Program Coordinator for the Critical Language Program, says she needs only four students to proceed with the course.
The Critical Language Program was created to meet the needs and demands for less commonly taught languages such as Dutch, Korean, Polish, Turkish, Swahili and Vietnamese. Through this program, students can earn credit toward their language requirements or elective credit.
The Critical Languages Program provides instruction in languages not offered by other language departments at the UA using tapes, CD-ROMs and other instructional materials.
Sections vary in size from four to seven students, and the times of tutorial sessions are flexible based upon the schedule of the interested student. Classes are very independent in nature.
The program is intended to allow students to receive individualized help from their native-speaking tutor. These tutors help guide students through their individual study of audiocassette tapes and CD-ROM programs. The Vietnamese course, for example, is taught with CD-ROM software and a textbook.
"Some of the software and resources have actually been developed by professors here at the UA," McDowell said.
These courses begin at an introductory level and allow the students to progress at their own pace.
"Advanced levels of each language may continue to be offered, but only if the student interest is there," McDowell said.
The Critical Language Program typically has 150-200 students per semester. In the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, however, nearly 30 students dropped their program. It is not known if the drops were related to the attacks.
Nevertheless, not all students have lost interest. Jacquelynn Brekke, a voice performance sophomore, said she studied Norwegian for two years at the University of Washington before transferring to the UA. She is currently promoting the Norwegian course by posting flyers in dorms and campus buildings.
"I think that Norwegian is really easy for English speakers to pick up and really fun to speak," she said.
Kristy Doran, a graduate assistant teacher in the Spanish and Portuguese Department, said that though Spanish is currently the most popular foreign language program at the UA, she is excited at the possibility of yet another language course being offered.
"Any opportunity students have to learn a language is a definite plus," she said. "These courses may open up a whole new interest for someone that they otherwise would never know about."
Any interested students may contact the Critical Language Program at 621-3387.