Department Mission

The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at San Francisco State University offers a comprehensive curriculum designed to help students develop the linguistic and cultural knowledge and skills necessary to contribute to a multilingual, international society. Proficiency in another language gives students access to parts of the human experience closed off to those who are monolingual, and provides vitally important skills that will aid them in their further academic endeavors and in virtually any career path they choose. The study of a foreign language gives students the interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational tools to communicate effectively with people of diverse backgrounds, and to thrive in international occupations; the study of linguistics exposes them to the deeper structures of language and their role in the construction of reality; the study of culture and society allows them to understand and appreciate other ways of life; and intensive analysis of literary texts in languages other than English helps them develop critical thinking skills. As they challenge themselves with new structures and ideas, our students develop an international perspective that will serve them and help them serve others at home and around the world.