Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Speaking in Tongues and Other Rad Stuff

Like I mentioned before, students are pre-registering for Spring classes. One of the things I’m really excited about is how quickly my course TH 3130 Introduction to New Testament Greek filled up. Why? Because it’s a theology course that integrates language into it.

The Foreign Languages classes are filling up as well.

In my class we actually learn the Koine Greek spoken by some of the Apostles, the Greek language in which the New Testament was written. We learn how to conjugate verbs in various tenses as well as decline nouns and adjectives. The Greek is elementary, but enough so that we can appreciate the nuances of the language and how these effect the meaning of passages. The course heavily emphasizes the theological meaning of the NT and issues about translation and interpretation, as well as canon of the Scripture.

At RU we have a fantastic Department of Classical and Modern Languages. The Chair, Rocío De la Rosa Duncan, comes from Mexico and María Luísa Fernández Martínez hails from Spain. While M. Kathleen Madigan who teaches French was born in the US, she was a Fulbright scholar who spent a year in Senegal. She has just created a new French course: Senegalese Literature and Culture. They have lots of exciting course offerings. We also have adjuncts who are highly qualified who teach French and Spanish as well as on occasion offer German, Latin, and even Japanese.

Having a foreign language under your belt is a great marketing tool in the global society. It opens up all sorts of opportunities in education, health care, business, social work, pastoral care, and the sciences, just to name a few. As the world becomes more and more globally interconnected, being multilingual will be a great asset not only in the workplace but also empower one to understand and appreciate other cultures.

Majors in History, English as well as Theology/Religious Studies must take two semesters of a foreign language at a college level. Philosophy majors are also strongly encouraged to take a language. Our newly revamped Global Studies major now requires at least four semesters of a foreign language.
And before I forget to mention it, we have a really strong Study Abroad Program, even for those who don’t know a foreign language. But if you do, it’s an awesome opportunity to immerse yourself in that language and culture.

Being bilingual is totally rad!

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