Why study languages?

Language studies provide students with essential skills for communicating with those who live both outside and inside of our own borders. Students learn to see the world through the eyes of others, and grow attuned to a diversity of voices and different ways of thinking. Knowledge of others also leads to deeper knowledge of the self, and a more profound awareness of the diversity of cultures that make up our own country’s heritage and future.

Languages with OCAAT
Language study on the block plan enables students to focus on developing their skills without distractions from other courses. By the end of their first week of foreign language study at Cornell, students are able to give an oral presentation in the target language, and students can complete the normal ‘two-year’ equivalency of language required by most colleges in just four blocks at Cornell.

Courses are taught in the target language, preparing students to think, write, and speak proficiently. Our multi-faceted language lab (equipped with CAN8 Technology), videos, CD-ROMS and the internet are used in language classes at all levels to facilitate the acquisition of all four language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing), while at the same time presenting language within its social context. 

The flexibility of the block plan enables faculty to customize their approach to the traditional classroom, and also to take students on trips abroad during which they can experience cultural differences first-hand and put their language skills into practice. Finally, there are many opportunities for language students at Cornell to do more in-depth study of languages and cultures through off-campus internships, independent study projects and extended study abroad.