Volume 93, Issue 28

Wednesday, October 20, 1999


The USC will be missing something

In search of familiar language at Western

In search of familiar language at Western

To the Editor:

I often marvel at the rich diversity of students here at Western. The various skin colours and languages around us is truly a sign of what a world class school this is.

But something which does not impress me is that most of my profs and [Teaching Assistants] cannot speak English properly. In fact, I have one TA whom I cannot understand no matter how hard I try.

Now, I'm not saying that Western should not hire profs who don't speak English as their first language. What I am saying is that if their accents are so pronounced that their students, paying $5,000 a year, can't even understand what their teacher is saying – then changes are in order.

Why should I be the one who has to arrange his schedule to attend two labs (I have to sign up in my registered lab and get help from another TA the next day)?

Why should I have to try twice as hard to understand what is going on as a student in a different section of that course? The fact is I shouldn't.

I realize that hiring people from outside the country often brings skills to our school which are hard to find among Canadian born academics.

But do we really need them so badly that they teach in this university's classrooms without being able to communicate with their students adequately?

Derek Woodburn
Geography II

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Copyright The Gazette 1999