The Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures provides a sequence of courses that leads to familiarity with a particular foreign language and the experience associated with that language. Students may select language programs necessary to their development as educated and aware individuals, and to their pursuit of a career goal. These programs aid students in acquiring fluency in a language, acquiring a thorough understanding of a foreign culture, and experiencing a variety of linguistic approaches to the world.
Foreign language concentration programs aim at mastery of the language, an understanding of its literature and culture, and knowledge of the linguistic processes that make up a native speaker's competence. Such knowledge is needed for teaching, for graduate work, and for other careers requiring specialized linguistic knowledge and skill. All courses, however, are open to any student who has satisfied the prerequisites.
The goal of the Foreign Languages Department is to provide students with an opportunity to become conversant with the languages and cultures of other nations. This mission is consistent with institutional purposes and College core curriculum goals. The Department fosters the development of proficient oral and written communication skills in various foreign languages. Also, as an integral part of a liberal arts curriculum, its programs offer instruction that is necessary to the development of educated and aware individuals who are capable of adapting to a changing and increasingly diverse world. The Foreign Languages Department offers opportunities for study that promote the understanding and value of human, cultural, and ethnic diversity.
With the growing participation of the United States in international business and the increasingly multinational character of American society itself, knowledge of a foreign language in nearly every kind of occupation is useful. Many students study to become teachers and translators, while others seek to complement their studies in international business, journalism, communication, art, travel or other fields requiring foreign language. Knowledge of a second language is a strong asset favored by employers when searching for job candidates.