Our Language Programs

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.

Why study language video


Game Night Spotlight

Game Night

On Thursday, October 21st the LRC hosted a Game Night for language students! Spearheaded by Veronica Clapp, Carol Wilson-Tiesma, Meghan Cai, and Bret Linford.

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Alumni Highlights

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.

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

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.

Travis Brubaker, German, BA International Relations, 2018 Spotlight

Travis Brubaker, German, BA International Relations, 2018

"Learning German opened up many new doors for me, and encouraged me to learn other languages as well."

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Twitter feed for @GVSUMLL

Profile picture for @gvsuMLL
Are you studying any of these fields? ★ Maybe you should look into minoring in language! Click the link in our bio to see how studying a language will better your career path. Adiós! #languagestudy #modernlanguages #gvsumll #languagelearning

Follow @GVSUMLL on Twitter


Game Night Spotlight

Game Night

Back on popular demand game night has made another appearance in the Language resource center!

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A Department of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Page last modified June 7, 2022