World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

Statement of Purpose

At Illinois Wesleyan, you may pursue a major in French and Francophone Studies, German Studies, or Greek and Roman Studies, and a minor in French and Francophone Studies, Greek and Roman Studies (ancient Greek or Latin), German Studies, Japanese Studies, or Russian Language and Literature. Four semesters of Italian language are also offered. In general, lower-level courses (100/200 level) in our department develop an awareness of cultural differences and emphasize language skills. Upper level courses (300/400 level) deal with more than one of the following: cultural history (including art and intellectual traditions), literature, film, popular culture, and contemporary social/ political issues. In addition, the MCLL faculty offer courses in Literature and Culture Studies in English Translation , which are designed to provide students with a knowledge and understanding of the literature/culture of non-English speaking countries.

In today’s global society, knowledge of languages and cultures is increasingly important in business, industry, and the professions. At Illinois Wesleyan, courses in languages and literatures have become an integral part of several other majors on our campus, including International Business, Diplomatic Studies, Development Studies, Western European Studies, and Russian and Eastern European Studies. In fact, approximately one-third of Illinois Wesleyan language majors are double majors, with second majors such as music, history, business, political science, etc.

Outside of class you will have the benefit of our exceptionally equipped Language Resource Center. At the Center you can work with self-study computer programs and watch foreign videos with or without subtitles. Illinois Wesleyan also offers a palette of study abroad and travel opportunities, regularly scheduled foreign films, and guest speakers from around the world.

Putting Your Language Into Practice

Our Language Resource Center provides students with facilities for foreign language computer-based activities as well as traditional language laboratory work. It is equipped with 20 Windows platform workstations, 3 iMacs, and 3 video viewing stations. Students may work on their speaking, pronunciation, or comprehension skills using audiocassettes; practice grammar using computer drills; or take advantage of foreign language software that helps build vocabulary or write compositions. Students may increase their cultural competency while working with interactive CD-ROMs and browsing the World Wide Web. The Language Resource Center also functions as a tutoring center that gives students one-on-one help with their foreign language studies. Advanced language students may  be eligible to work as a paid tutor for the department. Living in an environment where foreign language speakers surround you is also important for learning. Informal groups meet one campus to converse in the chosen language e.g. French (La table française) or German (Stammtisch). May Term travel seminars are also widely available.

Study abroad is an important part of our language programs. You may spend a semester or a year studying in France, Russia, Germany, Austria, Greece or Japan. Travel seminars are also offered to a variety of destinations.

For information about offerings in Spanish language and culture, see the Web site for the Hispanic Studies Department.