The Department was first established in 1960 under the name, Department of Languages. It offered French as the major degree programme and German, Russian and Spanish as subsidiaries. Subsequently, the department was renamed Department of Foreign Languages and then later, Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures. Spanish was then phased out because of staff recruitment difficulties and apparent lack of desired interest by the Spanish Embassy in Nigeria. On the other hand, German and Russian grew to become full degree or combined degree programmes..
The philosophy of the programme is based on the imperative need to produce educated citizens capable of communicating effectively in French, German and Russian, and thus to make it possible for Nigeria to participate fully, without any linguistic inhibition, in international peace and understanding, trade and world politics. This shall be achieved through imparting skills in speaking, reading, and writing, translating and interpreting these foreign languages, and through the knowledge of the respective cultures and literatures. In other words, the department is poised to prepare generations of Nigerians who are adequately trained to adapt in the rest of the world, thereby reinforcing Nigeria’s belief in the brotherhood of nations.
The programme is designed to:
1. Equip students with basic skills in listening, reading, speaking, writing, translating and interpreting through study of the relevant languages: French, German and Russian.
2. Produce Nigerian students, businessmen and women, civil servants, teachers and other professionals capable of interacting in the above languages and competent enough to work anywhere in the world in this era of globalization.
3. Reinforce the Nigerian belief in the brotherhood of Nations.
4. Enhance understanding and productivity in various fields of education and socioeconomic, political and cultural sectors of the Nigerian economy.
The duration of the Department’s degree programmes is four years for candidates who gain admission by Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME and three years for those who gain admission by Direct Entry. However French/German, French/Russian and other combinations are four-year programmes for all categories of admitted candidates. The department also has a one year preparatory programme in French which aims at preparing candidates intensively for entry into the 100 level of the regular degree programme, after a successful completion of the preparatory programme.
The third year of the proposed four-year programme by UTME or the second year of the three-year DE programme (Generally known as the Year Abroad Programme) can be spent partly or entirely in Nigeria at the French Language Village, Badagry, Goethe Institute, Lagos, or in a French, German or Russian speaking country, where the chosen language is an indigenous medium of communication. Durations are recommended as follows:
Candidates wishing to combine two foreign languages within the department, example, French/German French/Russian etc. are expected to spend one semester only for each of the languages. If, however a student desires to spend two semesters in any particular language area, French, German, and Russia, he/she shall be prepared to put in one extra academic year.
Combined Arts candidates wishing to combine other Faculty courses with a departmental based language, example, French/English, shall spend one semester only for the language immersion programme.
Candidates wishing to combine Education with a departmental based language shall spend one academic year of two semesters for their language immersion programme.
The department offers the following programmes:
1. B. A. Single Honours in French, German and Russian.
2. B. A. Combined Honours in French/German, French/Russian, German/Russian, German/Russian.
3. B. A. Combined Honours degrees in French, German or Russian on the one hand, and courses from other departments of the University on the other.
4. B. Ed. Education/Arts for students whose major teaching subject is French.
5. Service courses at the elementary, intermediate and advanced levels in French, German, and Russian for students in other departments of the University who need the specific foreign languages as electives or Required Ancillary courses.
For the four-year degree programme:
1. The Senior Secondary (SSCE) Certificate, or General Certificate in Education (GCE, O/L), or National Examination Council (NECO) or their equivalents, with a minimum of a credit pass in French, German, Russian, a credit level passes in English language, one science subject and two other arts subjects of which one must be Literature in English or History.
2. A minimum of pass, which is 40% and above scored in the final examinations of the one-year special programme in French, German and Russian run by the department.
For the three-year degree programme:
1. NCE with a minimum of two-merit level passes in relevant subjects as well as the university entry requirement.
2. Two passes at GCE Advanced Level (A/L) or its equivalent in at least three other subjects at credit level passed in Ordinary Level. (O/L)
3. Two passes at the HSC certificate in the relevant subjects or an acceptable Baccalaurat certificate.
Candidates wishing to combine foreign language based courses with other Faculty courses shall be required to have a credit level pass in the language they intend to combine with: French, German and Russian.
The programmes are designed to equip graduates for careers in translation and interpreting, publishing, the tourist industry, the civil and diplomatic services, banking, customs and immigration, library services and teaching.
General Language Courses (Service Courses)
Linguistics and Grammar
Composition and Stylistics
Literature and Reading Comprehension
Culture and Civilization