By Linda Bailey, Student Reporter
The Department of Foreign Languages will offer Arabic, Japanese and Russian classes for the fall 2009 semester.
Dr. Harland Rall, associate chair of the Department of Foreign Languages, said the three languages were chosen after 36 students responded to an online survey.
“These languages were the ones that had the most students showing the best interest,” Rall said.
Paul Roggendorff, adjunct professor of Spanish, said available resources were another factor determining which languages were chosen.
The new languages are part of the program Dialektos. This two-year program features a supervising professor who creates learning objectives, but the bulk of the learning process is based on native speakers working directly with students.
Each language class has a five-student maximum, Rall said. The department will offer three Japanese classes, two Arabic classes and one Russian class. Also, the department will continue to offer the Chinese class in session this year.
Rall said students would not be able to enroll for the classes by themselves because of the limited number of spots available. All students wanting to enroll in one of the new language classes must fill out the application form on the Web, which can be accessed by visiting the Department of Foreign Languages’ page at www.acu.edu and clicking on the link labeled “Dialektos.”
Roggendorff said Dialektos is new to ACU, but the program has been used in other places for a number of years.
“Other institutions and universities have been doing it for a while, but the one we have modeled most closely is at Drake University,” Roggendorff said. “However, in five years, we might have our own ACU way of doing it.”
Rall said Drake University was the most well-known institution to implement the program. He said as ACU uses the program, it could help other universities.
“Once we get some experience in this, we are going to share that with others,” Rall said.
The professors in the Department of Foreign Languages are not the only ones on campus that are excited about the new language courses. Students also are responding.
“One of the big things that I’m picking up from students is that they are really excited about Arabic or Japanese because there is nowhere else in town for them to learn these languages,” Roggendorff said.
Rall said the expansion process is a challenge, but they will go into it prayerfully and courageously.
“When we learn a new language, that opens opportunities for the Lord to lead us in new directions,” Rall said.