Learning a foreign language provides an exercise in cultural and linguistic concepts that open up new vistas on what it can mean to be human. Foreign language courses allow entry into the subjectivity of the target language on its own cultural and linguistic grounds, allowing for a more profound redefinition of culture.
Our basic courses offer the opportunity to acquire the skills and knowledge necessary for the eventual mastery of a foreign language. Students can then use the target language in subsequent courses dealing with the foreign culture. For the most part, courses are conducted in the foreign language, as students can best appreciate a foreign culture from within its own mode of expression.
Off-campus study acts as a catalyst in a Denison education. Its purposeful combination of classroom and experiential learning provides students an opportunity to hone the analytical literacy and capacity for informed judgment and constructive social engagement that are the core values of a liberal arts education. Off-campus study also engenders independence and self-confidence. As students are encouraged to reflect on their experiences they develop strategies for effective communication and thoughtful moral/ethical decision-making in contexts of socio-cultural plurality. A student wishing to spend a summer, a semester, or a year abroad with programs approved by Denison should consult members of the department and the Office of Off-Campus Studies.
Each semester the department offers students opportunities for cultural enrichment in foreign languages. Thanks to the Patty Foresman Fund, generously endowed by the John B. Hutchins family, the Department of Modern Languages can provide its students with exceptional experiences usually available only through study-abroad programs. These opportunities include off-campus trips to target-culture plays, movies, and performances, as well as campus visits by native scholars and performers.
Thanks to the Fund's contributions German scholars, Belgian poets, Colombian artists, Chilean writers, and Spanish dancers have been invited to campus to spend time in and out of the classroom with our students.
Our students have taken subsidized trips to American cities such as Chicago and Washington, D. C. in order to spend a few days visiting ethnic Chinese and Latino neighborhoods, and to attend museum exhibits pertinent to the study of foreign languages; and brief subsidized trips have also been made possible to foreign cities such as Montreal and Paris so that the students can attend events such as a special performance of a play covered by the course.
Furthermore, thanks to the Patty Foresman Fund, Denison has a classroom (Fellows 305) with equipment that adds considerable multimedia sophistication to the college's classes, study or research activities, and meetings. For instance, students in Denison's Spanish conversation classes can now engage in real-time video-conference discussions with peers in Latin America. Finally, thanks to the Fund, a special satellite hook-up provides Denison's campus-wide cable service with extensive academically appropriate international programming.
Collage is an interdisciplinary magazine designed to explore the poetry of language and the visual arts. Submissions may include original poetry, short prose, and bilingual translations. All submissions must be accompanied by an English translation and include the name of both contributor and translator. Images may be in black and white or color and must be submitted digitally. In the online version of the publication, we insert links for audio and video pieces.
French, German and Spanish tutors are available to students in the Library Learning Commons on Sundays from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. and Sunday through Thursday from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. The Department of Modern Languages provide this service for free. Academic Support's Tutoring Program provides free tutors for all of our languages. To request a tutor through Academic Support's program click here.
A major in a language provides students with a range of skills that serve them well in many career fields. Language majors have continued on to law and business schools. Some students continue on to do graduate work in their language or related fields.
Other students have moved directly into the job market, seeking careers in fields such as advertising, investment banking, publishing and sales.