2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog

Modern Languages and Classics

J. Rathbun, Chairperson


The Department of Modern Languages and Classics is dedicated to the teaching of modern and classical languages, literatures, and cultures as a vital part of the University’s mission. The department strives to develop a learner-centered community that supports fundamental learning as the basis for individual inquiry. In a collaborative environment, our programs focus on providing contexts for transformative experiences, which challenge individuals to develop the judgment needed to act as knowledgeable citizens in times of growing internationalization.

The department provides a vibrant academic learning experience attuned to multidisciplinary inquiry, diversity, global awareness, environmental issues, and a commitment to civic engagement in the local, national, and international communities. The Department of Modern Languages and Classics offers programs in both ancient and modern world languages and works closely with other programs and departments to combine world language training with other disciplines.

Through its extensive programs in languages and cultures of the world, the department offers opportunities for students to enhance oral and written communication skills and technological competencies, learn how to solve problems and collaborate with others, and appreciate diverse cultures through immersive learning opportunities such as service learning and study abroad. The department will continually assess the programs in order to meet the needs of its students and the university.

The faculty is dedicated to pursuing the scholarship of discovery, integration, application, and teaching. They collaborate with their students, other language teachers, experts in other disciplines, and members of the community in the inquiry process. They use the results to advance research in the humanities and social sciences, which, in turn, enhances student learning and can speak to issues both local and global.

Why study world languages? At a practical level, most of the people in the world do not speak English as a native language. One of the main reasons for our students to study world languages is to gain a better knowledge of the multicultural modern world in which we live. Another important reason is enhanced job prospects. Almost every industry today is diversifying linguistically, and having advanced proficiency in another language is one of the greatest assets anyone can have for the current and future job market.

Ball State University supports over 150 study abroad programs, with new programs added every year. There are a variety of types of programs (consortia-based, faculty-led, and direct-enroll programs, along with internships) of different durations (from a week to a year). Approximately 500 Ball State students study abroad every year in over 40 countries on average, including China, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Argentina, Costa Rica, and Spain, among others. Students can also be involved in language clubs (AMG, clubs of each language section, Pokemon Trainers Union, Animation Society, etc.), conversation hours, and two national world language honoraries. Students may earn credit for previous language study through either AP tests or department-run placement exams. For additional information on placement credit and policies, please contact the department directly (765-285-1361). Students should meet frequently with their academic advisor in the department to ensure that courses are taken in sequence and that they are on track to graduate on time.

During either term of the senior year, majors in the department are required to complete a summative assessment. Guidelines will be provided by the department.