The study of a foreign language opens the doorway to a wider world of opportunity for students preparing for any career. For some, the doorway will lead to opportunities to work with people in the U.S. whose English proficiency is limited. For some, it will lead to an understanding of scholarly, scientific, or technical literature written in other languages. For some, it will lead to careers that take them overseas, whether in business, foreign relations, politics, teaching, research, missions, journalism, tourism, or a variety of other fields.
Chinese is the language of the world’s most populous country, a country rapidly becoming one of the most important economic, political, and cultural powers in the world.
French has historically been a major language of world diplomacy and remains one of the major languages of scholarship throughout the world. Of course, it also opens doors of opportunity in France, Canada, and francophone Africa.
German is one of the most important languages of publication for scientific and technical literature worldwide, as well as the language of the country ranked by the World Bank as the fourth largest economy in the world (by gross domestic product, 2012). Maryville College offers a minor in German.
Japanese is the language of the world’s third largest economy (by 2012 gross domestic product), a country with a history of technological innovation. Maryville College offers a minor in Japanese.
Spanish is the second most spoken language in the U.S. after English, so it opens many opportunities for interaction with major segments of the U.S. population, as well as doorways into the culture and life of Latin America and Spain. Maryville College offers both a major and a minor in Spanish. Moreover, the major in Spanish for Teacher Licensure leads to qualification to teach high school Spanish. So does the minor in Spanish for Add-on Teaching Endorsement, for those who already have teacher licensure in another field.
American Sign Language
American Sign Language is currently the sixth most-used language in the U.S., or the fifth most-used non-English language in the U.S. The study of American Sign Language leads students toward careers in interpreting and transliteration for members of the Deaf population as well as toward counseling, social work, teaching, working in schools for the Deaf, and graduate study in linguistics or anthropology. Maryville College is one of fewer than 50 schools nationwide offering bachelor’s degrees in this area of study. The major in American Sign Language- English Interpreting prepares students for careers as interpreters and transliterators; the major in American Sign Language and Deaf Studies leads to a wide variety of other careers serving the Deaf.