Personal Interests Are there certain countries or regions of the world that particularly fascinate you, that you would like to know more about, or that you could see yourself spending time in? Are there important people in your life from other countries or regions of the world with whom you would like to be able to better communicate? The ability to converse in the common language of others can break down cultural barriers and help you understand their history, attitudes, and beliefs.
Academic Interests Are there certain writers whose work you would like to read in the original? Is there scholarly literature in a discipline of interest that can only be read in another language? Are there news sources in other languages that you would like to be able to understand? In every academic discipline, there have been great thinkers, scholars, and artists who have made significant contributions that have either not been translated into English, or whose work is inadequately rendered in translation. Ask professors what languages they believe are important for further study.
Career Goals Are there regions of the world where you wish to work? Are there languages important to the industry or career field where you would like to work? Investigate the desired languages of government agencies, companies, and organizations where you wish to work in the future.
Languages Taught at the U
Visit the Department of World Languages and Cultures for information on majors and minors in the above languages.
Cultures and Languages Across the Curriculum (CLAC)
The CLAC model is built on the premise that knowledge of other languages affords unique access to multiple cultures and their perspectives. Often referred to as intercultural competence, this understanding of different cultures, including one’s own, is critical for students to succeed in today’s global world. The ability to communicate in another language and with other cultures is typically associated with foreign language degrees and immersive experiences abroad. However, to make the achievement of intercultural competence possible for all students, CLAC programs integrate different languages and cultures into a variety of curricular contexts beyond the traditional foreign language classroom. This integration of language and content can take different forms: a content course, for example Democracy in Latin America or The History of Brazil that is linked to a special section, or trailer, in which students read and discuss material in the second language; a class, for example, Rainforest Ecology, taught entirely in Spanish or Portuguese; or a course, for example International Management, in which students complete written assignments in the target language, based on non-English reading materials.
Why Study a Language?
The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) identifies three main benefits to learning foreign language found in scholarly research:
- Higher Academic Achievement
- Higher standardized test scores
- Improves reading abilities
- Ability to hypothesize
- Improves English language skills
- Improves Cognitive Abilities
- Analytical skills
- Problem solving
- Off-set of age related cognitive losses (Alzheimer)
- Positive Attitudes and Beliefs about other Cultures
The Job Market
CNN Money "The hottest job skill is,,,"
Chicago Tribune "Bilingual-jobs: Foreign-language careers on rise"
International Business Times "Foreign language skills provide sharp edge in the job market"
American Councils for International Education "Five Ways to Make a Difference Using Your Language Skills"
Department of World Languages and Cultures: Scholarships for students declared as language majors.
Learning Abroad: Department of Languages and Literature scholarships for intensive language learning abroad programs.
Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Scholarships:
Scholarships available for selected Asian and Latin American languages.