Language Studies

Do you enjoy learning about other languages and cultures? You can become more than just a translator. Being bilingual can be beneficial in industries such as health care, education, and human resources.

Major in Spanish or Dutch, or you can minor in French and take Latin classes. You can also consider doing a linguistics minor which incorporates a variety of languages and classes. Learn about other cultures and people from different backgrounds.

Language studies helps you to learn how to love your neighbor as yourself. Classes incorporate an appreciation for the diversity of people as God’s creation.

Program Options

  • Spanish, the second-most spoken language in the world, is an asset in almost any profession in the United States today. In our major, you’ll be introduced to Hispanic literature and Hispanic cultures and civilizations and come to better understand the challenges that Spanish-speaking nations face.
  • Dutch majors and minors often want to learn more about their cultural heritage. Our courses place emphasis on oral and written skills.
  • French is the chosen minor of many Canadian students who have already taken some French, but you can begin French studies at Dordt even if you have never uttered more than bonjour or merci. Graduate schools often require a reading ability in a major foreign language such as French.
  • Latin courses are recommended for students in pre-seminary, pre-medicine, or pre-law programs, as well as for language and music majors.
  • Our interdisciplinary linguistics minor combines language classes with classes in communication, psychology, and philosophy. It is also valuable for careers in Bible translation, speech therapy, psycholinguistics, or other language-related professions. You can also create an individual studies major in interdisciplinary linguistics.
  • English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses are geared to improve the academic language skills of non-native speakers of English.

Opportunities

  • Several opportunities for Spanish-English interpretation are available in the community.
  • Students Without Borders club provides opportunities for students to interact with their peers from other cultures.
  • On Sundays, some students visit and participate in Amistad Cristiana, a Spanish-speaking church in Sioux Center, where their skills grow as they speak with congregation members.

Off-campus opportunities include:

  • Dutch Culture and Reformed Worldview is offered in even years. This three-week summer program focuses on early Dutch culture through World War II and its aftermath, including the development of a Reformed worldview through the work of Abraham Kuyper. Field trips to locations in and around the Netherlands are part of the program.
  • Central America: Language, Culture, and Society will give you time to practice your Spanish language skills while living in Puerto Rico. For three weeks in the summer you'll experience first-hand how the local people live and worship, and you'll travel around the island. The program is offered in even years.
  • On SPICE (Study Program in Contemporary Europe), you will spend a semester in the city of Zwolle in the Netherlands. This 15-week program offers courses in the areas of Dutch language, art and architecture, history, philosophy, and psychology. Also internships for international business and Teaching English as a Second Language are possible. Most students travel throughout Europe during their breaks and free weekends.
  • SPIN (Studies Program in Nicaragua) allows you to spend a fall semester studying in Nicaragua with the Nehemiah Center in Managua. You will be immersed in Nicaraguan life and come to better understand that culture by living with a host family and interacting with Nicaraguans daily. Your course work will focus on Central American culture, history, and contemporary society. Spanish courses are offered at the beginner, intermediate and advanced levels, with the option of also completing a Spanish literature course for non-beginners. Spanish is not a prerequisite for participating in SPIN.
  • French minors study French abroad in France with Chez Vous, a six-week summer program in Normandy that immerses you in the language and lifestyle of the French people. You will learn more about the Reformed heritage and about opportunities for ministry within the French-speaking world.
  • Spanish majors or minors can spend a semester or a summer in Spain through a cooperative arrangement with Trinity Christian College.

Learn More

Check out our program strengths and get to know our facilities.

Rikki Heldt

Rikki Heldt
Instructor of Language Studies

CL 2216
(712) 722-6260
Rikki.Heldt@dordt.edu

Dr. Leendert van Beek

Dr. Leendert van Beek
Professor of Language Studies
Department Chair

CL 2240
(712) 722-6261
Leendert.vanBeek@dordt.edu

About Me