Dec 02, 2023  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

World Languages and Cultures

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Chairperson: Hilda Chacon, Ph.D.; Professors: Chacón, Ph.D., LeBreton, Ph.D.; Associate Professor: Yu, Ph.D.; Adjuncts: Fournier, M.A., Naulleau, M.A.

In compliance with the University Mission Statement, the Department of World Languages and Cultures:

  • provides an undergraduate curriculum in world languages and cultures that inspires students to high academic achievement;
  • advances in students critical thinking skills, aesthetic appreciation, effective communication, and a desire for life-long learning;
  • provides a broad cultural understanding and appreciation of the world we live in through the exploration and study of a variety of cultures;
  • embraces diversity, and welcomes and respects the intellectual freedom of each individual
  • Also, in harmony with the University Academic Vision Statement, the Department of World Languages and Cultures meets the three fundamental requirements to stimulate our students to become worldly changemakers: exceptional teaching, community-engaged learning opportunities, and promotion of a more inclusive community through working with different communities locally and abroad.

The mission of the Department of World Languages and Cultures is to pursue and stimulate:

  • the study of other languages in order to develop intercultural sensitivity to and knowledge of different modes of perceiving reality;
  • the study of foreign languages for task-specific purposes, such as everyday communicative competence (speaking, understanding, reading, writing), in specific contexts and disciplines;
  • the preparation for graduate study in literature, linguistics, or any professional program;
  • the desire to pursue significant changes in the world we live in, including societies beyond the United States

The general purpose of the major programs is to educate students to think critically about the relation of the United States with the rest of the world by immersing themselves in other societies that do not speak English. This will include reading and discussing original materials in other languages, learning about literary and cultural movements in other societies, while identifying the impact of the United States in other societies, as well as those societies’ contributions to the U.S. rich mosaic of cultures.

Through the Emerson Foreign Language Laboratory, students further develop linguistic proficiency by using new technology-based pedagogy at all language levels, including conversation partners in other countries, all of which allows them to communicate effectively with native speakers in the world. Likewise, students are encouraged to draw connections between their language and culture majors and other academic disciplines.

The student majoring in world languages and cultures will learn about the world of ideas and narratives that gave origin to other societies, past and present, and will also learn how other societies perceive life itself. This training includes recommending students to spend a semester of study abroad. The cohesive, integrated programs on foreign language acquisition, as well as cultural proficiency and sensitivity ensures a well-prepared young changemaker who can function in many fields that range from education to health professions and diplomatic careers.

Major programs are available in Chinese, French, Italian, and Spanish Language and Cultures. A student may elect either a major in one language or can also opt for a major in Modern Foreign Languages, i.e., the study of two languages. Students majoring in any of these languages are highly recommended to spend at least a semester in a locale where the language they are studying is the native tongue.

The department offers minors in Chinese, French, German, Italian, and Spanish to accompany any major in a given discipline. Courses may be taken at other colleges in the Rochester Area Colleges consortium with the approval of the department chairperson.

The University provides the facilities of La Maison Française, Casa Hispana, Casa Italiana, the German Cultural Center, and the Chinese Cultural Center where many academic and cultural events take place throughout the year. Also in these facilities, language students have the opportunity of contact with native speakers of the target language. All resident French majors are required to spend at least two years in the Maison Française. One of these must be the year following their academic year in France to maintain fluency in the language skills acquired abroad.

Several of the students in world languages and cultures have earned prestigious awards, such as Fulbright Awards, a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, the German Bosch Award, and the NIAF Italian Scholarship Award.

Most graduates in world languages and cultures are professionally active in academics, industry, banking, law, marketing, teaching, and the service sector, primarily because they were educated in a foreign language and culture with additional training in a professional specialty (business, finance, pedagogy, social sciences) through internship opportunities both locally and abroad. The variety of job fields to which our students have access after graduation is the natural result of a strong liberal arts education.

Overseas Education Programs: Nazareth University Study Abroad Programs

Nazareth’s Study Abroad Programs include residential programs in France, Italy, Spain, Costa Rica, Peru, the Dominican Republic, Germany and China. In many cases, students have the added benefit of living in the private homes of carefully chosen families, where they gain further proficiency in their chosen language as they experience all the benefits of a transcultural living environment. Most financial assistance is applicable to study abroad programs, and students earn valid college credits through class work and study.

Through partnership agreements with universities and the College Consortium for International Studies, Nazareth maintains a network of exchange programs around the world. This network enables students to study for a semester or a year at more than 80 universities in 30 countries on six continents. Whether learning a language, enhancing academic skills, or participating in cultural immersion, these programs help students to develop an intercultural outlook, professional contacts in international networks, and employment opportunities.

To ensure that candidates meet graduation requirements and make the best choice of courses available, they should plan their academic program in consultation with their own department advisor. Individual guidance by a resident staff member of the Nazareth University faculty is available in Rennes, Valencia, Costa Rica, Peru, the Dominican Republic, Pescara, Shandong and Berlin.

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