By providing students with the knowledge of languages, cultures, and literatures other than English, the Department of Foreign Languages contributes to Midwestern State University’s mission of preparing its graduates to be productive members of the global society as well as to understand and relate to people and ideas different from their own.
As part of the Prothro-Yeager College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the Department of Foreign Languages also supports this College’s mission by enhancing students’ language and communication skills. Furthermore, as students learn points of view different from those of their own culture, they are challenged to think critically and to become more aware of their own aesthetic and cultural values.
Together with the West Foundation College of Education, the Department of Foreign Languages is deeply committed to the training of future teachers of Spanish and French.
The foreign language department at MSU believes that understanding other languages and cultures is fundamental to our wholeness as citizens of the world. Foreign language study helps students approach any language, including English, with greater knowledge, sensitivity, and awareness, while it also builds bridges to other cultures and modes of thought, feeling, and experience. In the words of writer Thomas Mann: "Language is civilization itself."
The MSU Foreign Language program, using lively, challenging, and up-to-date teaching techniques, offers study in Spanish, French, and German. First-year classes meet four hours weekly with an additional hour of laboratory work, the latter including audio and/or video activities. First-year classroom work emphasizes listening skills and encourages active student participation. Second-year work continues proficiency-based skills while deepening students' knowledge of grammar, culture, and literature. MSU students seeking the Bachelor of Arts degree are required to complete two years (four semesters) of study of the same foreign language.
Advanced foreign language study at MSU is available in Spanish and French. Spanish students may complete either a major (24 advanced hours) or a minor (18 advanced hours). French students may complete an area of concentration (18 advanced hours) or a minor (12 advanced hours). Both Spanish and French offer elementary and secondary teacher certification (Spanish requires 24 advanced hours for secondary certification with Spanish as a first teaching field, 18 advanced hours with Spanish as a second teaching field, and 18 advanced hours for elementary; French requires 18 advanced hours for a second teaching field). Both Spanish and French teacher certification programs require that students successfully complete a departmental qualifying examination prior to student teaching.
Scholarships are available for outstanding foreign language majors and minors. Advanced Spanish and French students may be eligible for membership in their languages' national honor societies, Sigma Delta Pi for Spanish and Pi Delta Phi for French. Spanish, French, and German clubs are also available for interested students. Summer programs in Granada, Spain and Tours, France allow MSU students to complete introductory through advanced courses.
Career opportunities for foreign language specialists have expanded far beyond the fields of teaching and research to include multinational business, educational administration, and government, the latter including, but not limited to, translation and interpreting.