Learn About Our Programs

Why Study Foreign Language?

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

Why study language video

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. Learn more about why language?

Our Language Programs

  • Minor
  • Minor
  • Major
  • Major- Secondary Education
  • Minor
  • Minor- Secondary Education
  • Major
  • Major- Secondary Education
  • Minor
  • Minor- Secondary Education

Courses:

  • ITA 101 & 102 - Beginning Italian I and II: Language and Culture
  • ITA 201 & 202- Intermediate Italian I and II: Language and Culture
  • ITA 280 - Special Topics in Italian
  • ITA 380 - Special Topics in Italian

Courses:

  • JPN 101 and 102- Beginning Japanese I and II: Language and Culture
  • JPN 150 - Accelerated Beginning Japanese I and II: Language and Culture
  • JPN 201 and 202- Intermediate Japanese I and II: Language and Culture
  • JPN 301 and 302- Advanced Intermediate Japanese and II
  • Plus 10 more course including Literature, Special Topics, Theater, and more.
  • Major
  • Major- Secondary Education
  • Minor
  • Minor- Secondary Education

Courses:

  • MLL 100 - How to Learn a Foreign Language
  • MLL 180 - Language and YOU
  • MLL 300 - What's Language Got To Do With It?: Exploring Identity Through Language, Culture, and Literature

Give to the Modern Languages & Literatures Endowed Study Abroad Scholarship

Established to encourage and assist language students to study abroad and gain life experience in the language they are studying at Grand Valley.


Alumni Highlights

Danielle Snow, Spanish, BA Mathematics-Secondary Education, 2010 Spotlight

Danielle Snow, Spanish, BA Mathematics-Secondary Education, 2010

Danielle is a high school math teacher who has used Spanish to help English Language Learners in the classroom as well as to communicate with her student's families.

Caitlin Smith, Spanish, BA Secondary Education & Spanish, 2014 Spotlight

Caitlin Smith, Spanish, BA Secondary Education & Spanish, 2014

Caitlin is a proponent of language learning because it introduces people to different cultures and beliefs. The ability to communicate with millions more people around the world is something she would never give up.

Nicholas Norris, French, BFA & BA Music & French Linguistics, 2011 Spotlight

Nicholas Norris, French, BFA & BA Music & French Linguistics, 2011

Nicholas is currently working as a substitute teacher for high school French teachers in the Grand Rapids area. In January 2019, he returned to GVSU to get his certification to teach French at the secondary level.

View More Alumni Highlights

A Department of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences



Page last modified July 12, 2024