Foreign language education is crucial in preparing students for today’s global society where individuals frequently and freely move from one cultural context to another. As students gain a degree of competence in a second language they begin to understand how others perceive the world as well how their own thoughts, beliefs and perceptions are grounded in a specific socio-cultural context. These linguistic/ intellectual “skills” greatly increase their opportunities for more fully participating in a world of diverse cultures unrestrained by political and geographic boundaries.
The faculty of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures is fully committed to fostering the intellectual, critical and empathetic education of its students. Learning a second language enables one to move beyond the limits of the monolingual paradigm that ordinarily shapes the understanding of others in one’s own society and in other parts of the world. Is this not what Wittgenstein meant when he noted, “The limits of my language are the limits of my world?” As the mental boundaries of our primary languages recede our capacity for meaningful interaction with individuals of different cultures greatly expands.