Virtual Language Institute

By: Leonard Horton
By: Leonard Horton

Many college students choose to take up a foreign language as either an elective or a requirement to their course major.

French, Spanish and Italian are offered at most universities, while Chinese, Portuguese and Japanese are harder to come by.

“In the case of Sanskrit, it is not offered anywhere nearly as frequently as other places which have more resources, places like Michigan, Berkeley," said FSU professor Adam Briggs.

Mark Rosenberg, chancellor of Florida's state university system, is spearheading the creation of a virtual language institute where students can earn credit for languages taught almost anywhere around the globe.

"People realize the time has come for this initiative. They understand Florida's geography is its destiny and that we have to be much better prepared for what's going on in the global economy," said Rosenberg.

"I'm from Ghana and they have 47 languages over there. They don't offer any of those languages over here, so to keep me going and be able to speak and write fluently it would be nice if I could take it online or something," said FSU student Kent Owusu.

Rosenberg says expanding the foreign language course availability through distance learning will help Florida's students become better prepared for the global market.

Rosenberg has tapped several international studies experts within the state university system to come up with ideas on how to make the program a success. Those experts have been asked to respond within 30 days.


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