by Jacob Adkins
Randy Oldaker, Full Professor of Ancient and Modern Languages, believes that to better understand a foreign language is to better understand how the world works.
As Oldaker explained how just knowing a foreign language can help a student obtain a job. When he first moved to the Mid-Ohio Valley, a local shoe store hired because he knew how to speak Spanish and there were a large number of customers who also spoke Spanish coming to the store. They needed someone that
communicate with them.
Oldaker believes students that they should take more than just two semesters of a foreign language, knowing that to fully understand a language take a lifetime. He recommends that students take four semesters to get a basic elementary grasp of a language. In order to attain advanced knowledge of the
Languages he suggests five to six semesters of the language.
With the number of multinational corporations in the region, employers need to hire those who can speak a variety of languages. Knowledge of a foreign language can also be helpful with Journalism, because of the need for translators who can help reporters in a country understand what is happening. An example for this would the uprising in Egypt. Without people who are able to speak Arabic to translate for journalist who do not speak Arabic, the would have no idea of thesituation and how the people of Egypt felt about the
Also having knowledge of a foreign language can make vacations more interesting. As Oldaker says,
“It’s nice to look at the buildings, but if you want to experience the culture you need to be able to understand what is in the magazines, newspapers and television.”
By reading magazines and newspapers from many countries, one can help learn about what is happening in that country and their views on different issues.
Many departments of the government, from the CIA, FBI, Armed Services and the State Department, share the need for people who can effectively communicate.
WVU at Parkersburg offers many different language courses, German, Japanese, French, Latin, Ancient Greek and Spanish