May 18, 2022  
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog

Modern Languages

Associate Professor   Leslie Anne Merced, Ph.D. (Associate Chair)
Professor   Rocio de la Rosa Duncan, Ph.D.
    M. Kathleen Madigan, Ph.D.

The ability to communicate in more than one language, both orally and in writing, is clearly the mark of a liberally educated person. The adoption of new patterns of thought and the discovery of sensitivities and perspectives different from our own enrich our understanding of the world and of the diversity of human experience.

As global consciousness increases in all areas of academic study and professional occupations, the knowledge of more than one language is not only desirable but frequently essential. Such knowledge permits us to discern diverse cultural dynamics, form enlightened opinions about international issues, and better serve those of other linguistic and cultural backgrounds.

The Rockhurst language curriculum offers students the flexibility to consider a variety of purposes and careers. Building upon introductory instruction in grammar and oral proficiencies, the language major provides electives and immersion modules in culture, literature and professional areas to enrich the student’s range of experience and increase fluency. In most cases, a foreign language is a prerequisite to graduate study. The demand for language teachers at the elementary and secondary levels is high, and students should know that their chances of obtaining an attractive teaching position increase if they are proficient in two languages other than their own. While knowledge of a foreign language does not by itself guarantee a career in other areas such as business, banking, law, or foreign service, it is clearly an asset when combined with another form of professional expertise. Given two candidates with similar professional preparation, the employer is most likely to hire the college graduate who shows evidence of effective communication skills and broad educational background. Language students are known to be well informed and articulate. In fact, surveys show that students who study a foreign language score consistently higher on the verbal proficiency sectors of standard tests such as the ACT, SAT, GRE, and LSAT.

At Rockhurst, the aim of the language curriculum is two-fold and in keeping with the mission of our Jesuit, liberal arts university. While it means to broaden the student’s appreciation of the unity of knowledge and to challenge their critical ability, it is also designed to build bridges connecting language with other career-related disciplines in order to facilitate the transition into the work place.

Developing written and oral fluency from a literary and cultural context is essential at the undergraduate level. Therefore, the curriculum incorporates several opportunities for students to practice skills beyond the classroom. Study abroad is strongly encouraged. Rockhurst sponsors study in France, Quebec, Puerto Rico, Peru, and Costa Rica and is forging new study abroad programs as well. Other opportunities in the way of teaching exchanges between France and the U.S. are offered in order to give our students the immersion experiences which they need to succeed and serve in today’s “global village.”

For additional information regarding French and Spanish requirements for majors and minors, see French, B.A. , French Minor , Spanish, B.A. , and Spanish Minor .

Education Major combined with Language Major

Those who major in Spanish or French and also want to teach should double major in the language and secondary education. Declaring both majors will include an education as well as a modern language advisor. Please refer to the Education section of the catalog for requirements for acceptance into the School of Education or contact the chair for further information.

A bilingual emphasis is available for the Communication Sciences and Disorders major. Please see description on the Communication Sciences and Disorders catalog pages.

An International Journalism Program is available, composed of a major in French or Spanish and a minor in Journalism.  Please consult with your French or Spanish advisor and the Journalism department for program requirements.

Courses designated as LTI and LTII satisfy the literary mode of inquiry and courses designated as ARI satisfy the artistic mode of inquiry of the liberal core curriculum.

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