Language majors accomplish:

  • Real and measurable functional competencies in the target language
  • A practical command of grammar and pronunciation approaching that of a native speaker
  • Comprehension in reading and listening
  • Ability in speaking and writing in a manner acceptable to an educated native
  • A practical command of the culturally defined aspects of the language and related cultural patterns of behavior, including non-verbal communication
  • In advanced-level study, a comfortable familiarity with most of the language- and culture-specific characteristics of its literature

The department strongly encourages education or other experiences abroad and has exchange agreements in place with universities in several countries. Students should visit the department prior to studying abroad for clarification on course transfers. Information is available through Education Abroad.

Minors are offered in Chinese, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish, as well as interdisciplinary minors in Arabic, Italian and Russian Studies.

Basic courses may also be taken in Latin and American Sign Language.

Learning Outcomes

Students will demonstrate:

  • Communicative oral skills in the target language, including grammatical accuracy, correct use of tense, fluency, appropriate intonation, suitable vocabulary and discourse devices for expressing opinions or when giving research presentations.
  • Communicative writing skills in the target language, including clarity of ideas, grammatical accuracy and appropriate vocabulary, adequate elaboration of ideas through a variety of sentence structures and vocabulary, and logical flow of ideas through the use of discourse organizational devices.
  • Analytical skill in literary and cultural texts of the target language, including ability to formulate and present a topic of inquiry, to critically analyze the topic with valid supporting evidence, and to cogently synthesize and summarize the ideas in bibliographical sources and the results of their own analytical inquiry.
  • Increased sensitivity to and appreciation of cultural and linguistic differences.

Potential Occupations

Available career choices include, but are not limited to: bilingual educator, foreign language teacher, translation/interpretation, linguistics, civil service, foreign service and diplomacy, medical fields, social services, immigration/naturalization, journalism/ broadcasting, customs, banking, import/exports, sales/customer service, publishing, international business, international nonprofit organizations, government/military intelligence, global tourism.

Concentrations