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  题目:The Real Reasons to Support Language Study by Mauro F. Guillén

  来源:The Chronicle OF Higher Education,JULY 27,2009

  In an era of dwindling budgets, universities have identified language programs as an area for possible cuts. Languages with few students are being framed as luxuries that cannot be afforded during a time of scarcity. The target is easy: Language instruction is delivered by nontenured faculty members to a much greater extent than most other subjects are. Some universities have even announced that entire language departments might be eliminated as a way to, euphemistically, realign resource allocation with emerging priorities. There is a fundamental misunderstanding of the role that language learning should play in undergraduate and graduate curricula, which could seriously imperil the ability of the university to educate the students of the 21st century.

  The conventional wisdom among university administrators is that languages are helpful only as tools to achieve an end, such as being able to live, work, or do research in countries where operating in English is not an option. My casual conversations with parents of students and with officials of external sources of support, including government agencies and foundations, reveal a similarly limited view. This stance is as shortsighted as it is widespread among the people who make key decisions about resource allocation across disciplines and programs, and among those who pay for our students' education.

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