Languages and Cultures

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MISSION STATEMENT:  The mission of the Department of Languages and Cultures at Utah Valley University is to prepare students to interact effectively in a global community by acquiring competent communicative skills, and developing sensitivity toward cultural differences. By engaging with linguistic and cultural artifacts such as history, literature, and contemporary social structures and systems, language and culture, students learn to think critically and behave ethically as they mature in linguistic and cultural literacy. This department prepares students to enter the global work force, further graduate studies and to enjoy lifelong enrichment.


Already have language experience?  Served a church mission? Earn credit and apply for experiential credit for classes you skipped.

Learn How


Let us help you find the right class. To schedule an Academic Advising appointment please call:

(801) 863-8518


  • "Practice makes perfect"-An ancient adage, but it is as true as ever. A language comes through lots and lots of practice. Use it in your daily life - take advantage of our wonderful tutors in our language lab.
  • Don't be embarrassed - Many people are reluctant to practice because they feel shy or are anxious about making mistakes. People will not mock you if you make an error - they will be pleased and impressed at your ability, however limited.
  • Have fun and enjoy the experience- If approached like a dull task, your study will not be effective and your motivation will weaken.
  • Customize your learning experience- Experiment until you find what works for you and your daily routine.
  • Use your language regularly- Failing to us it regularly can make it sluggish and rusty.
  • Be realistic- Set clear and realistic targets to learn.
  • New thinking- Learning a language also entails learning to understand other ways of thinking and doing things.
  • Immerse yourself- Expose yourself to target language as much as possible. Become a member of a language club and socialize.
  • Savor the culture- through books, music, films, audiobooks, etc.
  • Get a pen pal- enhance your skills and learn about local society & culture.



Reasons to learn a second language.....

Meet new people. One of the most phenomenal benefits of learning a new language? Doors are opened to you around the world!  If you're learning in a group setting, you immediately have new friends to share your new language with. At UVU you'll make great friendships in our language classes and in the clubs and activities on and off campus.  Once you go somewhere and actually employ what you've learned, you'll be surprised how open people are when you speak their mother tongue.

Employers love it (and they'll love you more). If your C.V. (Resume) accolades include fluency in a second language, your chances of employment in today's economy are much greater for you than for those who speak only one language.  Multilingual people are able to communicate and interact within multiple communities.  Potential employers consider this a valuable asset in an employee's skill set, as they're able to connect with a broader range of people.  In this age of start-ups, companies are increasingly breaking into new markets. You up your personal and professional value if you're able to negotiate with manufacturers in another country or communicate with customers who don't speak your native language.  Not to mention, your ability to speak a second language conveys that you're motivated and driven to learn new skills and this also gives you a competitive edge over those who haven't yet become bilingual.

It's becoming essential. Many would argue that bilingualism is becoming a progressively necessary and essential skill for anyone who wants to keep up with today's rapidly increasing global economy. As more and more people recognize the importance of learning an additional language, those who only speak one language will begin to get left behind in our shift towards a more integrated and connected global society.

It's great for traveling."The limits of your language are the limits of your world." ~ Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein.  Knowing more than one language opens up your vacation destination possibilities. Traveling through a foreign country becomes much easier if you can speak the language of that country. Fluency isn't required. Locals anywhere appreciate that you've taken the time to at least attempt to learn and communicate in their tongue. It shows a greater level of respect and is an easy way to meet local people.  Also, getting to a comfortable speaking level in a foreign language is a great motivator to get you out there and practicing your new language in a new country.

After learning's 1000x easier to learn another!  As you being to learn a second language, you'll find that the acquisition techniques you're using can be applied to learning additional languages as well! The positive cognitive effects of learning to speak a second language can train the brain to analyze and process different linguistic structures. It's not specific to your first target language - it's a skill that can be applied to learning any language. You're increasing your ability to replicate the process with multiple languages. This is called "metalinguistic awareness" where your brain learns to identify the techniques of learning a language and breaks them down into a series of steps. After learning one language, you retain the muscle memory. Your brain will intrinsically understand how to learn a language and how different languages are structured. through increased awareness of syntax, grammar and sentence structure.

You become smarter!!! Acquiring a second languages improves your memory and increases your attention span. The process of becoming bilingual exercises your brain, challenges you to concentrate and boosts your problem solving skills. Bilingual students tend to score higher on standardized tests than monolingual students, especially in the areas of vocabulary, reading and math. As you learn to toggle from one language to another, you improve your multitasking abilities. Bilingual individuals have also been shown to be more logical and rational, have better decision-making skills and be more perceptive and aware of their surroundings. Learning a second language also improves your native language, as it teaches you the mechanics and structure behind any language - not just new languages.

You'll stay smarter for longer!!!Recent research has shown that bilingualism can stave off the effects of Alzheimer's and dementia by years. Regardless of their education level, gender or occupation, bilingual subjects in the linked study experienced the onset of Alzheimer's, on average, 4 1/2 years later than monolingual subjects did.  Study results out of the American Academy of Neurology are showing that speaking more than one language increases the amount of neural pathways in the brain, allowing information to be processed through a greater variety of channels. They've also begun to demonstrate that multilingualism improves development in the brain's areas of executive function and attention, no matter what age the language learner is. 

It boosts your creativity!  Researchers are also concluding that multilingual speakers are more creative than monolingual speakers. Learning a foreign language improves not only your ability to solve problems and to think more logically, it also makes you experiment with new words and phrases. Leveling up your second language skills forces you to reach for alternate words when you can't quite remember the original one you wanted to use. It improves your skills in divergent thinking, which is the ability to identify multiple solutions to a single problem.

It builds up your self-confidence.
  You're about to teach yourself to believe, "yes, I can." It'll become your new personal mantra.  Confidence increases when a new skill is mastered, and learning a foreign language is no different. It increases your self-confidence. And....confident people are more interesting than those who are unsure of themselves. The techniques you use to develop a second language result in a greater sense of open-mindedness.  In order to master a new language, conversations with native and fluent speakers are essential. If you're shy but want to meet new people, using the excuse that you want to practice your speaking skills is a great opener and a doorway to making new friends, expanding your horizons and broadening your life experiences. Plus, who doesn't want to be more interesting?


Fall Break Thursday-Saturday October 18-20



Spring Semester Begins January 7, 2019 REGISTRATION BEGINS OCTOBER 29

Classes begin January 7th for the Spring 2019 semester. Registration is based on EARNED CREDITS and begins for eligible students at 8pm beginning on Oct. 29th and continuing:

Registration  Open Dates
Oct 29 110+ credit hrs
Oct 30 100+ credit hrs
Oct 31 80+ credit hrs
Nov 1 60+ credit hrs
Nov 5 30+ credit hrs
Nov 6 15+ credit hrs
Nov 7 everyone

Please do not wait to register for Language classes as low enrollment means classes will be cancelled by December!  Register EARLY!!!!!  We look forward to seeing you back again for your next classes and meeting all of our NEW students entering our department to learn a new language or work on perfecting a language they speak but will now learn so much more about in our various classes.  Please contact our Admins. in the Languages office if you have any questions.  Our Academic Advisors, Kyle and Sarah, are ready to help you prepare your schedules for the next several semesters to achieve your goals. To make appointments for your advisor, call the Languages office at 801-863-8518. You must be a current student with a UVID to meet with an advisor but the office can answer many of your general questions. You can also email questions to .  

Classes will be dropped and student accounts deactivated for nonpayment on December 5th if accounts are not paid by 11:59pm (MT). Students will pay a $10 reactivation fee before being allowed to register again. 


PURO CUENTO Grupo de Lectura - Tuesdays 10:30am LA 111

PURO CUENTO invites Spanish speakers and students of Spanish for an hour of reading and conversation weekly. Come join us for engaging conversation and discussion of some of the great (short) literary texts ever written in Spanish.  Texts and treats provided.  PURO CUENTO is a service-learning experience for students of advanced Spanish and literature. Every Tuesday at 10:30 am in LA 111.





Languages & Cultures Department Group Page

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