2020-2021 courses in Modern Languages & Literatures will be offered face to face, hybrid, and online. We are working hard to adapt instruction to maximize learning, engagement, and communication in all formats. We are currently working on updates to the Winter 2021 schedule. Thank you for your patience!

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Why study foreign language?

Why language? Language is considered a critical part of a liberal arts education. Part of Grand Valley State University's vision and strategic priorities are to "inspire and equip students to be active life-long learners and global citizens" and to require global learning of all undergraduate majors. This does not mean that we expect all students to become fluent, but instead to have exposure to a second language and culture, which in turn leads to practical language skills. The Modern Languages and Literatures Department's language courses offer not just the chance to study a language, but to actively engage with another culture on its own terms. 

Multiple studies link the benefits of language learning to: 

  • enhanced cognitive ability and flexibility
  • delaying mental effects of aging
  • empathy and effective interpersonal skills
  • improved learning outcomes in other subjects

The following professions are seeing an increased need for language skills:

  • Business
  • Nursing
  • Engineering and other STEM fields
  • National Security and other government positions

Check out our majorsminors, and other language courses. Explore further reading on the importance of learning a foreign language.

Alumni Highlights

Veronica Kirin, French, BA Anthropology, 2009

Veronica says "Learning French fed my degree in Anthropology and certainly helps me get along when I visit Paris! The French professors were fantastic at teaching not just the French language but also French culture and history..."

Carola Fernández-Corcoran, Spanish, BA Spanish, 2009

After moving to Michigan she enrolled at GVSU, where she graduate as a Spanish major. She continued her education as a mother of two, and taught Spanish at home, and/or worked as a Spanish Translator Interpreter.

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