2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Jul 24, 2024  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived]

Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics

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Chairperson: Dr. Lisa M. Calvin
Department Office: Root Hall, room A-145
Web site: http://www.indstate.edu/lll/
E-mail: isu-lll@indstate.edu

Programs offered by the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics prepare students for active global citizenship with skills in world languages and the disciplinary tools of linguistic, cultural, and literary analysis.  The department’s programs, through its immersion experience, foster the cultural knowledge and sensitivity necessary for effective engagement with diverse populations in Indiana and throughout the world.

A degree in Language Studies opens up numerous career paths. Teachers of languages, including English as a second language, are in high demand in Indiana and across the United States. Government offices and international companies need employees with advanced language proficiency since the number of American consumers who speak languages other than English is growing rapidly.  The department offers programs particularly suited for students seeking a functional knowledge of more than one language to enhance their careers. In addition, course offerings in English as a second language prepare students to teach English overseas. Graduates with teaching English as a second language licensure may find employment in American public school systems, as well as in private schools and other countries.

In support of the liberal arts and sciences mission of the College of Arts and Sciences and ISU, the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics participates in the Foundational Studies Program, the Honors Program, the International Studies Program, and the Gender Studies Program.


Degrees Offered

The Department of Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics is unique within colleges in the Midwest in its extremely flexible undergraduate degree, which allows students to tailor their academic program to their individual career plans. The bachelor of arts degree in Language Studies provides flexible options to study French, German, Latin, and Spanish; linguistics; teaching English as a second language; or any combination of these languages or areas. In addition, language proficiency may be expanded through ISU’s  study abroad opportunities. This flexibility allows students to concentrate on one language, to study more than one language, or to include linguistic study without changing degrees. Available course work includes courses taught in English, non-native or second language pedagogy, cultures, mythology, literature in translation, and linguistics.  The program’s core courses provide a common framework for all students and encourage them to interact with those in other language, literature, and linguistic areas. Courses leading to teaching licensure are available in French, German, Latin, Spanish, and teaching English as a second language, and may be completed as part of the major, while also requiring completion of a professional education sequence provided by the Bayh College of Education.

Also available is a certificate in teaching English as a second/foreign language. Candidates for the bachelor of arts degree must successfully complete the University requirement of a minimum of 120 credits, including Foundational Studies course work, as well as the requirements for the departmental major. A minor is encouraged but not required for the degree.

The department also offers a Language Studies Certificate, which confirms the successful completion of intermediate level language and culture courses in a single language.

The Department of Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics assigns each student a faculty academic advisor. Majors and minors in the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics are encouraged to maintain good contact with their advisors, and are expected to work with their advisors prior to registration each semester. Students who do so are more likely to meet their goals and succeed academically. Students can find their assigned advisors by consulting the department, the college, or their Degree Audit Tools.

Students should note the following policies:

  • Students may not have a major and minor in Language Studies
  • Students may not major in both Language Studies and Language Studies Teaching
  • Student may earn the Language Studies major and ESL minor; in this case, only 6 credit hours may count for both the major and the minor.

Departmental Opportunities

The department sponsors numerous and varied activities such as conversation tables, international films, lectures, and field trips to museums, art exhibits, musical performances, restaurants, and cultural sites in Indiana and Illinois, including Indianapolis and Chicago. The department also sponsors the Lingua Franca House living-learning community for students who are interesting in using their languages in their living environment.   The department works in close cooperation with the Center for Global Engagement, with the heritage student associations on campus, , as well as the Terre Haute area ethnic and community festivals. Such activities provide students with opportunities for interaction with native speakers in all language areas. In addition to sponsoring the foreign language honor society, Phi Sigma Iota, and the national classics honorary society, Eta Sigma Phi, the department also offers competitive scholarships for language majors and minors.

Students in Language Studies may volunteer as language instructors at local elementary schools, where they work with teachers and students in a specific language, or they may choose internships in the community, including teaching migrant workers English. All majors are required to study abroad, and minors are strongly encouraged to do so. The department works closely with the Study Abroad Office to provide a large number of quality study abroad opportunities ranging from summer programs to a single semester or a full academic year in countries throughout the world. Many of these programs cost only the equivalent of tuition, room, and board at ISU, making study abroad an affordable experience. Courses completed in study abroad programs are transferred to the University as transfer courses. They can be used to satisfy the specific course requirements of each concentration within the credits of the degree program. The department offers students a language center featuring language tutoring, international media broadcasts, computers, and professional translation software.

Experiential Learning

All Language Studies majors are required to study abroad for at least 6 weeks and earn a minimum of 6 credit hours in an ISU approved study abroad program. Students are required to attend a pre-departure orientation, and sign a Departmental study abroad contract pledging to use the target language and engage in the strategies and behaviors that make for a successful study abroad experience. In the senior capstone, students are required to incorporate some aspect of their study abroad experience into their final paper and presentation. This is evaluated as part of the final grade, and programmatic assessment.  The department also coordinates several faculty-led study abroad programs, as well as local internships. The Center for Language Education and Research provides a hub for much of the work of the department and work and research opportunities for students.


Students who have not formally satisfied the Foundational Studies non-native language requirement are placed into level 101 or level 102 language classes based on their academic work in high school.

Students who have satisfied the Foundational Studies non-native language requirement or are transferring credit from another institution and who wish to take further course work in a language are encouraged to take the Language Placement Examination in order to determine the level of language course work most appropriate for them. Depending upon the level of placement, students may receive credit for their knowledge of the language. Students who take the Language Placement Examination and complete a course above the 101 level with a sufficiently high grade receive credit for lower-level courses. The placement examination is administered on-line through the University Testing Office.

Students MUST take a Placement Exam in order to be eligible for the following credits.

  • Student placed in 102 will be granted credit for 101 upon successful completion of 102, with C+ or better.
  • Students placed into 201 who complete 201 with a C or better will earn 9 credits for 101, 102 and 201.
  • Students placed into 202 who complete 202 with a C or better will earn 12 credits for 101, 102, 201 and 202.

The Language Placement Examination is not designated to be used as a test-out option.


Students wishing to take a language course in their native/heritage language or in a language in which they have achieved fluency must petition the department to be allowed to enroll. Credit will be granted only if it is determined by the department that the course covers materials or develops skills that the student has not yet mastered. No mastery credit will be awarded to students for courses in their native/heritage language (credit for 101, 102, 201, or 202) upon completion of a higher level course.

The department administers the English as a Second Language Proficiency Test to international students.


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