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Drake University Revolutionizes The Way Languages Are Taught


Many students are seeking a medium-sized university in an urban area.  Drake University really fills that bill.  But one of the most interesting aspects of Drake University is its innovative foreign language program that focuses on proficiency in the language–rather upon the number of hours you sit in a classroom.

So if learning a language in college is one of your primary goals, then you might want to take a good, long look at Drake.  (Besides, my grandfather graduated from Drake!).


I am here right now on the campus of Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, and one of the things that a lot of the students are looking for is a medium-sized university in an urban area.  Drake really fits that bill.  It’s a beautiful campus right in the center of Des Moines – of course, Des Moines is not a huge urban area, but it’s a very attractive city, and medium sized, especially for students who want to get a taste of the mid-west, Drake would be an excellent option.  One of the things that is interesting about Drake, I think as a former foreign language teacher, is that the method of teaching foreign language at Drake is much different from any other university.  They have basically abolished the foreign language department as their usually constructed, at most universities, tend to focus on literature, and they have really focused on skills building.  The idea is that anyone can learn a language as long as they do the work and go through different stages.  So, they’ve done things with computer-based learning, and different milestones that every student must meet, and then they also have tutorials that are taught by native speakers in small groups, and this has allowed Drake to offer myriad languages that other universities are unable to offer, because it’s not about the faculty teaching about specific kinds of literature or history to a very narrow sub-specialty, but rather it’s about learning the language and being able to use it in everyday life, is what separates the Drake methodology from any other university.

Anyway, this is a great medium-sized university in a very solid mid-western city, and surprising in many regards.  We just left the Des Moines Art Center; a really great center for contemporary art.  So, don’t pass this one up if you’re looking for that medium-sized university in a city, you might want to take a look at Drake.


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