Modern Languages

Discover the world!

Foreign language studies not only enhances one's life personally and professionally, but it can broaden our appreciation and understanding of the world, including our own native language and culture.  Knowing a foreign language can help prepare students in our everchanging multicultural world.  Combining foreign language skills with other areas such as business, journalism, teaching, nursing, social work, will open up many more career opportunities. 

Our international faculty and staff are experts in areas of foreign language pedagogy, literature, linguistics, and world cultures, past and present!

  • We offer the following academic programs:
    • Major - Spanish and Spanish Education
    • Minor - German and Spanish
    • Interdisciplinary minor - Asian Studies
    • Beginning and intermediate courses - Spanish, German, and Japanese
  • Education abroad is an important component of our program, and many study abroad opportunities are available for students through UWRF as well as other UW System campuses.
  • There is an active club for each language, which encourages faculty-student interaction and takes advantage of the cultural diversity of the Twin Cities metropolitan area.
  • Our multimedia language lab contains computer stations and digital resources for language students.

Your training in language, phonetics, syntax, and communication strategies will help you in any of these roles.

  • Language and Business Administration, Finance, Management: International business, management and administration in multinational corporations.  
  • Language and Marketing: Product development for international audiences/consumers; knowing how to respond to international markets and cultures; communication strategies and delivery of products and services to current and potential international customers; ability to do research to identify customer needs in other cultures.
  • Language and English: Sales representative for publishing companies, researcher, editor/editorial assistant, publisher, manuscript reader, proofreader, information abstractor, indexer, translator, freelance writer, literary assistant.  Any career with an English degree will be enhanced by knowledge of another language.  Speakers of a second language are often more able to read and write articulately and analytically than people without a second language.  
  • Language and Environmental Science, Conservation, or Land Use Planning: Researcher, environmental consultant, work in private industry and government.  The challenges facing our environment are global ones.  Ability to communicate across cultures and read about international issues makes you a more qualified and skilled contributor to the conversation. 
  • Language and Geography, Mathematics, Computer Science, Psychology, or Sociology: Ability to read and participate in research done by colleagues internationally is extremely important in any of these fields.   
  • Language and Journalism: Your knowledge of languages would give you the ability to be a foreign correspondent. 
  • Language and Law, International Studies, or Political Science: Any of these pairs would open up a variety of careers in international government, business, and politics.
  • Language and Social Work:  Social workers and Human Services assistants need to be able to communicate with people from many different backgrounds.  Your training in cultural communication makes you more sympathetic and aware of the needs of people from other cultures.  
  • Language and Criminal Justice: Police working with crime victims or perpetrators are often in need of foreign language skills to communicate with those who are not fluent in English.

Major/minor pairings at UWRF

  • Language and TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages): Skills in a second language are a huge advantage to teachers of English to speakers of other languages.  Knowing how to learn a language makes you a better teacher to those who are trying to do the same.
  • Language and Art: Bilingual tour guide/interpreter, archivist, museum curator, cultural programmer.  The art world in France is rich; people who work in this area often need skills in reading, writing, and speaking French.
  • Language and Music: Cultural programmer, international musician, musicologist (researcher), archivist.  
  • Language and Biology/Biotechnology/Chemistry, Geology, or Physics: Doing research in any scientific field necessitates knowledge of other languages, as does collaborating internationally with other researchers.
  • Language and Agriculture, Animal/Food Science or Dairy Science: Food security/agriculture work, e.g. in French-speaking Africa and the Caribbean; work with Spanish-speaking agricultural workers.  There has been a Renaissance of cheese and dairy production in the French style. In particular, French would place you well to work with any company that makes artisanal cheese or food products.  
  • Language and Communication Studies/Theatre Arts: Bilingual actor, interpreter, speech writer, special events coordinator, public relations, intercultural communication trainer.  Anything you can do with a major in CSTA will be enhanced by your ability to do this in two languages.
  • Language and Communicative Disorders:  Speech pathologist/therapist, special education teacher, counselor.

The mission of the Modern Languages Department is to expand students' horizons by teaching them other languages and introducing them to other cultures of the world. Through our program, students develop skills in listening comprehension, speaking, reading and writing a second language, which will provide them with access to other cultures; awareness and appreciation of the contributions of other cultures to contemporary society through the study of their histories and literatures, cultural sensitivity and respect through engagement with those cultures; and critical thinking skills, through reflecting on the differences and similarities between the target cultures and their own.

The Modern Languages Department is, therefore, a key component of a liberal arts education and serves the mission of the university by preparing students to become sensitive, responsive and competitive participants in our increasingly diverse, multi-cultural and global society.


      spanish round table 2023

UWRF's Tyler Sampson (double major in Spanish Education and TESOL education) is studying abroad in Argentina for the 2022-23 academic year.  Learn about Argentina, Latin America, studying abroad, multiculturalism, Buenos Aires, and more at Tyler's website El Yankee en Buenos Aires.

tyler sampson in argentina

Contact Us

Department of Modern Languages
284 Kleinpell Fine Arts Building
College of Arts and Sciences

Mailing address:
Modern Languages Department
University of Wisconisn - River Falls
410 S. Third St.
River Falls, WI 54022 US

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