Modern Languages Department

The ability to speak another language and understand its culture becomes your passport to greater global awareness. With majors in French and Spanish; degrees leading to teaching certification in French, Spanish and Teaching English as a Second Language; plus courses in German, Italian and American Sign Language, Cortland provides an international perspective.

Because nothing builds language skills like immersion in another culture, we encourage you to study abroad through our programs in Spain, Mexico, Venezuela, Germany and France. Whatever choices you make, your Cortland degree will provide a solid foundation for foreign language teaching or careers in international business and other professions. Whether it is our international faculty supporting you in achieving your goals, connecting with multilingual students on campus, or studying abroad yourself, there are many ways to explore the world through the Modern Languages department.

Department Updates

  • As featured in the March 5, 2024 issue of The Bulletin, Christopher Gascón, Professor: Spanish, wrote and recorded a song inspired by Cortland’s common read, Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer. The single, “Hold On,” was released in February, 2024, and can be heard on all major music streaming services under artist name Juniper Salute.

  • Welcome to our newest full-time TESOL faculty members, Dr. Colum Yip, Assistant Professor (fall 2023) and Dr. Chloe Walters, Lecturer 1 (spring 2024).

  • Christopher Gascón was invited to speak at Teatro Círculo, The Chain Theater, New York City, at their opening of the 17th century play La monja alférez (The Lieutenant Nun) by Juan Ruiz de Alarcón, November 10, 2023. His talk was titled: “The Comedia and las Américas: Diversity, Innovation, and Rigor.”

  • Congratulations to our 2023 recipient of the Virginia Levine, Ph.D. Scholarship, Tommy Briand!

  • Christopher Gascón guest-edited Symposium: A Quarterly Journal in Modern Literatures: Special Issue: Twenty-First Century Approaches to Hispanic Golden Age Drama (volume 77, issue 2, June 2023). The articles showcased demonstrate how diversity and inclusivity guide current analyses of baroque drama in Spanish.

  • TESOL Lecturer, Shena Driscoll Salvato, was selected to be a speaker at the May 2023 TEDx SUNY Cortland.

  • Christopher Gascón presented a paper, “Transferencia cultural de la comedia aurisecular en Repertorio Español” at the First Symposium of Early Modern Hispanic Studies, April 30, 2022, sponsored by the Central New York Humanities Corridor and the Spanish and Hispanic Studies Department of Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

  • Christopher Gascón published an article, “Supplementary Aesthetics, Affordances, and Dynamic Props: Added Objects in Isabel Ramos’s El perro del hortelano” in the volume Staging and Stage Décor: Early Modern Spanish Theater, edited by Barbara Mujica, Vernon Press, 2022, pp. 3-17. He also gave a talk on the topic at Syracuse University’s Symposium of Central New York Early Modern Hispanic Studies on April 1, 2023. His presentation was titled “The Function of Supplemental Props in a Contemporary Staging of Lope’s El perro del hortelano.”


Mexican celebration brings a lighter side to the Other Side

Oct. 24, 2023
The Modern Languages Department is bringing Day of the Dead traditions to campus.

New grad wins Fulbright Award

May 16, 2023
Miranda Kistner ’23 will spend next year in a Madrid, Spain high school classroom.

SUNY Cortland earns high marks for online programs

Dec. 14, 2022
The university ranked No. 14 in New York, according to a recent ranking based on cost, student success and reputation. 


Our language clubs celebrate languages and culturesjoin us!

Read More About Modern Languages Department Clubs