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Modern Languages

Our Modern Languages Section offers programmes in seven European and Asian languages, that provide a comprehensive training in the four language skills (listening, speaking, reading, writing) and offer courses on the cultures of the respective language communities.

Our courses are open to all undergraduate students from the university, and a certain quota is provided to research postgraduate students who wish to fulfill their third language requirement.

Undergraduate students have a choice to take our courses as electives or to declare a minor in one of the languages. Currently, French, German, Korean and Spanish offer minor programmes. As a minor student, you have to complete the full study programme of 18 credit units according to the programme’s study scheme. One third (6 credit units) can be transferred from courses taken overseas. Minor students are given preference in course selection.

Please check out the information of our Modern Languages programmes/courses from the following links:

What are the goals of learning Modern Languages?

The most obvious benefit of studying a Modern Language is the ability to communicate with speakers from a different speech community. Communication could also be achieved by using a Lingua franca (e.g. English) that speakers of both speech communities share. However, if one wants to become part of the speech community and access its cultural knowledge, ways of thinking and shared values, proficiency in its language is essential. Immersing into the ‘new world’ of a different speech community will help to critically reflect on it and on one’s own identity and values.

Another important benefit of language learning is the development of cognitive skills. Research has shown that the acquisition of language and the development of thinking are closely linked.

There are many other practical benefits and advantages, in particular, an increased competitiveness. Our graduate survey shows that a large proportion of our graduates found their language training in the ML programme useful for their current job. Some explicitly stated that they are currently working or have been working with a company from the country of their target language or even in the country of the target language.