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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

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

Majors, Minors and Courses

Spanish Major

The Spanish major consists of 30 credit hours of study at the 300 level (or above). Students must obtain 12-15 credits of semester study abroad from Spring Arbor University Guatemala. During their semesters abroad, students will live with Spanish-speaking families, study advanced conversation and grammar and take other courses taught in Spanish that are relevant to the country of study, covering such topics such as civilization, art, history, literature and current events.

Spanish Minor

The Spanish minor consists of 24 credit hours of study at the 300 level (or above). Students must obtain 3-12 credits of Spanish study abroad by spending either three consecutive weeks in a Spanish-speaking country (as part of SAU’s Cross-Cultural Studies program) or a 12-week semester at Spring Arbor University Guatemala. During semesters abroad, students will live with Spanish-speaking families, study advanced conversation and grammar and take other courses taught in Spanish that are relevant to the country of study, covering such topics such as civilization, art, history, literature and current events.

French Minor

The French minor consists of 24 credit hours of language study at the 300 level (or above). Students must obtain 12-15 credits of semester study abroad from Accès in Strasbourg, France. During their semesters abroad, students will live with a French-speaking family and study French culture.

Chinese

China is well on its way to becoming the largest economy in the world, a superpower, and one of the United States’ greatest trading partners and competitors for resources. As a result, the U.S. State Department has designated Chinese as a critical language. Study Chinese at Spring Arbor University, and be better prepared to enter and engage with Chinese culture through language skills and knowledge of China’s traditions and customs. Chinese courses at SAU are taught by a visiting professor from Wuhan University of Technology in China.

German

The German language is the most widely spoken native language in Europe. In Western Europe, German is second only to English in business, diplomacy, tourism and science. In Eastern Europe, the opposite is true. Furthermore, German companies are global market leaders. Multinational employers seek qualified German speakers for careers in business and science within Europe and as representatives between Europe and North America.

Study German at Spring Arbor University to gain a marketable edge and improve your employability. We offer courses in elementary and intermediate German as well as business German. Our business German course provides students with access to job placement post-college. Additionally, students have the opportunity to spend a semester in Germany, studying at the American Bavarian Exchange (AMBEX) in Regensburg.

Mission and Vision

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

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.

Meet the Faculty