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Foreign Language Program FAQ

How many foreign languages does Walsh offer?

Walsh offers four foreign languages - Spanish, French, German, and Latin, although German and Italian are offered only through the intermediate levels.

Do you offer sign language as a foreign language?

No. However, we do allow students to fulfill their foreign language requirement through sign language courses at either the University of Akron or at Kent State University. Several education majors have chosen this option.

In what languages can I major?

Students can major in Spanish or French. Either major at Walsh includes a thirty semester-hour program comprised of intermediate and advanced courses (200 level and above) in the target language. The program also includes courses that focus on conversation, reading, and writing. Advanced courses focus on both Spanish and Latin American or French culture and literature.

Can I pursue another major, combined with one in a foreign language?

Yes, you can. In addition to declaring a major in a foreign language, you can pursue another major that would complement your professional goals. Students have combined a foreign language major with ones in business or Latin American business, English, sociology, psychology, or corporate communications.

In what languages can I minor?

Students can minor in Spanish or French. The programs involve eighteen semester hours of course work at the 200 level and above.

What is the advantage of a foreign language major or minor?

There are enhanced job opportunities for people with foreign language skills in positions such as those involving commerce, banking and industry, travel (tourism, flight attendants and travel agents), social and human service agencies (social workers, nurses, doctors, medical transcribers, psychologists, ministers, therapists), education (teachers and administrators in bilingual schools and communities), insurance agencies, government or foreign service, and the arts (museum services). The broad training that majors receive in Hispanic or Franco-cultures also provides an excellent background for graduate study in translation, literature and culture, business, history, philosophy and law. All of Walsh foreign language majors and minors have found jobs where they utilize their foreign language skills.

Can I become a certified teacher of foreign languages through Walsh's foreign language program?

No, you cannot become a licensed teacher of a foreign language through Walsh since the University's Education Department does not have a foreign language program leading to licensure.

Do you have a study abroad/global learning program for foreign language majors and minors?

Currently, there is no study abroad program in the foreign language curriculum, although one is being considered. However, a student in foreign language studies is encouraged to talk with his/her professor concerning available and appropriate programs through other schools or groups. Walsh does have study abroad programs through the Cooperative Center for Study Abroad in English speaking nations. One of these is in Belize, a country in Central America.

Can I get credit for foreign language courses I have taken at other colleges or universities?

Yes, you can. Most foreign language programs offer the same type of elementary and intermediate languages, composition, conversation and survey courses on literature and culture. You should get credit for most, or all, of these if you received a C or higher in the course. Upper division courses (usually third or fourth year) are more distinctive and will be evaluated on an individual basis by the Foreign Language Department. However, most or all of these will count as either electives or requirements within the student's program. The registrar will conduct a final transcript review on all courses.

Can I get credit for study abroad programs arranged through another university?

Yes you can, but you must provide information, course materials, and transcripts to the foreign language faculty and the chair of the division. The decision will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Can I receive college credit for AP courses taken in high school?

The courses themselves will not count. However, if you took an advanced placement test at the end of these courses, you will receive credit for foreign language 101 if you scored a 3. If you scored a 4 or higher, you will receive credit for both Foreign Language 101 and 102.

How many credit hours in a foreign language can I take in one semester?

You can take as many as you wish, although you must follow the sequence of prerequisites and check the schedule of course offerings. Some courses are offered every semester and others every other year. Usually at least two upper level courses are offered each semester.

Can I get free tutoring in foreign language through Walsh?

Yes. You always can receive tutoring in Spanish, French, and German through the Learning Resource Center. Italian and Latin are available upon request. Tutoring is offered on an individual basis, although some study groups can be arranged.

What is the student/teacher ratio in foreign language classes at Walsh?

The student/teacher ratio even in elementary classes is usually low. The maximum number of students that may enroll is 18, although sometimes instructors may allow a few extra students to enroll. Some classes are smaller still, especially at the higher levels. Thus, the student always has the assurance of the personal attention of the instructor.

Are there opportunities to practice speaking the language outside of class?

For both French and Spanish speakers, there are community language clubs, Parlons francais, which meets the first Friday of nearly every month during the academic year and Alma Hispana, which also meets monthly. The Foreign Language Department is considering several ways to increase these opportunities, such as language tables in the cafeteria, more outside speakers, foreign language movie nights, and informally planned meetings with Walsh international students.

Do I have to test into my language of choice to see in what level to enroll?

Yes. Students take the Wisconsin Language Proficiency test in Spanish or French. German has a department-developed test. Placement is determined by scores on these tests, as well as high school transcript evaluations and ACT and SAT language scores. Students begin their language at the level at which they place but do not receive credit for bypassed courses.

How many foreign language professors are on staff?

There are four language professors on staff and two adjunct professors who teach on a regular basis. One Spanish professor is a native of Puerto Rico. The German professor is a native of Germany, and the Italian teacher is from Italy. All have near native proficiency in English. The rest of the staff is American born, but with near native proficiency in their foreign languages.

How many students and staff at Walsh are bilingual?

There are 22 international students at Walsh and 15 professor who are bilinguals representing various languages.

How many students are studying foreign languages?

About one half of Walsh's student body has enrolled in a foreign language course as part of their core requirement. Fifteen students are pursuing foreign language majors or minors.

Which is the most popular foreign language?

Spanish is the most popular foreign language because it can be used so widely throughout the United States. Approximately 9% of the United States population is Hispanic.

Should I have a background in more than one foreign language?

While proficiency in more than one language is desirable, fluency in at least a single language is most important.