Department of French and Italian

College of Letters & Science

Skills & Strengths of a Liberal Arts Major

Why Liberal Arts Majors often make the Best Techies

STEM is Missing an Important Subject: Languages

We Need more STEM Majors with Liberal Arts Training 

With some Specific Skills, Liberal Arts Majors have Plenty of Job Prospects

Major in the Humanities for a Good Job - and for a Good Life 

 

Benefits of Multilingualism 

For a Better Brain, Learn a Foreign Language

Improved Health, Memory, Decision-making, and Perception

Bilinguals are More Attractive 

 

Benefits of Language Learning 

Language learning supports academic achievement

Language learning provides cognitive benefits to students

Language learning affects attitudes and beliefs about language and culture

Language Study as a National Imperative

 

 Some Figures about French 

  • French is the 2nd most useful language for business after English. The top three are Mandarin, French, then Arabic. (Bloomberg)
  • The number of French speakers in the world has tripled over the last fifty years, up 25% since 2010 from about 220 million in 2010 to 274 million in 2014, equal to 90% of the US population. (Reuters)
  • French ist the fifth most widely spoken language in the world
  • There are over 100 million students in the world learning French right now.
  • French is the official language of 33 countries and widely spoken in at least 10 more.
  • French and English are the only two languages spoken on 5 continents.
  • French is 1 of 6 official languages of the United Nations.
  • Over 1,200 French companies in the United States employ 500,000 Americans.
  • French is one of the official languages of many international organizations: the UN, UNESCO, NATO, the EU, the Olympics.
  • French is required or preferred by over 50% of international jobs listed by the U.S. State Department.
  • French is the second most frequently taught foreign language in the United States.
  • France has won more Nobel Prizes for literature than any other country.
  • Canada is the largest trading partner of the United States and Montreal is the second largest francophone city in the world after Paris.
  • France is a world leader in science and technology. The Human Genome Project is located in Paris; U.S. Coast Guard helicopters are made by Aérospatiale, Airbus is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of airplanes; and we have these recent inventions thanks to the French: the “smart card”, the Minitel (the precursor to email and the Internet), HDTV, high-speed rail, and more!