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Foreign Languages 

At UW-Eau Claire 

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UW-Eau Claire’s Foreign Language Department is the second largest in the Midwest and boasts 35-40 faculty and staff and includes over 700 students who are studying majors or minors in foreign languages. If you want to do more than just learn a language, then UW-Eau Claire is the choice for you! Our goal is to instill the cultural sensitivity and multicultural proficiency that goes along with your bilingual or multilingual degree.

Cultural Coursework

As a foreign language major you’ll have two years of basic language in French, German or Spanish followed by coursework in advanced composition and conversation, civilization, literature, and phonetics, as well as courses in busi­ness foreign language. Instruction at all levels emphasizes practical usage combined with a solid liberal arts education with an emphasis on cross-cultural understanding. The department also prepares K-12 teachers in the fields of French, German, Spanish and TESOL.

french student

Practice makes perfect

Practice in the Roma Hoff Instructional Resource Center (RHIRC) is a required part of elementary, intermediate, conversation, and phonetics courses in modern foreign languages. The center provides access to foreign language sound and video programs, foreign films, and computer-assisted foreign language instruction. In addition students have access to very active advising in the Instructional Language Lab.

Going Global

The faculty members in the Foreign Language Department are facilitators for global education. The department serves as a mini United Nations at the university as the professors try to model an international community for students. In addition, most language majors take advantage of UW-Eau Claire’s outstanding study abroad opportunities with at least a semester program. We offer nearly 50 programs in 30+ countries, and one in four students (regardless of major) studies abroad! Also, students can get great immersion experience right on campus as UW-Eau Claire is one of a few schools in the UW system to offer a Spanish Living Learning Community ("La casa hispanica") in Katherine Thomas Hall.

Research Opportunities

The Department of Foreign Languages averages 10 faculty/student research grants each year. Students at all levels have the opportunity to collaborate with faculty in linguistics and international literature, culture, history and politics. The research is representative of top notch graduate level work, and many students' research projects have resulted in publication. Recent research has included translating the diary of an early 1800’s German immigrant and creating a curriculum to teach English to migrant farm workers across the state

Majors and minors

French -   liberal arts
French -   teaching
German - liberal arts
German - teaching
German - liberal arts with
Japanese - liberal arts
                 (minor only)
Spanish - liberal arts
Spanish - teaching
Spanish - liberal arts with
Spanish - liberal arts for
                health professions
                (minor or
TESOL - Teaching English
                to Speakers of
                Other Languages
TEFL -     Teaching English
                as a Foreign

Special programs

- English as a Second
  Language courses for
  international students
- Latin American Studies
 (see separate Fact Sheet)
  offers three majors and
  a minor
- Russia/East European
  Studies minor
- Ancient Studies minor
- Second Language
  Proficiency in French
  and German (certificate)

student at folk fair

The German section administers international recognized Goethe-Institut certificate exams in German (Deutsch Mittelstufe) and business German (Deutsch fur den Beruf).

Other: First-year instruction in Chinese, Latin, Greek, Hmong and Russian.

Retroactive credits

Students may obtain credit for previous non-college language experience by taking a “confirming course.” Based on the results of the foreign language placement test and previous language study, the student enrolls in the appropriate UW-Eau Claire course. If the student earns a grade of B or better, he or she can receive credit for work at the levels lower than the confirming course.
More advising information

Did you know?

Starting salaries for students graduating with proficiency in one or more foreign languages are at least 20 percent higher than for students who speak English only.

Our graduates

Typical foreign language graduates work in a variety of different fields. This includes working in international business, working with corporations in cities with significant minority populations, working in the travel industry, teaching a foreign language in the United States or abroad, teaching English as a foreign language overseas (with a TEFL minor), serving in a governmental agency (Peace Corps, Armed Forces, Foreign Services, etc.), increasing international collaboration in the health industry, or continuing education towards a master’s or doctoral degree. The opportunities are endless!
More career information

Department contact information

Carter Smith

Judith Ramsey

note wide
First year students are strongly advised to take a foreign language course and not wait until later semesters. This way they may continue with their language training obtained in high school and/or further develop their foreign language skills and enhance their study abroad options.

Excellence. Our Measure. Our Motto. Our Goal.