CLARKSVILLE, TN – Employers in Tennessee need more applicants with foreign language skills, and the Department of Languages and Literatures at Austin Peay State University is working to provide qualified candidates for the more than 3,700 jobs bilingual open in the state.
According to the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, “more than 300 international companies have relocated or expanded to the Middle Tennessee area,” and this influx of international investment has driven the foreign languages faculty of the APSU to target students at the start of their academic careers. To do this, the University has added its introductory foreign language courses to Austin Peay’s general education curriculum. Starting with the Fall 2021 Bulletin, students can take French, German, Greek, Latin, or Spanish 1010 or 1020 courses to meet some of their humanities and fine arts requirements.
Students also have the opportunity to specialize in a foreign language with a concentration in one of several languages, to specialize in foreign languages or to specialize in a foreign language while working towards obtaining a teaching permit. . Students who study a foreign language also benefit in other areas while learning a new language. According to a University of Michigan study, students who study a foreign language for just 90 minutes per week for one semester scored significantly higher in math and language arts.
In a New York Times editorial in 2012, science writer Yudhijit Bhattacharjee explained that “Scientists have started to show that the benefits of bilingualism are even more fundamental than being able to converse with a wider range of people. It turns out that being bilingual makes you smarter. It can have a profound effect on your brain, improving non-language cognitive skills and even protecting against dementia in the elderly. “
For more information on foreign languages in Austin Peay, visit www.apsu.edu/langlit.
A video from the APSU Faculty of Foreign Languages is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zjr5LnJR-Sw.