Welcome from the Chair
Welcome to the Department of Modern Languages! We now find ourselves firmly entrenched in the second decade of the 21st century, and our department continues to expand its offerings, and join the university as a whole in the transition to semesters. While the transition period has at times been difficult and frustrating, we are certain that our programs will be better than ever. We will continue to have majors in French, German, and Spanish, and collaborative majors in International Business and International Studies, and a number of new programs introduced since 2008 have continued to grow and mature.
Demand for Chinese language classes continues to grow, and our interdisciplinary minor in Chinese Studies continues to attract students in ever greater numbers. Wright State has indeed become a hub of Chinese Studies in the Miami Valley region! We are still actively involved with the Dual Enrollment Program (through which Chinese is taught in area high schools using our books and our syllabus), in fact to a greater extent than ever; the number of schools teaching and students learning Chinese under the auspices of the DEP increases from year to year. Just as important, however, is the fact that these activities have caught the attention of other schools and other language programs: WSU’s involvement in the DEP has now been extended to Spanish, French, and German. These activities require time, commitment, and enthusiasm on the part of our WSU Modern Languages faculty, and it is with a sense of pride that I can say we have risen to the challenge.
The department continues to house the minor in Russian studies, and we are looking to expand our offerings in Arabic. In 2008 we offered second-year Arabic for the first time, and by 2011-12 we were able to offer a full third year of the language. Our hope is to be able to do so on a regular basis, with an aim to make this course the anchor for an eventual program in Middle Eastern Studies. Of course our department also continues to teach other languages, including Italian (through the second level) and Japanese (through the third level). For the past two years, Portuguese has been taught as an intensive, one-quarter course; beginning in 2012-13, it will still be an intensive shorter course, but it will be taught for one full semester. As always, no course of study in modern languages is complete without the opportunity to study or spend time abroad. Of course not everyone can study abroad, but we encourage all who can to do so. The university has a variety of foreign study programs in, among others, Brazil, Chile, China, Costa Rica, France, Germany, Japan, Spain, and several other countries; these can differ in length of time (from two or three weeks to a full year) and some can be more subject specific.
Prospective and current students can get a good overview of what is available at present by looking at the University Center for International Education (UCIE) website. As far as the department itself is concerned, we are in the process of developing a number of our own study abroad and Ambassador (short study) programs, including Spain (2013), Germany (summer 2013), France (2013) and China (2013).
The Department of Modern Languages is committed, as ever, to providing a fresh and varied program of study, offering some stimulating courses centered upon such subjects as humor, film, business, prose and poetry, law enforcement, and other aspects of the cultures that we study through language. These activities are always very rewarding, occasionally resulting in tangible reflections of the achievements of our students (see Con la Pluma Entre Dos Mundos on our website!). The members of the faculty take great pride in their work as teachers and mentors, and we look forward to each and every new incoming student! Whether you are a prospective student, a parent, an alumnus/alumna, or are simply interested in what we do, do not hesitate to get in touch with us. With best wishes for the coming year,
Stefan Pugh, Chair