Acquiring proficiency in a second language and learning about another the literature and civilization of another culture is not only an intrinsic part of the traditional humanities curriculum; it is also an essential skill for the global economy of the Twenty-First Century. At Millersville, the twin cornerstones of the Foreign Language program are immersion and authenticity. Beginning at the elementary level, modern language instruction is conducted almost entirely in the target language. Since instruction is built on presenting materials in culturally authentic situations, using state-of-the-art technologies (internet, satellite TV, video, etc.) the student with no background, or only limited background in the target language from high school can acquire a high level of functional ability in reading, understanding, speaking, and writing a foreign language by pursuing a major or minor in the Foreign Languages department. To enhance language proficiency and also acquire experience that will be invaluable to their future careers, students are strongly encouraged to spend at least one academic semester abroad and/or complete an internship or cooperative project in an agency or company, locally or abroad, where their language skills can be put to use.
Individual courses or a course of study leading to a major or minor in a foreign language are an ideal addition to any curriculum in Millersville University's three colleges. Foreign language Bachelor of Science in Education (BSE) graduates, because of their training, are sought after by schools, especially in South Central Pennsylvania. Bachelor of Arts (BA) graduates attend graduate schools to pursue advanced studies in specialties related to their majors or find employment in government and industry using their language skills. Even for those not pursuing a language major or minor, second language study provides insights into other cultures through language, one of the most important forms of human activity, in ways that the monolingual person cannot begin to appreciate. And finally, many students simply find language study fun as well as broadening. With all these points in mind, we want to encourage Millersville students to enrich their experience by joining us in the Foreign Languages department.
The program of the Foreign Languages department is firmly based on the World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages. These are the learning outcomes that guide our instruction:
- Students demonstrate proficiency in oral communication by engaging in conversations with others and making presentations in the target language.
- Students demonstrate proficiency in written communication in the target language.
- Students demonstrate proficiency in comprehending and interpreting written and oral texts in the target language.
- Students demonstrate awareness of historical and political realities of diverse countries, regions, and ethnic groups and critical thinking in discussing these realities.
- Students are able to compare and contrast significant historical and current developments and traditions in their home culture and in the cultures where the target language is spoken.
- Students demonstrate competency in the analysis of cultures and knowledge of cultural texts.