Department of Modern Languages & Literatures

What You Will Learn

Our Mission

The mission of the Department of Modern Languages & Literatures is to help you improve in the four basic skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) in foreign languages.   You will develop abilities in the languages you study and also in their associated traditions, literatures and cultures.

Global Citizenship

Global Citizenship

Our courses educate students for global citizenship by emphasizing language acquisition within a cultural and literary context. You will engage in oral and written communication through the study of literary and cultural texts that tackle political, cultural, philosophical, and economic global issues. While learning foreign languages, you will critically think, understand, and communicate with diverse communities locally and globally.

Globally, you may participate in department study abroad programs (China, Germany, and Spain), regularly offered summer language study programs (Verano Español in Spain and Sommer Deutschland in Germany), as well as numerous occasional field studies (to Cuba, Germany, China).  You may join a Language Living and Learning Community, which provides a semi-immersion setting that will prepare you for cultural and linguistic immersion before and after going overseas.

Responsible Leadership

Responsible Leadership

The work of language learning cannot be done in social isolation. You will become a responsible leader utilizing your linguistic abilities to the enrichment of your communities and society as a whole. You will regularly take on leadership roles as peer mentors and peer tutors for language classes. 

Locally, you will develop personal and academic integrity and competence in ethical reasoning by participating in service learning projects. Through these projects, you will use and enhance your linguistic abilities while gaining a better understanding of diverse sociocultural backgrounds within the larger community. 

Productive Careers

Productive Careers

Thanks to an acute sense of cultural awareness, literary analysis, and appreciation for linguistic and cultural diversity, you will be prepared for advanced study at the graduate level and highly qualified to pursue meaningful, creative careers in any number of fields.

Meaningful Lives

Meaningful Lives

Beyond the classroom, you will come into meaningful contact with the language you study and/or with aspects of culture and learn to consider and understand the perspectives of others. You can experience civic engagement in the local community by working, for instance, with migrant farm workers, with elementary schoolers, and children with disabilities; by creatively developing cultural performances, and by writing critical reflection pieces on your experiences in the target language. These experiences will prepare you to be active community member where ever you may reside.