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regfootball

those with thick accents need not apply

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regfootball    234

Star Tribune

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Last update: March 12, 2006 – 8:27 PM

Those with thick accents need not apply?

A Minnesota legislator says "clear English pronunciation" should be a requirement for instructors at state colleges and universities.

Norman Draper, Star Tribune

It's a scenario familiar to university students: One or more of your instructors is foreign-born and speaks English with a thick accent. Usually, you can understand, but sometimes it takes an effort. Occasionally, you don't have a clue what's being said.

State Rep. Bud Heidgerken, R-Freeport, figures this is a problem and has proposed a solution: He's introduced a bill intended to ensure that all teachers use "clear English pronunciation" before being allowed to teach undergraduate students.

Heidgerken, a former teacher and cafe owner, said he's gotten an earful about incomprehensible instructors from his own kids, former students and employees.

"I've had many students say they dropped a course or delayed graduation for a semester because they couldn't get around this one professor they couldn't understand," he said. "All I'm trying to accomplish is getting the best education we have for postsecondary students."

-more after the link. reactions?

Edited by regfootball

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Croc    268

I'm all for it. I know I lost points in an OB class due to using words the FOB Asian TA didn't understand (she'd come to class talking about how exciting it was to learn a new word...one time it was "apprehensive"). I had a Rumanian Professor for Prob. & Stat...you couldn't understand her at all, though I got an A- in that course by teaching myself everything from the book.

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Nick    31

I've got a Chinese Macroeconomics teacher. There is a major language barrier with him and generally there is a lot of class confusion because of it which causes a lot of arguments. It can get pretty chaotic in our class because of it. There are good and bad things because of it. His tests are pretty easy because due to the language barrier he can't make questions too wordy or confusing. He also has a lot of powerpoitn presentations and written notes prepared, it's just trying to understand him when he speaks becomes a major problem in our classroom, and he pretty much just lectures. So obviously you can see what probles we are having.

I think it's a great idea...I have had 2 teachers so far in my college career (not even 2 semesters through yet), that have had some form of language barrier.

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PurdueGuy    72

I had this with an accounting class. Once, one of the TA's (an american girl) substituted for the accented prof. We learned ten times as much, and got out of class 30 minutes early. It's good to have a smart teacher, but if you can't understand what the heck they're saying, it doesn't do any good.

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CSpec    515

This is mainly a problem for science TAs in my experience. I don't take any science classes luckily, but I hear that many bio/chem/physics TAs are just hopeless.

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siegen    20

Yes! The only exception should be foreign language classes, of course. My college German teacher spent most of her time in Germany, and as such had a very noticable accent when speaking english. It never bugged me since we spoke german in the class most of the time (which is the point of the class).

Edited by siegen

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Paolino    99

Yes! The only exception should be foreign language classes, of course. My college German teacher spent most of her time in Germany, and as such had a very noticable accent when speaking english. It never bugged me since we spoke german in the class most of the time (which is the point of the class).

I know what you mean... it wouldn't really matter because foreign language teachers at the university level almost never speak English. When you get up in the higher levels, it's unheard of to speak English even when not in the classroom (should you meet a classmate or professore somewhere)

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Justin Bimmer    138

i took a calculus class one time from a prof that was a bit hard to understand but he was good at what he did. He would pronounce X as exeees and it was tay-ta. But the best was one time he was so pissed everybody was leaving early that he told us a story that lasted like 5 min about how you go to the supermarket and get food and the checker goes "beep beep" and then you pay with cash, or check, or visa... then you leave some of the food there! Thats what you are doing when you leave calc early, you are leaving food at the supermarket that you paid for already!

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trinacriabob    21

Foreign professors made for great "impersonation" material. For teaching purposes, I didn't find them too effective.

Since I went to a small university, I did not get TAs. We got the real deal. We had a business calculus teacher...she was Chinese.

Her thoughts about calculus were like what you would find in fortune cookies.

"Integrar is rike engine"

"Differentiar is rike transmission"

And on and on. Took my grade.....and RAN.

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