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In terms of scholarly research, the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at Western Illinois University is a living example of interdisciplinary diversity and international multiculturalism. Our faculty members come from different parts of the world, we have diverse educational backgrounds and our research interests are even more dissimilar, thus providing a particularly rich environment for academic research.

In relation to language-learning, there are lines of investigation which aim to revolutionize approaches in methodology: the application of state-of-the art technology in the process of acquiring language and culture, and psycho-pedagogical approaches to university education (e.g. the study of trust in the classroom environment).

We are also involved, from a research perspective, in the development of new courses in languages for the professions and critical theory in a common effort to enhance our offerings to students. With that objective in mind we are involved in serious socio-demographic studies of preferences and potentials in terms of the study of language in our community and the United States.

In reference to other disciplines, our scholarly activity explores different directions in the humanities; there are interesting approaches to phonetics and the teaching of pronunciation, there are also interesting approaches to literary and cultural texts in French, such as the analysis of the works and impact of Guillaume Apollinaire; and in Spanish, we have the study of the narrative of Ana María Matute as well as the analysis of José Martí’s cultural vision of modern cities in the United States and Latin America.

The examples just given represent but a limited sample of our efforts and commitment to expand academic knowledge in the service of higher educational and human values.

Western Illinois University and the College of Arts and Sciences are committed, as part of their strategic initiatives, to high quality research not only for their faculty but for their undergraduate students too.

Other entries in this section will outline in more detail the various research projects undertaken by faculty in the department as well as research opportunities for undergraduates. We encourage you to talk to faculty about their research, discover what they do in their intellectual lives and how faculty and students, together, contribute to building the pool of human knowledge and understandings.