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Department of World Languages

The study of a language leads to a greater understanding of the civilizations, cultures and literature of the countries in which the language is spoken. Language study is a traditional and integral component of a liberal arts education. It is basic to cross-cultural understanding and sensitivity, and it aids in an understanding of multiculturalism and diversity. Increasingly, in a global economy, the ability to speak and understand a world language is an asset that provides important leverage in both obtaining employment and career advancement.

Message from the Chair

Guten Tag. Bon Jour. Bienvenido. Welcome to the Department of World Languages at Spring Arbor University! As department chair, I encourage you to browse the site for useful information about the Chinese, French, German and Spanish programs at SAU.

The study of a foreign language — and the application of that study through experience abroad — is foundational to a liberal arts education. Cross-cultural study is an integral part of our curriculum. We believe in experiential learning and holistic evaluations that allow students to demonstrate what they can do with the languages they learn.

Language and culture studies prepare Christians for critical participation in society, whether in the United States or other countries of the world. Students are encouraged to think critically and objectively about not only the functions of language, but the ways in which other cultures compare to their own and how they as citizens of the “global village” are impacted by their inter-relatedness, as well.

In the Department of World Languages, we welcome all adventurers who seek a challenging learning environment and want to make the world their classroom. If this describes you, I hope you will spend time on this site and feel free to contact our department faculty if you have questions not addressed here. Apply for admission to SAU, and make language and culture study part of your preparation for the future.

Kim Bowen, B.A., M.A., M.I.T.C.

Department Chair

For more information on the Department of World Languages, contact Prof. Bowen:

Kim.Bowen@arbor.edu

517.750.6492 – World Languages Office

517.750.6787 – Prof. Bowen

Mission and Vision

An old Czech proverb reads, “Learn another language, gain another soul.” Language study challenges students to confront and experience ways of thinking and acting that they may not encounter within their own cultures. Students who study a foreign language have the unique opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of another culture and communicate with others in their native language.

At Spring Arbor University, we are proud of our emphasis on cross-cultural studies. We recognize the importance of fostering understanding and effective communication across cultures as we seek to bring Christ and the Gospel to the world.

Careers for Language Students

French is the shared language of many European and African cultures.

German is an important language in business and academia, and knowledge of it is crucial for advanced study in the sciences and arts.

Due to the large and growing number of Spanish speakers in the United States, many employers are now looking for employees that better understand Spanish culture and language.

As China grows into a world superpower, the Chinese language has become critical in the realm of business.

Knowledge of French, German, Spanish and/or Chinese language and culture can greatly improve students’ future employment opportunities in competitive professional fields, including:

  • Business and trade
  • Medicine and health care
  • Banking
  • Law
  • Law enforcement and corrections
  • Social work
  • Teaching
  • Missions and ministry

In addition, many graduate programs require a level of proficiency in another language for admission.