Modern Languages Department


Joel T. Postema


Jesse T. Mann

Associate Professors:

Jeffrey T. Bersett, Ann Murphy, Joel T. Postema


Brenda Solkez, Milagros Swerdlow

Adjunct Faculty:

Ingrid A. Both-Hoesl

Degree Offered:

Bachelor of Arts

Major Programs:

French, Spanish

Interdisciplinary Programs:

International Business, International Studies

Minor Programs:

Cultural Studies, French, Spanish

Teacher Certification:

French, Spanish

In all its courses the department aims to develop in students a greater intellectual flexibility through linguistic and cultural diversity. The courses taught in the various languages have these additional goals: to increase students' ability to understand, speak, read, and write a foreign language; to help them better understand the structure of language; and to enable them to use a foreign language for professional and business needs, as well as for travel and personal satisfaction. The advanced courses in the various languages will examine literary works, explore fi lm, synthesize historical knowledge, and acquaint students with the arts of the respective cultures. By the time they graduate, majors will have read novels, poems, plays, and essays in the original language and will be expected to write critically about these texts.

The department encourages its majors to begin their professional careers while still at Westminster by doing internships that can be arranged regionally, nationally, or abroad. Because the department recognizes that an international study experience is a desirable component of a student's college career, it requires such an experience in all its major programs, and helps all its majors choose a specific international study program that meets their needs.

In keeping with the department's belief that intensive study of a foreign language is the best means for exposing students to the culture of another people, most of the courses offered by the departmental faculty are taught in the original languages. However, because some aspects of a foreign culture can be studied and appreciated without a knowledge of the related language(s), the department offers some courses taught in English dealing with aspects of the cultures represented by the various languages.

Students who continue a language they have studied in high school will normally enter a course numbered 101 if they have had one year or less of the language in high school, a course numbered 102 or 201 if they have had two years of the language in high school, a course numbered 201 if they have had three years of the language in high school, and a course numbered 202 or higher if they have had four or more years of the language in high school. Students continuing in the program in any language are expected to take courses in an order of increasing difficulty. No credit will be granted for courses taken at a lower level once a student has passed onto a higher level.

Modern Languages Department Website

Check out the Modern Languages Department's website.

Undergraduate Catalog

Check out our online undergraduate catalog for more information about departments, majors, interdisciplinary programs, and minors.