Why Choose the Language and Cultural Studies Department at Eastern?

Hear from Language and Cultural Studies Alumni!

  • Distinguished Faculty:  Eastern University’s Language and Cultural Studies faculty represent several continents and hold degrees from top universities in the U.S., Argentina and France. Their teaching style and Christian worldview engage students in the classroom encouraging them to pursue a lifelong commitment to embrace and serve people from other cultures. Dr. Anne Francois’ Fulbright Award has been the recipient of two Fulbright Awards to Burkina Faso, Africa and the Dominican Republic. Similarly, Dr. Julia Stewart received a Fulbright Award to Mérida, México at the Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán (UADY).
  • Connect: The identity of a people is inherently linked to their language. If our greatest command is to love God and love people, we must speak the language of their hearts.  Nelson Mandela was correct when he said, “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” At Eastern you will learn a new language as well as how to speak to the heart in this unique Christian setting.
  • Travel: The Language and Cultural Studies Department’s emphasis on cross-cultural communication challenges our students to not simply learn the language, but to seek to understand the culture of the people who speak the language.  Many of our students participate in mission trips to French and Spanish-speaking countries where they experience both spiritual and intellectual growth.
  • Grow: All of our language majors study abroad for one or two semesters as part of our program requirement. Many minors choose to go abroad for a semester as well.  The wealth of culture and experience that can only be gained by going abroad is integral to our program.  Also, the Language and Cultural Studies Department takes trips each semester to local Latino churches where we may fellowship together in one tongue.
  • Serve: More than ever, the need for trained and competent bilingual speakers is ensuring professional placement after graduation.  Our students graduate with bilingual skills to enter careers such as education, business, science, public health, community outreach and ministry.  Find your vocation and use language to serve within it!
“Studying abroad in Cuba completely changed my perspective on my future path. My study abroad and student teaching experiences with Eastern opened my eyes to new possibilities and more ways to immerse myself into a culture that feels like home to me.”

Moriah Cedeño ’19
Teacher in the Dominican Republic

Language and Cultural Studies Department Mission Statement

The Language and Cultural Studies Department faculty of Eastern University believes language learning is a vital part of a liberal arts curriculum and of particular importance to a Christian in the 21st century. Our objectives as a department encompass the standards of our national professional organization The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), as articulated in the Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century: 5Cs. These national standards include: Communication, Culture, Connections, Comparisons and Communities. As an evangelical Christian university, we seek to honor Jesus Christ in our classes by including reflection about our faith in Christ as a part of our curriculum. "He is before all things, and in him all things hold together." (Col. 1:17)

Language and Cultural Studies Placement Levels

Any questions about placement level should be directed to the Language and Cultural Studies Department. Language majors at Eastern must study abroad to assure a certain level of fluency and first hand experience living in the target culture. Most students go abroad for one semester; however, majors may opt to study for two semesters abroad to assure greater proficiency in the language.  For future language teachers the Department recommends two semesters abroad based on the increased expectations of foreign language teachers by school districts. Only in exceptional cases of unavoidable family obligations may a student be permitted to fulfill this requirement with six university credits taken abroad in the summer.

Students seeking certification to teach languages must satisfy all requirements of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (contact the Education Department). Students are tested in the methodology of teaching languages and in oral proficiency.