Lack of fluency

This is in response to William Sjostrom’s “Lazy Complaint” letter to the editor Oct. 16, where he rejected the complaints of Finite Math students who find it difficult to make sense out of their teacher’s lack of English fluency in a considerably hard class.

Having taken Finite, I can say that the problem certainly does not lie in the students’ lack of studying, but rather the problem lies in having to ask the teacher to repeat himself over and over so that the students can understand just what words he is trying to say.

The teacher would finally have to resort to writing his sentence on the board. This takes up much-needed class time.

You said that Finite Math is a relatively easy introductory course. I’m sure that for an assistant professor of economics, an undergraduate course like Finite Math is a piece of cake. But let’s try to look at it in the perspective of the student, shall we?

To the faculty of NIU I say this: I do not doubt the knowledge of your TAs. But their ability to pass on the knowledge is questionable. After all, a foreign language course shouldn’t need to be a prerequisite for a mathematics course.

Tom McCloud


General Studies