The Department of Modern Languages continues to offer its established Ambassador Programs in France, Chile, Costa Rica (for the 15th year!), and Spain in order to provide exchange opportunities for both faculty and students. In addition, new and exciting programs are constantly being added, notably a successful summer program in Austria, first offered in 2008 and led by Prof. Elfe Dona. Two other new programs are in the planning stages for 2010 - China and Gabon. The Chinese Ambassador Program will focus on language and culture, led by Haili Du (the University’s first Instructor of Chinese) and is a product of the further development of Chinese studies at Wright State in general. The Ambassador Program to Gabon represents a departure for the department (beyond the fact that it will take place in Africa) in that it will combine educational and humanitarian foci – a further extension of service learning within Modern Languages programs; it will be led by Prof. Kirsten Halling and Pascale Abadie, Instructor in French.
As always, students can study abroad in more than twenty countries through the University Center for International Education.
Modern Language faculty publish on a regular basis. Professor David Petreman has published a poetry chapbook called “Francisco in the Days of Exile”, a book about the legendary Chilean writer Fancisco Coloane’s exile to Spain during the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile (2008).
The French section of the department was named Outstanding Foreign Language Program in Ohio for 2008 by the Ohio Foreign Language Association. Both Spanish and French faculty offer immersion days to the greater regional school community: the French section hosted a French Immersion Day November 7, 2008, which was attended by 187 high school students and their 10 teachers; a Spanish immersion day is planned for the academic year 2009-10.
Another new and exciting departure for the department is its involvement in and commitment to the Dual Enrollment Program in the Miami Valley region. For its part, the department identifies teachers of Chinese who will teach the language in high schools, following the Wright State syllabus and using the same books; for their part, students at the schools (currently three of them) receive college credit for their Chinese language classes.
Finally, in addition to its majors in French, German, Spanish, and Modern Languages (multiple languages), the department offers Arabic, Chinese, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, and Russian; it is anticipated that Wright State University will soon offer a minor in Chinese studies, as well as a Certificate in Linguistics.