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Friday, May 2, 2008

UNCP established a Department of Foreign Languages

As The University of North Carolina at Pembroke continues to emphasize an international perspective, foreign languages will play an important role.

Liliana Wendorff

Liliana Wendorff

Black Line

To that end, UNCP will establish a stand-alone Department of Foreign Languages beginning with the 2008-09 academic year. Dr. Liliana Wendorff was named chair of the department, which will separate from the English and Theatre Department.

The creation of the new department underscores key elements of the institution’s mission, said Dr. Charles Harrington, provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs.

“Clearly, preparing students to thrive in a global and multicultural milieu requires that students are exposed to a wide range of cultures and language training,” Dr. Harrington said. “Establishing a stand-alone foreign languages department is the first point of departure in our efforts to broaden language programs at UNC Pembroke.”

Dr. Wendorff, who is already the coordinator for UNCP’s four-year-old Spanish language major, said the department will grow in numbers and offerings.
           
“We will add a fifth full-time faculty member this summer,” Dr. Wendorff said. “The department has an outstanding international faculty.”

The department offers classes in Spanish, French, German and Russian, and in the future, Dr. Wendorff hopes to see classes in less commonly taught languages like Arabic and Chinese.

The newest program, Spanish Education, was approved this spring.

“Enrollment in Spanish classes has increased substantially, and Spanish Education fills a need in our public schools,” Dr. Wendorff said. “Supporting teacher education and encouraging appreciation for the values of all people are important to the University mission.”

Dr. Wendorff said the Department of Foreign Languages supports the University’s commitment to embrace diversity and to cultivate an international perspective.

“When you learn a language, you learn the culture,” Dr. Wendorff said. “Our faculty is very international, so they know what it is like to learn a second language and adapt to other cultures.”

Dr. Wendorff is a native of Perú, Dr. Jose Gómez, coordinator of the Spanish Education program, is from Colombia, Dr. Enrique Porrúa is from Spain, and Dr. Peter Imoro is from Ghana. Drs. Wendorff, Porrúa and Imoro recently published books on international literary figures writing in Spanish.

Besides its growing scholarship, the department is developing study abroad opportunities for students.

“We encourage travel through our own programs in Spain and Perú,” Dr. Wendorff said. “We also support study in México through the UNC study abroad program.”

“These experiences improve our students’ linguistic skills, and enhance their life experiences,” she said. “To see first hand how people in other cultures live is a life changing experience.”

For more information about languages at UNCP, please call 910.521.6434 or email wendorff@uncp.edu.

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