Values Statement

Languages and Literatures Department

The faculty of the Department of Languages and Literatures at UNC Asheville at UNC Asheville fully embraces the central role that the study of language and literature plays in a liberal arts education and, ultimately, in global citizenship. At the heart of our work as scholars, teachers, and community members lie the values of critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, open-mindedness and engagement. We provide pedagogically current and sound instruction in the language, literature and cultures of Cherokee-, French-, German-, Portuguese- and Spanish- speaking lands, engage and collaborate with a wide variety of local and global communities on and off campus and dedicate  ourselves to continuous growth in our disciplines.  The Department values a broad range of activities that support our teaching, research, and service missions. The guidelines presented in this statement are examples of ways in which our goals might be achieved and evaluated.



The Department of Languages and Literatures, in line with the University of North Carolina at Asheville, emphasizes exemplary and engaged teaching. We expect language teaching to foreground intercultural competence, the ability to consciously reflect on the nature of language and language learning and ongoing reflection about cultural norms and the power structures that determine them, both in the cultures of the target language and the cultures of UNC Asheville students. Our curricula are designed to both focus on supporting the individual learner and challenge the structures and systems that create and perpetuate racial inequity.

To achieve these goals, the Department supports and encourages: cross-disciplinary connections through participation in the LAC, Humanities, and FYS  courses, knowledge of culture and literature, student-centered communicative language instruction, integrating language and culture based on the ACTFL World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages providing opportunities for student-led teaching and collaborative student work, encouraging thoughtful reflections about the students’ native culture and language, fostering critical thinking and cultural reassessments, working with students in independent study and undergraduate research, facilitating student experiences away and abroad, and engaging students with local communities. We also provide students with opportunities to prepare for their endeavors beyond UNCA by offering Career Readiness workshops, internships and special topics courses in which students prepare their professional products (Resume, cover letter, eportfolio) and explore options for graduate school, internships and careers connected with language and cultural studies.


Scholarship and Creative Activities

The scholarship that the faculty of the Department of Languages and Literatures are involved in ensures their active engagement in the profession and their field of expertise. In many cases it directly informs, enriches, and supports their teaching. The department values traditional academic scholarship of peer-reviewed publications, like monographs, edited volumes, and articles. The department also values the development of pedagogical materials (authored and co-authored), i.e. materials that support student learning, whether it be instructional materials or community research, research of materials for new classes, conference presentations or panel and workshop organization at conferences. The department also and equally values translation work, work involved in preparing and supporting students with  service learning, community engaged scholarship that is done in partnership with members outside of academia, as well as publicly focused scholarship, such as contributions to online publications or podcasts. Finally, we value artistic or other creative endeavors as an important element of faculty scholarship.


Service and Engagement

The Department of Languages and Literatures values a wide array of service and engagement, whether it is directly in line with our individual, departmental or institutional missions.  At different points in their careers, the faculty of the Department extend their service to the Department, to the University, to the academy at large, and in many cases to the public. We also encourage faculty to find opportunities to take on leadership roles within and outside the department.  We have a long-standing and consistent service commitment to supporting the university LAC requirements by offering multiple sections of introductory-level language courses as well as by contributing to the First Year Seminar Program and the Diversity Intensive Requirement. In addition, we serve departments and programs across campus in ways that take advantage of our unique areas of expertise. Areas outside of our Department that we have committed to serving include Humanities, Arts and Ideas, Honors, Africana Studies, and American Indian and Indigenous Studies, just to name a few. In the area of service to those students studying in our Department, we value any contribution that enhances the students’ out-of-classroom learning experience, such as hosting language tables, supporting student clubs, and offering faculty-led study abroad opportunities. We support student employment through Grants from the Career Center and the SEF grant program. In serving the university, we value engagement in activities that enhance the relationship between the Department and the institution, such as committee work. The Department also encourages engagement in the larger community by offering service-learning opportunities that involve students and community partners, presentations and commitment to the community through artistic, scholastic or other creative endeavors, translation and interpreting, consulting, membership and leadership in our professional organization, serving on advisory or executive boards.

All of the above mentioned activities in the area of teaching, scholarship, and service are meant to be examples of what the Department values. All activities that support the mission of the Department are considered as valuable and relevant.