In an effort to assist the University in achieving its educational mission, the Department of Modern Languages has set out the following general goals:
- Cultivate the students’ learning of foreign languages (French, German, and Spanish) and their culture by implementing integrative strategies that enable the students to use the foreign language as a communicative tool to gain knowledge of the world.
- Promote intellectual development by encouraging the students to interpret, analyze and synthesize master pieces and contemporary works of literature in foreign languages.
- Strengthen the students’ professional opportunities upon completion of their studies by fostering the notion of the bilingual intellectual as a mechanism of success in the global market of the 21st century.
The Modern Languages Department adheres to the philosophy of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) which reads as follows:
Language and communication are at the heart of the human experience. The United States must educate students who are linguistically and culturally equipped to communicate successfully in a pluralistic American society and abroad. This imperative envisions a future in which ALL students will develop and maintain proficiency in English and at least one other language, modern or classical. Children who come to school from non-English backgrounds should also have opportunities to develop further proficiencies in their first language (http://www.actfl.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=33920)
In regard to foreign language education, the Council established national standards, called the five C’s that are implemented by the Modern Languages Department. These standards are:
- Communication, i.e. communicate in languages other than English;
- Cultures, i.e. gain knowledge and understanding of other cultures;
- Connections, i.e. connect with other disciplines and acquire information;
- Comparisons, i.e. develop insight into the nature of language and culture;
- Communities, i.e. participate in multi-lingual communities at home and around the world.