The Languages and Cultures Department offers academic programs for Spanish majors and minors. We also offer minors in American Sign Language, French, German, and Japanese along with courses in Arabic, Chinese, Greek, Latin, and Russian.
Placement and diagnostic language proficiency testing
American Sign Language
American Sign Language (ASL) provides a unique modality-visual and gestural rather than the traditional aural/oral approach to modern language teaching. ASL is a fully developed language, containing rich verbal aspects and a classifier system. Elements of deaf culture are also presented through theoretical and applied simulations.
Ancient Greek & Latin
Greek has the longest documented history of any Indo- European language. Classical Greek is the language of Homer and the great works of literature and philosophy which are the foundations of modern mathematics, science, and western cultures. Classical Greek is a strong corollary to studies in the arts, sciences, and literature. Also, with 50 percent of English vocabulary derived from Latin, it is not surprising to discover that students who have studied Latin score about 150 points more on such standardized verbal tests as the SAT than do students who have not had Latin (Washington Post). Latin is also the basis of the five romance languages (Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, and Rumanian) and as such helps students with further language study.
A language of intense historical, cultural and strategic importance in the contemporary world and the official language of twenty-two countries, Arabic is a strong corollary to studies in the arts, business, diplomacy, literature, history and philosophy.
Chinese (Mandarin) Chinese is the most widely spoken first language in the world and is the language of one of the world’s oldest and richest cultures. The study of the Chinese language opens the way to important fields such as Chinese politics, economy, history or archaeology and complements future careers in business and diplomacy as well as studies in the arts, literature, history, philosophy and others.
As one of the key languages of international diplomatic communication, literary creativity, and artistic achievement, French is a practical and useful language for career, personal and professional travel, and general cultural enrichment
An important language closely related to English, German is the tongue of America’s third largest trade partner, of much scientific research, and of international diplomacy. It is also the language of music’s “3B’s” (plus Wagner, Mozart, and Mendelssohn), of Goethe, Marx, Einstein, Kant, and Freud, spoken not only in Germany, but also in Austria and Switzerland. As such, German is a staple of any sound general education, a language that will enhance a career and enrich personal pleasure and travel.
The language of the great literature of the Renaissance, grand opera, and the influential neo-realist cinema, Italian is not only a language of artistic achievement, but one of strong American ethnic heritage and international business./div>
Japanese is the language of contemporary commerce, the literature of Mishima and Nobel Prize winner Kawabata. Its theatrical tradition includes Kabuki, Bunraku, and Noh, while its writing system utilizes Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji. Japan is the land of flower arrangement and the tea ceremony, the Samurai and “Ran”
Russia, expanding in social and economic importance, has a history of great literature and great art. Turgenev, Dostoyevski and Solzhenitsyn as well as the artistic treasures of the Kremlin are revealed through a study of this language.
In the United States, Spanish is fast becoming second to English in usage. A language of practical utility, great literature (Don Quixote), and wide applicability (in North, Central, and South America, as well as in Europe), Spanish is becoming a necessary skill for dealing with today’s world.