Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Should you be warned that your class will be taught in a foreign language?


Robin's Commentary

My first term at the University of Oregon has been a real learning experience (pardon the pun) and I will admit, that it has been very difficult for me being a returning student because there are a lot of ASSUMPTIONS that the institution makes about understanding policies and the way things work.

One thing that I have finally come to accept grudgingly is being required to take courses that are supposed to "add to life's experience" which have no relation to whatever field you're trying to go into. (I can do several blogs on that subject)

Anyway, I'm not the type of person that is very easily offended nor do I get angry very often, but what happened in class today, which was the second time that it happened, I felt very offended and insulted.

The instructor was showing a film that would take up the whole class time and within two minutes into the film, said, "I can't stand this dubbed voiceover" and went into the language settings in the DVD player, and switched the language from English to Swedish along with subtitles.

I spoke with the instructor after class and told him my concerns, and he replied that it is COMMON KNOWLEDGE that in a class like this (literature) that foreign languages are sometimes used. My response to him is that we are primarily an English-speaking society here and I have a hearing problem and I record my classes to help me in this regard, and by playing the film in a foreign language does not help my handicap, plus I hate subtitles.

I also informed him that if I knew that he was going to do this, I would not have taken the course.

I checked the syllabus and there is no mention about speaking or having material presented in a foreign language.

I feel at the very least, in the course catalog and on the syllabus, that they should not "assume" that we know they're going to be presenting material in a different language and expect us to be tested on this, unless it is a foreign language class.




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