Students voice frustration about the challenges of having foreign professors

Many students might say it is common at Florida A&M University to have foreign college professors.

According to the Institutional Research Center on campus, there are 102 foreign professors on staff.

In courses such as history, physics and chemistry, foreign professors are frequent faces in the classroom.

However, some students find the communication barrier among foreign professors to cause obstructions in their learning process.

“It’s hard to grasp the concept of the lecture; most of the time, the foreign professors I’ve had talked and wrote in fragments,” said Maurice Wiggins, 22, an accounting student from Jacksonville.

“Because of the language barrier, I seek information from other professors as an alternative resource.”

Some students on campus are in an uproar about this matter and are awaiting a change.

“Obviously if the foreign professors are here they are capable of teaching. But they need to be able to speak English fluently,” said Ifeoma Onuaku, a 21-year-old physical education student from Washington.

“It hurts the students, especially those of us that barely made it in college, to have to learn the lesson and figure out what is being said.”

Latisha Knowles said students in college need to try harder to understand what is being said instead of whining.

“As long as the professor is willing to repeat what isn’t understood, students have no excuse for failing a course. This is college; grow up,” the 22-year-old business administrative student from Orlando said.

“The professors on college campuses are qualified by the Board of Education to teach, so there’s no reason for the students to use the language barrier as an excuse to fail a course and it be okay,” Knowles said.

Some students struggle to obtain the message of the curriculum and others strive to succeed in spite of the language barrier.

“Just stick the course out and learn to understand the accents,” said Jessica Walker, 21, an engineering student from Dallas.

“There are several outside sources, such as the various help centers on campus that we as students fail to use. It’s all about networking.”

There are also some students who use the language barrier as a right to disrespect and humiliate the professors on campus.

“I couldn’t believe the way students would disrespect the professor by talking out loud in class while the lesson was going on. They did everything from mocking the professor’s name to talking on cell phones. It was crazy,” said Hasan Flake, a 21-year-old business administration student from Queens, N.Y.

“Either the students have to learn to be respectful or the university will have to fire all the foreign professors in order to get substance in the classrooms,” Flake said.

Some students say having too many foreign professors take away from the meaning of the black college.

“I know that foreign professors are credible teachers-some better than others. The way they pronounce there English words isn’t what bothers me, it’s the fact that I came to an HBCU to have the black experience and (the) majority of my teachers are not (of) American descent,” said Ebonee Johnson, a 19, general studies student from Orlando.

“I know they too are minorities, but they’re still not us,” said Johnson, next school year’s sophomore attendant.

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