Fluency in more than one language and understanding other cultures are essential skills for living and working in our increasingly internationalized world. Students pursuing French, German, Japanese and Spanish at Albion College will discover how people in other parts of the world think and express their ideas and beliefs, all while practicing and mastering their language of study through a number of ways.
Besides introducing students to culture, all of the department's language courses emphasize the basic skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Incorporated into classes are culturally authentic videos, films, radio programs and Internet sites, as well as music from foreign countries.
Outside the classroom, Native Speaker Teaching Assistants and advanced language students assist small groups of students in tutorials once a week. Language students also meet once each week for lunch with faculty, teaching assistants, native speakers and other students to practice their language skills in a more relaxed setting. Classroom study is further supplemented with language CDs that can be used in any campus computer lab or your dorm room.
Cultural, historical, literary and filmic texts are the focus of the department's upper-level courses, which are all taught in the target languages and which are designed to increase your awareness and understanding of different world views, arts and traditions. In this process, you will also gain a richer understanding of yourself and your own culture.
As a language major or minor at Albion College, you are required to live in the I-Space, our international language living and learning area, located in Fiske House, for at least one semester. Native Speaker Teaching Assistants help students learn more about the culture of their country, while also helping students refine their conversational skills in a residential setting. Students pledge to speak the intended language within their living quarters.
Kids at Hope program, which meets weekly at the First United Methodist Church in Albion, helps language majors spread their own enjoyment of language learning to a younger generation by volunteering their time to teach Albion area grade-school children French and Spanish.
All Modern Language majors and minors are strongly encouraged to participate in one of several approved off-campus programs.
Please see our Faculty and Staff page for contact information for each of the professors, who will be glad to answer questions you may have about our program.