n an increasingly interdependent world, the study of languages and cultures, including the heritage languages and cultures of immigrants to the United States, is a fundamental part of every student's education. Knowledge of at least one foreign language and familiarity with different societies equip university graduates for more intelligent choices as citizens of today's world, and enhance their effectiveness in a range of career fields, including law, journalism, business, education, health care, banking, social work, management, international administration, and many others in the public and private sectors. The study of linguistics and human communication provides perspectives and tools of analysis useful in every human endeavor.


The Department of Modern Languages, Linguistics & Intercultural Communication offers an innovative, multidisciplinary program with a triple focus: language, literature, and society. Courses are offered in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Korean, linguistics, Russian, Spanish, and Wolof, as well as a range of culture and general education courses under the designation MLL.


Majors in Modern Languages, Linguistics & Intercultural Communication share a common interdisciplinary core of courses (MLL 190, 230, and 301), which provides a grounding in essential issues of human communication and social context. There are four options for the major:

1. One-language option in French, German, Russian, or Spanish
2. Two-language option
3. Language and cultural studies
4. Applied linguistics

The department also offers a minor, a certificate of language studies (Chinese, French, German, Korean, Russian, and Spanish), and a certificate in Intercultural Communication. Additionally, the program in modern languages combines exceptionally well with major programs in many other departments, where knowledge of another language and culture is often a valuable asset.

The courses listed as MLL, taught in English, provide offerings of general interest to both the major and non-major. These courses present a wide international and intercultural perspective on aspects of language, linguistics, world literature, culture, and film.

Career and Academic Paths

MLLI graduates have successfully pursued careers in law, medicine, education, social work, government and international business. Within the Accelerated B.A./M.A. Program offered by the department, qualified students completing an undergraduate major in Modern Languages, Linguistics & Intercultural Communication may, during their junior or senior year, apply for admission to the Master of Arts (M.A.) in Intercultural Communication. If accepted, they can apply nine credits of approved B.A. course work to their M.A. degree. Such students may be able to complete both degrees in five years. Those interested should contact the INCC Graduate Program Director. A description of the M.A. in Intercultural Communications may be found in the Graduate Catalog.

Courses frequently taken by undergraduates in the accelerated B.A./M.A. program include:

MLL 601 Language, Discourse, Society
MLL 602 The Ethnography of Communication
MLL 603 The Political Economy of Culture

For a complete list of courses and their descriptions, please consult the Graduate Catalog.


Study Abroad

French, German, Russian, and Spanish students are encouraged to spend a semester or at least a summer working abroad or studying in an approved university program in a country where the language is spoken. Students in these areas are advised by MLLI faculty on their choice of program and assisted in course selection and credit transfer. They are also put in contact with students who have returned from study abroad experiences.

The experience of living and studying abroad is an extremely important asset for all language students. Students should discuss study abroad options with their advisor early in their studies. In general, financial aid may be applied to study abroad programs, and credits earned in the target language through study abroad may be transferred to UMBC and applied towards the MLLI major and minor programs. Students interested in co-ops and internships abroad are encouraged to consult the Shriver Center.

UMBC in Mexico City
Each fall, a group of advanced (SPAN 201 and above) undergraduate students study at the main campus of the Center for the Instruction of Foreign Students of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), one of Latin America's oldest, largest and most prestigious universities. Courses are offered in intensive Spanish language and Mexican and Latin-American studies. Courses also may be taken in other UNAM departments. Students earn an average of 15 credits per semester. Students placing at the proper level may complete 15 of the 18 credits required for the Spanish minor through this program. The program is extremely cost-effective, and financial aid is available. Highly Recommended.

Honors Program

The Honors Program of the Department of Modern Languages, Linguistics & Intercultural Communication provides a small group of majors with additional intellectual experiences, both individually and as a group. The central components of the program are an honors seminar taught in English and the development and writing of an honors project, an experience that provides exceptional preparation for the work world or graduate school. Students who complete the program will graduate with departmental honors. Information is available in the department office or at this link.


Teacher Certification

There are many openings for teachers of modern languages in public and private schools. Students intending to major in a language and seek elementary or early-childhood certification or seek secondary certification in their major language should consult with the MLLI liaison to the Department of Education as early as possible for a description of the certification requirements and the procedures for admittance into the program.

Academic Advising

The Modern Languages, Linguistics & Intercultural Communication department organizes annual information meetings on the major, internships and study abroad. Students with an interest in majoring or minoring should contact the departmental office at 410-455-2109. Majors and minors are assigned to a faculty advisor, but they are free to select a different advisor at any time and are encouraged to do so if their interests and career goals change. Transfer students should meet as quickly as possible with the coordinator in the area in which their main interests lie (French, German, linguistics, Russian, Spanish) to plan an efficient program of study.

Major Program

All majors who pursue the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Modern Languages, Linguistics & Intercultural Communication take a common core of courses, as follows:

MLL 190 The World of Language I
MLL 230 World Language Communities
MLL 301 Textual Analysis: Words, Images, Music

Although not required for the major, MLL 191 The World of Language II is highly recommended.

Students may select one of four options for the major:

I. One Language Option (Total credits: 38-42)

French Interconnections with the World (42 credits)

  • 9 credits: MLL 190, 230, 301
  • 6 credits: FREN 301, 302
  • 12 credits of foundation courses: FREN 310, 320, 330, 340
  • 3 credits of experiential learning: FREN 399
  • 6 credits elective FREN courses, at the 300 or 400 level
  • 6 credits elective FREN courses at the 400 level

German (40 credits) (These are the requirements for German majors who started their course of study at UMBC in fall 2013 or later. All other German majors: See catalog appropriate for the semester you enrolled.)

Track A: Cultural Studies concentration – Germany then and now

  • 9 credits: MLL 190, 230, 301
  • 16 credits: GERM 202, 301, 302, 315, 401
  • 9 credits cultural studies courses: GERM 303, 375, 481
  • 6 credits of elective GERM courses at the 300 and 400 level. One of these 2 courses can be an MLL course or from a discipline outside of MLLI. Any course from the Advanced Language Study sequence is also permissible. Recommended: GERM 420, 421 or MLL 332

Track B: Advanced language study – Intercultural and Professional Communication and Globalization

  • 9 credits: MLL 190, 230, 301
  • 16 credits: GERM 202, 301, 302, 315, 401
  • 9 credits advanced language study courses: GERM 303, 410, 420
  • 6 credits of elective German courses at the 300 and 400 level. One of these courses can be an MLL course. Any course from the cultural studies track is also permissible. Recommended: GERM 309, 319, 481, MLL 305

Russian (38 credits)
  • 9 credits: MLL 190, 230, 301
  • 12 credits: RUSS 301, 302, 401, 402
  • 2 credits from RUSS 303, 304
  • 9 credits from MLL 270, 271, RUSS 310, 311
  • 3 credits of elective RUSS courses at the 300 or 400 level
  • 3 credits: RUSS 350 Complementary Russian Reading

Spanish (43 credits)
  • 9 credits: MLL 190, 230, 301
  • 22 credits: SPAN 202, 301, 302, 307, 308, 311, 312
  • 6 credits: SPAN 401, 421 (NOTE: 400-level courses routinely require a term paper or equivalent written assignment)
  • 6 credits of elective SPAN courses at the 300 or 400 level

II. Two-Language Option (Total credits: 39-43)

French Interconnections with the World (42 credits)
  • 9 credits: MLL 190, 230, 301
  • 6 credits: FREN 301, 302
  • 12 credits of Foundation Courses: FREN 310, 320, 330, 340
  • 3 credits of elective FREN at the 400 level
  • 12 credits in a second language (above 202), taught in the target language.

German (43 credits)

Track A or B: Cultural Studies or Advanced Language Studies Track

  • 9 credits: MLL 190, 230, 301
  • 13 credits: GERM 202, 301, 302, 303
  • 6 credits either from cultural studies courses (GERM 375, 421) or from advanced language studies courses (GERM 309, 310)
  • 3 credits elective German courses from either track
  • 12 credits in a second language with at least three credits at the 400 level.

Russian (39 credits)
  • 9 credits: MLL 190, 230, 301
  • 9 credits from RUSS 301, 302, 401, 402
  • 2 credits from RUSS 303, 304
  • 6 credits from RUSS/MLL 270, RUSS/MLL 271, or any 300 or 400-level RUSS course
  • 1 credit RUSS 350
  • 12 credits in a second language (above 202), taught in the target language.

Spanish (43 credits)
  • 9 credits: MLL 190, 230, 301
  • 13 credits: SPAN 202, 301, 302, 401
  • 3 credits: SPAN 311 or 312
  • 6 credits of SPAN on the 300- or 400-level, to be chosen in consultation with the student's advisor. At least one course must be at the 400 level.
  • 12 credits in a second language (above 202), taught in the target language.
    Note: 16 credits must be taken in courses taught in Spanish.

III. Language and Cultural Studies (Total credits: 39)
  • 12 credits MLL 190, 191, 230, 301
  • 12 credits upper-level courses in one modern language other than English (e.g., CHIN, FREN, GERM, KORE, RUSS, SPAN).
  • 15 elective credits minimum—nine or more at the 300 or 400 level—in MLL, LING and/or modern language courses as part of a major program designed in consultation with a departmental advisor. Up to two appropriate courses from other disciplines may be applied to the major with written approval of the student's advisor.

IV. Applied Linguistics (Total credits: 39)
  • 9 credits MLL 190, 230, 301
    Although not required, MLL 191 is highly recommended.
  • 21 credits: LING 210, 290, 310, 320, 360, 410; and either 450 or 490
  • 9 credits of other LING courses, three credits of which must be on the 400 level. One cognate course in another discipline (e.g., MLL 413, PHIL 445, PSYC 316, ENGL 407, ENGL 490) and up to two language-specific linguistics courses (e.g., FREN/GERM/SPAN/RUSS 331, 332, 438) may be used as substitutes for an equivalent number of the required LING courses with the approval of a designated LING major advisor.

All courses submitted by a student in fulfillment of the requirement for the major must be completed with a grade of "C" or higher. Students must earn a grade of "C" to continue in the next course in a basic language sequence (101-202).

Minor Program

A minor in Modern Languages, Linguistics & Intercultural Communication allows students to develop proficiency in a foreign language, to learn about the nature of language, and to become familiar with the societies in which different languages are spoken. A minor in MLLI will assist students in developing communication skills and in understanding the complexities of an increasingly interdependent, multilingual and multicultural world. It will enrich students' learning experience and enhance their career potential.

The MLLI language minor requires a total of 22 credits:
  • 3 credits: one MLL core course (MLL 190, 191, 230, 301)
    The rest of the required courses must be chosen from one language area:
  • FREN/GERM/RUSS/SPAN 202
  • FREN/GERM/RUSS/SPAN 301
  • FREN/GERM/RUSS/SPAN 302
  • 9 credits in electives in FREN/RUSS/SPAN at the 300 or 400 level; GERM: 9 credits in elective courses from either the cultural studies track or the advanced language studies track at the 300 and 400 level

The MLLI Applied Linguistics minor requires a total of 21 credits:

  • 3 credits: MLL 190
  • 12 credits: LING 210, 290, 310, 320
  • 6 credits chosen from other LING courses at the 300 or 400 level.
    A cognate course in another discipline (e.g., MLL 413, PHIL 445, PSYC 316, ENGL 490) or a language-specific linguistics course (e.g., FREN/ GERM/SPAN/RUSS 331, 332, 438) may substitute for one of the LING courses with the approval of a designated LING major advisor.

The MLLI minor in Chinese Language and Culture requires 18 credits:

  • 3 credits: one MLL core course (MLL 190, 191, 230, 301)
  • 6 credits: CHIN 301, CHIN 302
  • 9 credits in CHIN or MLL (CHIN) electives:
    • CHIN 309 (Business Chinese)
    • CHIN 319 (Chinese Translation)
    • CHIN 300 (Independent Study)
    • MLL 328 (Traditional Chinese Fiction and Drama)

Students may petition the MLLI department to have relevant courses from other disciplines be counted for the minor in Chinese Language and Culture.

The MLLI minor in Korean Language and Culture requires a minimum of 18 credits:

  • 3 credits: one MLL core course (MLL 190, 191, 230, 301)
  • 6 credits: two upper-level Korean language courses:
    • KORE 301 (Advanced Korean I)
    • KORE 302 (Advanced Korean II)
    • KORE 309 (Business Korean)
  • 9 credits: three KORE or MLL elective courses:
    • KORE 309 (Business Korean)
    • KORE 310 (Korean Language in Social and Cultural Context)
    • MLL 311 (Introduction to Korean Culture)
    • MLL 315 (Images of Society in Contemporary Korean Films)
    • An MLL topics course (or course in another discipline) relevant to Korean language and culture, with the approval of the MLLI department

All students desiring to complete a minor in MLLI-language, applied linguistics, or Chinese language and culture must have a designated minor advisor and select courses with the approval of that advisor. All courses submitted by a student in fulfillment of the requirement for the minor must be completed with a grade of "C" or higher.

Note: Minor through study abroad: Students at the appropriate level may complete up to 15 credits of a minor in their language through a semester of study abroad.

Certificate in Intercultural Communication

This certificate program is intended for students who wish to combine the study of intercultural communication with advanced foreign language study. A competence in intercultural communication is indispensable for functioning effectively in an era of economic, social and cultural globalization. Language study together with instruction in issues of communication across cultures will help students acquire useful knowledge and skills in their careers and in their lives as citizens. Total credits: 18-19.

Requirements:

  • 3 credits: MLL 305 Introduction to Intercultural Communication
  • 3 credits MLL 306 Intercultural Communication: Community Issues in Maryland/D.C.
  • 4 credits: CHIN/FREN/GERM/HEBR/KORE/RUSS/SPAN 202 (A more advanced student may substitute a three-credit higher-level language course.)
  • 3 credits: CHIN/FREN/GERM/HEBR/KORE/RUSS/SPAN 301
  • 6 credits of elective courses from language, MLL or related disciplines, to be chosen in consultation with the faculty advisor. At least 3 of the 6 elective credits will come from outside the student's primary language of study.

Certificates in Language Studies: Certificate in Chinese Studies; Certificate in French Studies; Certificate in German Studies; Certificate in Korean Studies; Certificate in Russian Studies; Certificate in Spanish Studies. 17 credits.

The Certificate in Language Studies program is intended for those students who want to explore another part of the world as part of their overall education but who do not have the time to complete a traditional minor. In addition, MLL-rubric classes conducted in English offer the possibility of investigating the target cultures in some detail without waiting to attain advanced language competency.

Students must complete all of the following in the same language/culture area with a grade of “B” or higher:

  • LANG 201
  • LANG 202
  • LANG 301
  • Elective 1 from approved list (see below)
  • Elective 2 from approved list (see below)

Certificate electives:

CHINESE: Choose TWO of the following:

  • MLL 220: Chinese Film and Society
  • MLL 328: Traditional Chinese Fiction and Drama
  • Any CHIN courses above 301

FRENCH: Choose TWO of the following:

  • MLL 205: Great Books from the French-Speaking World
  • MLL 215: French Film Classics
  • MLL 219: Contemporary French Cinema
  • MLL 250: Introduction to the French-speaking World
  • MLL 319: Images of Society in Contemporary French Films
  • Any FREN courses above 301

GERMAN: Choose TWO of the following:

  • MLL 214: The New German Cinema
  • MLL 216: Classics in German Cinema
  • MLL 261: German Ethnic and Cultural Identity
  • MLL 332: Special Topics in German Culture
  • Any GERM courses above 301

KOREAN: Choose TWO of the following:

  • KORE 302: Advanced Korean II
  • KORE 309: Business Korean
  • KORE 310: Korean Language in Social and Cultural Context
  • MLL 311: Introduction to Korean Culture
  • MLL 315: Images of Society in Contemporary Korean Films

RUSSIAN: Choose TWO of the following:

  • MLL 270 Introduction to Russian Culture and Civilization
  • MLL 271 Introduction to Modern Russian Culture and Civilization
  • MLL 370 19th-Century Russian Literature and Society
  • MLL 371 20th-Century Russian Literature and Politics
  • Any RUSS courses above 301

SPANISH: Choose TWO of the following:

  • MLL 280: Introduction to the Spanish-Speaking World
  • MLL 213: Film and Society in Spain
  • MLL 218: Film and Society in Latin America
  • ECON 387: Economic Development of Latin America
  • POLI 377: Latin-American Politics
  • Any SPAN courses above 301


Special Opportunities

Intercultural Living Exchange
The Intercultural Living Exchange is a living and learning community of UMBC. Students residing in the intercultural suites interact with international student resident mentors (native speakers of each cluster language: Chinese, French, German, Korean, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish), who organize ILE cultural and social activities for their language clusters as well as for the UMBC community. These activities include intercultural receptions, participation in UMBC's International Week, intercultural presentations and workshops, language chat hours, study abroad presentations, international film festivals, field trips, culinary projects, intercultural holiday celebrations, lunches with faculty, and excursions to concerts, plays and exhibits. Residence in the ILE provides excellent preparation for study abroad, as well as continuity for those who have previously gained language proficiency in a study abroad experience.

Internships
In collaboration with the Shriver Center, the department provides majors in modern languages and linguistics information and support for internships. In addition, internships abroad have, in recent years, become a significant way of combining study abroad with work experience. Students interested in earning MLLI credit for internships should consult with the department's internship coordinator.

Financial Aid
Financial aid is available for majors to participate in study abroad programs. In addition, the German area offers the Knapple and Plogman scholarships for students in the German track. Applications are due each April; awards are announced in May. Music students who also study German may apply for the Elterman scholarship through the music department.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities
The faculty encourages and supports undergraduate participation in faculty research. Advanced Spanish students may join in a research project based in a Spanish-speaking area of Baltimore.

Student Organizations

The department has a Council of Majors and several language clubs, often organized by native speakers. The German area offers membership in Delta Phi Alpha, the National German Honors Society. The Korean area offers membership in the Korean Students Association.  All students have the opportunity of participating in the unique and talented UMBC Russian Chorus, which performs at campus events and in the Baltimore area community. No knowledge of Russian is required.; contact the Russian area for more information.