Illinois Wesleyan
World Languages, Literatures and Cultures

Explore your passion

Our Mission

Through innovative and substantive pedagogies, the Department of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures seeks to promote communicative and cultural competency and to cultivate a life-long appreciation and spirit of inquiry for languages and the cultures they reflect. We believe that all students can learn a new language and that a global mind-set is a necessity and an asset in today’s democratic society. Courses in WLLC intrinsically promote issues of diversity and underscore themes of social justice. Faculty members are committed to providing experiential opportunities that serve as a bridge to local, regional and international concerns. Interdisciplinary approaches modeled in the classroom help students develop a comprehensive world view and acquire both knowledge and empathy toward others.


Majors and Minors 

The WLLC department offers majors in French and Hispanic Studies, and minors in French and Francophone Studies, Hispanic Studies, Italian Studies, and Japanese Studies. Lower-level courses (numbered 100/200) develop an awareness of cultural and linguistic diversity in the world as they develop all four language skills (speaking, reading, listening, and writing). Upper-level courses (numbered 300/400) deal with cultural history, literature, film, popular culture, contemporary social and political issues as well as the intellectual traditions that have shaped the societies where these languages are spoken.

For students entering IWU in fall 2021 and beyond, French & Francophone Studies is no longer available as a major or minor, and Italian Studies is no longer available as a minor.

Languages of the Basic Sequence

In today’s global society, knowledge of languages and cultures is increasingly important in business, industry, and the professions. Courses in World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures are an integral part of the IWU Liberal Arts experience, and directly support the University’s mission of preparing students for democratic citizenship and life in a global society.

The language courses that we offer in the Basic Sequence and for Shared Curriculum credit are French, Japanese, and Spanish.

NEW: Starting in Fall 2022, WLLC will begin offering a three-semester sequence in American Sign Language.


After Graduation

IWU has compiled over 10,000 of our alumni's career biographies and paired them with their major (or majors) at Illinois Wesleyan. You may be interested to see that Illinois Wesleyan alumni work in virtually any career field you can imagine, and that a college major doesn't always coincide with a specific career. Have fun exploring your many options at Illinois Wesleyan! Learn More.


Areas to Study
French & Francophone Studies
French & Francophone Studies
Italian Studies
Italian Studies
Japanese Studies
Japanese Studies
Hispanic Studies
Hispanic Studies
Literature and Culture Studies in English Translation
Literature and Culture Studies in English Translation


Spanish for Social Justice

Students develop language skills and cultural competency for situations that focus on social justice. Fieldwork in one of the following areas: immigration, housing, education, employment and voter rights is a key part of the course. Learn more about this course.

French for Human Rights
and Social Justice

Students are introduced to the major contributions by the Francophone world to the development and shaping of the field of human rights and social justice. Course materials will include philosophical approaches particularly from the Enlightenment, as well as European Union policy and examples of contemporary issues.


Carolyn Nadeau
Byron S. Tucci Professor of Hispanic Studies
Chair, World Languages, Literatures and Cultures - (309) 556-3332

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