A STUDY OF WHY FOREIGN LANGUAGE STUDENTS DO NOT TAKE GERMAN IN SCHOOLS WHERE IT IS OFFERED IN TENNESSEE

JEAN FALLON LOVE, Tennessee State University

Abstract

Enrollment of secondary students in German is minimal in Tennessee. This research surveys 701 foreign language students enrolled in the first year of French, Latin, and Spanish and probes their attitudes towards the German language and the German people.^ Students chose a foreign language based on need to get into college and need to graduate. They did not choose German for two insistent reasons: (1) they thought it would be hard, and (2) they had no interest in German culture. Latin students as a group, however, displayed greater inclination to take German.^ German heritage was only a mildly predisposing factor in possibly selecting German.^ The most important finding in the study is the discrepancy between the declared effect of the Nazi past and the characteristics attributed to Germans. Students overwhelmingly denied any effect of the Nazi past on their choice not to take German, yet they perceived Germans in a predominantly negative aned militaristic way. Their information about Germans came from media and print sources, not people.^ An emotional predilection for France was manifested. Students of all language subgroups preferred France and the French. A strong group bias against Germans was confirmed.^ Little interest in politically and economically significant languages and cultures, notably those of Russia, China, and Japan, was found. ^

Subject Area

Education, Language and Literature|Education, Curriculum and Instruction

Recommended Citation

JEAN FALLON LOVE, "A STUDY OF WHY FOREIGN LANGUAGE STUDENTS DO NOT TAKE GERMAN IN SCHOOLS WHERE IT IS OFFERED IN TENNESSEE" (1985). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI8802610.
http://digitalscholarship.tnstate.edu/dissertations/AAI8802610

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