The Daily Tar Heel
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As a student in hybrid Spanish 102, I strongly believe that turning all Spanish and eventually all romance languages into strictly online courses is a bad move on the University’s part.

The article “Spanish classes to move online” (Oct. 21), specifically says, “students who have taken online versions of the courses have not performed as well as their peers in traditional classes” and “their pronunciation scores were drastically lower.”

 If pronunciation and performance are low, then students cannot communicate in their chosen language.

If students cannot communicate, why bother taking a language at all?

I understand, however, that money is tight schoolwide. But should I go to a Spanish-speaking country, I would not preface every conversation with, “My school cut the language department’s budget; I’m sorry if you can’t understand me.”

There are parts of the hybrid program that I appreciate: I do like my small group session, because it allows for personal attention and conversation, and I do like the small classroom size.

Yet from my experience and my classmates’ experiences, the online exercises are troublesome and not nearly as beneficial as being in a classroom environment.

Instead of cutting the quality, cut the quantity.

Here is my proposal: Have one large lecture to teach grammar and constructions. Then, break into recitation to work on pronunciation with the same professors who would have held mandatory office hours anyway with this online program.

Carolina has an excellent academic reputation and prides itself on producing well-educated students. We can do better than an online course.

Laura Moore
Health Policy and Management, Sociology


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