National Foreign Language Week - March 8-12

We will have virtual “programming” and resources on our website beginning on Monday, March 8, organized around the themes of Cultures (Monday, 3/8), Language Study (Tuesday, 3/9), and Careers (Thursday, 3/11). Stay tuned for more information!

National Foreign Language Week

Arabic study abroad trip

Professor helping students in class

study abroad trip

Ways of contacting us are the following:

  • By office phone: 616-331-3203
  • Via email: moddept@gvsu.edu
  • Virtually:  GVSU student, staff, or faculty member, please visit our MLL Zoom Room during the hours of 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday, with your GVSU network ID login and password. (If you are an outside community member, please call our office or email us to acquire the Zoom link and passcode).

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.



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

Deb Weststrate, Spanish, BFA & BA Graphic Design & Spanish, 2011

Deb Weststrate, Spanish, BFA & BA Graphic Design & Spanish, 2011

Deb believes learning a foreign language has opened up many doors for her to experience life from new perspectives, and continues to allow for friendships and connections that would have otherwise not been possible.

Trazy Collins (née Richter), Spanish, BA Spanish, 2013

Trazy Collins (née Richter), Spanish, BA Spanish, 2013

Trazy still uses her Spanish skills every day, whether greeting hungry families, or advocating on behalf of those who are looking for resources within the community, or providing cultural competency to programming happening within immigrant communities.

View More Alumni Highlights

Twitter feed for @GVSUMLL

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Word of the day: Trasnochar Language: Spanish Trasnochar means to stay up all night or up until the early hours of the morning. We at the Modern Languages and Literature office hope you get plenty of rest in spite of midterms! #WordOfTheDay #languagelearning
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