Why Study Foreign Languages?
Proficiency in a second language provides an edge for jobs in all fields, including education, business, law, medicine, government, law enforcement, performance and the arts.
Proficiency in a foreign language or languages places at a student’s disposal far more than a coveted job skill that will greatly enhance his/her value in the workplace. In our increasingly multilingual world, the ability to communicate with people from other cultures and from many walks of life infinitely enriches individual experience and holds out the promise of bridging differences that now needlessly divide us. The ability to understand, speak, read and write an acquired language broadens horizons, raises cultural awareness, fosters intellectual inquiry and heightens our capacity to act effectively, ethically and compatibly in everyday global affairs.
The Department of Foreign Languages and Literature offers two-semester sequences of introductory language study in Spanish, French, and Italian. Students are provided with the tools they need to develop the requisite communicational skills in speaking, listening comprehension, reading and writing while acquiring a sound working knowledge of grammar. Diverse written and aural/oral textbook and workbook assignments are chosen specifically to meet these goals. Students are additionally exposed to the culture and history of the various countries in which the languages are spoken. Onsite language-laboratory facilities and an online component complement and reinforce weekly classroom sessions, helping students perfect their pronunciation and increase their proficiency. Intermediate and upper-level courses run with sufficient enrollment.
Six credits in a foreign language are required of most entering Richard L. Conolly College students as part of the core curriculum. This requirement is satisfied by completing six credits in French, Italian or Spanish 11, 12 or the equivalent. The six credits must be in one language. Students may not take French, Italian or Spanish 12 without successful completion of French, Italian or Spanish 11 or the permission of the chair. Students with knowledge of a foreign language may be exempted. Students so exempted need not take a foreign language as part of the core requirement, but receive no credit. Exemption examinations are given by the Testing Center. For complete information concerning placement/exemption, contact the Department.
Students who wish to earn the B.A. in Modern Languages may do so with a concentration in Spanish or in French. A minimum of 24 credit hours in Foreign Languages and Literature courses numbered over 100 is required for the major. Students also may minor in French or Spanish by completing four courses at the 100 level or above in one language.
Majors and minors are encouraged to develop specific career objectives while pursuing undergraduate studies. Departmental advisors will assist students in exploring career possibilities and devising a personalized plan of study that will best prepare them for their career goals.
Students who graduate with a B.A. in Modern Languages (Spanish concentration) may pursue a wide variety of careers with full knowledge of the advantages bilingualism confers. Those who opt to enter the workforce instead of pursuing an advanced degree in languages and literature will find that their proficiency in a second language provides them with a clear edge over their monolingual competitors for jobs in all fields, including education, business, law, medicine, government, law enforcement, performance and the arts. Functional bilingualism is an asset esteemed by all employers, and the ability to speak, read and write competently in a second language will prove to be an ever-greater asset to job seekers in the 21st century.
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