Revamped Language Rules Alter Course Enrollments

Last spring's revision of the College's language requirement has caused apparent shifts in lower-level course enrollment in four major languages, department officials said yesterday.

The rules retroactively reduce the number of necessary language courses from two to one and require that this course be taken during the freshman year. Effective this fall, they apply to students who have not fulfilled the requirement by equivalent work they did before entering Harvard.

From first-day attendance figures, the number of second-year German and Romance language students appears to have dropped substantially. From 70 to 130 students usually take German C, Eugene Weber, Head Tutor in German, said yesterday, but course instructor Carl W. Langguth expects no more than 50 to enroll this year.

Weber added that German D, also a second-year course, would probably be larger than usual this year, but he called D a "more advanced" course "for people who really want to learn German." German C is more often used for fulfilling the requirement, he said. "It's no fun."

A decrease in the intermediate language course enrollment--in French, Spanish, and Italian C--similarly reflects the new requirements, Dwight Bollinger, Coordinator of Language Instruction for the department of Romance Languages and Literature, said yesterday. He called an apparent rise in the number of beginning French, Spanish, and Italian students the result of freshmen being required to take a language during their first year.


Interest in a first-year German course, German A, seems about average, Weber said.

In the Classics Department, the number of beginning Greek students appears to have grown while the number of Latin students is at least average.