The Department of World Languages at Framingham State University offers a variety of classes in the areas of language arts, literature, linguistics, and culture.
The ability to communicate effectively in more than one language is at the core of the mission of the World Languages Department. Expressing oneself in languages beyond one’s native language makes it possible to view the world in new ways and engage with different cultural communities. Proficiency in other languages enables individuals to transit borders and experience the interconnectedness of our world. The benefits of learning other languages range from improved self-expression in one’s first language, enhanced cognitive abilities, sharpened critical thinking, and professional marketability.
Through literature, culture and linguistics courses as well as study-abroad opportunities, students gain an understanding of the diversity that is the very fabric of the communities in and around Framingham as well as across the globe. Our international faculty and students are actively engaged in the surrounding community and abroad through internships and partnerships with schools, universities and community agencies. Faculty and student research spans language, literature, culture, social, cultural, political and economic phenomena.
Our concentrations prepare students to be successful in a variety of careers such as in education, interpretation, business, international relations, or to embark on graduate studies in the United States and abroad.
In the Spotlight
American Sign Language/English interpreting
Emily is concentrating in American Sign Language/English interpreting. She grew up using American Sign Language in her home with her Deaf parents. Emily rapidly took to the Framingham community and became a Black and Gold Leader in her sophomore year. She created a Deaf Awareness evening in which a diverse panel of members of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing/DeafBlind community were invited to share their experiences to an audience of Framingham students. She also undertook a small research project looking into the interpreting needs of Deaf people who identify as people of color. She spent a semester Spring 2019 abroad at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland where she learned some British Sign Language and took courses related to interpreting and the Deaf/Hard of Hearing community in the United Kingdom. All of these activities earned Emily the award of Emerging Linguist of the Year in spring 2019. Emily is looking forward to co-leading Alternative Spring break and helping start FSU’s first ASL Club with three of her other classmates.
Jesús Ruelas García, ’19, walked across the stage at graduation on May 26th. A week later, Jesús was walking almost two hours in the desert heat in El Paso, Texas to his site of service. Jesús was tasked with organizing transportation and reunifications for the families and contacts of migrants and asylum seekers. For two weeks, Jesús made close to 500 calls a day during his 15 hours of daily service. When not making phone calls, Jesús helped distribute clothing, food, and took charge of distribution of medical supplies and administration of medicine for those in urgent need.
After spending close to three years with the World Languages Department, Jesús had the social skills and tools to be able to communicate with the migrants and asylum seekers, who were coming from Honduras, El Salvador, Cuba, Brasil, Mexico, and the Congo.
Spanish and Portuguese
Dr. Joanne Britland is the Assistant Professor of Spanish and Portuguese at Framingham State University. She specializes in twentieth and twenty-first century Spanish literature, film, and cultural studies. Her current book project analyzes cultural responses to the 2008 social and financial crisis in Spain. The project examines media such as novels, films, television series, plays, and comics produced in the aftermath of the recent global economic collapse. Professor Britland has lived extensively in Spain and Brazil where she has taught Spanish, Portuguese, and English. She is a member of the Netherlands Research School for Literary Studies (OSL), the Council for European Studies (CES), the Modern Language Association (MLA), the Asociación Internacional de Literatura y Cine Españoles Siglo XXI (ALCES XXI), and the American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL).