Kimberly C. Reed, Professor and Department Chair, University Research Professor
Dana Chamblee Carpenter, Associate Professor
Linda M. Garner, Professor
Sonya Green, Associate Professor
Jan Harris, Associate Professor
Matthew G. Hearn, Professor
Kelly I. Kidder, Associate Professor
Theodore H. Parks, Associate Professor
T. Stephen Prewitt, Associate Professor
William Steele, Professor
Stacia Watkins, Associate Professor
The mission of the Department of English & Modern Languages is to allow undergraduate students to explore the complex and compelling relationships among language, literature, and culture. With majors in English, French, German, and Spanish, and teaching certifications available for all four majors, our curriculum is designed to help students develop the skills necessary to negotiate various linguistic, social, and cultural contexts effectively.
Distinctives of the English & Modern Languages Department
Since ancient times, Western education has featured grammar, rhetoric and logic, three of the seven historic liberal arts. With a strong community of scholars whose interest in language, literature and culture permeates all aspects of their lives, the Department of English & Modern Languages is central to liberal arts education at Lipscomb.
Students majoring in English at Lipscomb can select from three different degree tracks: the literature track, for those interested in advanced literary studies; the teaching track, for those seeking licensure and certification in secondary education; and the writing track, for those interested in careers as professional, technical, or creative writers. All three tracks provide strong foundations for students who will pursue post-graduate training in fields such as law, medicine, education, business, etc. Five of the seven most recent Fulbright Scholars from Lipscomb have majored in English and/or a modern language.
All English majors at Lipscomb are required to have at least one internship or practicum experience in order to help them develop marketable workplace skills and professional contacts before they graduate. Our students have enjoyed a wide variety of placements, including positions with Nashville publishers, newspapers, magazines, professional sports teams, television studios, software firms, non-profits, state government and the entertainment industry.
Modern language majors are required to have an intensive language experience, which may be fulfilled in a number of ways: through a language-immersion program such as those offered through CCCU or the Mid-Continent Consortium, or through language study in Lipscomb’s Global Learning program.
The department hosts the university’s Writing Studio, through which students across campus can receive assistance with their writing from trained peer tutors, many of whom are English or modern language majors. Tutoring experience provides excellent hands-on experience for future teachers and helps our graduates compete successfully for funding when they apply to graduate and professional programs.
Students have many opportunities to publish their writing while still enrolled as undergraduates. Our majors have presented work in a wide variety of venues and competitions, including the National Undergraduate Literature Conference, the Southern Literary Festival, The Nashville Scene, The City Paper, the Society for Professional Journalism Competition, the Southeastern Writing Center Association Conference, and the Lipscomb Student Scholars Symposium.
The department also hosts a chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the international honor society for English studies. Students with distinguished records in the department may be invited to join the society during their junior or senior years.
Lipscomb is the first American university to adopt web-based usage of Auralog’s award-winning Tell Me More software for its French, German, Spanish and English Language learners. The department is the only one in middle Tennessee to offer Pre-K-12 teaching certification in French, German and Spanish, and also offers an endorsement in English as a Second Language (ESL).
With a variety of activities and programs to enrich the college experience, the department offers our community the opportunity to hear a diverse range of nationally recognized writers. The Landiss Lectures, for example, bring widely renowned writers to campus each year; past guest speakers have included the Pulitzer prize-winning poet Natasha Trethewey, the author Margot Lee Shetterly, the novelist Ann Patchett, the distinguished historians Robert K. Massie and H.W. Brands, and the noted biographer, poet, and novelist Jay Parini.
Study Abroad Opportunities
The Office of Global Learning offers a variety of opportunities for students interested in learning abroad. Lipscomb’s Global Scholar programs provide language and cultural studies for students who spend a semester abroad. Through course work, service learning and field trips, students engage with their local community. Destinations include Costa Rica; London, England; Florence, Italy; and Vienna, Austria.
Through our consortial partnerships, students may participate in language-immersion programs that combine home stays with academic study, such as an intensive French program in Angers, France, and an intensive Spanish program in Oviedo, Spain.
Additionally, modern language majors may enroll in accredited programs in countries where French, German, or Spanish are native or official languages. Students should consult with the department chair or another modern language professor as well as the registrar before enrolling in order to determine if a given program’s course of study will transfer to Lipscomb for academic credit.
Because the English curriculum produces students with excellent analytical and communications skills, Lipscomb’s English graduates have pursued careers in a wide range of professions, including:
- Public relations
- High school teaching
- College teaching
- Professional writing
- Library science
Many modern language majors enter careers in high school teaching or continue to graduate school to prepare to teach at the college level. However, there are other interesting endeavors in which a modern language major would be beneficial, such as the following:
- International business, commerce and industry
- Airline or travel industries
- Journalism, advertising and other media forms for the international markets
- Positions with government agencies and political organizations for domestic and overseas service
- Mission work in foreign countries
Many students find that adding modern language as a second major will present special advantages for job placement and increased opportunities for career advancement.
Requirements for Modern Language Majors
Departmental Admission Requirements
All new students (freshmen and transfers) who have studied a foreign language in high school or at another college or university must take a short placement assessment before
attending the preregistration counseling session with the academic advisor or attempting to register for any courses in that same language. This assessment is short (20-30 minutes) and easy to access online https://www.perpetualworks.com/secure/register/student/
. After taking the placement exam, students should email their score to the department chair (firstname.lastname@example.org
) for placement information.
Summer Intensive Courses
The year-long elementary and intermediate language sequences are often offered during the full summer session. Students should realize that the pace of such an intensive course is rigorous and will require at least as much if not more time than a full load taken during the fall or spring semesters. It is recommended that students not take any additional course work nor become involved in many outside activities during such an intensive course (i.e., one should not plan to work more than 12-15 hours per week).
All students intending to take an intensive language program must complete the placement assessment and consult with the department chair prior to having their schedules for the summer session approved by their advisors.
Program of Study Requirements
- English Minor
- English Teaching, B.A.
- English, Literature Track, B.A.
- English, Writing Track, B.A.
- Film Studies Minor
- Foreign Language Distributive Minor
- French Minor
- French Teaching, B.A.
- French, B.A.
- German Minor
- German Teaching, B.A.
- German, B.A.
- International Studies Minor
- Spanish Minor
- Spanish Teaching, B.A.
- Spanish, B.A.