Studying a world 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, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish. A Major in Spanish is available as well as minors in all languages except American Sign Language and Italian.
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 Multicultural Understanding.
Special cultural events are held on campus throughout the year, and students are also encouraged to participate in activities and service learning projects throughout the greater Des Moines community. For example, in Spring 2016, Spanish students created a video that is used for staff trainings at Primary Health Care. You can view the video on our Student Accomplishments page.
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:
Undergraduate students from any school or college are eligible.
*We are not currently accepting any new Arabic or Chinese Language minors at this time.