Document Type

Essays, Studies, and Works


The following essay will explain how the Angers Summer Institute offered by the University of Northern Iowa started and what has contributed to its many successes for over three decades, such as the choice of courses, staffing and the importance of the host families.

The teaching of foreign languages in the United States can be characterized as having had many high and low points. Languages that were in vogue thirty or forty years ago have had to struggle in the past few years. Fifty or so years ago no self-respecting foreign languages department would have considered not offering latin. German and French were judged as extremely important and candidates working on their doctorate degrees were required to pass an exam on their ability to read one of these languages depending on their field of study: German for math and the sciences, French for literature and areas related to the humanities and the arts. Spanish was accepted only in special areas for these graduate students. Times have changed. Latin has disappeared from most high schools and even from many colleges and universities. The study of Russian, which became important during the Cold War because of the tensions that existed between the U.S. and Russia, is struggling. German has disappeared from some programs, French is threatened, and Spanish is flourishing. Japanese and Chinese are two languages that are picking up momentum because of the increasing importance of these countries in today’s world.

Publication Date

Fall 2006

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©2006 Anne Lair



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