Offered by the Department of English and Modern Languages
Professors Pifer, Sornberger, Ulrich (chairperson),
Associate Professors Barton, Doerksen, Harris, Murphy, Rashidi, Sullivan-Blum, Washington
Assistant Professor Guignard, Sanner
Modern Languages faculty: Associate Professors Blanco, Holtman, Keeth and Oyallon
Assistant Professor Arango-Keeth
The Department of English and Modern Languages offers both B.A. and B.S.E degrees in German. The German program at Mansfield provides very personal contact with highly qualified faculty and a record of successful placement of students in study or work possibilities abroad. There is no lack of excellent reasons to study German: travel, greatly increased job opportunities, graduate study, family background, literature, arts, science, and general intellectual development all come to mind. German is a vital language worldwide, widely spoken on all continents. In Japan, for instance, 68% of all students study German. More than 1,100 companies of German-speaking countries have subsidiaries in the U.S., including Daimler-Chrysler, Volkswagen and Siemens—and Osram-Sylvania in Wellsboro, PA. In Eastern Europe, German is the lingua franca ahead of English. German is the second most common language of the Internet and the third or fourth most popular foreign language world-wide.
Interested in business opportunities? A knowledge of German will greatly improve your chances in the job market. Germany has the third-highest economy and book publishing rate in the world. Germany is fifth-largest trading partner of the U.S. and our largest in Europe, with more than 750 U.S. companies doing business in Germany (such as GM, Ford, and Dow Chemical). Speaking the language and knowing the culture of your business partner is sure to get you more sales, so knowledge of German will take you far in dealings with one of the world’s very top economies. In addition, it will open up the rapidly developing markets of Eastern Europe. In a 1 994 survey by the German-American Chamber of Commerce, 65% of all respondents said that they were looking specifically for German/English bilingual skills when hiring new employees.
Many of the greatest philosophers, scientists, composers, authors and artists of the modern era thought and wrote in German: Einstein, Freud, Nietzsche, Kant, Beethoven, Marx, Kafka, Goethe, and many more. Students of music, law, philosophy, religion, psychology, history, political science, engineering, and most of the other sciences find German to be especially valuable for their studies. It is therefore not surprising that German is by far the language most often required or recommended in academic programs.
Is German hard to learn? Any language demands lots of time and hard work, but you have an advantage with German. It is closely related to English and other Germanic languages. Learning German will give you important insights into the history and structure of your own language, and it will give you a big head start in learning other languages. And learning foreign tongues has been proven repeatedly to be a huge factor in promoting higher cognitive skill levels in all areas. Your brain will benefit from German studies!
Twenty-five percent of all Americans claim German ancestry. This heritage is felt strongly in Pennsylvania, with place names like Germantown, Hanover, and New Berlin, festivals like Oktoberfest and Christikindlesmarkt, German culinary and holiday traditions (Fastnacht donuts, anyone?), and the well-known Mennonite and Pennsylvania Dutch areas.
MU German majors take at least 36 semester hours in German, including courses in phonetics and pronunciation, conversation, and the history, geography, literature, and culture of Germany and other German-speaking countries. Some students combine a major or minor in German with one in business, English, history, biology, or another field. And some combine German studies with a teaching certification for public schools (explained in the Teacher Education Certification section of this catalog).
Mansfield German majors and minors generally spend at least one semester studying in German-speaking country. MU has its own successful exchange program with the Friedrich-Schiller-Universität in Jena, Germany, which has enabled opportunities for students at Mansfield to interact with peers from Germany and has offered several MU students the invaluable experience of studying abroad. In addition, through its membership in ISEP (the International Student Exchange Program) Mansfield can place students at universities in Germany or other German-speaking countries.
While studying German at Mansfield University, students find themselves learning in classrooms superiorly equipped with modern teaching technology —technology that enhances their learning graphically, acoustically, and interactively. And, throughout their program of study, students have access to the Modern Language Center. On a daily basis, students are able to practice their communication skills in a comfortable 30 seat language center that is outfitted with high-end PCs and a T1 line internet connection. Indeed, the center’s webpage and student staff are conveniently available to guide students in their learning process, whether this means help increasing informational literacy or becoming more proficient with language-based software, the digitized audio materials of the Virtual Language Lab, and/or other media/web resources.