Randy R. Richardson, Chair
All humans possess the gift of language, and true comprehension of this fundamental aspect of ourselves is not easily achieved by the monolingual. Greatly enhanced understanding of ourselves – our thought processes, our linguistic abilities, our culture – and of those who are unlike us comes through the study of another language. We are richer, more capable persons if we develop the ability to understand and communicate with those in another linguistic and cultural setting. We are better prepared to understand the world and to respond to life’s changing opportunities if we break free from some of the limitations that ethnocentricity and monolingualism tend to impose on any people. The Scriptures, classical texts, and modern works of literature and thought are better understood in the original language and with knowledge of the cultures that produced them. Living cultures and individuals are better understood, and closer relations are established if the language barrier is down.
Modern transportation and communication technologies are bringing the world to us and taking us to the world. International business, scholarship, travel, government work, missionary activity, Christian and other organizations, all bring us into contact with speakers of other languages. Today’s instant communication bring to us the documents of the world – past and present – and offer us the possibility of real-time contact with individuals we would never have encountered in the past.
In light of these facts, Asbury University maintains its commitment to foreign language study as a vital part of a liberal arts education. The Ancient & Modern Language Department offers six languages which may be used to fulfill the core foreign language requirement: Chinese, French, Greek, Hebrew, Latin and Spanish. We offer majors in Ancient Languages and Spanish. There are teaching majors in French, Latin, and Spanish, and students may minor in Biblical Languages, Classical Languages, French, Greek, Latin, and Spanish. These programs offer opportunities for students to acquire practical language skills, scholarly tools, and understanding of the literatures, cultures, and linguistic distinctives of the languages studied.
Note: Students are advised to take a foreign language in high school. New students are expected to take the college administered language placement test during Welcome Week. Students completing two years of a high school foreign language with a grade of ‘C’ generally place into 102. Students completing three years of a high school foreign language with a grade of ‘C’ generally place into 201.