In response to a competitive job market and a more global environment, Florida A&M is now offering four new language courses to prepare students to become multi-dimensional in the workplace. Languages being offered include Mandarin Chinese, Arabic, Hausa and Portuguese.
The enrollment period is now open and applicants can seek admission on a rolling basis. There are no minimum requirements and students are not obligated to have previous foreign language skills.
The FAMU Office of International Education is encouraging students to invest in an opportunity that will yield positive results and high rewards. The Mandarin Chinese, Arabic and Hausa courses are $195, while the Portuguese course is equivalent to a regular four credit hour course taken at the university.
FAMU acquired the courses from the State Department through their Fulbright Language Teaching Grant and the instructors are trained professionals with appropriate certifications. This marks the first time in history that FAMU has offered all of these courses simultaneously during a semester.
Mandarin Chinese, Arabic and Hausa were chosen particularly because they are considered critical languages.
According to the FAMU Office of International Education, critical languages are those that need more trained speakers needed than there are available. Particularly for the United States, these languages are deemed critical because the countries where these languages are spoken may have an unstable relationship with America.
Therefore in the interest of national security, FAMU is seeking to train leaders. The Portuguese class was chosen because FAMU is sending students to Brazil though the study abroad office yearly.
Joseph Jones, interim director of the FAMU Office of International Education wants to stress the importance of learning foreign languages as a necessary tool to advance in a global society.
“If we are to become global leaders, we must be able to communicate in the languages of the world,” said Jones.
BBC News recently reported that learning a second language can: create a better understanding of different cultures, open job opportunities, help withacademic success, make traveling easier, help people communicate throughout the world and even give the brain more stimulation.
Orlando Hankins, 22, a fifth year MBA student from Wake Forrest, N.C. is currently studying Mandarin Chinese for multiple reasons.
“The U.S economy is not the superpower it used to be,” said Hankins. “More companies are moving toward developing a global corporate strategy because it’s important to access new markets. Global communication is the key in becoming a leader in the world of business.”
Hankins shares this perspective with several other students who see learning languages as an additional asset in the workforce.
Rebecca Colett, 21, a senior business administration student from Detroit, believes that her additional languages will set her apart from the competition.
“I took advantage of the FAMU language courses to increase my marketability to future employers,” said Colett. “Language skills are pertinent to the advancement of your career and landing your dream job.”
Classes will be taught in the FAMU Baptist Collegiate Ministry building located directly across from Perry Paige.