About the Program
Knowledge of foreign languages and an awareness of other cultures are of critical importance in today’s world, in which international communication is instantaneous and events taking place at great geographical distances have immediate global repercussions.
The language and culture program offers students the opportunity to acquire fluency in at least one language and to gain familiarity with the society (or societies) in which that language is used. Keeping in step with the increasingly complex interactions among countries, the program also allows students to explore a diversity of cultures through the wide choice of courses that fulfill requirements for the major.
The language and culture major offers a full program in French and Spanish, with opportunities to study Chinese, German, Hebrew, Italian, linguistics, and Portuguese. A course in Nigerian/Hausa language and culture is also available through the anthropology program.
Modern languages are taught through an approach that immediately involves students in oral interactions in the target language, while developing their linguistic and cultural awareness. Beginning French and Spanish courses also include interactive language labs. As students acquire fluency, they are introduced to varied aspects of the language’s cultural context. These include courses in civilization, translation, literature, and history.
Foreign Language Placement
All students are required to complete a foreign language placement exam before enrolling in any language course. Faculty members monitor their class lists to ensure that students have taken the exam and are enrolled in the appropriate level.
Study Abroad Opportunities
Students are strongly encouraged to participate in the college’s study abroad programs. These interdisciplinary programs include courses that fulfill requirements for the major in language and culture and/or core curriculum requirements.
Minors in the Language and Culture Program
Students majoring in any discipline may pursue a minor offered by the language and culture program: Chinese, French, Italian, Spanish, and linguistics. Students interested in pursuing any of these minors should submit a completed Application for a Program of Minor Study to the School of Humanities main office.