Chair: Professor Carolyn Lukens-Olson
Associate Professors: Laurence Clerfeuille, Kristin Juel, Peter Vantine
Instructors: , America Ochoa Brenneman, Qian Dong
In these days of global complexities and rapid changes at the international level, we need to prepare our students to address the challenges that our society is facing; the environment, politics, the economy, communications, education, and business are just a few of the many fields in which languages are of growing importance. The ability to communicate in languages other than English is already necessary within our society, and it is increasingly likely that during their professional careers college graduates will benefit from an understanding of one or more foreign languages.
The programs offered by the Department of Modern Languages and Literature are designed to help students achieve proficiency in one or more of the six languages we teach: Chinese, French, Italian, and Spanish and also to give them an understanding of the cultures associated with these languages through the study of their literature, art, history, and politics. Our courses explore rich literary and artistic traditions and teach students to find meaning and value in works presenting sensibilities and views of the world outside the range of their own experiences. We choose and develop our study trips and travel abroad programs with the goal of having our students not only improve their language skills but also immerse themselves in new cultures, often participating in internships and service activities. On campus, we sponsor and organize activities such as concerts, Spanish Mass, film series for both French and Spanish, French Club, Spanish Club, Francophone Day events, and conversation hours; to bring together the Saint Michael’s community and the local community, both American and international, through languages.
Study abroad is strongly recommended for all majors and minors; the overwhelming majority of our language majors and minors studies abroad at least one semester.