Why Study a Foreign Language at MC?
Majoring or Minoring in a foreign language will help you become a better communicator and citizen of an increasingly global world. From understanding scholarly articles and literature written in other languages to proficiently communicating with people around the world, you will be prepared for a variety of challenges. Graduates of our foreign language programs go on to work with people in the U.S. whose English proficiency is limited, while others work overseas in business, foreign relations, politics, teaching, research, missions, journalism and tourism. Wherever your path leads, the study of foreign languages will open doors in exciting ways.
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.
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. A licensure to teach German is available with the minor if a student is already acquiring licensure with the student’s major.
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. A licensure to teach Japanese is available with the minor if a student is already acquiring licensure with the student’s major.
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.
Maryville College Works is a comprehensive career preparation program that is integrated into the College’s four-year liberal arts curriculum. Key components include assessment, advising, networking and professional experiences.
Meet a current student
Bethany Headrick ’18
Hometown: Walland, Tenn.
Bethany’s ultimate career goal is to find a job in hospitality or service that will use her Spanish-speaking ability and allow her to travel and live abroad. Majoring in both Spanish and International Business, she has had numerous opportunities at MC that will help her realize her goal. She spent a semester studying abroad in Argentina, is interning with the non-profit Centro Hispano and is working at RT Lodge, an upscale group lodging and event site located on the MC campus. “My advisors have been nothing but helpful as I have searched for the perfect internship for me and appropriate Senior Study topic,” she said. “My horizons have broadened, and I now have an interest in service that I never thought I would be interested in before. MC has opened so many doors for me.”
Zach Price ’18
Hometown: Walland, Tenn.
Two hurricanes hitting Puerto Rico in 2017 prematurely ended Zach’s semester at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez, but he returned to MC determined to take advantage of on-campus and local opportunities to improve his language skills. After graduation, he hopes to find a job in a business that will allow him to use his Spanish daily. He knows that becoming fluent in another language, especially Spanish, will help him stand out from other job seekers. “My professors here at MC have been tough, but they’ve been good for me,” he said. “They have pushed me to be the best that I can be in the classroom and as a person.”
Outcomes of Recent Grads
Kelsey White ’10
Currently: Immigrant Health Access project program coordinator, the university of north carolina-greensboro center for new north carolinians
Kelsey used the skills she learned in the Spanish major to influence her career in public health social work. Her dual master's degree in social work and public health at UNC-Chapel Hill focused on mental health, substance use and maternal/child health. Now at UNCG, she combines her Spanish and broad public health social work experience with a desire to promote health equity for immigrant communities in the Southeast. “I went into MC with a strong interest in service, and I learned so much about social justice,” she said. “In Dr. [Geoff] Mitchell’s class, I learned that language is tied to everything else, and you have to learn about culture, politics, history and so much more to truly understand and communicate with others. That’s directly related to how a social worker thinks.”
Alabama Department of Mental Health
Blount County Schools
Eastman Chemical Company
Deaf Access Solutions
Lenoir City Schools
Graduate School Placements
Emory University School of Law
Gallaudet University, School of Social Work
George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Studies
Oklahoma State University, School of Business
Trevecca Nazarene University, School of Library, Information Sciences
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, School of Social Work and School of Global Public Health
University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Foreign Language Education at the College of Arts and Science