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. Speaking another language gives students access to parts of the human experience closed off to those who are monolingual. The study of a foreign language gives students the tools to communicate with people of other backgrounds; the study of linguistics exposes them to the deeper structures of language and their role in the construction of reality; the study of culture allows them to understand and appreciate other ways of life; intensive analysis of literary texts in languages other than English helps students develop critical thinking skills that will help them engage with issues that transcend national boundaries. 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.