World Languages & Cultures

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Message from the Chair

The mission of the Department of World Languages and Cultures is to provide students with opportunities to develop functional competence in a language other than English. We want to help our students use the language they are studying. 

In doing so, we emphasize the development of speaking skills, cultural understanding, and responsible global citizenship. Our students also focus on all other aspects of developing language skills for communicative purposes. Many of our students study abroad, obtain employment with companies that have international interests, earn scholarships such as the Fulbright, and attend graduate school in areas that incorporate their language abilities.

Our dedicated faculty and provides a welcoming environment for students to expand their developing competence in language and culture. We currently offer courses in American Sign Language, Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish. Students who study abroad and complete our certificate program are able to obtain transcriptable evidence of their cultural and linguistic competence. Those interested in teaching a language can obtain an endorsement through Drake’s School of Education. Students who excel in their language studies are also able to join a national honor society that recognizes their excellence and actively promotes language learning in a variety of ways throughout the academic year. Many languages also have weekly conversation tables available even for those not enrolled in classes.

World Languages and Cultures now offers a minor in Spanish. The Certificate of Competence in Spanish Language and Culture will continue to be offered. The primary differences between the two are these: 1) the Certificate requires 14 credit hours, while the minor requires 18 credit hours; and 2) the Certificate requires a study abroad experience, while the minor does not. We hope to be able to offer minors in other languages in the near future as well.

We invite you to examine our site and course offerings. Should you have any questions or wish for more information, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Dr. Marc Pinheiro-Cadd
Chair, World Languages and Cultures
Associate Professor of German

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