Re: “For Arabic classes, growing pains” (April 16): I congratulate my colleagues teaching Arabic for the enrollment growth in their classes. Growth in any language department strengthens the overall language community at Yale.
However, the chart that went along with the article in the News only painted a partial picture because it only included term-time classes. This summer, for example, 45 Yale undergraduates will study Elementary or Intermediate Italian in Siena under the aegis of Yale Summer Session (with a list of students waiting to get in). That’s 45 students who are not taken into account by the News’ chart. Due to Yale reporting practices, summer enrollments are not tallied alongside academic year enrollments. Thus, since 2005, when our summer courses started taking off, Italian enrollments have held steady or begun to rise, though the official numbers don’t fully reflect this trend.
In addition, the number of Italian majors is on the upswing, too (perhaps given a boost by our intermediate summer courses). And what majors they are: The two majors from the class of 2010 who opted to pursue a doctorate in Italian had acceptances from University of California-Berkeley, University of Chicago (and Yale) to choose from.
The writer is a 1995 graduate of the School of Arts and Sciences and is currently a senior lector II in Italian Language and Literature and the Italian Language Program Director.