Language Study

Studying a foreign language in the Department of World Languages and Cultures (WLC) at Drake University is rewarding and productive from the very first day of class.

Through the standard sequence of courses, you will gain initial emphasis on speaking and go on to develop skills in listening, writing, and reading. Additionally, most languages offer topics courses that change from semester to semester. By focusing on the development of functional communicative competency, you will learn to use the language rather than merely learning about the language.

World Languages and Cultures welcomes everyone to our department. Students with previous language knowledge should plan to take that language's placement exam

Courses are offered in American Sign Language, Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish.

Culture is not, of course, neglected in these courses. The faculty of World Languages and Cultures is well aware that culture is embedded in every language and it is examined both explicitly and implicitly through a variety of materials. Culture plays such a prominent role in our language courses that many of our courses fulfill the requirements for the Areas of Inquiry in the category of Global and Cultural Understanding.

Special cultural events are held on campus throughout the year and you are also encouraged to participate in activities throughout the greater Des Moines community.  Students are often encouraged to particiate in service learning projects within the Des Moines community.  In the Spring 2016 semester Spanish students created a video that is used for staff trainings at Primary Health Care.  You can view the video below.

In addition to classroom work at Drake, you have many options for continuing your language studies in other countries as part of the study abroad program.

The Department of World Languages and Cultures offers several programmatic options:
• WLC offers a minor in Spanish. It requires 18 credits hours.
• Additionally, you can pursue an Interdisciplinary Minor (Concentration) (also 18 credit hours) in Language and Culture. Interdisciplinary Minors in Language and Culture are designed to allow you to demonstrate your language competence along with your understanding of that language's cultural contexts.
• Drake also allow you to design an individualized major or minor. You work with both your primary academic advisor and a faculty member from WLC in order to determine a set of courses that meet your academic goals.
Undergraduate students from any school or college are eligible.

ArtSci News
March 10, 2017
A leading national expert on Japanese politics and foreign policy will discuss U.S.-Japan relations under the Trump Administration during a free lecture at Drake University on March 21.