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March 16, 2000     Beverly Hills Weekly
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March 16, 2000
 

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1 ttersD000000 Beverly Hills Hit Man Responses to last week's issue WHAT'S ON YOUR MIND? ,\\; You can write us at: 140 South Beverly Odve #201 Beverly Hills, CA 90212 You c fax us at: 310.887.0789 fax email us at: editorohwee.com Q I agree with Ellen Stern Harris' column "Beverly Hills' Theatre of the Absurd". I am dead set against the Cultural Center. We have to have a vote for it. It is unfair and unjust for the City Council to pass this. Henrie Burke Beverly Hills l was greatly disturbed to hear recently that there was a proposal to eliminate most of the foreign language teaching at the Beverly Hills middle schools. Ag a former student of Horace Mann and BHHS, and a current senior at Yale University, [ would like to share my feel- ings with the community. I ) The foreign language education that I received while a student in the BHUSD has been one of the few subjects that I have been able to apply to college as well as life outside of college. As a literature major at Yale, I have the opportunity to read and write in both Spanish and French. If it wasn't for the many years of Spanish training that I received at BHUSD, I doubt that I would have been able to actually pursue this major (I am currently writing my thesis on the short stories of an Hispanic author), since I would have had to spend at least two years in college taking language courses. In addition, it would have been very dif- ficult for me to spend my junior term NAPSHOT 2- Beverly Hills Weekly abroad in Spain, since a thorough back- ground in Spanish was required. The opportunity to live and learn in a foreign country has been one of the most reward- ing experiences of my life. My language proficiency has also helped me to secure many jobs of my choice, as the ability to speak fluently in a foreign language is becoming an important asset in our glob- al economy. 2) While I could have spent two full years at Yale becoming proficient in Spanish and French, I have been able to spend those years studying subjects that were never offered in BHHS, such as geology and astronomy, as well as in- depth history and psychology courses. 3) I came into Yale with an advantage over many students, since I was already almost fluent in a foreign language. We in the BHUSD should not strive to be average; we should instead be adding more foreign language courses to the cur- riculum, so as to better prepare our stu- dents for the world outside of high school and college. 4) Many studies have shown that lan- guage learning decreases dramatically as age increases. For any of us that have tried to learn a foreign language later in life, this comes as no surprise. By offer- ing the students in the BHUSD an oppor- tunity to learn a foreign language at an early age, we are providing them with a unique opportunity that cannot simply be learned later in high school and college. The students of the BHUSD must con- tinue to be provided with the opportunity to learn, at an early age, a foreign lan- guage. The elimination of the foreign language program in the middle schools would not only be unjust, but would also surely be damaging to the school district as prestigious college admissions would surely drop. We should not be near-sight- ed in this issue; the world is becoming more and more interconnected, and there- lore our students and children need to be able to communicate effectively in the new global web. Adam Seidman Yale University New Haven. CT I recently learned about some drastic changes that might be applied to our for- eign language classes in our four middle schools. I think these changes will only hurt students instead of helping them. I think that having more English classes will help students, but learning an extra language is also essential. I graduated last year from Beverly Hills High School. I started taking Spanish classes during seventh grade and I continued to take Spanish classes until the end of my senior year in high school. letbs oon? on pp lg issue 24 March 16-22, 2000 Beverly Hills Weekly Inc. Published Thursdays in 8every Hills Publisher & CEO Josh E. Gross Managing Editor Shinn Danielpour Staff Reporters Ethan Bernard Michele Lu Cmmtbuters Ellen Stem Hams Steven Herbert Jennifer Rebbert Dianna Weiner Photographer Kuang Chi Hwang 140 South Beverly Drive #201 Beverly Hills, CA 90212 310.887.0788 phone 310.887.0789 fax News tips 310.688 6761 editor@bhweekty corn All staff can be reached at: first name @bhweekly, com Unsolicited materials will not be returned 2000 Bevedy Hills Weekly Inc. 1 year subscriptions are now available. $75 payable in advance