Harvard Pioneers Army Methods of Language Studies
Faculty to Institute Trial Russian, Chinese Curricula
Streamlined intensification of language study, modeled on methods of instruction used by the Army and Navy during the war, will be instituted experimentally at Harvard beginning next fall. Concentrating on Russian and Chinese, the program will be set up under conditions of a Faculty vote late last month.
The Faculty voted on a report by the subcommittee on languages and international affairs which, headed by Donald C. McKay, associate professor of History, has been studying for a year the problem of effectively applying "Harvard's exceptionally rich and diverse resources" to post-war uses.
Courses Follow Wartime Pattern
Whether or not tweed-coated civilians can maintain the same concentration required of G.I. students in the intensive teaching program is being widely debated, but Harvard is taking the experimental plunge.
Accelerated language courses, patterned after those used successfully in ASTP programs and in Civil Affairs Training Schools, will be offered to graduate students and to qualified undergraduates, training to be given not only in languages but in a broad knowledge of the chosen region.
Research in regional problems, involving intimate and continuing cooperation of language experts and specialists in other aspects of the regions studied, will dominate the first part of the program.
"The second part . . .," according to the subcommittee report, "will emphasize international relationships rather than regional interests. Building upon a basic program in international affairs, it will offer a small group of men who aim at a career in the foreign field additional work designed to suit individual needs, backgrounds, and interests. Such work will frequently include regional training in the second year of a 'normal' two-year program."