Foreign Language FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Learn Another Language?

The following are a few of the many reasons offered by the Modern Language Association:

  • Studying a second language can improve your skills and grades in math and English.
  • More and more businesses work closely with companies in other countries.
  • No matter what career you choose, if you have learned a second language, you will have a real advantage. A technician who knows Russian or German, the head of a company who knows Japanese or Spanish, or a salesperson who knows French or Chinese can work successfully with many more people and in many more places than someone who knows only one language.
  • Knowing more than one language enhances opportunities in government, business, medicine and health care, law enforcement, teaching, technology, the military, communications, industry, social service, and marketing.
  • Professionals who know other languages are called on to travel and exchange information with people in other countries throughout their careers. An employer will see you as a bridge to new clients or customers if you know a second language.

Whatever language you choose, knowing another language brings opportunities.


What Is the Writing Requirement? How and When Does One Satisfy This Requirement?

Writing Requirement


Can Non-education Majors Take the Fren/Span 320 Workshop?

Education majors are given priority to enroll in this course. Non-Education majors will require permission from the Department to enroll in this workshop.


Can I Take More Than One Civilization Course?

Yes, but be aware that study abroad programs often include a civilization course. Therefore, if you take a civilization course at a foreign university, it will most likely transfer as 325 or 326. If you take ForL 325 or 326 at Geneseo, you will not receive credit for the same course in a study abroad program.


What Courses Satisfy the Linguistics Requirement?

The linguistics requirement is satisfied with these courses: Fren 317 and Span 323


How Does a Minor in a Second Language Help Foreign Language Majors?

Study of a second foreign language will enrich the student's college learning experience and also enhance the graduate's ability to find employment in many career fields. Businesses with international affiliates seek employees who are qualified to work in more than one foreign language. Translators in the fields of diplomacy and technology are usually proficient in at least two languages in addition to their native tongue. Most high schools prefer to hire language instructors who can teach more than one foreign language.


How Do Concentrations in a Non-foreign Language Area (Such as International Relations or Business) Complement the Study of Foreign Languages?

Having a background in a non-Foreign Language area will enhance the language student's ability to find employment upon graduation or gain admission to graduate programs in fields such as Business or International Relations. Many language majors pursue a minor or double major in International Relations or take introductory-level Business courses, depending on their interests and career goals. Those who are interested in law school find it desirable to enroll in courses that are part of the pre-law program. Students who have not developed knowledge of both their major language and related disciplines may be placing themselves at a severe disadvantage when competing for graduate school admission or positions in the workforce.


After Receiving a B.A. In French or Spanish (Without Having Taken Any Education Courses), What Will I Need to Do if I Want to Obtain Teaching Certification?

You should contact the certification specialist at the BOCES (Board of Cooperative Educational Services) where you live.


Will I Become Highly Proficient in the Target Language After Studying Abroad for One Semester?

No, you probably will not. Only if you are already proficient prior to the study abroad experience and you make a significant effort to use the target language throughout your stay is your aural/oral proficiency likely to improve noticeably. A semester abroad is the minimum length of stay that offers an opportunity of significantly improving your command of the target language, but proficiency will more likely be attained with one year of study abroad.


Additional Questions? Please Contact the Department Office.