CMU will respond to the increasing global market by offering two new courses this fall for those interested in gaining valuable knowledge about Arabic and Chinese languages and cultures.
The Arabic and Chinese classes will be introductory courses, focusing on the foundations of verbal communication and culture. These new courses will accompany the wide variety of courses already offered by CMU's department of foreign languages, literatures and cultures, including various courses for majors and minors in Spanish, German and French and beginning Japanese courses.
Susan Knight, chairwoman of CMU's foreign languages, literatures and cultures, believes these new language additions are a great opportunity for anyone studying or working in a variety of fields and those who would like to gain a competitive edge and increase their marketability while broadening their knowledge of other countries and cultures.
According to the most recent study by the Modern Language Association of America, language enrollments in colleges and universities in the United States are at their highest since 1960. The 2007 survey also reported that enrollment numbers of students studying Arabic has increased 127 percent, while students studying Chinese increased 51 percent since a similar study in 2002.
"Our department is truly excited to bring this diverse offering of language courses to CMU," said Knight. "We live in a global society and more than ever need to strive for cross-cultural understanding, which implies dispelling stereotypes, cultural misconceptions and ethnocentric views - goals well worth pursing in this fragile world in which we live. One of the best ways to do this is through the study of other world languages and cultures."
Ghada Sharaf Eldin Ibrahim, a native of Egypt, and Lily Kalantar, a native of China, have joined the foreign languages, literatures and cultures department in order to accommodate the new course offerings. Ibrahim will teach the introductory Arabic course, while Kalantar will teach introduction to Chinese.
An introductory Japanese course also will be offered at CMU this fall for the first time since 2006. Maiko Bronson, a native of Japan, will teach this course as a temporary replacement for CMU School of Health Sciences professor Roger Hammer, who has been teaching Japanese courses at CMU for many years.