World Languages and Literatures
Multilingual by the nature of its programs, multicultural by the make-up of its faculty, and international by the projection of its offerings, the Department of Foreign Languages seeks to develop in students the ability to communicate effectively with people who speak languages other than English and whose world views and cultural values may differ substantially from their own. Today, the study of foreign languages help students to internationalize their professional profiles by affording them a strong competitive advantage in pursuing opportunities in today's global economy and culture. In addition, students who undertake the advanced study of foreign languages can contribute to the prosperity and security of the country.
After development of the four basic language skills (listening comprehension, speaking, reading and writing) our programs seek to create an understanding and appreciation of the great works of classical and modern world literature in their original language, as well as in translation. The exposure to new and original patterns of language and thought as well as to the distinct cultural values reflected in many of these works will necessarily broaden our students' understanding of the world which exists beyond the confines of their own linguistic and cultural environment. It should also lead them, through comparative analysis, to a better understanding of the structure of their own language and the cultural and thought patterns it reflects and engenders. With such an understanding of themselves and of other peoples, gained through the study of foreign languages, literature and cultures, students will be ready to enter today's global community as teachers, civil servants, business professionals, translators and interpreters and in the myriad of other careers where the ability to communicate is the sine qua non of success.
Department Goals Based on the Mission Statement
- Develop students' language skills: listening comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing as a basis for advanced study.
- Broaden our students' understanding of the world beyond the confines of their own linguistic and cultural milieu and expose them to new and original patterns of language and thought and to the distinct cultural values reflected in many of these works.
- Guide students, through comparative thinking, to a better understanding of the structure of their own language and the cultural and thought patterns it reflects and engenders.
- Create in our students an understanding and appreciation of works of world literature in their original language, as well as in translation.
- Prepare students for entry into today's global community as teachers, civil servants, business professionals, translators and other careers requiring communication skills in more than one language.
- Maintain the multicultural nature of the faculty and the diversity of students in the Department programs.
- Maintain outreach to the local community and the academic world through academic events, faculty and student scholarship, and publications.
The Department of Foreign Languages supports five undergraduate programs and two masters programs.