Language Minors For the University of New England
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Why we need Language Minors at the University of New England:
The University of New England (UNE) is listed as a liberal arts school, and it is branded as a “Global University” with a sister campus in Morocco and study abroad programs in Spain, France, and Iceland, among others; at present, however, UNE has not a single minor in foreign languages despite its framework and advertised ideals being optimal for such academic programs. UNE’s current environment- one which incorporates local and global experiences within an increasingly diversifying student body- is prime for the rectification of scarce educational opportunities in effective intercultural communication. Given that the majority of UNE students are going into medical careers or careers where they will be interacting with people of different nationalities, being conversant can be only an asset. Bilingualism can give students professional advantages, enrich their academic pursuits, positively influence their personal lives, and help bridge the cultural gap that exists in the United States (where there are an estimated 50 million Spanish speakers- more than in Spain, in fact). As such, having minors in Spanish, French, ASL, and possibly more interdisciplinary foreign language programs is necessary to live up to UNE’s title of a “Global University,” and the current students and administrators are aptly capable of implementing this supplementation of the largely scientific curriculum with a means of communicating beyond a language barrier.
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