World Languages: About


World Languages Mission Statement

The Department of World Languages at Aquinas College promotes an understanding of and exchange with other cultures both within and outside the United States. Our integrated program of language learning incorporates all of the four language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Students learn to use the language in a communicative, interactive environment within the classroom. The Department also offers a variety of courses for advanced study in culture, literature, applied language for the professions, translation and interpretation. These courses are designed to enhance an understanding of the richness of the human experience across cultures; which prepare our students for graduate school and the professional world.

Student Learning Outcomes for DWL Majors (French, German, Spanish)
Student Learning Outcomes (SLO's) in the Department of World Languages are aligned with national and state standards on language teaching, development of language skills, and cultural understanding as reflected in the Proficiency Guidelines by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language (ACTFL):

  • Attaining an advanced proficiency level in reading, writing, listening and speaking in the language studied according to recognized professional guidelines in the four language skills (ACTFL Standards)
  • Understanding both oral and written communication from a variety of sources (i.e., academic lectures, literature, online sources, news broadcasts etc.)
  • Communicating effectively in the target language in spoken and written form, expressing a wide variety of topics from personal information to more abstract views and perspectives related to literary, socio-historical, political and cultural themes.
  • Obtaining a broad base of knowledge and perspectives on French-, German-, and Spanish-speaking civilizations and their respective cultures – including literature, the arts, political, socio-historical, and economic structure, etc. – within a variety of interpretive frameworks.
  • Understanding aspects of language and culture in the world as part of human communication in wider interdisciplinary contexts.
  • Developing skills in critical thinking and analysis, including (but not limited to) textual analysis.

Frequently Asked Questions About AQ's Language Requirements

One of the goals of Aquinas’ general education program is to provide students with the opportunity to develop a global/international perspective, as well as an appreciation of other cultures. The language requirement also introduces students to an area of study that they might not have thought about before. We encourage students to sign up for a language class during their first or second year at Aquinas so that they will have time to decide if a minor or a double major in a foreign language would work for them.

French, German, and Spanish

In order to fulfill the language requirement students must demonstrate proficiency at the 102 intermediate (second semester) level. A score of 71 (C-) is required.

The requirement may be waived if:

  1. You place into SH 201 on the language placement test given during summer registration.
  2. You are a transfer student who already has an Associate of Arts degree.
  3. You are a continuing education student. 

You know that the more you practice something the better you become and often the easier it gets. The same is true for languages. The instructors in the department of Modern & Classical Languages at Aquinas College work hard to make your language experience an enjoyable one. Take advantage of office hours that are for students who want extra help or practice with the language. Tutors are also available through Student Support Services. We encourage you to work and study with other students and to become involved in the activities the department offers such as International Movie Night at the Moose Café, among other events. Keep a good attitude and an open mind about learning another language. Think of it as an opportunity to communicate with people from another culture and something from which you will benefit in the future. Feel free to come to the department anytime. The door is always open.