Languages and Cultures

West Chester University

Dr. Mahmoud Amer
Acting Chair 2016-2017
224 Mitchell Hall
West Chester, PA 19383
Phone: 610-436-2700
Fax: 610-436-3048

The Department of Languages and Cultures


Scholarship Winners Italian Club Chinese Club Study Abroad in China Half Day visit at Rural Elementary School Experience Minority Culture Languages and cultures faculty retreat (staff) ifest1 Group Picture


Languages come in all shapes and sizes: the early years, culture clusters,
the more advanced courses, seminars,internships, study abroad...

The Department of Languages and Cultures is a vital and active presence in the College of Arts and Sciences at West Chester University and in the surrounding area. The name of the department conveys the range of research and instruction that exists at the undergraduate and graduate levels and reflects the breadth and nature of our activities.

Languages taught include Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Russian and Spanish. We offer beginning and intermediate language courses in Classics, French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish, as well as courses in other languages. We offer minors in Classics, French, German, Italian, Russian, and Spanish, as well as interdisciplinary minors in Latin American and Latino/a Studies, Linguistics, and Russian Studies. Major concentrations and K-12 Certification are ofered in French, German, Russian and Spanish.

Active language clubs host varied events (films, dinners, talks) and travel to nearby cities for theater, opera, museums, markets, etc. Our students can also become members of three Honorary Societies: Alpha Mu Gamma (The National Collegiate Foreign Language Honor Society), Sigma Delta Pi (The National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society), and Pi Delta Phi (The French National Honor Society).

Our classes are innovative, featuring student-centered study of culture, history, literature and language, often using video, computer software, and internet-based activities. Coursework provides opportunities for service-based learning and community outreach activities that promote real-world use of language skills.

Our faculty include dedicated professors and instructors, talented scholars who enjoy state, national and worldwide recognition. They pursue their research to the far corners of the earth and bring it back to the students in their courses.

Our students are equally adventuresome, and many of our majors and minors study abroad, in Europe, Asia, Central and South America. Information on available programs in addition to the above Fulbright projects may be found on the individual language program pages; please also consult our information and forms for scholarship awards for study abroad.

The Department also offers Graduate Programs: in place of our M.A. and M.Ed. degrees in French and Spanish, we now offer a new combined Master of Arts in Languages and Cultures in conjunction with Millersville University, in French, German or Spanish.

Our undergraduate and graduate program graduates pursue many careers using these languages, including teaching at all levels, law, international relations, the travel industry, marketing, and services in a wide variety of regional and national companies. Our graduates bring to the job high quality professional training and multicultural perspectives on the world. We offer a new Internship program, LAN 425 and LAN 525, for 3-12 credits, for on the job language experience.

Students wishing to study any languages offered in our language program should take a Placement Test in our Language Learning Center in Mitchell Hall (Room 006A). The Placement test is taken for the express purpose of indicating the level at which a student should being study of the language. Students do not receive university credit for any language course they place out of on the placement test. Credit for such lower level courses may be obtained by taking the CLEP or Credit by Exam (CBE) test for a course BEFORE enrolling in a higher level course. Minors and majors in a language must still complete the number of courses required by the department.




The Department of Languages and Cultures of West Chester University of Pennsylvania is dedicated to the teaching of languages and the preparation of language-teaching professionals to be knowledgeable in the facts and issues that inform second language education. As part of this dedication, we promote student and community understanding of the languages that we teach and the cultures that these languages represent. The public liberal arts model of education is at the basis of our teaching, on both the graduate and undergraduate levels. We are a community of teacher-scholars dedicated to excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service to local and global communities.

The department prepares students to develop linguistic and cultural proficiency:


  • We are committed to communicative pedagogies that foster the use of languages in real-world communities.

  • We believe that the preparation of highly competent language teachers involves the simultaneous development of second language proficiency, linguistic, literary, and cultural content, and pedagogical skills and background.

  • We emphasize the development and enhancement of critical thinking and cross-cultural skills that sharpen students’ understanding of the interaction between the individual and the collective.

  • Linguistic and cultural proficiency are pursued in a variety of venues, including, but not limited to, classroom work, distance-based courses, faculty-student research, local, regional, and international service learning activities, language clubs and honor societies, and study abroad programs.


We are committed to excellence in research and other areas of scholarly expertise as critical pillars of a well-rounded humanistic approach to education. In their scholarly activity, department faculty use diverse interdisciplinary approaches, while working to create an intellectually active environment inside the classroom and elsewhere.


We prepare students to function as effective language and literacy educators and community leaders among diverse populations both within the U.S. and abroad.


We collaborate in a variety of campus and community initiatives and projects to nurture student and community involvement in language communities and their cultures, both home and abroad.