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About the Program

Why Choose EIU

2016 Spanish Immersion Camp

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Degree Programs and Requirements


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Department Highlights

Foreign Language Week

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Study Abroad

Teacher Certification

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Small Classes and Personal Attention

All of our lower and upper division classes have no more than 25 students. Upper division classes in particular often have as few as15. Relatively small class sizes allow for maximum development of speaking and writing skills as well as optimum contact with faculty and other students. Many majors choose to work directly with an individual faculty member to develop oral proficiency or to pursue an individualized personal research project.

All classes required of our majors are taught in the language of concentration by full-time, dedicated faculty members fluent in the languages they teach, holding a doctorate degree in their primary field and trained in second language acquisition. They work to remain current in their fields of research and in effective application of the skills and techniques associated with their profession.

Enhancing Education Through Individual Attention



Study Abroad Options

Sara Boro

Sara Boro

"Participating in the study abroad program to Ecuador, I realized how much I enjoyed traveling and using the Spanish I had learned in the classroom in real-life situations. After returning from Ecuador, I continued to take Spanish classes at EIU and signed up to study abroad for a semester at the University of Salamanca in Spain in spring 2009. " Read more...


In the Department of Foreign Languages, we understand the significance of the linguistically and culturally diverse world in which we all live. The acquisition of knowledge and the world view necessary to become effective global citizens is a primary learning goal of our department.  As a result, we encourage all of our majors to study abroad. Most do so, and some do several times during the course of their student career. As a Foreign Languages Major you have a unique opportunity to 'live' your major to an extent unavailable to other fields of study.  While studying abroad, you will have daily opportunities to expand your knowledge and experiences and to apply in very practical fashion what you have learned in class at EIU.  The connections you will make and the communities and individuals you will get to know will transform your personal and academic life as well as your world view.

We work closely with the Study Abroad Office in Blair Hall to send our students to partner institutions around the world.  Our faculty regularly lead study abroad groups as well and have taken students to Ecuador, Peru, Guatemala, Argentina, Mexico, Italy and France.  Our students study and live in these countries as well as Germany, Costa Rica, Canada and Spain. We never cease to look for opportunities to send our students into the world.

Katie Eckberg

Sarah Wojda in the South of France

Even after transferring to Eastern her sophomore year in 2011, Katie Eckberg a senior special education, secondary education and spanish triple major, knew she needed to go abroad. Read more...


Sarah Wojda

Sarah Wojda in the South of France

Sarah Wojda’s time in France helped perfect her French accent and gain knowledge of the culture. Read more...



Program Choice and Integration

Choice of Concentration

Student Profiles


We offer a Major in Foreign Languages with a concentration in French, German or Spanish. Although the bulk of the major's courses are taught in the language of concentration, as a major you will also take courses pertinent to the major but taught outside of the Department of Foreign Languages. For example, a major concentrating in French might take a course on the French Revolution in the History Department or a course on International Relations in the Department of Political Science. In addition, all majors are required to develop a novice-to-intermediate proficiency level in at least one language other than their language of concentration.

Cameron Murray

Spanish alumni Cameron Murray

As an alumnus with a Spanish Minor, Cameron Murray enjoys being able to use his language skills on a daily basis in his work at State Farm. Read more...


Teacher Certification

Not So Foreign Languages

For an hour each Thursday at Jefferson Elementary School in Charleston, a half-dozen foreign languages students from Eastern Illinois University have been working with fourth-graders, introducing them to French and Spanish in what has proven to be a mutually beneficial classroom scenario.

The fourth-graders, in many cases, are receiving their first real exposure to a language besides English. It broadens their horizons in terms of communication skills and fosters respect for cultural diversity. It’s also a good introduction and base of knowledge for foreign language courses they may potentially take later on in their education.


In addition to our Major in Foreign Languages, we offer a Major in French, German or Spanish with Teacher Certification. Our program is fully accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, and our graduates meet the requirements for certification imposed by the Illinois State Board of Education as well as the American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages.

Our Teacher Certification Candidates can boast a 100% placement rate after graduation, and we are proud to welcome them into our midst as professional educators.

Interdisciplinary Minors

Our department works closely with the many interdisciplinary minors available at EIU including Africana Studies, Asian Studies, Entrepreneurship, Film Studies, Latin American Studies, Medieval Studies, and Women's Studies. Many of the courses associated with these programs may satisfy requirements within the Foreign Languages Major as well. Most of our faculty members teach courses within these programs and many Foreign Languages Majors participate in these minors.
There are, of course, many other minors which pair well with a Major in Foreign Languages. Some of the most common combinations are Foreign Languages and Business, Art, Art History, Communication Studies, English, Family and Consumer Sciences, History, Journalism, Political Science, Economics, Sociology and Anthropology.

Majors from across the campus recognize the value of language proficiency as a personal and professional tool. Many of them pursue minors in French, German or Spanish as well. Some majors incorporate foreign language study directly into their major either as a requirement or option. These include English, Art History, Geology, Geography, Economics, Political Science, Business, International Business, Latin American Studies, Asian Studies, Medieval Studies, Health Studies and Special Education.


Scholarship Opportunities

The Department of Foreign Languages offers a wide range of scholarship aid to our students. The generosity of our alumni and friends provides financial support for the following scholarships:

Bobbie King Memorial Scholarship
Don & Pam Sundheim Study Abroad Scholarship
Dr. Luis F. Clay Mendez Scholarship

Foreign Language Study Abroad Scholarship
Marion Railsback Webb Foreign Language Scholarship

Richard L. Crouse Memorial Scholarship
Ruth Carman Scholarship
William Gene and Brigitte Johanna Brown Scholarship