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Foreign Languages and Literature

Foreign Languages & Literature


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Dr. Olga Bezhanova

Professor of Spanish
Chair of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literature

Welcome to the Department of Foreign Languages and Literature!

We are delighted that you are considering a career involving foreign languages, either as a stand-alone discipline or as a value-added complement to another major. The Department of Foreign Languages and Literature at SIUE offers graduate and undergraduate courses dealing with the language, literature, culture, and history of many countries. We currently offer courses in 7 (seven) different world languages:

  1. Arabic
  2. Chinese
  3. French
  4. German
  5. Italian
  6. Spanish
  7. Yoruba

These courses are taught in the target language and represent very important world languages, including critical languages such as Arabic and Chinese- as well as a widely spoken African language, Yoruba. Arabic and Yoruba are currently taught by visiting Fulbright scholars. In addition, students can undertake a full course of study in French, German, or Spanish. Beginning and intermediate courses are also available in Italian.

Majors are offered in the following languages:

  • French
  • German
  • Spanish

Minors are offered in the following languages:

  • French
  • German
  • Spanish

A focus is offered in the following languages:

  • Chinese
  • French
  • German
  • Spanish

Interdisciplinary minors are offered in the following academic areas:

  • Asian Studies
  • European Studies
  • Latin American Studies

Furthermore, the department participates in the Classical Studies minor and in the International Business major, and students may also combine their language training with a teaching degree in secondary education, working closely with SIUE's School of Education. All students enrolled in foreign language courses have the opportunity to practice their language skills in our state-of-the-art Foreign Languages Training Center (language lab), where they will have access to online texts, workbooks, and ancillary materials and information in the target language, along with movies, DVDs and CDs.

Our faculty members have been trained in some of the best universities in the United States as well as abroad. They are experts with ample experience in the most salient aspects of teaching language, literature, and culture, and are sincerely committed to student success and well-being. Our department's size allows our faculty to get to know each one of our students, regardless whether they're pursuing a major or minor, well enough to be able to work closely with them. This close collaboration between professors and students is especially important when our majors have to produce their senior essay, a capstone academic experience that has earned our department and university the well-deserved recognition from national publications such as U.S. News and World Report. The success of our senior assignment program puts us in the same privileged company as renowned institutions such as Harvard, Princeton, Yale, MIT, and Duke. In Foreign Languages and Literature, you will never be just a number. You will be given the opportunity to achieve your full potential and will receive the personal attention you need to succeed academically and professionally.

Our majors and minors have access to excellent study-abroad opportunities throughout the world, which they can pursue with the assistance and guidance of the International Programs Office. Many students participate in weekly conversation hours conducted in the target languages. Students are active in the foreign languages club known as the Culture and Language Club (CLC).

If you have taken a foreign language in high school, you should take the Department's Placement / Proficiency Exam in order to determine your entrance level for foreign language study. You can receive up to 16 (sixteen) credits for previous language study. You can also get a head start on a major or minor in a world language by starting at an advanced level. This advanced placement makes it relatively easy to have a double major and to complete your major or minor early.

Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you might have.

Dr. Olga Bezhanova, FLL Department Chair

Telephone: 618-650-2082

Fax: 618-650-3509



Dr. Olga Bezhanova, Department Chair
Department of Foreign Languages and Literature
Campus Box 1432, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Edwardsville, Illinois 62026-1432, USA

The above institutional text was produced by Douglas Simms, Tom Lavallee, and Belinda Carstens-Wickham.

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