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At UW-Eau Claire 

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UW-Eau Claire’s languages department is the second largest in the Midwest and boasts 35-40 faculty and staff and includes more than 700 students who are studying majors or minors in a second language. 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 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 Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL).

french student

Practice makes perfect

Practice in the Roma Hoff Instructional Resource Center is a required part of elementary, intermediate, conversation and phonetics courses in 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 languages 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, we have a high participation rate in our Spanish living-learning community, one of just a few in the UW System. “La casa hispanica” in Katharine Thomas Hall provides students with a great immersion experience right on campus.

Research Opportunities

The department of 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 in scholarly journals. Recent research has included conference presentations and/or analyzing the impact of ethnic diversity within businesses in two Wisconsin cities and studying the German perspectives of the Civil War draft riot in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

Majors and minors

• Ancient studies (minor only)
• 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 with
  linguistics emphasis
• Spanish, Liberal Arts for
  health professions (minor
  or certificate)
• TEFL, Teaching English as
  a Foreign Language

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)

students teaching at language camp

• 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 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

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 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 language skills and enhance their study abroad options.

Excellence. Our Measure. Our Motto. Our Goal.