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About Modern Languages and Literatures

About the Modern Languages and Literatures Program

A student who chooses a major or minor in a modern language not only acquires indispensable skills in communication but receives a deep and well-articulated knowledge of the liberal arts, training in problem-solving and the kind of understanding of cultures other than our own that is possible only through language.

Students may choose to study abroad during a summer, semester, or full academic year by applying to the International and Off-Campus Programs Office. Recent graduates have studied in Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, France, Germany, Mexico, and Spain.

Teaching majors and minors consist of specific modern language courses (1) an immersion experience, e.g., New Cultural Experiences Program [NCEP] or study abroad, (2) successful completion of a language competency exam in the semester prior to the semester of student teaching, and (3) the requirements in the Teacher Education Program.

Learning Outcomes

A student successfully completing a Spanish major at Carroll University:

  1. Attains advanced-level speaking, listening, writing, reading proficiency through the required courses taken in the Spanish program.
  2. Is able to communicate in written and spoken Spanish in a diversity of formal and informal situations with minimal linguistic errors.
  3. Understands Spanish speakers from a variety of backgrounds and locales in diverse situations, as well as written materials in Spanish in a variety of
  4. Is knowledgeable regarding Hispanic culture, history, customs, major political and literary events and movements as well as contemporaneous social issues.
  5. Participates in a wide range of academic, cultural, social, or communityservice activities concerning the rich Hispanic presence in our surrounding communities.
  6. Ideally, every student participates in study abroad experience, or when this is not feasible, participates in a department-approved immersion experience appropriate to an advanced level of proficiency in the target language.
  7. Develops a knowledge base and a high level of critical thinking skills in an interdisciplinary context of historical, literary, political, social, and cultural frameworks of Spanish-speaking societies.
  8. Applies the Spanish language to a diversity of professions and develops a vocabulary and discourse at an advanced level in at least one of the professions.

A student successfully completing a French or German Minor at Carroll University:

  1. Attains intermediate/advanced to advanced-level speaking, listening, writing, reading proficiency as evidenced in the French or German program.
  2. Is able to express her/himself in written and spoken French or German in most everyday situations with mistakes that do not hinder meaning.
  3. Understands French-speaking or German-speaking individuals in most everyday situations, as well as written materials in French or German covering topics in various genres.
  4. Is knowledgeable with regard to histories, cultures, customs, major political and literary events and movements, and contemporary society and issues in countries where French or German is the dominant language.
  5. Has participated throughout her/his studies in academic, cultural or social activities off-campus, in and beyond the Carroll University and Waukesha communities.
  6. Ideally, students successfully completing a French or German minor at Carroll University have a study abroad or substantial immersion experience in the target language.


  • Within the framework of a liberal arts education, the program in Modern Languages and Literatures provides students with direct practical linguistic contact and literary text involving a culture different than their own.
  • All majors and minors are encouraged to spend a summer, semester, or a year abroad. International study and immersion opportunities have a worldwide scope and include selected areas of the United States and countries/regions in the Caribbean, Latin America, Western and Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia.
  • Credit toward graduation is available for 46 languages not taught at Carroll. Carroll University administers the New York University Language Proficiency Examination on campus.
  • After a placement test and individual consultation with faculty, retroactive credits for previous high school competencies are awarded upon successful completion of the appropriate course work.
  • Students interested in teaching have the opportunity to be licensed in Spanish secondary education and can extend an elementary education license to include the middle school level, by completing a minor in French, German, or Spanish.

For more information, please contact Professor Elena DeCosta at or 262-524-7284.


  • Waukesha's La Casa de Esperanza
  • St. Joseph's Parish Hispanic Ministry
  • Milwaukee's Centro de Comunidad Unida/United Community Center
  • Goethe Institute
  • Alliance Française

Career Benefits Of Language Study

  • Health care
  • Financial services
  • Community outreach
  • Law enforcement
  • Teaching
  • Translation/interpretation
  • Social work
  • Law
  • International business
  • Sales and marketing

Special Features

  • Students can obtain a bachelor's degree in Spanish and complete a second major within four years.
  • Carroll's location allows for many enrichment opportunities, which include ethnic festivals, multicultural centers, art exhibitions, social events, concerts, theater performances, international film festivals, lectures and workshops.

Educational Opportunities

While internships serve as a method through which students may gain practical and professional experience, overseas study represents a natural way for students studying foreign languages to delve into mastering the language of their choice as well as gaining a more in-depth understanding of its culture. The program provides students with opportunities to travel abroad in approved programs of study of varying lengths of time. Individual arrangements for special cases can also be made with cooperating institutions. In each of the programs, students normally live with families of the host country to experience the culture to the fullest.

Educational and Career Benefits of Language Study

Many career opportunities exist for those with foreign language skills: jobs in translating, international business, community outreach, social work, teaching (elementary through college levels and for corporations or governments) and the Foreign Service. Fluency in a foreign language, together with another specialization, is an ideal combination in many professions. The travel industry, banking and financial services, credit bureaus, marketing and advertising, law enforcement, health-care professions, social service agencies all need people who are multilingual. Every service provided by governmental institutions, from local to international, calls for people proficient in another language. A military career can be enhanced by language training, as is true of technical and scientific specializations.

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