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DLLC MINORS: A WORLD OF POSSIBILITIES

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Imagine it, you're a freshman STEM major, figuring out how to best use your four (+) years at UD. You know you need some breadth requirements and you have a lot of major requirements to satisfy. How can studying a foreign language help you in your major and your future plans? The DLLC is recently seeing a lot of growth in its minor programs that increasingly appeal to students in all the University's Colleges: Arts and Sciences, Business and Economics, Engineering, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Earth, Ocean and Environment, Education and Human Development, and Health Sciences. The Department offers a variety of minors in many of our languages (Arabic, Chinese, French, Italian, German, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish), including the traditional language minors that can be earned on campus and/or during study abroad, others that can be finished through spending a semester in another country (the "studies" minors), or others that can be achieved in conjunction with courses in other disciplines (Ancient Greek and Latin Studies (AGRS), Spanish for Healthcare, and the Games Studies minors).

According to our faculty, the benefit of our minors their flexibility which has been made possible by recent revisions to the traditional language minors. Dr. Haihong Yang, Associate Professor of Chinese, attributes the popularity of the Chinese minor to the newly revised curriculum which allows students to concentrate more on improving their language proficiency. Like the language minors in in French, Italian, Japanese, and Russian, the Chinese minor begins with 107. Students then take a selection of courses at the 2xx and 3xx levels in the target language (some optional and some required), and they finish with one 400-level language class. Dr. Yang explains, "Chinese minors hone their four language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing, and are ready to apply their knowledge of Chinese language and culture to advancing their careers." Dr. Meredith Ray, Professor of Italian, adds: "We have made changes in the past few years to make it possible to do an Italian minor together with many majors, a double major, an additional minor, etc. After 107, they only have five more courses. So that is very doable." Speaking of the Russian minor, Dr. Julia Hulings, Assistant Professor of Russian concurs, "The Russian minor can be completed in three years, even if you start from scratch, which is the case with most minors at UD." For Dr. Hulings, the Russian minor pairs wonderfully with nearly any major. "Just think," she adds, "Political Science and Russian, Criminal Justice and Russian, even Marketing and Russian. It can open so many doors that the ordinary graduate would not be able to explore."


Ruth (Ray) Mandel

Ruth (Ray) Mandel

Students agree. Ruth (Ray) Mandel (Honors Chemistry and French Majors, Japanese Minor 2019) was surprised that she could add a Japanese minor to her majors in Chemistry and French. She, like French minor turned major, Courtney Rempfer (Honors BS Environmental Science, Honors BAFLL French Studies 2018) was pleased by the variety of courses offered: "I took the theater class and a business class, conversation classes. More than anything, it is that I have gotten better at the language. I saw a big improvement when I took Dr. Steinberger's Theater class because it made me practice every day." For Jessica Kaganski (BS Cognitive Science, Russian Minor, Human Development and Family Studies Minor), adding a language minor "is definitely challenging, but I think that it is ultimately it is worth it because, especially if you are from a completely different major, you learn a lot of new perspectives that you would never encounter in your core classes."

Courtney Rempfer in Paris

Courtney Rempfer in Paris   

Part of the reason why the minor was possible for her and others, is that there are so many study abroad opportunities available to UD students. For Dr. Ikram Masmoudi, Associate Professor of Arabic, the new winter session program in Morocco makes the minor a feasible and exciting option for potential minors who may worry that they cannot get enough credits on campus in order to finish the Arabic minor. "Students can take two courses simultaneously which makes the Arabic minor much more attainable," she notes. Further, she argues, "The cultural experience is what they take away most from the study-abroad experience." Dr. Masmoudi adds, "A new fund makes study abroad even more possible for our students who choose to minor in Arabic. The commitment of the University and the local community highlights the importance of Arabic studies."

In German, there are many scholarships available to their minors. Dr. Ester Riehl, Assistant Professor of German, notes, "given the number of students we have, we have quite a number of funded study abroad opportunities. We have a winter session in Leipzig. We have a scholarship funded by the local Saegersbund that helps to fund one or two of the scholarships a year. Later on, we have the fall semester in Salzsburg. Students pay UD tuition and a program fee to attend that program. We also have a summer program in Fulda, financed by the Sister-city's Commission of Wilmington, the German-American Woman's Club of Fulda, the German Saegersbund of Newark, and the Department, which contributes a small amount toward the scholarship. Finally the Federation of German-American Clubs funds the scholarships for two students to spend an entire year in Germany."

The Chinese program also offers many opportunities for study-abroad support to their students: "During their stay at the minor program, our students find study board opportunities on such full scholarships as the Taiwan-United States Sister Relations Alliance (TUSA) summer scholarship in Taiwan and the Confucius Institute scholarship supporting a semester- or year-long study abroad in mainland China. Every year, our minors study in the Chinese-speaking regions and benefit from the rich immersion experiences gained from these programs," notes Dr. Yang.

Nathan Springer with UD Students Phoebe Hertler, Julie Tilley, Sam Moran in Germany

Nathan Springer with UD Students Phoebe Hertler, Julie Tilley, Sam Moran in Germany

Our students (many of whom you can find listed in the section of "Student Awards") have benefitted from the new funding opportunities abroad. Most minors are able to advance their degree with a winter or a semester program. For example, Nathan Springer (Accounting and Finance Majors, Economics and German Minors 2020), was able to earn six credits toward his German minor by participating in the Fulda program in Germany. Other students, like Ray Mandell, find programs that will allow them to take courses in their major(s) and minor(s) simultaneously. Ray will study at the Sorbonne in fall 2018 where she will take classes in Chemistry, French, and Japanese.

As the DLLC minor programs look toward the future, new interdisciplinary possibilities make a minor more attractive for our students than ever before. Any student who spends a semester abroad as a "studies" minor (Spanish Studies, Italian Studies, German Studies), has the unique option of taking courses in History, Art History, Political Science, Business, etc. in the target language. For students who cannot spend a semester abroad, interdisciplinary courses are built into several of our other minors. The Ancient Greek and Roman Studies, Arabic, and Japanese minors incorporate course(s) in other disciplines or LLCU courses in translation to complement the content taught in the language and culture courses in the target language. As Dr. Masmoudi notes, "One unique aspect of the Arabic minor is that students take one literature in translation course "LLCU" at the 300 level. Dr. Tyson Sukava, Assistant Professor of Ancient Greek and Roman Studies, adds that in the AGRS minor, "There are classes in Art History, Political Science, Philosophy, Anthropology, History. Consequently, the minor offers opportunities for growth regardless of a student's major. But also, because Classics is in this unique position of existing for a long time as part of the foundations of Western Society, if someone is interested in engineering, for example, there are certainly areas of intersection with that, like Classical visions of design." Tyler Green (Chemical Engineering Major, Ancient Greek and Roman Studies Minor 2019) concurs: "I think that taking Latin and Greek has made me think of the rest of history as recent, because everyone is writing. It wasn't some ancient faraway place. It just helps to put everything in perspective." 

Tyler Green visiting the Roman Colosseum

Tyler Green visiting the Roman Colosseum

For Dr. Sukava, the interdisciplinary nature of the AGRS minor makes it feasible for students in STEM programs like Engineering and the Health Sciences. Two of our newest minors, the Spanish for Healthcare and the Game Studies minors, are also designed to work well with non-language majors while adding value to their major degrees. These minors are both relevant and convenient for non-language majors by incorporating courses in their disciplines.

Aside from the traditional Spanish minor and the Spanish Studies minor for those who spend a semester abroad, the DLLC offers a popular new twenty-two credit Spanish for Healthcare minor. To complete it, students take two courses at the 200-level, four courses at the 300 or 400-level, HLTH 411 or equivalent (3 credits) and a one-credit Internship course: SPAN 319 (Spanish Internship in Health Sciences).

For Dr. Botello, Associate Professor of Spanish, the future of DLLC minors is in programs like the Spanish for Healthcare minor that appeals to the needs of UD students in the sciences. That, with new courses like SPAN 315 (Spanish for the Health Sciences) that draws in students in healthcare who are seeking vocabulary and medical terminology to assist them with potential Hispanic patients, allows students to see how a language minor could complement their major in ways that they may not have anticipated. 

Dante Calise assisting a patient in a nursing home in Panama

Dante Calise assisting a patient in a nursing home in Panama

One such student is Dante Calise (Honors Biology and Linguistics Major, Spanish for Healthcare Minor 2020). Dante spent winter session 2018 in Panamá, where he took the SPAN 319 Internship course. As part of the class he reports: "I spent approximately sixteen hours over the course of four days working in an elderly home improving my command of the Spanish language in the context of health sciences. Before visiting Hogar Bolivar, I attended a four-hour lecture on the treatment of the elderly. The lecture provided me with a basic understanding of how to do a preliminary evaluation of an older person's general health. During my time working with in Hogar Bolivar, I could tell that what I was doing was really bringing joy to the individuals residing there. In addition to benefiting the residents of Hogar Bolivar, I believe this experience has had a profound influence on me. Working one on one with the elderly patients even in such a minor capacity reaffirmed my desire to work in the field of healthcare. It showed me that I want to be in a job where every day I get to help someone, whether the same person many times or many different people once." 

Amalia Ross traveling in Ljubljana, Slovenia

Amalia Ross traveling in Ljubljana, Slovenia

Students in other languages, like Amalia Ross (Honors BS Exercise Science, Chinese Minor 2018), have sought out such possibilities due to the adaptability of their minor programs.

Amalia notes "As I plan to become a Physician's Assistant, I believe knowing Chinese as well as being aware of the cultural differences surrounding western medicine will be beneficial to making me a well-rounded health-care professional. While at UD, I took an independent study course in Chinese in which I was able to focus my learning on health and medicine, which I believe will support my future in the health-care field."

 

The newest minor available through the DLLC, the Game Studies minor, highlights the connections between the sciences and the humanities as a collaboration between DLLC with the Departments of Communications, Computer and Information Sciences, Art, and English. Together they offer courses to create an interdisciplinary minor that consists of eighteen credits, nine of which are core classes in game design, game reception, and games and culture. Students can then choose from courses in other related disciplines, such as content-relevant courses taught in Japanese and Spanish to complete the remaining nine credits.

Within the DLLC, Dr. Rachael Hutchinson, Associate Professor of Japanese, offers a course on Video Games and Japanese Culture, while Dr. Phillip Penix-Tadsen, Associate Professor of Spanish has taught Intro to Game Studies as well as Video Games and Latin American Culture. Incoming Assistant Professor of French, Dr. Ana Oancea is also interested in research and teaching related to French video games, pointing to a bright future for this trajectory.

For Dr. Penix-Tadsen, "the interdisciplinary Game Studies minor at the University of Delaware prepares students to analyze, interpret, understand and work hands-on on developing video games. All in all, the Game Studies minor prepares students to approach video games as an object of analysis that requires thinking across disciplines and that thrives the kinds of connections that our worldly and adaptable students can make."

Connor Keane pondering his textbook possibilities

Connor Keane pondering his textbook possibilities

For Connor Keane (BA English, Philosophy Minor, History Minor, Game Studies Minor 2018), the interactive storytelling that he learned about through the Game Studies minor is something he hopes to pursue in the future. He adds, "there is definitely professional incentive if you are interested in going into that field, either the academic field or professional game design. But beyond that, we get really focused on the professional applicability of courses for our majors and minors. What it's really about is learning and growing as a person and I think that the courses in the Games Studies minor are just fascinating! I think that if you want to take interesting classes, it's a great minor. You can also get a lot of breadth requirements at the same time!"

 

A DLLC minor, whether it is in French, Japanese, Ancient Greek and Roman Studies, or Games Studies offers unique possibilities to our students. It not only adds new perspectives, but contributes to students' marketability in a Global Economy. According to Deborah Steinberger, Associate Professor of French, "Since French is an official language in twenty-nine countries, and spoken on all five continents, the French minor appeals not only to students majoring in Political Science and International Relations, but in fact to students in any major hoping to gain a global perspective, or to work or study abroad."  

Dr. Mark Miller, Assistant Professor of Japanese, adds regarding all of the language programs: "Language students who major in the sciences or business/finance/economics have a huge advantage in the job market. Large international companies that do global business prefer multi-lingual hires because these young people can travel to and communicate with representatives in other countries."

Nathan Springer understands the value of a German minor for his potential employment after recently beginning his job search as a graduating Finance and Accounting major and Economics and German minor. He notes, "I want to go the Accounting route and, once I graduate, get my CPA and work for an Accounting firm. And when I am looking for larger firms to work with (the "big four") they have huge international presences in cities all over the world. During my interviews with them, they asked me about my German minor and how it ties in to my interests. I also got to ask them about the opportunities I would have to use my German and I discovered that they have exchange programs where you can, for a year, work in one of their international firms and then come back. Once you are employed in their company, you can go anywhere in the world. It is definitely something I want to keep in my back pocket!" 

For Anna Wright (Criminal Justice and Psychology Majors, Arabic Minor 2020), her Arabic minor will lead to unique future possibilities, "I knew when I came to UD that my dream job was at the FBI / CIA, so I thought, alright, Arabic!" As a highly sought-out language in government jobs, her minor helps her to stand out among her peers.

Other students, like Jessica Kaganzki, Melissa Meric (Honors BS Exercise Science, Italian Minor 2018), and Riley Thomas (Art Conservation and Anthropology Major, French Minor 2018) know that their language minors will help them to make future connections and expand their possibilities in their fields of speech pathology, Kinesiology and Applied Physiology, and Art Conservation.

For Kristen Tauber (Honors Mathematics and Economics Majors, French Minor 2019), her French major, while apparently far afield from her majors in math and economics, will set her apart during job interviews: "Learning a language uses a very different part of my brain and requires a great amount of discipline in general, and I think employers like that." 

Christy Arango-Kautz (Public Policy Major, Latin American and Iberian Studies Minor, Political Science Minor, Spanish Minor 2020) even discovered new possibilities with her major after adding a Spanish minor: "I am really interested in Education Policy, particularly in the achievement gap in language learners between racial or socio-economic groups. This is something that I want to investigate further and I realized that my Spanish minor will help me if I want to work in communities where there is a large Hispanic population. I didn't realize that this was going to be what I was going to focus on when I started the minor, but it is interesting how much it will help!"

 

Melissa Meric offers this final advice to students considering a language minor: "I would say do it! It opens doors. If you know you are interested in the culture, studying it will add to your knowledge and employers will look favorably upon it. They like to see diversity, that you understand different cultures. This is true for any language. If you really like something, go forward at full force!"

 

Add a DLLC Minor and explore the world! To see a complete list of the "DLLC Minor Possibilities" please visit: https://www.dllc.udel.edu/undergrad-study/academic-programs/minors

 

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Fall 2018 Polyglot
  • Department of Languages, Literatures & Cultures
  • Jastak-Burgess Hall
  • University of Delaware
  • 30 East Main St.
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • Phone: 302-831-2591
  • dllc-academics@udel.edu