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The Department of Modern Languages is committed to preparing all University of Akron students to succeed in the global economy and to become productive and engaged global citizens. Our students achieve linguistic competencies and multicultural literacies, develop critical-thinking and problem-solving skills and connect with diverse local, national, and international communities. 

Our enthusiastic and passionate faculty, staff and students look forward to helping you explore our world!

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Welcome to the Department of Modern Languages

Bienvenue - Bienvenidos - أهلا وسهلا - Willkommen - Benvenuto - ようこそ - 歡迎  

304 Olin Hall | (330) 972-7487

Recent Headlines

Spanish Community Engagement Volunteer Work Summer 2017

During the summer months of June, July and August of 2017, students pursuing the Advanced Certificate for the Health Professions volunteered with the Hartville Migrant Medical Clinic. Students who had recently completed the certificate worked with current students and faculty to develop yoga classes for the migrant farmers to relieve back, neck, and knee pain. While the migrant farmers took yoga classes, some of our students stayed with the children, reading books and playing games in Spanish. Advanced Certificate students also shadowed doctors and nurse practitioners at the clinic. Students participated in hands-on activities (monitoring and testing pH levels, listening to heart beats, taking pulse, etc.) and practiced some interpreting. 

Teaching Spanish to Those in the Healthcare Field

Dr. Parizad Dejbord Sawan was interviewed on Argentinian television this past Spring.  She talks about the Diabetes camp that she visited in Medonza, Argentina and the relationship of that on-site visit to the Beginning Medical Spanish classes and certificate (at Akron Children's Hospital) as well as the Spanish for Health Professions program and certificate on campus. Please click CC to read the subtitles in English.

French Grads go far...bravo!

Annette Boulard-Fontaine (class of 2011) and Lindsay Powley (class of 2012) have put their French degrees to good use! Boulard-Fontaine, recently sworn in to the Ohio Bar Association, is employed in the field of international aviation contracts in Paris, where she resides. Powley, who also holds a Masters in Political Science, has been hired by a U.S. Government agency, after having worked at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France.

French Language Student Wins Award
French Language Student Wins Award

Josh Dang, who is majoring in French and biology, won the fifth prize ($400) at the annual Northeast Ohio competition organized by the Maison Française de Cleveland, held this year on May 1. It is affiliated with the Federation of the Alliances Françaises in the United States, a nonprofit organization that promotes Franco-American cultural activities. He is pictured at the event with Dr. Maria Adamowicz-Hariasz, a UA associate professor of French.

The 2016 edition of the competition saw participants from such schools as Oberlin College, College of Wooster, and Baldwin Wallace and John Carroll universities. Many have studied in France. Dang honed his speaking and writing skills during two years of classes taken through the Department of Modern Languages.

UA French majors have consistently won prizes at the Maison Française competition since 2003.  

French Major travels with Zips for Haiti
French Major travels with Zips for Haiti

Esther Chung, a recent UA graduate with a French and Political Science major, participated in the service learning in Haiti in January 2016.  The following is a brief description of her experience.

"Zips for Haiti is a wonderful opportunity to serve and to break out of one’s comfort zone. A week is hardly ever enough, but it can still have a significant impact. Our team consisted of 25 members and our week at Institution Univers in Ouanaminthe was spent constructing mosquito net frames for the mission houses, building a new basketball hoop, and teaching English from 3rd to 13th grade. In addition to serving, our team was able to explore the community and its surroundings. We also experienced Haiti’s rich history by climbing the path towards the Citadelle, which was constructed to protect Haiti from France after Haiti had declared its independence.

Haiti is a francophone country, so I had many opportunities to use French. I was able to provide instructions for the younger students in the classroom. I could effectively communicate with the older students if they did not understand a word or phrase in English. Surprisingly, knowing French also helped me to learn a little Haitian Créole. Haiti is so much more than the common misperceptions one tends to hear about in regards to developing countries. I learned from the students I spent time with that Haiti is a resilient country filled with young, intelligent people who one day aspire to make a difference. I encourage anyone who is willing to be challenged in thought, in skill, and in life to consider joining Zips for Haiti."