World Languages and Literature Major

Our undergraduate students receive a comprehensive introduction to the language, literatures, and cultures of French-, German-, and Spanish-speaking cultures and to the increasingly multicultural, transnational, and global contexts that define these cultures today. We are committed to providing all students - those who fulfill their language requirement in our courses and undergraduate majors or minors - with a deeper understanding of the language and the importance of cultural literacy in an increasingly global world. World Languages and Literatures majors and minors choose two language and literatures to combine from French, German, and Spanish.

We offer challenging language, culture and business courses in all three languages and aim to prepare our students for global citizenship as well as the career path of their choice. We encourage all of our majors and minors to participate in our study abroad and exchange programs in France, Germany, Spain, Costa Rica, and Argentina.

Because of the generosity of alumni and friends, we are able to offer scholarship opportunities to students for study abroad and studying languages at Samford.

Andrew, until today I had never heard of Samford University, but they did a great job of preparing you for the Foreign Service. Welcome to the Foreign Service.U.S. Foreign Service examination officer, to WLAC alumnus Andrew Crosson '10

Objectives and Curriculum

Knowledge

  • Francophone, Hispanic, and/or German History
  • Francophone, Hispanic, and/or German Literature (800 CE - present)
  • Francophone, Hispanic, and/or German Art
  • Francophone, Hispanic, and/or German-speaking cultures
  • Francophone, Hispanic, and/or German Music
  • Francophone, Hispanic, and/or German Film
  • Francophone, Hispanic, and/or German Theater
  • Francophone, Hispanic, and/or German folklore
  • World Business and Politics (and the role of Francophone, Hispanic, Germany and other countries speaking the languages students choose)
  • International Relations
  • Business practices
  • Religion and Philosophy in Francophone, Hispanic, and/or German-speaking countries

Skills

  • Communication - Advanced language proficiency in the four skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking
  • Collaboration - Students use their native and acquired languages to learn from and work cooperatively across cultures with global team members, sharing responsibility and making necessary compromises while working toward a common goal
  • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving - Students frame, analyze and synthesize information as well as negotiate meaning across language and culture in order to explore problems and issues from their own and different perspectives
  • Information Literacy - Students access, manage and effectively use culturally-authentic sources in ethical and legal ways
  • Media Literacy - Students evaluate authentic sources to understand how media reflect and influence language and culture
  • Technology Literacy - Students use appropriate technologies when interpreting messages, interacting with others and producing written, oral and visual messages
  • Initiative and Self-Direction - Students set their own goals and reflect on their progress as they grow and improve their linguistic and cultural competence
  • Social and Cross-Cultural Skills - Students understand diverse cultural perspectives and use appropriate socio-linguistic skills in order to function in diverse cultural and linguistic contexts
  • Leadership and Responsibility - Students leverage their linguistic and cross-cultural skills to inspire others to be fair, accepting, open and understanding within and beyond the local community

View Curriculum

Is This Program for Me?

  • Flexible
  • Open-Minded
  • Tolerates Ambiguity
  • Sense of Humor
  • Self-motivated
  • Self-reflective
  • Self-disciplined
  • Loves puzzles
  • Analytical
  • Risk-taking
  • Open to new experiences

What Makes Us Different?

At Samford University, we are a small program. Our faculty care deeply for the students, and work closely with each of them to ensure their success in the classroom and beyond. Our curricular and extra-curricular activities can be customized to student interests and career plans. We work closely with several departments across campus to ensure that our students have both the necessary linguistic skills and content knowledge to be successful in their chosen career. We actively encourage students to think about their life after university from the very beginning, and assist students in making connections and determining the best possible career. Our Spanish program hosts a Visiting Instructor from a Spanish-speaking country as an instructor of 200-level classes as well as SPAN 301, the usual gateway class to a Spanish major. The VI also hosts conversation tables for SPAN 202 and 301. French has a native speaking student hosting French tables as well. Students can receive academic credit for serving as assistants in the Grace Márquez Language Technology Forum. Our unique Critical Languages Program offers courses in related Romance languages Italian and Portuguese. We have study abroad programs in France, Germany, Spain, Costa Rica and semester-long exchange programs with two universities in Argentina and universities in France and Germany.

Career Preparation

Market Ready

  • Advanced Proficiency in Francophone, Hispanic and/or German Language
  • Cultural Competency related to living and working in a Francophone, Hispanic and/or German-speaking context
  • Prepare students for advanced studies in Francophone, Hispanic and/or German academic programs related to their field of interest
  • Facilitate contacts between students and Francophone, Hispanic and/or German businesses in Alabama
  • Facilitate contacts between students and Alabama businesses working with Francophone, Hispanic and/or German-speaking companies

Career Opportunities

  • Public Policy
  • Law
  • Education - Teaching, Administration
  • Business - Accounting, Finance, Economics, Marketing, Human Resources
  • Medical Interpretation
  • Fine Arts - Music, Literature, Art
  • International Affairs / International Relations
  • Tourism
  • Translation / Interpretation
  • Religion
  • Philosophy
  • History
  • Publishing
  • Automotive Industry

Internships

Alabama-Germany Partnership and other selected internships in the United States and abroad, including an internship at Spanish Embassy, London: Anna Grace Rutledge 2016 and various missions internships in Latin America, Africa, and the United States.

Fellowships

Fulbright Grants to teach English in Germany

  • Chase Trautwein '13
  • Samantha McFarland '13
  • Natalie Bennie '16

Fulbright Grants to teach English in Spain

  • Samantha Hurley '15
  • Annaleigh Horton '15

Intercollegiate Studies Institute

  • Kenneth Kell '07

Accolades, Alumni & Faculty

Awards and Recognition

  • Isaac Espy '16, Master's program at the University of Mannheim
  • Chase Trautwein '13, Fulbright ETA 2013-2014, M.A. in German at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa
  • Natalie Bennie '16, Fulbright ETA in Essen, Germany
  • Samantha McFarland '13, Fulbright ETA 2013-2014, Public Policy at American University, Advocacy Intern
  • Stephen Shaw '12, M.A. in Economics and Philosophy, University of Bayreuth
  • Thomas Espy '13 MA in Slavic Studies, University of Pittsburgh, graduate work in Russia
  • Michael H. Johnson '87, Honorary Consul of Germany to the State of Alabama (2011-present), International Lawyer
  • TAPIF (Teaching Assistant Program in France): Alyssa Gallas, Abby McAtee Gatliff, Julie Ann Wallis, William Kinslow, Holli Sconyers Herr, Cole Farmer (2008 to 2016)
  • Cara Wilson '14, Ph.D. program in French at Vanderbilt University
  • Alyssa Duck '14, Ph.D. program in French at Emory University
  • Jameson (Cole) Farmer 2009, MA program in translation at Purdue University
  • Katie Little '14, MA program in Shakespeare at Mary Baldwin College
  • Andrew Crosson '10 U.S. Foreign Service
  • Auxiliares de conversación Program: Amanda Boyd '10, Kristen Brining, Katie Holthouser '15, Katie Savage '15) and Andrew Sharpe '10

Alumni Careers

We have alumni in the areas of Diplomacy, Teaching, Missions, Commerce, Teaching English abroad, Public Health, Environmental sciences, Airlines, Speech Therapy, Law, Nursing

Notable Alumni

  • Michael H. Johnson '87, Honorary Consul of Germany to the State of Alabama, International Lawyer
  • Andrew Crosson '10 U.S. Foreign Service

Notable Faculty

Angela D. Ferguson

Barbara Fischer Education Award, 2016
Alabama/Germany Partnership

Lynda J. Jentsch

Alabama Association of Foreign Language Teachers Outstanding Foreign Language Teacher Post-Secondary, 2003
Dean of the Howard College of Arts and Sciences Award for Excellence in Research, 2013

Mike Ledgerwood

Chair of the Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, 2005
President of the International Association for Language Learning Technology, 2009-2011
Dean of the Howard College of Arts and Sciences Excellence in Teaching Award, 2012

Mary McCullough

Fulbright-Hays to Egypt, 2005
Fulbright Scholarship to Tunisia, 2007-08
DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service Grant), 2014

Andy Milstead

Best Presentation at the 2013 Alabama World Languages Association meeting on Spanish and dyslexia and represented Alabama at the 2014 Southern Conference on the teaching of Language conference.

Heather West

Alabama Association of Foreign Language Teachers’ Teacher of the Year Award (post-secondary), 2005
Lillian S. Robinson Scholars Program at the Simone de Beauvoir Institute at Concordia University in Montreal, Québec, Canada, 2007
Chevalier de l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques, 2015
“Contest Administrator of the Year” Award, American Association of Teachers of French, 2015
Marlin Harris Award for Outstanding Service, Alabama World Languages Association, 2017