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Feb. 15 , 2005
CONTACT: Carol Anderson
734.487.4400
carol.anderson@emich.edu

EMU celebrates 'Year of Language'

YPSILANTI ­­- The importance of knowing a foreign language is like money in the bank – it’s there when you need it. Students can invest in their future by learning a second language.

This year, Eastern Michigan University is joining colleges and universities across the United States to promote “2005: The Year of Languages.” The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) is planning events as part of the national celebration.

EMU President Craig Willis recently signed a proclamation declaring the University a

participant in the year-long campaign. He urged students to develop a proficiency not only in English, but in a second language as well.

“Government and industry both have a pressing need for employees with a clear understanding of the cultures and languages of other countries. We operate in a global community and people with a multiple language proficiency will command a premium place in the workforce,” said Linda Prichard, dean of EMU’s college of arts and sciences.

“Today’s business is international and it’s important for our students to meet the global competition with the skills of a second language,” said David Mielke, dean of the EMU College of Business.        

“A second language also makes a strong statement about the students themselves,” Mielke said. “It says they are willing to work hard, do more than what is required and do something that is difficult. Employers are seeking these characteristics when interviewing for new positions. It is not necessarily

which language, but the fact that students have the ambition to learn another language,”

EMU’s military science department also knows the importance of a second language and in Fall 2005, the department is proposing that some Reserve Officer Training Corp (ROTC ) cadets take a class

in either Arabic, Russian or Chinese, said Maj. Michael Knott, enrollment adviser, EMU Department of Military Science and Leadership.

             “Military officers are ambassadors for the United States and as such command a higher level of respect in foreign countries when they know the language,” said Knott.

“In Iraq, knowing the spoken language or having a translator can be of life or death importance,” said Maj. Stephen Ward, Eagle Battalion executive officer and assistant professor, EMU Department of Military Science and Leadership, who served in Iraq. 

“Language is like a grid through which a people perceive the world and themselves. If you learn another language, you inherently learn another culture,” said Margrit Zinggeler, EMU associate professor of German.

Zinggeler said there will be numerous events throughout the year.

Currently, free foreign language films are being shown at the Halle Library, room G03, 7-9:30 p.m. every Wednesday through April 13 (except March 2). The schedule is as follows:

Feb 16            German: “Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht”

Feb. 23            Spanish: TBA

March 9            French: “Un Chien Andalou” (1929) and “Le Charme Discret de la Bourgeoisie” (1972)

March 16            Japanese: “Shall We Dance?”

March 23            German: “Das Wunder von Bern”

March 30            Spanish: TBA

April 6            French: “Alphaville: Une Etrange Aventure de Lemmy Caution” (1956)

April 13            Japanese: “Onmyoji”

“EMU can pride itself on being one of the most diverse campuses in the United States,” said

Zinggeler. “The Year of the Languages will educate and communicate the need for linguistic diversity and foreign language skills. EMU celebrates languages and encourages all students to benefit from learning another language.”

            For further information, contact Zinggeler at 734.487.0130.

Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their careers and lives, and to be better citizens.

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Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.

Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.


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