The Department of Languages and Literatures provides a dynamic and intellectually stimulating learning environment for students, both inside and outside the classroom. The lower-division courses for most of the languages have implemented a five-day syllabus, which combines the indispensable interpersonal communication between students and instructors in class with a virtual language laboratory where students continue strengthening their skills outside of class. Likewise, many of the language classes incorporate cultural activities on campus and/or in the broader community as well as community service-learning projects in which students use their language skills in real-life settings while providing an important service.
In upper-division courses students have the opportunity to develop to a greater degree their linguistic, analytical, and critical thinking skills as they broaden their knowledge of both the historical development and the 21st-century realities of our complex globalized world. Students gain greater understanding and insight into the literature and other cultural production of various historical and contemporary periods. In addition, as international studies form an important part of learning a language, the university offers an expansive array of opportunities for students to enrich their academic experience through study abroad.
Students are encouraged to take advantage of the wide range of opportunities available on campus as part of their study of languages and cultures, including membership in the language clubs, participation in the weekly conversation tables, and attendance at the international film series each semester. The department sponsors two honors societies: Sigma Delta Pi for Spanish students and Pi Delta Phi for French students. The tutoring program, sponsored and supervised by the department, offers more advanced language students the opportunity to help their classmates in their studies. Likewise, the department maintains a calendar of cultural activities on campus and in the community for the benefit of our students, which is updated on our website on a regular basis.