Department Profile

Mission Statement

In our increasingly cross-cultural, global society, the Department of Language Studies seeks to be a catalyst for the linguistic and cultural-diversity training of all Dordt students by guiding them in the development of various language skills in languages other than English and encouraging them to be good guests and welcoming hosts all over God's world, both at home and abroad.

Program Strengths

  • Our faculty members are native (non-English) speakers with advanced training and many years of experience living in cultures outside North America.
  • Our students are highly motivated to obtain language skills in the languages we offer and insight into other cultures allowing them to make connections with diverse people, perspectives, and different ideas around the world.
  • Our strong Reformed, Christian perspective on languages and linguistics enables students to discern and evaluate the creational structures of culture and language.
  • Our overseas summer courses and semester programs provide students with exciting opportunities to immerse themselves in an international setting that gives them an opportunity to practice being good guests in the midst of unfamiliar values, practices, and lifestyle.
  • Dordt's international Spanish-speaking students are a great resource in supporting Live Lab language sessions for students pursuing foreign language study.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to

  1. Demonstrate proficiency in listening, reading, speaking, and writing a foreign language at a level established by the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages)
  2. Demonstrate a broad knowledge, appreciation of, and cross-cultural sensitivity to people from other cultures
  3. Discern and evaluate the values of other cultures
  4. Explain the systematic meanings of semantics, syntax, morphology, and phonology in a foreign language
  5. Explain and illustrate how meaning is created by the interplay of linguistic components and how these components change over time and differ across dialects and cultures
  6. Explain how the Bible's cultural mandate defines their responsibility to other cultures
  7. Articulate how God's covenant with his creation and his creatures affords confidence in meeting cultural responsibilities
  8. Demonstrate a commitment to using their foreign language skills and cross-cultural knowledge in service to the kingdom of Jesus Christ