About the Department
Instruction in ten languages is offered at UCSC. For most languages, the sequence of courses begins in the fall. Some languages (e.g., French, German, Italian and Spanish) offer entry-level courses in other quarters as well; please check the schedule of classes for details.
The Language Program's main goal is to HELP undergraduate students develop proficiency in a foreign language, either to fulfill language requirements for their major or pursue personal interests. The program gives priority to the development of students' ability to function in the language in actual communicative settings and to create meaningful written and oral discourse in the target language.
Apart from the students' development of productive and receptive language skills, we also emphasize the study of cultural values pertaining to the community of speakers of the target languages offered and their history, literature, art, politics, economics and other related fields which are essential to the understanding of these communities.
We play an important role in assisting students to establish connections between their target language and culture and other fields of study of their own interest, thus developing an interdisciplinary and broader perspective. In this process we also emphasize the development of other skills essential to foreign language learning, such as learning strategies, and analytical, synthetic and critical thinking skills which are fundamental in the overall academic learning process.
Foreign language learning provides students with the means to access information in a wide range of areas of intellectual inquiry and interpersonal communication. This experience not only adds enormously to a student's cognitive development but it is also instrumental for future professions.