Welcome to the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures 



The Department of Modern Languages & Literatures (MLL) offers diverse programs aimed at meeting the needs of today's students. Our courses focus on topics including language, cultural studies, linguistics, literature, and teacher education.

In our rapidly-changing world, we must lower barriers to understanding. Communicating effectively in another language is not simply an exercise in the acquisition of linguistic skills. We also gain insights into the thinking of another culture (often very different from our own)--insights that afford us the perspective necessary to examine our own cultural values critically. In MLL, we view language, culture, linguistics, and literature as integrally-related facets of the complex phenomenon of human communication, a process that helps us to understand ourselves, each other, our values, and our roles in a multicultural world.

Students interested in developing language and cultural competence find a variety of programs in Modern Languages & Literatures. Programs are designed for those who wish to pursue more advanced studies of language and literatures, as well as for the growing number of people who find the ability to communicate in other languages and sensitivity to other cultures important components of career preparation in the United States and abroad. Our programs help to prepare students for careers in education, government, social services, translation services, assessment, literature, and international business.

Our goal is to assist students in developing competence in other languages by teaching most of our courses in the target language. We strive to enhance students' knowledge of language and the humanities through various means, such as reading representative authors in the languages in which they wrote, familiarizing students with the cultural traditions of the peoples whose language they study, and expanding students' knowledge of linguistics and socio-cultural contexts. Through service learning opportunities, many of our majors apply their growing knowledge of languages and cultures to authentic community contexts.