Business Language Studies and Study Abroad in “A Changed World”

By: Deb S. Reisinger, Duke University


Postsecondary institutions increasingly focus their efforts on internationalization, but foreign language faculty and language and literature departments are conspicuously absent from the great majority of these discussions (Knight 2006, Gerndt 2012). The emerging field of Business Language Studies (Doyle 2012) offers an important path to participating in these decisions and thus to helping shape the discussions about developing our students’ global and intercultural competencies. The purpose of this article is twofold. On the one hand, we will show how BLS aligns with recent pedagogical trends put forth by national associations (MLA, ACTFL, AAUC), underscoring the importance of showcasing its work not only within language departments, where it is often relegated a minor status, but on campus and in the larger community where students engage in project-based and community outreach work. On the other hand, we will demonstrate how deliberate BLS programming in the study abroad context provides a model of best practices that offers important opportunities for growing the field of BLS, and more importantly, gives students unprecedented access to the business world. A new study abroad program, Duke in Montreal, provides a case study for how to implement such a program.

To read the complete article, please click below:

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    • Photo Credit: Global Education for Undergraduates
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Bienvenue sur le site Internet du Programme de Français à l'Université de Duke!

Whether you are a prospective Duke student, a current Duke student, or someone interested in learning more about our program in French, we hope this site will inspire you to learn as much as you can about the French language and the countries and cultures of the people around the world who speak it.

Why learn French? 

  • French is an international language, spoken in over thirty-five countries spanning every region of the world from Europe, America and the Caribbean to Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.
  • French remains, with English, the lingua franca of commerce, trade, diplomacy, and scientific and intellectual exchange.
  • 1,774,200 French citizens live abroad, with 450,831in America (25.4%).
  • France is America's fourth-largest scientific collaborator after Canada, Japan and Germany. More than 5,000 joint publications come out each year in our two countries. French physics enjoys a particularly stellar reputation, along with mathematics, chemistry, fundamental and clinical biology, and economics.
  • In the U.S. State Department listing of international jobs in April 2002, 111 required or preferred French (45 Spanish, 10 Arabic, 9 Russian, 3 German, 2 Chinese.
  • French is a working language of every international organization, including the United Nations, UNESCO, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, OECD, the World Trade Organization, UNHCR, and the Olympic Games.
  • The 2000 U.S. Census reported that 1.9 million Americans speak French in the home.
  • French is an official language of our neighbor to the north, Canada.
  • Enlightenment thinkers like Montesquieu, Voltaire and Rousseau greatly influenced the founding fathers of the United States and their writings still hold great relevance for evolving issues in the American political system.
  • Literary and cultural movements in France and French speaking countries are a reference for currents in other languages.

French Language Program in the News:

Please read Assistant Director of the French Language Program Deborah Reisinger's blog post on "Using the iPad to edit and annotate documents" for the Center for Instructional Technology.

Professor Deborah Reisinger, Assistant Director of the French Language Program, has announced the resurrection of the "de l'aide" site, a searchable directory of elementary language activities.

For more information on the Undergraduate Program in Romance Studies and how to major in French, please see the Undergraduate website.

For more information on the French Language Program, please contact one of the following people:

Director of the French Language Program

Clare Tufts

Professor of the Practice and Director of French Language Program

106 Languages Building

Campus Box 90257

Phone: (919) 660-3126

Fax: (919) 660-2438

Assistant Director of the French Language Program

Deborah Reisinger

Lecturer and Assistant Director of the French Language Program

06 Languages Building

Campus Box 90257

Phone: 919-660-2420

Fax: 919-660-2438

Administrative Secretary for the French Language Program

Anita Vanerelli

104 Languages Building

Campus Box 90257

Phone: 919-660-3193

Fax: 919-660-2438