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Latin American Studies

World Languages and Literatures

About WLL | Study Abroad | Scholarships and Awards | Faculty | Languages Across the Curriculum | Links

About WLL

Knowledge of a foreign language is one of the foundations of a solid liberal arts education. It develops the intellect and opens you to the world as others see and interpret it. Your knowledge of a different culture is deepened and nuanced. In addition, as we see demographic shifts take place in the U. S. (increasing Hispanic population, for example), and problems and opportunities present themselves on a global scale, a foreign language will help you participate in solving the problems and take advantage of the opportunities, personal and professional.

More locally, study of a foreign language through the Intermediate sequence is one of the requirements for election to Phi Beta Kappa, the oldest and most prestigious academic honor society in the country. We are fortunate to have a chapter at Mary Baldwin. And if you become a Global Honors Scholar, you will need to meet that requirement as well.

In addition to French and Spanish, which have majors and minors, MBC offers Beginning and Intermediate Japanese and Arabic.

Rie Tanaka is new this year. She will be teaching Japanese for three years at MBC and completing the MEd degree.  See Asian Studies for more information.

Mr. Nasser Alsaadun is our Arabic instructor, originally from Basra, Iraq. He earned a BA in English from the University of Basra and is working on an MA in English Literature at James Madison University. He has worked as an Arabic instructor for almost three years, he is a language consultant for Rosetta Stone, and volunteers as an interpreter for new refugees.

Every year our department welcomes an Arabic Foreign Language Teaching Assistant (FLTA), who comes to the United States and to MBC, sponsored by Fulbright Program. FLTAs assist the Arabic Instructor in class and the language lab, help students with tutorials, and engage in cultural activities which introduce their country of origin to our campus. For 2011-2012 our FLTA is Ms. Nicole Cid from Beirut, Lebanon. In the spring she will be teaching Spoken Arabic and Readings in Arabic.

Majors at Mary Baldwin that require study of a foreign language:

Study Abroad

WLL requires or recommends study abroad for all its majors.
WLL has a long history of organizing May Term Abroad programs.

  • Martha Walker offers study of French drama and attendance at French plays in Paris
  • Ivy Arbulú accompanies students to her native Peru and other places in South and Central America.
  • Brenci Patiño offers a May term in Mexico.

Study Abroad and May Term at MBC

For study abroad in Japan, contact Dr. Daniel Metraux:

Doshisha Women’s College in Kyoto, Japan:

Tokyo Jogakkan College:

For summer study or semester abroad in Peru, contact Dr. Ivy Arbulú:

For study abroad in Mexico, contact Dr. Brenci Patiño,

University of Virginia Peru Program:

UVa Hispanic Studies Program in Valencia, Spain:

Other Study Abroad Links

Are you graduating soon? Would you like to live and work abroad for a year?
Would you like to travel to a French or Spanish speaking country to do a research project or be an English Teaching Assistant for a year? Now that you know French or Spanish you can do it. Start planning: once you earn your BA, you are eligible to apply to the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. For further information go to:

Scholarships and Awards

Russell Scholarship  
The recipient is a rising senior outstanding in academic achievement, character, and service. The recipient works on a special research project in her field. The award includes funds (approximately $1,000) for a research project designed by the student with a faculty advisor.

Dorothy Mulberry Scholarship This scholarship includes funding for Spanish students to study abroad, in a Spanish speaking country, for up to one full year. One scholarship per year will be awarded. Contact person: Dr Arbulú:

Melissa Mitchell Memorial Travel Award for May Term. This award will provide $500 to a student of Mary Baldwin College who will be involved in a formal program of study outside the United States in May Term 2007.
(see department professors for more information and applications for these awards)


Ivy Arbulú, Spanish 

Brenci Patiño, Spanish,

Martha Walker, French

Anne McGovern, French

Languages Across the Curriculum

Keep up your language skills and enhance your resume by demonstrating foreign language ability in your major or minor. Have you had 3-4 years of high school French or Spanish? Or, Have you completed the Intermediate level in college? Or, Are you a native speaker of French or Spanish?  Why not take a one-credit P/NC  course linked to a course in your major or minor.

Here’s how it works:
Enroll in FREN 220: French Across the Curriculum or SPAN 220: Spanish Across the Curriculum. Choose which other course you will link to the language course, for example, HCA 101. Meet once a week to share your study of authentic materials (articles, websites, films related, for example, to HCA 101) in French or Spanish with other members of the language course. Prepare key vocabulary and concepts for discussion in  French or Spanish.

Enroll in HIST 243 — French Revolution and FREN 220. In the FREN 220 course study primary sources related to topics in the History course. You might study songs of the French Revolution, for example. Prepare key concepts and vocabulary and discuss your findings in French with other members of the language class. If appropriate, make a presentation to the History class in English or write a paper on the research you did for the language class.

Courses to link to the language courses*:
Fall 2011:
ARTH 103 , Survey of Western Art: the Modern World (French or Spanish)
ARTH 221, Women in the Visual Arts (French or Spanish)
CHEM 101, Forensic Chemistry (Spanish)
PHIL 203, The Literature and Thought of Existentialism (French or Spanish)
REN 100, Defining the Renaissance (French or Spanish)

Spring 2012:
ENG 216, Shakespeare (French or Spanish)
ENG 320, Renaissance Literature (French or Spanish)
POLS 249, Latin American Politics (Spanish)

May Term 2012:
HIST 243, French Revolution (French)

* Almost any course can link to the language course. To inquire, please contact Ivy Arbulú,, Brenci Patiño,, Martha Walker,, or Anne McGovern,


International Newspaper links:
El Pais, La República, Le Monde, Libération, Al Jazeera, An-Nahar, Japan Times

International Radio links:
Radio France Internationale, 3000 Stations in the World