Andrew Luu 0

Petition to Increase Viet 1A Class Size to 28

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Dear Dean Cascardi,

We, the undersigned students, feel that the maximum section enrollment for Introductory Vietnamese 1A should be increased from 22 to 28.

For students hoping to learn Vietnamese at Cal, the first step is enrollment in introductory Vietnamese classes Viet 1A in the fall, and Viet 1B in the spring. For beginners, both courses must be taken consecutively in order to build fluency.

This year, like last year, Cal students have demonstrated great interest in Vietnamese. However, those of us eager to learn were dumbfounded to find that the current enrollment limit for Viet 1A is capped at 22 when the course once had a capacity of 28.

We feel this is an inefficient use of resources for a number of reasons.

First, in previous semesters, Vietnamese 1A and 1B were offered with a maximum capacity of 28 students. Though the fall 2011 catalog has since been updated, in the Online Schedule of Classes, the spring 2011 catalog clearly indicates that Viet 1B had a limit of 28 students. The Online schedule of Classes for fall 2010 also said the same. Moreover, in the introduction to the course, Professor Tran had briefly mentioned in passing that the class size was once at 28. This shows that the class did function successfully with a higher number of students than it contains at the present time and that the class size is not at full capacity.

Second, we, the undersigned students, understand that times are tough. As the budget for higher education decreases, the size of classes begins to grow. This trend is found not only in the state of California but in schools across the country. As a result of such circumstances, we feel that it is counterproductive to limit UC Berkeley’s potential to serve the educational needs of students. If the class once functioned effectively at a capacity of 28, it should remain as such now more than ever.

Last, we understand that there is concern regarding class size and the quality of individual instruction. However, to say so is a gross underestimation of students’ abilities and involvement in their own education. Education is not a passive process but an active one. Moreover, the learning that takes place in language education does not occur solely in the classroom but in the students’ consistent engagement with the material. The success of the student is not dependent upon the size of the lecture he or she sits in but upon the amount of work and effort he or she puts into learning the material. We the students are adults who accept the responsibility to take initiative and utilize resources like study groups, office hours, and out-of-class practice with classmates – and we would like to be treated as such. We feel that this increase in class size will not jeopardize the quality of our education but rather will fortify it as an active process that centers on students’ effort.

We feel that, at a maximum capacity of 22 students per section for Viet 1A, we are underserved. Included with this request is a list of signatures demonstrating the number of students who believe the maximum capacity for Viet 1A should be increased to 28; who believe that any student should be willing to put forth his or her best effort in the name of education and that their university should do the same.

Thank you for your time,

The Undersigned and Underserved.


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