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:
- Engineering and other STEM fields
- National Security and other government positions
Check out our majors, minors, and other language courses. Explore further reading on the importance of learning a foreign language.