Languages in a Global World
As a microcosm of America’s linguistic diversity, Rutgers University–New Brunswick is ideally positioned to make languages a cornerstone of its education. Studying languages at the college level has specific merits: it sharpens the intellect, promotes cultural awareness, and provides knowledge and skills that can be developed in connection with other fields.
Studying languages helps make global connections, even in our own backyard. In the photo above, Arts and Sciences students in New Brunswick are learning “Portuguese for Business and Commerce” as they interact with students at Rutgers University–Newark through a video portal.
The School of Arts and Sciences provides instruction in more than two dozen languages from Arabic and Chinese to Vietnamese and Yoruba.
The stories below show the many ways in which our undergraduates gain knowledge, depth, and skills from studying language.
The Department of French presented its first-ever Poetries–Politics colloquium, drawing students, staff, and faculty from across Rutgers University–New Brunswick and transforming the Rutgers Academic Building into a place of art, culture, and intellectual conversation.
Peter Carkhuff, a Russian language and political science major, who plans to use his language skill for national defense, says that studying Russian language and literature has made him "more engaged with the world, more culturally aware, and better able to understand different perspectives.”
Manessa Lormejuste loves France and science, and thinks about healthy skincare. So at Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences, she studied chemistry and French, and landed an internship at L’Oréal.
The Department of Asian Languages and Cultures, is a major center of scholarship that reaches across the literary, cultural, and linguistic expanse of East Asia. Students are drawn to learn about the culture and the historic and future importance of the region to the globalized world.
A video portal created by the Department of Computer Sciences supports language teaching across campuses. New Brunswick students participate in a class as it unfolds in real time from Newark. They can make eye contact, raise their hands, and be called upon in Portuguese by the teacher 30 miles away.
In a new humanities course, students learn about the complex forces that may cause thousands of languages to vanish. Using online tools, the students are documenting the unique features of these languages for a web project that will preserve the knowledge for future generations.