The Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures offers the Bachelor of Arts degree in three major programs: French, German, and Spanish. Four minors are offered: one in Foreign Languages, one in Japanese Studies, one in Latin American Studies, and one in European Studies. In addition, courses are taught in Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Hebrew, Italian, Latin, Portuguese and Russian.
The initial stages of foreign language study balance oral proficiency goals with the acquisition of a solid foundation in grammar, and an appreciation for the culture of the countries where the language is spoken. Objectives of the intermediate courses include enhancement of reading and writing skills, and introduction to literary works that illustrate important cultural concepts. At the advanced level, courses in composition and stylistics help students refine their written expression, and literature and civilization courses offer the opportunity to study the literary masterpieces of the countries as well as the historical development of their arts, philosophy, and politics. More specialized advanced courses focus on the vocabulary and style of business or journalism while topics courses give flexibility to the curriculum by allowing students and faculty to explore areas of their particular interest, such as Francophone literature and culture, or Hispanic women writers.
The Department sponsors local chapters of the national student honor societies in French, German, and Spanish, as well as language clubs, film series, and informal conversation "tables." These activities give language students, international students on campus, and faculty members the opportunity to interact informally and to practice speaking the language outside of the classroom setting.
Visiting a foreign country is a vital part of foreign language mastery and study abroad is often the most significant educational experience available to the undergraduate student. The Department strongly encourages students study abroad for a summer, semester, or longer. Student advisers work closely with the Office of International Programs to find appropriate program for students and to plan their program of study at Old Dominion to any credits earned in this manner.
Students majoring in French, German, or Spanish take thirty hours of foreign language courses at the advanced level in addition to courses selected from a broad, well-balanced curriculum in fulfillment of the university and college requirements in general education.
Old Dominion University encourages all students to consider studying abroad for a summer, semester, or full year as part of their academic experience.
The Language Learning Center serves the needs of faculty, students and the Hampton Roads community in promoting the study of foreign languages offered at Old Dominion University through the use of technology enhanced methods and materials. The Center has been an integral part of the Foreign Languages and Literatures Department in the College of Arts and Letters since its inception in 1992 and serves over 1,200 students each semester.