College of Humanities & Social Sciences

Modern & Classical Languages

In Memoriam

Holocaust survivor Noémi Ban, community educator and outspoken fixture on Western’s campus for years, dies at age 96

Read more about Noémi's life and enduring message here >

Noémi Ban, a survivor of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp who became an outspoken advocate and educator on the horrors of the Holocaust and the enduring power of love and tolerance, died on Friday, June 7 at the age of 96.

Faculty Spotlight

Dr. Joan Hoffman has published a new article: “On Tragedy and Triumph: Further Comparisons of Yerma and Burning Bright.” Hispanic Journal, vol. 40, no. 1, Spring 2019, pp. 101-12.

Photo of Dr. Hoffman

Interlingua 2019

Take a look at MCL's latest newsletter featuring faculty, students and alumni.

Photo of cover of MCL newsletter

Faculty Spotlight

Dr. Christina Keppie, professor of French and linguistics, has been named director of the Canadian-American Studies program at Western Washington University.

Read about it HERE.

Christina Keppie, photo by Hannah Wong

 

Dr. Sandra Alfers, professor of German in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and director of the Ray Wolpow Institute for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Crimes Against Humanity has been named a recipient of the 2018 Rep. Timm Ormbsy Award for Faculty Citizenship.

Read about it HERE

Photo of Dr. Sandra Alfers

 

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 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.

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/learning-foreign-language-revealed-world-never-knew-existed