Vincent Desroches, Chair
Main Office: 410 Sprau Tower
Telephone: (269) 387-3001
Fax: (269) 387-6333
The Department of World Languages and Literatures offers undergraduate instruction in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, ancient Greek, Japanese, and Latin, including course work in culture, literature, linguistics, translation and pedagogy.
Students (either entering or advanced) who wish to continue in a language they have studied in high school or learned through travel or residence abroad must take the online placement exam if they have studied French, German or Japanese. For placement in other languages, students should contact the departmental advisor of the language in question or the department chair.
Native speakers of a given language must consult with a departmental advisor before registering for courses.
Students may be eligible for retroactive credit based on the level at which they began their coursework. Questions about this matter should be referred to the advisor for the language.
Students who will graduate from the College of Arts and Sciences must fulfill that college’s language requirement. Other colleges or specific departments may also have a language requirement. Students who have questions about this matter should consult the appropriate college or departmental advisor.
Many language students study abroad as part of their undergraduate program. Western has a number of excellent study abroad programs. Students interested in receiving credit for study abroad must consult with the advisor in the appropriate language well in advance of such study in order to plan properly and to obtain approval.
All students interested in pursuing a language major or minor should consult with an advisor as early as possible.
5000-level courses may be taken only by advanced undergraduate students. Advanced undergraduate students are defined as those who have satisfactorily completed a minimum of four courses, or equivalent, applicable toward a major or minor in any one language. Each course, however, may have more specific and/or additional prerequisites.
Majors and Minors
As soon as students decide to major or minor in a language, they should confer with the advisor for that language in order to plan their program.
Only courses in which a grade of “C” or better is obtained can be counted toward a major or minor.
For students majoring or minoring in a modern language, a course in modern European, Asian, or Middle Eastern history is desirable. A minor in World Literature may also be appropriate. For Latin majors and minors, a course in Roman history is recommended.
Teaching certification is available for majors and/or minors for the following languages: Arabic (minor only), Chinese (minor only), French, German, Japanese (minor only), and Latin. A language methods course is required for all teaching majors and minors. Exceptions may be granted only by departmental permission. In order to receive state teacher certification, all candidates must pass the MTTC. Teacher candidates in the modern languages must also pass the Oral Proficiency Interview at the appropriate level. Students should consult advisors in both the College of Education and the department for more information.
Baccalaureate Writing Requirement for Majors
Students who have chosen to major in French, German, Japanese or Latin will satisfy the Baccalaureate Writing Requirement by successfully completing LANG 3750: Global Issues Through Literature and Film or LANG 4040: East-West Literary Relations.
Residency Requirement for Majors and Minors in French or German
Majors in French must take at least four courses (of the total required for the major) at Western Michigan University. One of these must be a 5000-level class. Minors in French must take at least three courses (of the total required for the minor) at the 2000-level or above at Western Michigan University.
Majors or minors in German must take at least the last two courses in their German program at Western Michigan University.
Credits for language study abroad may be granted on official proof that the student has completed the course work successfully, provided that the student’s program of study was approved before departure.