The Department of World Languages and Cultures prepares students to develop linguistic proficiency and cultural literacy to live and work in the complex society of the 21st century. Our courses emphasize the five C’s of world language education—Communication, Cultures, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities. Our graduates recognize and value diversity in their own communities and in national and global contexts. Equipped with language skills, new perspectives, and a deeper understanding of culture and context, our students are poised to become global citizens able to interact and collaborate successfully with people in the US and abroad.
We offer a Major in World Languages with a concentration in French, German, or Spanish. You will take language, literature and culture classes in our Department and choose elective courses in your area of interest. A Major in World Languages—Your Ticket to Working in a Global Economy. Read more...
We also offer the Teacher Licensure Major in French, German or Spanish. See what our graduate Liz Arreola (Spanish teacher in Wheeling, Illinois) is saying about her EIU experience. Click here for more on teacher licensure.
Make your Résumé Stand Out: Add a Language to your Major--Add Value to your Career. Did you take Spanish, French, or German in high school? Use your high school classes to jump ahead... Click here for more information on the minor.
Cameron Murray used his study abroad experience and minor in Spanish to land a great job after graduating. Read more...
A Double Major May Be Easier Than You Think Read more...
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.
Earn language credits and boost your résume. Share you language with elementary school students in an after school program: Spanish/French/German 3401/3501 Languages for Young Learners You do not have to be a teacher education student ... Read more.
In the Department of World Languages and Cultures, we understand the significance of the linguistically and culturally diverse world in which we all live.
We work closely with the Study Abroad Office to send our students to partner institutions around the world.
Katie Eckberg a senior special education, secondary education and spanish triple major, knew she needed to go abroad. Read more...
The economic weight of the Spanish language in the United States and across the world is enormous. Invest in your future: choose Spanish! You will discover the rich cultural heritage of Spain and Latin America, and the beauty of their language. Click here for more information on this program.
The French language is spoken in more than 43 countries, and it is the only language (other than English) to be found on all five continents. French is used in diplomatic, cultural, economic, and political spheres around the globe. It is a working language of the United Nations, the European Union, UNESCO, NATO, the International Olympic Committee, and international courts. However, studying the French language can also help you perfect your English, because an estimated 30%-50% of it is derived from French! Click here for more information on this program.
Germany's 83 million inhabitants make it the most populous European nation. Germany has the largest economy in the European Union and the fourth largest in the world. With knowledge of German, you can improve your employment opportunities. Click here for more information on this program.
Mandarin Chinese is spoken by more than 1 billion people-one fifth of the global population. China is an emerging market and one of the world's biggest economies. Learning Mandarin Chinese will make your résumé stand out! Register for Chinese 1101 (Elementary Chinese I). Click here for more information on this program.
Our Teacher Licensure Program is nationally recognized by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). As such it meets all national standards for the preparation of foreign language teachers established by CAEP as well as the American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). Click here for more information on this program.
Professor Eydt-Beebe is most passionate about teaching all levels of German, courses on German culture, literature and film, and her course for teacher licensure students. As a strong advocate for world language learning at all levels, she directs an after school program, where EIU advanced language students teach Spanish, French and German in area elementary schools. In addition to helping students study abroad at German universities in Würzburg and Lüneburg, Dr. Eydt-Beebe offers a faculty-led study abroad trip to Berlin and Munich for all majors. You will see her every Friday evening at “The JAC,” with students and people from the local community having fun speaking German at Stammtisch. Her favorite quote is by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: “Those who know nothing of foreign languages know nothing of their own language.”
Dr. Watson specializes in postcolonial Francophone literature of the African diasporas. She enjoys facilitating encounters in her classes with a wide range of perspectives from all over the French-speaking world and challenging students' world views. Her classroom is centered around community and helping students realize that they can learn from each other as well. She is a strong advocate of extending learning beyond the classroom, from organizing special speaker visits and events for the French Club to encouraging students to study abroad in France or Francophone Africa.
Dr. Kristin Routt is an award-winning professor who specializes in colonial Latin American and Spanish Golden Age literature. She enjoys helping students connect with these texts for what they continue to teach us today about gender, “race,” and ourselves. She especially values high-impact experiences outside of the classroom, and she regularly leads her students on study-abroad and service-learning programs.
"I can honestly say that had it not been for the personal attention and confidence placed in me by the faculty of the EIU Foreign Language Department, I wouldn’t be living the dream I am today!"Jerrod Woodruff (2012)
"The more I look back at my undergraduate experience at EIU, the more I realize just how fundamental these years were to my personal and academic development. Above all else, I am indebted to the Department of Foreign Languages and its faculty for providing such a nurturing and rewarding academic environment.”Daniel Tucker (2014)
"EIU instilled in me a relaxed, caring nature and a culture of practical excellence that prepared me to be effective in the real world. I didn't even realize this at the time though, because I was too busy having so much fun."Steven Kutz (2011)
"As a tutor of German in the lab, I discovered the importance of adapting my teaching style to different learners, while my experience teaching German in the after-school program at Newman Elementary School gave me the confidence to teach in front of a class. Until that program, I did not realize how much I love teaching.”Maria Kuhn (2013)