Modern and Classical Languages Mission Statement
The Department of Modern and Classical Languages, in fulfillment of the University’s stated goals, provides to Western Washington University students the skills that are necessary to learn first-hand about world societies. To that end, the department believes that the best way to understand a culture is directly through its language(s).
Therefore, the department offers students the opportunity to acquire three types of proficiencies: the language skills that make for successful communication, the cultural competencies that build global respect and responsibility, as well as the creative and interpretive aptitudes that underscore an understanding of the history and aesthetic expressions of a given culture. Ultimately, students graduate from the department with valuable skills for succeeding in the workplace and for supporting global citizenship.
“The rapprochement of peoples is only possible when differences of culture and outlook are respected and appreciated rather than feared and condemned, when the common bond of human dignity is recognized as the essential bond for a peaceful world.”
– J. William Fulbright
The Department of Modern and Classical Languages is a meeting place for diversity and for critical thinking. Our faculty members represent fifteen countries and offer courses in eleven languages. We cherish the contributions that this diversity brings to our campus community and to the community at large. Learning a language is the primary gateway to understanding the cultures and values of those who speak it. Learning a language fosters empathy, respect, and appreciation of the richness found across diverse cultures. By embracing diversity we can find creative solutions to problems and challenges of both local and global scope. As world language educators, we believe these are values that make our communities, and ourselves, stronger.
"Learning a foreign language revealed a world I never knew existed."
Read the full PBS article and listen to the podcast here.