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

Monday, March 8, 2021World cultures

Tuesday, March 9, 2021Languages At GVSU

Thursday, March 11, 2021Careers

Ways of contacting us are the following:

  • By office phone: 616-331-3203
  • Via email:
  • 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

Brooke Elenbaas, Spanish, BA Spanish, 2004

Brooke Elenbaas, Spanish, BA Spanish, 2004

The constant thread of Brooke's career and life have been the degree in language that she received at Grand Valley and she is so thankful for the many and varied ways this degree has helped her be successful in her life.

Joshua Kahn, German, BA German, 2006

Joshua Kahn, German, BA German, 2006

Josh studied abroad during his time in the German program at GVSU, and his experiences in Tübingen were a pivotal point for what has been a lifelong dedication to global understanding and working across markets.

View More Alumni Highlights

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Reminder: The second half of the Tournées film festival begins on Friday at 7 pm. Join GVSU's French Program in watching three great French films! Reach out to MLL for more information.

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