Independent from Long Beach, California on January 31, 1960 · Page 68
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Independent from Long Beach, California · Page 68

Long Beach, California
Issue Date:
Sunday, January 31, 1960
Page 68
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There's a Boom in tKe Tongues E *] fe TTHANKS TO the foreign language program developed by the City College General Adult Division, the Long Beach Unified School District is one of the few bright spots-in the nation, linguistically speaking. Furthermore, of the nine foreign languages offered here, four of them (Arabiac, Japanese, Chinese and Rus- · sian) are now ranked as "highest priority" by the U. S. Office of Education. The new priority list, proclaiming a state of emergency in foreign language training, is the result of a recent survey financed by the Office of Education. This "inventory of foreign language capabilities" underlined a number of facts, most of them gloomy. Owing to modern advances in transportation, weapons and communications, the world today is in a giant squeeze, growing smaller and smaller. Months have been cut to weeks, to days, to hours and even to seconds. Yesterday's remote peoples are today's neighbors, timewiso. And the world is going visiting around the world. People and industry arc increasingly on the move. ONLY IN LANGUAGE is the true road to understanding, and sometimes only the Greeks have the word for it. Which means that often the other fellow can express himself only in his own tongue and there is a need for someone to understand him. World pressures today have made foreign language study an "essential, strategic national resource (in which the U. S. has been chronically deficient). Many important languages, spoken by millions of people around the globe, are not taught in U. S. schools. Long before the current nationwide crash program, however, the LBCC General Adult Division--with the backing of the Board of Education and the community--had been busy expanding foreign language offerings. Courses in conversational French, Here are tlie reasons why classes in eight languages attract hundreds to LBCC By Don Drury German and Spanish have been given here for many years. Russian, Chinese and Italian were introduced with great success a year ago, as were Arabic and Japanese this fall. Hebrew will be added to the curriculum with the opening of the spring term this week. Clifton N. Patterson, dean of the General Adult Division, indicates that even he and staff m e m b e r s who helped plan the new offerings were surprised at the extent of public response. "LAST YEAR, Russian enrollment nearly doubled our expectations," Dean Patterson says. "And the first Japanese class this fall drew so many students we had to add an extra section. It is clear to us that people in Long Beach are vitally concerned with this area of education." The growth in all of the adult foreign language classes has been remarkable. Two years ago there were 18 classes, three .languages and 810 students. During the fall term just ended, there were 47 classes in eight different languages, and a total of -1,752 students. According to assistant dean Siegfried C. Ringwald, chairman of the GAD Foreign Language Committee, instructors in these classes arp highly qualified. Many speak the languages they teach as natives, and others have acquired complete fluency through study and travel. To mention just a few, the most recent additions to the GAD staff, let's begin with Michel Araman, in- structor in Arabic. Now an American citizen, Araman served as a cook with the U. S. Army in North Africa and Europe. So celebrated was his prowess in the kitchen that then Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower once made a special trip to e n j o y one of his Thanksgiving dinners. Many of Araman's Arabic slu- dents plan either to be employed in the Middle East or to travel there. The spring term class will meet from 7-10 p. m. Thursdays at West Adult Center. Instructor in Japanese is Tomio Sugano, who holds a law degree from a university in Japan. Though about one-fourth of his students are of Japanese descent, the majority are engineers or potential travelers to (hat country. Classes will meet Monday and Wednesday evenings at Polytechnic High School. INSTRUCTOR FOR the new class in Conversational Hebrew, meeting Thursday evenings at Lakewood High School, will be Dr. David Kohn, Rabbi of the Lakewood Jewish Community Congregation. Class instruction, Dr. Kohn is careful to emphasize, will be in Modern Hebrew as spoken in present-day Israel. Other foreign language instructors with interesting backgrounds include Alexis Pestoff, former army officer in Czarist Russia, and Peter D. Woo, educated in China and a Chinese instructor and interpreter in this country for many years. (Conversational Chinese will not be offered this spring, incidentally, but will be back on the schedule next fall.) Some 25 Spanish classes are presently offered morning and evening at all six adult centers. Conversational German is taught at Lakewood and Wilson; conversational French at Millikan, Poly and Wilson; conversational Italian at Lakewood; and conversational Russian at Jordan, Poly and West Adult Center. Special classes in Russian reading will meet Monday and Wednesday at Lakewood High School adult center. There is also a course in "Spanish Culture Through Spanish Literature," taught in English, which meets Wednesday evenings at Wilson. With the exception of the Russian reading classes, designed for engineers and scientists interested in translation of technical books and periodicals, -General Adult Division language classes are taught by conversational methods. All classes proceed from beginning to intermediate and advanced instruction over a period of three years -- considered the necessary time for the average adult to become proficient in a foreign language. COMPLETE I N F O R M A T I O N about course levels and class times and locations may be found in the spring semester schedule now available at City College offices and public libraries. In addition to the adult program, the City College Liberal Arts Division this fall added a c o l l e g e - t r a n s f e r course in Russian. Foreign language laboratories, including private listening stations for students, have been installed at the Lakewood campus and at some of the high schools. The new emphasis on languages will probably be with us for some time. It is certainly appropriate that Long Beach, host of the International Beauty Congress and a world trade and travel center, should also have one of the most extensive foreign language programs in the nation. Instructors in three of the top priority languages now being taught at Long Beach City College are, left to right. Michel Araman (Arabic, which .__ reads from right to loftj, Tomio Sugano (Japanese, which reads from iop to bottom) and Alexis Pestoft (Russian, which read' ii tl numbers speaking each. Photo bv Frimfc Undern from left to right). InscriptioniTon board translate roughly to: "This is the Arabic language, "Japanese language." "Russian language," with num'

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