The study of a foreign language, literature, and culture has traditionally been a core component of a true liberal arts education. In today’s globalized world, this academic tradition has acquired a more urgent, practical dimension. Here at Keene State College, we offer majors and minors in Spanish and French and a minor in German, as well as courses in other languages.
The Department of Modern Languages offers a number of options to incorporate the study of French, German, and/or Spanish into your education, your career, and your life. You can major in French or Spanish, minor in French, Spanish, or German, or simply take courses that will help you improve your employment marketability no matter what your future line of work might be. Many of these courses also serve as credit toward the completion of the Integrative Studies Program and the fulfillment of other school requirements.
Our classes are small, usually no more than twenty students and often—especially at the upper levels—even smaller than that, which allows for plenty of interaction between the instructor and the students, opportunities for close collaboration between them, and time to actually use the target language in the classroom. And also outside of the classroom: we have local chapters of Pi Delta Phi, the French national honor society, and Sigma Delta Pi, the national collegiate Hispanic honor society, as well as a French Club and a Spanish Club, all of which organize events and activities throughout the academic year. In addition to this, our students have access to free tutoring to make sure they get the most out of their courses.
Our graduates get jobs! One survey respondent wrote: “Every job that I applied for, I was offered a position.” Students who pursue teacher certification in French or Spanish are often hired as soon as they finish their courses. Elementary education majors know how important it is to be fluent in a second language as they prepare to teach in our nation’s many bilingual schools. Employment for teachers is projected to grow and foreign languages are a critical shortage area in New Hampshire and other states. Our K-12 teacher certification programs in French and Spanish are accredited by the New Hampshire Council for the Certification of Teacher Education and nationally recognized by the National Council on the Accreditation of Teacher Education.
The Department of Modern Languages provides the foundation for the active use of French, German, and Spanish in academic and professional fields such as education, business, economics, government, social work, health services, art, literature, philosophy, engineering, computer science, and other careers. Our courses encourage the highest levels of academic excellence, intellectual curiosity, language skills, and multicultural awareness.
“The best time of my life”—that is what one graduate wrote about the Keene State College language study abroad program, and many others have echoed those words. Everyone with a major or minor in a modern language is strongly encouraged to study abroad, and majors in French and Spanish are required to spend at least a semester in a country where the target language is spoken.
Studying abroad does not necessarily cost more than a semester in Keene, thanks to our direct exchange programs. In Quebec, we offer direct exchanges with Laval and Concordia Universities in Quebec City, and with McGill University in Montreal. Our exchange partner in France is the University of Upper Brittany in Rennes. Spanish students can attend San Francisco University, our exchange partner in Quito (Ecuador) or may choose from programs in Seville or Alicante (Spain). German students can enroll in the New England Universities program in Salzburg, Austria. Faculty in Modern Languages works closely with staff in the Global Education Office to help students design individual programs in other locations as well.
The Department of Modern Languages hosts honor societies and clubs in both French and Spanish. These very active student organizations sponsor many special events throughout the academic year, including conversation tables, game nights, movie screenings, poetry readings, soccer games, parties, international potlucks, culturally relevant talks, and more. At these varied events, free and open to the public, our students and the Keene State College community in general can practice their foreign language skills, learn about foreign cultures, and have some fun!
Pi Delta Phi
This is the French National Honor Society. Our local chapter, Kappa Sigma, organizes events that celebrate the French language and the cultures of the Francophone world. It holds at least one initiation per academic year. For more information please contact Dr. Thomas Durnford.
Le Cercle Français explores French language and culture through games, food, and travel. Join us for a treasure hunt, crêpe making, or a trip to Montreal! For more information please contact Dr. Thomas Durnford.
Sigma Delta Pi
This is the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society. Our local chapter, Xi Chi, organizes events that celebrate the Spanish language and the cultures of the Hispanic world. It holds at least one initiation per academic year. For more information please contact Dr. Barbara Ware.
El Club de Español explores the Spanish language and the cultures of Spain and Latin America through games, food, and travel. Join us for conversation hours, game nights, or a trip to New York! For more information please contact Dr. Rafael Ponce-Cordero. You can also like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.