The Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures strives to develop students' knowledge of foreign languages, literatures, and cultures. It provides a broad range of educational courses and programs that build foreign language competence and enhance the understanding of foreign literatures and cultures both ancient and modern, both western and non western. The Department helps students develop a global perspective, training them to use their foreign language skills in a variety of fields. Through research and publication, the Department advances scholarship in the discipline, furthering the critical understanding of world culture in its complexity and diversity. In these and other ways, the Department actively supports the mission of the University of Delaware and the College of Arts and Sciences.
Specifically, the Department's mission is to:
- Teach the understanding and appreciation of foreign cultures, ancient and modern, providing basic knowledge about the literature, culture, and intellectual achievements of the communities involved.
- Expand, through research and publication, current scholarship in the fields of foreign literatures, cultural studies, foreign language pedagogy, second language acquisition, and other related fields.
- Teach the methods of understanding and interpreting texts, i.e., the methods of critical thinking that are essential to the education of good citizens.
- Play a leading role in internationalizing the University curriculum, enabling students to develop a global perspective.
- Ensure that graduates of the University have sufficient knowledge of and skills in an ancient or modern foreign language to build fluency in that language.
- Prepare our majors for careers in education, government, international trade, or related fields, or for graduate study leading to advanced degrees.
- Provide opportunities for studying foreign languages and cultures abroad.
- Enhance the education of non majors by providing them with foreign language skills that complement their chosen major.
- Provide opportunities for continuing foreign language and literature study at the graduate level for students as well as for language teachers and other professionals.
- Work with the School of Education to prepare foreign language teachers for the schools of Delaware and nearby states, and collaborate with the Delaware Department of Education to facilitate articulation between secondary and post secondary foreign language education in the State.
- Act as a liaison between the University and the various language communities in the State.