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World Languages and Cultures

 

Unlimited opportunities are available for students who study languages. Just think, professionals who are bilingual or multilingual are more marketable in today’s global market. Being fluent in more than one language opens up doors to more potential employers in more industries. Ever dreamed of working overseas or landing a job that sends you around the world?

 

A degree in language studies from Mercyhurst University will help you develop valuable linguistic and cross-cultural skills, as well as provide a well-rounded education in liberal arts. Mercyhurst's world languages and cultures programs, which offer the greatest variety of languages within the region, are easily paired with another major — political science, intelligence studies, psychology, dance and many other majors — to create the perfect multidisciplinary undergraduate education just for you. You’ll have several opportunities to experience a fulfilling education through Mercyhurst's dynamic language program, including access to the Fulbright Teaching Assistant Program, study abroad, service learning, senior oral proficiency tests, conversation groups and student-organized clubs.

Mercyhurst students receive exciting opportunities after graduation, such as participating in the JET program (teaching English in Japan and the North American Teaching Assistant program in Spain). Besides teaching a language, Mercyhurst students who pursue a degree in a world languages and cultures program have many career options, including, but not limited to, work in human service fields, government agencies and non-governmental organizations, as well as work in public policy, social work and foreign policy. 

With a 14-1 student-to-faculty ratio and an average class size of 20 students, you’re never just a number at Mercyhurst. In fact, many upper level courses average 10 or fewer students. Mercyhurst keeps its classes small so you can get individualized attention from professors to ensure your success in class and beyond.

 

Fulbright Teaching Assistants

Mercyhurst is very fortunate to participate each year in the Fulbright Teaching Assistant program in Russian and Arabic. In 2014-15 we welcomed TAs from Morocco and France.”The program brings young professionals to the U.S. to share their linguistic and cultural expertise by teaching courses, offering conversation groups, and enriching our students' understanding of the areas they are studying.
 

Honor Societry

Phi Sigma Iota, international honors society for the study of foreign languages and cultures, is one of the highest honors one can achieve in the field. Language majors and minors are nominated in their junior or senior year based on:

  • the completion of a 300 level language course (or equivalent)
  • GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • recommendation of the language faculty
Induction is held each spring at the annual dinner.

For more information, go to the society's official website at www.phisigmaiota.org.

All majors must maintain an overall 2.5 GPA and at least a 2.75 GPA in world language major courses. World language education majors must also meet all the requirements of the education program. All majors and minors, as well as those students seeking teaching certification, are expected to maintain a portfolio, which will be important for assessment at Sophomore Review, before a student is permitted to student teach, and prior to graduation. An outline of requirements for the portfolio, which includes written and oral work, can be obtained from the student's language adviser or from the department director. Ready to begin your journey in world languages? Apply online today -- it's free and getting your application started takes only a few brief minutes. 

Major(s) French and Spanish Education Major
  French Major
  Spanish Major
  International Business Major
  Russian Studies Major
Minor(s)        Asian Studies Minor 
  Arabic and Islamic Studies
  Language Minors - Chinese, French & Spanish
  Russian Studies Minor

French/French Education

  • Speak and understand French at the Intermediate High level or better as detailed in the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines
  • Read and write in French at the Intermediate High level or better as detailed in the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines
  • Demonstrate cultural proficiency in cultures that use French
  • Discuss in both spoken and written French literary and visual texts or cultural artifacts of the target culture
  • Conduct and produce research in French
  • Demonstrate understanding of second-language acquisition and the history of foreign-language pedagogy (education majors only)
  • Demonstrate the ability to apply understanding in practice teaching situations and to analyze and critique the teaching of others (education majors only)

Spanish/Spanish Education

  • Speak and understand Spanish at the Intermediate High level or better as detailed in the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines
  • Read and write in Spanish at the Intermediate High level or better as detailed in the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines
  • Demonstrate cultural proficiency in cultures that use Spanish
  • Discuss in both spoken and written Spanish, literary and visual texts or cultural artifacts of the target culture
  • Conduct and produce research in Spanish
  • Demonstrate understanding of second-language acquisition and the history of foreign-language pedagogy (education majors only)
  • Demonstrate the ability to apply understanding in practice teaching situations and to analyze and critique the teaching of others (education majors only)

 

Russian Studies

  • Demonstrate knowledge and accurate application of grammar concepts In Russian
  • Demonstrate competence in listening and speaking in conversational settings
  • Demonstrate ability to read and comprehend literary texts in Russian
  • Write descriptive, narrative, expository and argumentative essays in Russian
  • Identify major historical figures, architectural styles, paintings and moments in Russian cultural history
  • Identify major literary figures, trends and works from Russian literature
  • Analyze Russian literary texts in translation for content, structure and style
  • Demonstrate knowledge of history of Christianity and development of Orthodox Christianity in the Christian world, and more specifically in Russia

Faculty

Faculty Image for 
Alice Edwards
Alice Edwards, Ph.D.
Professor of Spanish
Faculty Image for 
Douglas Boudreau
Douglas Boudreau, Ph.D.
Chair, Associate Professor of French
Faculty Image for 
Janelle Newman
Janelle Newman, Ph.D.
Instructor
Faculty Image for 
Karen Williams
Karen Williams, Ph.D.
Professor of Spanish