Students choose translation over talk

Neketa Woodson, Contributing Writer

Considering the 53 million Spanish speaking people in the United States, mamy school systems moved to incorporate language courses in school curriculums.

Former student Amanda Figueroa said that having basic language courses is not enough.

“Simply requiring one or two language courses is not enough to allow people to communicate with one another with nearly 50 million Spanish speakers right in our backyards,“ she said.

Pitt-Johnstown offers a couple language options in the curriculum, including French and Spanish.

Although both are offered as minors, few students minor in languages.

“Only 20 to 25 students minor in Spanish per semester, and that number fluctuates every three or four years because of graduating students.

“However, more students prefer the (literature in translation) over a language, which is actually sad,“ Figueroa said.

Pitt-Johnstown’s Humanities faculty require that enrolled majors in the division take two language courses or three translated literature courses.

However, more students choose to take the literature classes.

Although only two language courses are required to begin a minor in a language at Pitt-Johnstown, the initial two classes must be taken and passed.

However, elementary courses do not count toward the minor. A student must take the intermediate courses as well as four advanced courses to obatin a minor in a language.

Spanish professor Alvaro Bernal-Reyes said students need to be more aware of people who speak Spanish.

“We want our students to have the opportunity to take more language courses. We want the language requirement to be more mandatory because  of this, and have made attempts in the past with unsuccessful results thus far.“

For students who minor in Spanish, the Spanish professors said they plan to offer two more advanced  classes to the spring semeser, which will count toward their minor.

Spanish, Grammar and Composition is to be offered from 3 to 4:20 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays and another course, Contempoary Hispanic Literature and Society Lit in Translation should be offered from 6 to 8:40 p.m. Mondays.

The Spanish , Grammar and Composition is to be taught in Spanish as students who take the course will be expected to be advanced in the language.

“However, in the Contempoary Hispanic Literature and Society Lit in Translation course, students will need Hispanic Literature translated into English and hold class discussions. Both classes will count toward Spanish minor credits.

“As a student who has taken many Spanish classes, I believe it to be important to learn about new languages and cultures to understand and communicate with more people,” said  Spanish student Kevin Carter.

“Speaking multiple languages allows you to see and experience a whole new world. “I originally planned to minor in the language as well, but I still needed three more classes to obtain the minor and, since I am already a senior, I decided against it.“