In fulfillment of Western Washington University’s stated goals, the Department of Modern and Classical Languages enables students to engage firsthand with world societies. The members of the department believe that cultural knowledge and language proficiency are inextricably linked. We embrace diverse perspectives and inclusivity. We foster a collaborative environment that facilitates individual, social, cultural, creative, and scientific exploration.
The department offers students the opportunity to build linguistic and cultural competencies that support successful communication; develop respect and responsibility for local and global communities; and appreciate the literature, history, and other aesthetic expressions of a given culture. Ultimately, students graduate from the department well poised to succeed in the workplace, support global citizenship, and explore innovative solutions for world challenges.
SHANNON DUBENION-SMITH (2008) Chair and Associate Professor of German and Linguistics. BA, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor; MA, PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
SANDRA ALFERS (2008) Professor of German and Director of the Ray Wolpow Institute. BA, MA, University of Nebraska; PhD, University of Massachusetts.
BLANCA ARANDA (2012) Associate Professor of Spanish. BA, Universidad Mayor de San Andrés; MA, PhD, University of Oregon.
SHERYL BERNARDO-HINESLEY (2019) Associate Professor of Spanish and Linguistics. BA, MA, University of Texas-Arlington; PhD, University of Massachusetts.
MASANORI DEGUCHI (2006) Professor of Japanese and Linguistics. BA, Kansai Gaidai University; MA, PhD, Indiana University.
EDUARDO ENGELSING (2015) Associate Professor of Classical Studies. MA, University of Kentucky; MA, PhD, University of Cádiz.
PETRA S. FIERO (1995) Professor of German. MA, PhD, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
HUGO GARCÍA (2006) Professor of Spanish. BA, University of Havana, Cuba; MA, St. John’s University; PhD, Ohio State University.
CÉCILE HANANIA (2002) Professor of French. Maîtrise, Université de Provence; Doctorat, Université Paris; PhD, University of Maryland.
ERNEST HARTWELL (2020) Associate Professor of Spanish. BA, New York University; PhD, Harvard University.
JOAN M. HOFFMAN (1994) Professor of Spanish. BA, University of Washington; MA, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; PhD, Indiana University.
XIAOMENG LI (2023) Assistant Professor of Chinese and Linguistics. BA, Renmin University of China; MA, University of Oxford; PhD, Carnegie Mellon University.
RODOLFO MATA (2017) Assistant Professor of Spanish and Linguistics. BA, University of Texas; MA, PhD, University of California-San Diego.
PAQUI PAREDES MÉNDEZ (2002) Professor of Spanish. MA, PhD, University of Kansas.
CORNELIUS PARTSCH (2003) Professor of German. BA, Oberlin College; MA, PhD, Brown University.
CHARLES PATTERSON (2012) Professor of Spanish. BA, Utah State University; MA, University of New Mexico; PhD, University of Texas at Austin.
LINDSEY SMITH (2019) Assistant Professor of French. BA, Luther College; MA, PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
MASSIMILIANO TOMASI (1998) Professor of Japanese and Director of the East Asian Studies Program. Laurea (BA), University of Florence, Italy; MA, PhD, Nagoya University, Japan.
EDWARD J. VAJDA (1987) Professor of Russian, Eurasian Studies, and Linguistics. BA, Indiana University; MA, PhD, University of Washington.
TYLER WALKER (2022) Assistant Professor of Japanese. BA, Middlebury College; MA, PhD, Columbia University.
SIYUAN (JULIAN) WU (2017) Associate Professor of Chinese. MA, Beijing Foreign Studies University, China; PhD, Arizona State University.
Other Departmental Information
Students seeking to complete a BA in Chinese, French, German, Japanese or Spanish within a four-year time span should have completed the second-year sequence (e.g., 201, 202, 203) in the language by the start of their junior year. Otherwise it will be difficult or impossible to complete this degree program within two additional years.
Experienced Speakers of a Language
First-year courses in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages are designed for students with minimal or no previous exposure to the target language. Students enrolling in second-year courses should have no more than foundational knowledge, equivalent to the first year. Students having previous experience with the language, such as attending junior high school, high school, community or technical college, or university in which the language in question was the primary language of instruction, may be required to begin study at a more appropriate level, if available. The decision will be left to the discretion of the instructor and the language department.
Students in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages can increase their language proficiency and gain intercultural competence through travel, work, and study abroad. WWU sponsors academic-year direct exchange programs in Asia, Australia, and Europe as well as ISEP at 70 universities in 32 countries, with access to language schools in Quebec, Costa Rica, Germany and many other countries. The Department of Modern and Classical Languages, in particular, also offers faculty-led Global Learning Programs to Montreal, Canada; Qingdao, China; and Guanajuato, Mexico. Designed to give students a complete study experience in the host country, each program includes numerous excursions to historical and cultural sites and a wide range of activities that complement formal classroom work. Special application and registration procedures are required for participation in programs abroad, and students should consult with the Education Abroad office, Miller Hall 208, well in advance of their planned quarter abroad, as well as with the coordinator of the appropriate language section to discuss transfer credit.
Advanced Placement Credit
The student who has studied a world language in high school may be granted additional university credit upon completion of world language courses at WWU. Advanced placement credit is not awarded for 100-level courses. Request for advanced placement credit is to be made to the major/minor advisor of the language section.
Students transferring from another university with some course work in a world language should consult with the coordinator of the section about placement.
The learning and studying of a world language involves a level of student participation considerably higher than that required by some disciplines. It is the students’ responsibility to ascertain the specific attendance requirements of their individual instructors.
Endorsement of Post-baccalaureate Students
Post-baccalaureate students with a degree in a world language are required to:
❑ Have a GPA of 3.00 or above in the major
❑ Obtain a letter of recommendation from a faculty member in reference to the candidate’s potential as a teacher
❑ Satisfactorily pass the ACTFL oral and written proficiency exam
❑ Satisfactorily pass the Washington Educator Skills Test - Endorsement: World Languages Test
❑ Complete the endorsement sequence as appropriate: LANG 410 and 420 OR LANG 410 and CHIN 314 (for Chinese)
Additional work in the language may also be required. Students should consult the coordinator of the language section.
Undergraduate Combined MajorUndergraduate MinorEndorsement
- Chinese Language and Culture, BA
- Chinese Language and Culture, BA with Teaching Endorsement Option
- French — Elementary, BAE
- French, BA
- French, BA with Teaching Endorsement Option
- French/German, BA
- French/Spanish, BA
- German — Elementary, BAE
- German, BA
- German, BA with Teaching Endorsement Option
- German/Spanish, BA
- Japanese, BA
- Japanese, BA with Teaching Endorsement Option
- New Program of Study format (French, BA)
- Spanish — Elementary, BAE
- Spanish, BA
- Spanish, BA with Teaching Endorsement Option
Courses numbered X37; X97; 300, 400 are described in the University Academic Policies section of this catalog.Chinese
Courses numbered X37; X97; 300, 400 are described in the University Academic Policies section of this catalog.Classical Studies
Courses numbered X37; X97; 300, 400 are described in the University Academic Policies section of this catalog.Eurasian Studies
Courses numbered X37; X97; 300, 400 are described in the University Academic Policies section of this catalog.French
Courses numbered X37; X97; 300, 400 are described in the University Academic Policies section of this catalog.German
Courses numbered X37; X97; 300, 400 are described in the University Academic Policies section of this catalog.Greek
Courses numbered X37; X97; 300, 400 are described in the University Academic Policies section of this catalog.Italian
Courses numbered X37; X97; 300, 400 are described in the University Academic Policies section of this catalog.Japanese
Courses numbered X37; X97; 300, 400 are described in the University Academic Policies section of this catalog.Page: 1