Language is more than a form of communication. It is the primary means of understanding a culture, a people, a way of life.
Studying a second language gives us a perspective on our own language and culture, and prepares us to be knowledgeable and competent citizens of the world. In addition, those who undertake the study of languages experience the satisfaction and pleasure of learning what language is and how it works.
While Americans are traditionally viewed as monolingual, other countries routinely include language study as an essential part of a general education. In a world that is increasingly interconnected and interrelated, the development of a globally educated populace is crucial. Second language learning is a vital part of such an education.
Second language study can lead to career positions such as teacher, travel consultant, translator, and international entrepreneur. Languages also constitute an important second skill for many jobs in business, industry, government and human services, and may be a key to increasing potential for personal growth and advancement.
The department offers language programs in Ojibwe, Spanish, Chinese and American Sign Language as well as an Indigenous Studies program that offers students a better understanding and appreciation of the diversity of Indian history, language and culture.