Why Study a Foreign Language at MC?
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.
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.”
Outcomes of Recent Grads
Kelsey White ’10
Currently: Completing a dual master’s degree in social work and public health at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
Kelsey is using the skills she learned in the Spanish major at MC to influence her career in public health social work. Her graduate work has focused on mental health, substance use and maternal/child health. She has a particular interest in working with immigrant and refugee communities in the South. “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