Cedar Rapids Gazette, October 27, 1974, Page 6

Cedar Rapids Gazette

October 27, 1974

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Issue date: Sunday, October 27, 1974

Pages available: 141

Previous edition: Saturday, October 26, 1974

Next edition: Monday, October 28, 1974

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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - October 27, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa Explore Whys of Foreign Language Enrollment Drop By Jidy Daub*nmir r Each year, more than half of the Americans who travel abroad are young people While large numbers of young people are anxious for contact with persons of other cultures, fewer of them seem to be studying foreign languages. Foreign language teachers in the Cedar Rapids Ctmmua-tty school district notice a decline in enrollment in their courses which began about three or four years ago. District-wide, some 935 students, or 19 4 percent of high school enrollment, are taking foreign languages French. German and Spanish are offered, with Spanish most popular. At Kennedy. Johann Eschbach, foreign language head, reports 190 students, or about 12.4 percent of all students, are taking foreign languages. “We used to have that many students in Spanish alone," he said. “At one time, we had 20 percent of our students taking a foreign language. We've had quite a drop-off and I'm alarmed by it." Washington reports the highest enrollment, with 451 students, or 28.8 percent of enrollment there, in foreign language classes, according to Gloria Aenlle, department head. That figure still represents a decline At Jefferson. Barb Maitland, foreign language department head, said 290 students or about 17 percent, are taking language classes. “I think we bottomed out at Jefferson a couple of years ago," said Miss Maitland "We have extremely small third year classes this year. The junior high schools are the key to our enrollment here “For example, for two years, no one was teaching French at Taft. Last year, I taught at Taft and we have a big enrollment in second year Report Cord classes this year. The junior high enrollment determines our high school enrollment." Junior high students frequently continue in the same language which they studied in junior high when they come to senior high school, she said "If they have an unsuccessful experience in junior high. they won't try again," she said A major reason for the decline in foreign language stud-y, according to the department heads, is the fact that many colleges no longer require a foreign language for either admission or graduation Miss Maitland said at the same time, the colleges began offering college credit for foreign language study in high school if students pass an examination. “We’re the only department in the high school that can give college credit." said Eschbach "I don’t think the students realize that this would save them money galore It would save up to a semester of college work” Not Flattered By Age Cut BELGRADE    (A Pl-Kraut; Cretnik. 64. was not flattered when the Social Security service ignored 23 years of his life, thus preventing him from obtaining old-age insurance. He was born in 1910, but a mistake in administration registered his birth year as 1933 The administration privately confided in him that he looked a bit older than a man in his 40s but explained they had to act on the strength of documents rather than on personal impressions. A ruling in an official document of the service specified thai Cretnik had 30 years and 9 months of proven works period, which rules out the possibility of his getting oldage pension since he was born in 1933 If he is dissatisified with the service's ruling he is free to lodge an appeal. "I would like to have been born later and thus be of age as is written. But the clerk in charge is aw av and I have to realize my rights without waiting for him. but this seems to be a difficult task," Cretnik says DRIVE SAFELY Smuletoffs Drapery Dept., Sth near The Hassock Selection in our Drapery Dept. is a real comfort. Com# Let Us Prove It to You. LAYAWAY NOW FOR CHRISTMAS GIVING B    shaped    Hassock    rn    brown, rust, gold, block and olive C 11 . * 13 i bench hassock with walnut finished legs Chose* of gold, rust, block, olive o«d brown D Hexagon shaped hassock in your choice of block, rust olive brown and gold *14" Our Hassock Selection on the 5th Floor is a comfort Not only because they all have soft, foam, cushiony tops but are of colorful, wipe clean, easy core vinyl, too And they solve gift problems! That s why you should see our collection this week and make your choice . or choices You can Layaway Now for Christmas. Visit us and our comfortable collection soon Open Monday 9 'til 9 Always PARK FREE at Smulekoff’s Use th* Stor*side Lot or th# Pars & Shop THIRD AV!NUE AT NhST STREET S E DOWNTOWN CEDAR RAPIDS Three, acres of Magic Miss Maitland reported one Jefferson student recently-entered Kirkwood Community college with 21 quarter hours of credit before attending one Kirkwood class. The credit was based entirely on his foreign language study. Mrs Aenlle suggested the removal of the college requirement for foreign languages may have resulted in a better quality of students taking foreign languges The students wha still take the languages are probably doing so because they want to. not because they have to. "We do not want to be thought of as only appealing to the people who are going to college," she said. Washington has sponsored a series of panel discussions of business people who outlined the importance of knowledge of a foreign language for secretaries and other business education students The teachers believe youngsters steer clear of foreign language classes because they entail more work than other classes. "Language learning is one of the hardest subjects in the curriculum." according to German teacher Robert Mueller from Washington "I don’t think language learning is easy Last year. 26 students signed up for a Russian course after school, but when they found out it required some work. only two staved "It takes dedication and self-discipline You've got to work real hard and practice it a lot ” Miss Maitland said students groan when they realize she gives a homework assignment every night, although it is usually only a 15-minute one and sometimes may be only-listening to a record tape "You don’t have to be a genius to speak French Idiots in France can speak the language." she said. “Give me a hard-working student who gets C's in other classes. Judy Daubenmier and he will be an A or B student in French. “The students who do not have success in foreign language study are the ones who have large numbers of absences or the students who do not work consistently" Students taking her class as electives often complain that the course is an elective for them and is not supposed to be hard “There are some things which just must be learned.” said Miss Maitland Mrs. Anne-Marie Murphy, French teacher at Washington, said students “have to became actively involved in foreign language courses. They are not lecture courses where students can hide behind their notes.” Students seem reluctant to get involved in class ‘The problem is television." according to Mrs Ana-Maria Aecbay. another Washington language teacher "Students are used to being entertained while they learn. like Sesame Street The moment it implies work and they have to do something besides sit there and lie fed. they don't want to do it "They want us to put on a show everyday, to always be a clown It s a problem for all teachers, not just foreign language teachers " "No one can be a clown everyday." said Mrs. Aenlle. "Sometimes there is work and you just ean’t play with that A negative attitude on the part of parents also discourages some students, according to Mrs Murphy “lf a student is having trou ble in some of his classes, his parents will suggest that he drop the foreign language so he can concentrate on the other subjects." she said "America as a whole gives less attention to foreign languages In Europe, six years of language study are required They require more languages because you go a few miles, cross the frontier, and they speak a different language." said Mrs. Aenlle. American students, on the other hand, exhibit a cultural arrogance "When we study the culture in toreign language class, the students think ifs funny. I tell them there are same things besides hamburgers and french fries they might enjny if they learned to enjny them.” said Mrs. Aenlle. Mrs Murphy reported having heard students wonder, Doesn t everybody want to be an American ’" Eschbach suggested the change from two semesters a year to three shorter terms may have caused the number of foreign language students to drop. High school students now have more choices, he said, and have trouble scheduling in a foreign language class Since one trimester builds on the previous one, he said, students cannot take Spanish one trimester, drop it the next, and pick it up again during the final trimester Eschbach said he is attempting to individualize his classes to make that possible “I can’t say definitely Ifs the trimester that has caused the decline. But it seems odd that enrollment has dropped off each year we’ve had the trimester system," said Eschbach. Cedar Rapids students participate in large numbers in the Experiment in International Living, and other foreign exchange programs "Americans are the people in the world who travel the I most The trend has changed from seeing the sights to    Acebay wanting contact with the other There s people. On the other hand,    there    Yet there s a rejection of foreign    manage to language study," said ^rs    words    in a contradiction if a tourist can exchange four French with a Frenchman and they understand each other, he ll remember the guy that spoke to him more than anything else about the whole trip " Smulekoff’s Diamond Sale, 20% off. How’s that for giving you romantic notions. It’s en* gem of a solo. Choose from a beautiful selection of diamond jewelry for mon and women, in just tho right setting for that special occasion. AW ct Milton*    lo* USO Soh UM 1.12 diamond doubt* row wedding nog.......... R*g $395 Sol* SIU C. 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