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College of Arts and Letters | Michigan State University

Welcome_logo.JPGto the Department of Linguistics & Germanic, Slavic, Asian and African Languages.

Our department focuses on three areas: linguistics, cultural studies and language learning and teaching.  We are dedicated to quality teaching, research and outreach.

The faculty places great emphasis on the education of students, from first-year undergraduates through advanced doctoral candidates and on to active research that not only explores cutting-edge theoretical and applied issues but is also closely linked to educational goals and engages students in the classroom. Collectively, departmental teaching and research reflect continuing concern for the local, national and global community.

By the very interdisciplinary nature of the fields represented in the department, issues of how language reflects the nature of the human mind, how language is acquired, the interaction of language and culture, minority perspective, diversity and internationalization lie at the center of our activities.

George F. Peters - Celebration of Life


A celebration of George’s life will be held at 2:00 pm on Saturday, September 6, 2014 at the Fairchild Theatre on the Michigan State University campus in East Lansing Michigan. We invite all friends, family, colleagues and students who wish to join us in celebrating his life to attend. A short reception will follow. 

For out of town guests, rooms will be available at the Kellogg Center on campus (219 S. Harrison Rd, East Lansing, MI 48823; 517-432-4000). Please mention the memorial and reserve your room by August 6th to guarantee availability.

 We hope you will be able to join us in celebrating George’s life and in honoring his memory.

The Peters Family

Donate to the George Peters Memorial Fund


George Innsbruck.jpgIt is with great sadness that we report the death of Professor George Peters on July 8, 2014 in Oregon.  George was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer two years ago but continued to enjoy teaching and conducting research until his retirement from Michigan State University on May 15, 2014.

George will be remembered as a dear colleague to all of us. He was a wonderful teacher and mentor, a dedicated scholar, a caring and effective leader, and a dear colleague to all who had the pleasure of working with him. 

George received his B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. in German from Stanford University. He came to Michigan State University in 1989 to chair the Department of Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic, Asian and African Languages after spending nineteen years at the University of New Mexico, where he was named Teacher of the Year. He also served as Chair of the MSU Department of Theatre for five years as well as the Resident Director of the Academic Year in Freiburg Program two times.

George distinguished himself as a scholar of the 19th century German author Heinrich Heine and was finishing his third book on Heine at the time of his death.  He was respected by graduate and undergraduate students alike for his excellent teaching, his keen understanding of German culture, his thoughtful feedback and his meticulous preparation. The range and volume of his scholarly activity were impressive. His 2003 article on “Teaching Deeper German Culture in a Proficiency-Based Curriculum” was awarded best article of the year in the journal Die Unterrichtspraxis / Teaching German.  Never one to rest on his laurels, he recently restructured his third-year German culture course as a hybrid course.

George was highly regarded by colleagues in German as a tireless advocate for the German language, having received the Officer's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Order of Merit of the Republic of Austria as well as awards from the American Association of Teachers of German and the Goethe Institute.

Our condolences and thoughts are with his family and friends, and we will cherish our memories of him forever.  We have lost a dear friend.

Congratulations, 2014 Graduates!


 AATG.JPGThe Department of Linguistics & Germanic, Slavic, Asian and African Languages congratulates:


The German Program received recognition by the American Association of Teachers of German as a German Center of Excellence.(from left to right) Professor Senta Goertler, Chair Tom Lovik and Visiting Scholar Lisa Herbich celebrate their recent award.

Department News & Info

Undergraduate advising appointments made here.

2014 Student College & Department Awards

Richard Lee Featherstone Endowed Prize

Kristin McCool
Chinese Major

Board of Trustees Award (highest scholastic average upon graduation)

Kenneth J. Hanson
Linguistics & Japanese Major

Adam R. Liter
Linguistics Major

Heidi M. Little
Linguistics Major

CAL Outstanding Senior Achievement Award

Kenneth J. Hanson
Linguistics & Japanese Major

Alumni Endowed Book Scholarship & Robert L. Fiore Student Book Scholarship

Keegan McCorry
Chinese Major

Corinna Maria Ruth Applegate
German Major

Outstanding Graduating Senior in LGSAAL

Adam R. Liter
Linguistics Major

Outstanding Teaching Assistant in LGSAAL

Kinsey Wethers


Chinese Placement Test
Registration Info
Monday, 8/25, 1:00-3:00 PM in B-104 Wells Hall

Japanese Placement Test
Registration Info
Monday, 8/25, 1:00-3:00 PM in A-108 Wells Hall

College of Arts & Letters Colloquium/Department Welcome for new students
Tuesday, 8/26, 9:00-11:30 AM in the MSU Union Ballroom and B-342 Wells Hall