Department of Modern and Classical Languages
The Department of Modern and Classical Languages embraces the Ignatian vision of educating “men and women for others” by fostering inclusiveness both inside and outside the classroom. Courses are interdisciplinary, highlighting connections with fields as varied as linguistics, history, fine arts, philosophy, gender studies, film studies and the social and natural sciences. The study of languages, cultures and literature of the world enables us to become more globally aware and culturally sensitive, and it informs the way we think about ourselves.
The Department of Modern and Classical Languages encourages students to relate their work in the classroom to other areas of study. Many of our majors opt to complement their language studies with a double major or a minor in disciplines such as political science, international relations, linguistics, English, math, biology, psychology, education, business or fine arts. In conjunction with the Department of Education, future teachers can obtain certification in secondary education for French, Latin and Spanish.
Curriculum requirements offer students flexibility and choice and majors and minors participate in shaping their own program of study, incorporating their individual interests and specializations into their class research and creative projects. Students have opportunities to study abroad for a summer, semester or academic year through several outstanding affiliated and fully accredited programs in Argentina, Chile, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.
Language Resource Center
The Language Resource Center is located in Bellarmine 315. The Center houses the language lab, as well as a sizable modern language video collection.
News and announcements
Taste of the World Brings Multicultural Cuisines to Hawk Hill: Saint Joseph’s held its biannual cultural event, Taste of the World, on May 6, 2021. Sponsored by the student-run group Bridging the Gap, Taste of the World is a chance for different multicultural student organizations including the African Caribbean Student Association, Hawks of India, the Latinx Student Association, the Asian Student Association, the Italian Club and the Black Student Union to represent themselves through food and cultural performances.
2021 Fulbright Semifinalists Announced, Plus Catching up with 2020 Fellowship Winners: Christina Photiades '20, an English and secondary education double-major and Spanish minor, learned she had won the English Teaching Assistantship for Asturias, Spain in April 2020, but she soon received word that the program would be shortened (and then delayed) because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Finally in the fall, Photiades learned that she’d be able to start her program in Spain in January 2021.
Alumnus Combines Experience, Passion and Teacher Preparation to Promote Bilingual Education: Elaine Estes '20 credits her immersive experiences at St. Joe’s – including shadowing teachers in Cuba, and researching bilingual programs across the country – with shaping her overall educational philosophy. Estes, who is working as a full-time teacher at Merion Mercy Academy, majored in Spanish and secondary education and minored in Latin American studies and theology and religious studies.
Student Project Shines Light on Latin American Art: In 1995, Saint Joseph’s University acquired about 30 pieces of pre-Colombian Latin American pottery. For the last 24 years, those pieces have been sitting in the basement of the Francis A. Drexel Library. Collin Petersen '21, a former philosophy major and Spanish and Art History minor, ensured those pieces were properly explored in his Summer Scholars research project. Petersen worked on creating an online exhibition of the pieces containing additional information about them as a resource not only for students at Saint Joseph's but for those in the Philadelphia area and beyond.
Since graduating, I have registered low-income Spanish speakers for SNAP benefits, worked with Cuban asylees, and currently speak Spanish when communicating with my students' parents. The education I received at St. Joe's was transformational and has made me a better speech-language pathologist."
Beth Villanyi '14
Speech-Language Pathologist, KIPP Philadelphia Schools