Welcome to the Modern Languages Department
In these pages you will find information about our faculty, our course offerings, special features of the department, and resources for further learning and research.
We certainly do need to study languages as preparation to live in an ever-shrinking world. But the joy of studying languages and their literature is in our widening perspective and growing appreciation, not only of this world's rich and varied cultural heritage, but of the people shaped by civilizations different from our own with whom we share this world.
We are fortunate to have a vibrant and committed language faculty here at Westmont. Dr. Mary Docter, professor of Spanish language and literature, has lived in Latin America both as a student and as a leader of student missions. Dr. Leonor Elías, a native of Monterrey, Mexico, teaches Spanish language and literature and lived and studied in Germany, Italy, and England before coming to the United States. Dr. Mary Collier, professor of French language and literature and a native Santa Barbaran, lives part of each year in Paris and has been an active member of St. Michael's Church in Paris for the past 26 years. We think that the distinctive quality of our department is the engagement of our lives in the languages and cultures we teach, an engagement which we are blessed to share with our students.
Language students at Westmont can study German at the elementary and intermediate levels and can declare a major in French or in Spanish. Many students majoring in other subjects, whether their vision is for the global economy or the mission field, are declaring a double major, combining Economics and Business or Religious Studies, for example, with either French or Spanish. We also offer a minor in both Spanish and French, which is a valuable complement to every major. A fourth opportunity is the English-Modern Language major, a very appealing major for students with a special interest in comparative literature.
It is our belief that foreign language study offers lifelong enrichment. In addition to the many tangible advantages which knowing another language provide, the more intangible benefits of increased cultural sensitivity and growth as a global Christian cannot be underestimated. We do hope that as you plan for college you will consider carefully the benefits which foreign language study offers you, and if you have any questions about the courses or programs, please call or email us.