Philosophy OF THE DEPARTMENT OF MODERN EUROPEAN LANGUAGES
In the globalized world of today, proficiency and competence in different languages translates to multilingualism in a global village. It therefore follows that competence in more than two languages is an attribute in the modern world, and the ability to communicate fluently opens doors to all walks of life. Especially for Nigeria’s teeming youth population, the future in the world of international relations, business, diplomacy, as well as in the public and private sector is anchored in effective communication of thoughts, ideas, and visions in foreign languages.
The importance of knowledge of one’s own mother tongue forms the basis for rapid acquisition of other languages, especially foreign ones, is a proven fact. This is because, with a sound knowledge of the heritage language, the foundation is laid for the learning of the rudiments of the foreign one(s). Therefore, part of the philosophy of this programme is to encourage students to make comparative analyses of their mother tongue and one or more foreign languages.
The philosophy of the department thus encourages the enrichment and acess to other worlds which would otherwise have remained closed to one without knowledge of a foreign language. Therefore, the study of diverse languages, cultures, history is more relevant than ever in this century and beyond.
GOALS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF MODERN EUROPEAN LANGUAGES
The goals of the Department of Modern European Languages are based on the imperative need to prepare young Nigerian students with the necessary linguistic tools in the 21st century. This it undertakes by familiarising the students with the rudiments of the French, German and Spanish languages, as well as other modern European languages that will be taught in the department in the future. As these students are the world citizens and therefore, torchbearers of the future, it is the goal of the department to produce linguistically fluent and competent future ambassadors of Nigeria.
French, Spanish and German are spoken all over the world outside their countries of origin, and the African continent is no exception. A good number of Francophone African countries, former old German colonies in Africa, Equatorial Guinea, Western Sahara, and Latin America where these languages are spoken, share common interests with Nigeria. For instance, Nigeria shares common boundaries with a good number of French-speaking countries; hence, the overriding interest in studying French in Nigeria to facilitate communication with our French-speaking neighbours. Germany’s presence which Nigeria is evident in strong bilateral trade relations as well as in collaborative research fellowships and grants. While homogeneity in art and culture evince historical relations between Nigeria and many Afro-descendants in the Lusophone and Hispanic worlds, a lack of knowledge of Spanish and Portuguese means that these links remain unexplored. Therefore, the acquisition of and French, German, Spanish and other foreign languages opens vistas to economic, social and cultural relationships with the worlds, where, these languages are spoken. The objectives of teaching these languages (French, German and Spanish), therefore, are:
- To equip students with oral competency and expression in the spoken and written form of the selected language
- To expose them to the culture, civilization, language and literature of the selected language
- To enable them effectively employ their language skills in their future careers
- To prepare those students who would like to pursue academic scholarship in these areas at the Post graduate levels.
The Department of Modern European Languages offers a degree programme leading to the award of B.A. (Honours) with French as stress area, while German and Spanish are taught as electives. In future, however, it hopes to offer programmes leading to more degree options such as are indicated below:
- A. (Honours) with stress area in German/Spanish
- A.(Combined Honours) in Spanish/German, German/Spanish, German/French, etc.
- A. (Ed.) in German/Spanish
- A. Linguistics/German; Linguistics/Spanish; Linguistics/Chinese (Combined Honours)
Apart from the programmes mentioned above, the Department offers courses in elementary, intermediate French, German, and Spanish. These are service courses for students from other Departments of the university, who need any of these foreign languages as Faculty or inter-Faculty electives or required Departmental electives. In addition, the department will offer courses to students from the department of linguistics who opt for B.A. (Combined Honours) Linguistics/German, and Linguistics/Spanish.