Free to Speak your Language

A recent story broke about a Duke professor stepping down after she asked her students to speak English 100% of the time. The students were heard speaking Chinese, which is their native language. In my opinion, the professor was wrong to tell students they should speak English 100% of the time. For starters, they are college students and feel most comfortable speaking in their language. Second, she cannot demand that someone talk a particular language especially when they are not talking to her.

What was even more appalling was the fact that she wanted to remember the students’ names and faces just in case they tried to apply there for a job after college. These students do not deserve to be blocked from a job they have not even applied for and on top of that just because they were speaking their language.

I think this professor could really learn from this experience. Although she may have her opinions about what students should do, it is not her place to tell what language they should speak. The college should look into any other professors that may have been involved in the situation or have expressed  similar opinion as she did.

We live in America, in a mixing pot of different nationalities and cultures. This is country where people come because they want the freedom, the opportunity, and the diversity, but somehow it seems we have become a place where that is not possible. It is almost sickening to keep seeing people being singled out for who they are. I hope those students stay true to who they are and understand it is important to be comfortable in any setting they are in. I also hope the college has a conversation with faculty and staff members about how they accept all students.


Leave a Reply