World Languages and Cultures
Welcome! Bienvenue! Benvenuti! Bienvenidos!
A highly valued asset in today’s global workplace, second language study provides students with opportunities and experiences that are not available to individuals who are proficient in only one language. Gaining competency in a second language exposes students to systems of thought and expression different from their own, introducing them to new ideas, customs, habits, and values. In so doing, second language study helps fulfill one of the core components of the mission/vision of Merrimack College, which calls for students to develop global awareness through knowledge and experience of diverse cultures. Moreover, in the process of acquiring a second language, students develop the ability and sensitivity to see their own set of cultural norms from an entirely new perspective, thus broadening their view of the world and appreciation of differences. Language study also fosters the understanding of grammar structures in one’s native language, improves oral and written skills, and affords a deeper awareness of the dynamics of communicative exchanges.
The Department of World Languages and Cultures offers a variety of courses and programs that help language students at all levels (from absolute beginners to heritage speakers) strengthen their linguistic skills, expand their understanding of the world, and connect different disciplines together. Our faculty is trained to provide students with a unique set of international and interdisciplinary cultural opportunities designed to broaden their cultural horizons, enhance their intellectual flexibility, and increase their adaptability in the context of an ever-changing global workplace.
The Department of World Languages and Cultures currently offers majors in French, Italian Studies, Romance Languages, and Spanish. Minors can be taken in French, Italian, Italian Studies, and Spanish. At least half of the major and minor course requirements must be taken at Merrimack College, including at least one upper-level course upon return from a study abroad program.
Our offerings include language classes from elementary to advanced, as well as courses in conversation, composition, civilization, literature, culture, and film. Our faculty is committed to enriching students’ learning experience through interdisciplinary studies, extra-curricular initiatives, and service learning.
Please Note: Although the Department of World Languages and Cultures offers some upper-level culture courses that are taught in English, students majoring in French, Romance Languages, and Spanish should be aware that only one course taught in English may be counted as fulfilling a requirement in their major. Majors wishing to take such a course will need the consent of the instructor, as written assignments for the class and weekly meetings with the instructor to discuss the material, both in the target language, will be required.
Study Abroad. The department is actively involved in a variety of short- and long-term study abroad programs available to our students, and serves as a center for advice and assistance to students who wish to study abroad. Majors will be encouraged to spend one semester or more of foreign study in a country where the target language is spoken. The choice of study abroad program and the choice of courses to be taken there will be approved beforehand by the student’s adviser in the WLC department.
Teacher of Foreign Languages. Students interested in preparing for a career as a teacher of French, Italian or Spanish at the secondary and middle school level have the following two options: they may major in French, Spanish, Italian Studies, or Romance Languages and pass the Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure (MTEL) to obtain a 5-year preliminary license to teach the target language. Alternatively, they may double major in French or Spanish and Education to obtain an Initial License. Elementary Teachers can easily double major in French, Spanish, Italian Studies and Romance Languages combined with an Elementary Education major. They will not need to take the MTEL in French, Italian, or Spanish.