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Modern Languages

Mission Statement

The Department of Modern Languages & Literatures educates students to be competent, conscious and compassionate global citizens prepared to confront the complex challenges of our 21st century, interdependent world community. Our faculty of professional language educators and scholars integrates the teaching of language and culture throughout our curricula in order to enable students to communicate effectively across cultures, to appreciate cultural diversity, to interpret and discuss words, images, texts and discourses in their sociocultural context, and to identify and analyze problems across cultural and national boundaries. With rigorous, high quality programs deeply rooted in our Jesuit values and in the principles of the liberal arts experience, we offer students unique learning experiences, both in and out of the classroom, which enrich their personal lives, help them discern a future career path, and prepare them to compete locally and globally for a wide variety of careers.   

The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures offers courses in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish, as well as degree programs  in French and Francophone studies, Italian studies, Japanese studies, and Spanish studies. Students can also combine language studies, especially Arabic, Chinese or German with interdisciplinary minors (e.g. Arabic, Islamic & Middle Eastern Studies, Asian Studies, International Business minor) or an Individual Studies Major.

Goals & Objectives

A. Student Learning:

Goal 1: Students demonstrate communicative and intercultural competence through proficiency-based language programs in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish.

Objective 1: Students completing their first year of language study demonstrate the following proficiency levels:  Arabic, Chinese, Japanese: Novice-Low or higher; German: Novice-Mid or higher; French, Italian, Spanish: Novice-High or higher.

Objective 2: Graduating majors in French, Italian, and Spanish reach the level of Advanced of proficiency.

Goal 2: Appropriate to the level of language studied, students demonstrate knowledge and understanding of other cultures throughout the program.

Objective 3: Students display and / or explain cultural behavior appropriate to the language and cultures of study through direct and mediated communication with members from the target culture.

Objective 4: Students work with a variety of cultural texts in the target language to learn about and reflect on the artistic, historical, political and social perspectives of the language and cultures studied.   

Goal 3: Appropriate to the level of language studied, students demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of literary trends and visual, cultural texts.

Objective 5: Students demonstrate a critical understanding of the major literary movements and genres of the literature of the target language within their historical, social, and political contexts.

Objective 6: Students analyze, evaluate, and interpret a wide range of literary, visual, and cultural texts using a variety of rhetorical and literary techniques.

Goal 4:  Students seeking a teaching career in Spanish demonstrate linguistic and pedagogical knowledge and competence of the target language.

Objective 7: Students demonstrate an understanding of the nature and use of language as well as theories of language acquisition and learning.

Objective 8: Students gain knowledge about methods, techniques for designing, implementing and evaluating instruction in Spanish using community and technology resources.

Goal 5:  Students demonstrate cross-disciplinary learning and integrated education

Objective 9: Students critically read and discuss authentic second language texts to increase their knowledge of other disciplines (e.g. anthropology, business, education, health, history, law, political science, sociology, etc.)

Objective 10:  Students participate in multilingual communities at home or abroad to develop first-hand communication skills and cultural knowledge and competence.

Goal 6: Students develop a global mindset:

Objective 11: Students demonstrate sensitivity to cultural norms and differences

Objective 12: Students engage in cultural connections and demonstrate ability to adjust to new environments