Which language should I take?

The study of another language will enrich your college experience, and can lead to a career in fields such as banking, international business, journalism, research, diplomacy, teaching, human resources and tourism. Moreover, a certain language may lend itself to your career and life plans.

American Sign Language

America Sign Language (ASL) is the language of the Deaf community in the United States and much of Canada. ASL uses manual signs, facial expressions, body movements and postures to convey complex linguistic information. ASL is a fully developed language with its own systems of articulation, forming words and sentences, and meaning. ASL is a distinct language from English, and is also separate from other signed languages. ASL is estimated to be the fourth most commonly used language in the United States. Deaf culture has its own values, history, social norms and institutions. Learning ASL helps students discover a deeper understanding of Deaf Culture and people and to explore careers and volunteer opportunities in ASL/English interpretation, nursing, business, hospitality & travel careers, social services and K-12 education.


French is spoken by more than 200 million people in 43 countries and is an official language of Canada, the United Nations, the European Union and a large portion of Africa. It is very useful for students pursuing degrees in art, architecture, civil engineering, dance, literature, medicine, music, philosophy, space/aeronautics, telecommunications and theatre.


Japanese is an East Asian language spoken by about 125 million speakers, primarily in Japan. A knowledge of Japanese can be useful for those students pursuing careers in business, finance, international and Asian studies, science and engineering as well as students with a predefined interest in Japanese cultures such as martial arts, anime, Japanese literature, cinema, etc. In addition, students with an ability in Japanese are well-qualified for participation in the JET program. JET is a one year jobs/cultural exchange program sponsored by the Japanese government for foreign students after they complete their Bachelor’s degree.


Russian, the official language of the Russian federation, is also widely spoken in the former Soviet republics of Europe and Asia, and by many recent immigrants to the United States. A knowledge of Russian blends well with careers in art, history, literature, music, philosophy, political science, psychology and theater.


Spanish is the 3rd most widely spoken language in the world, used by more than 500 million people in 21 countries, including our closest Latin American neighbors. In addition, a large percentage of the U.S. population speaks Spanish. Knowing Spanish can complement a career in agriculture, communications, employment, journalism, law enforcement, health care, social work and teaching.

Whichever language you choose, Chemeketa offers you a fun and rewarding challenge and will help you develop intercultural sensitivity and increase global understanding, as well as gain additional insight into your own language and culture.