While the students are learning a language and about its cultures and literatures, they develop a respect for other persons and cultures. They discover that language learning is a discipline that requires diligence and personal initiative, and both of these characteristics can be applied to other aspects of life. Those students that are taking courses in order to satisfy the Bachelor of Arts foreign language requirement (or for General Studies) will acquire in their chosen language the basic communication skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing, as well as a basic knowledge of the pertinent cultures. The students that complete a major, teaching endorsement or a minor in French, German or Spanish, a translation/interpretation major or a translation minor in one of these languages, will develop to a far greater extent their language skills, their cultural and literary knowledge and their appreciation for the intellectual and cultural values associated with a university-level education.
Upon the successful completion of the courses (on campus and abroad) of the Department of Modern Languages, its students (depending upon their level and major) will be able:
- to use basic communication skills effectively in a language other than their own,
- to demonstrate an understanding of and an appreciation for the unique contributions of the cultures (and literatures) associated with the language that they are studying,
- to attain sufficient language proficiency for a specific career (such as translation/ interpreting) or for a professional degree,
- to become successful foreign language teachers, and
- to begin graduate study (if grades and other requirements allow) in the foreign language of their choice.