The University Language Association of Bob Jones University will offer a tour of the SEW Eurodrive factory in Lyman, South Carolina, this fall. The Lyman plant represents one of the locations that SEW Eurodrive, a German automotive parts company, has in the United States.
The University connected with the factory through its manufacturing quality manager, Jess Galloway, who is a BJU graduate and is married to Dr. Rhonda Galloway of the English faculty. The ULA gave its first factory tour on Oct. 24 and will give another on Nov. 5.
Dr. Jeremy Patterson, chairman of the Division of Modern Language at BJU, said these tours are an opportunity for students to see how important language is in real-world careers and industries. “If you get into a big business like the automotive industry, you really need another language to function,” Patterson said.
Patterson pointed out that foreign language education helps people develop cognitively. He also explained that BJU’s language programs teach culture as well as language. “You’re going to need the language when you go to communicate with other cultures or even when other cultures come to your culture.”
He cited the Lyman SEW Eurodrive plant as an example of this cultural and linguistic knowledge in action. While events like this were formerly open only to members of the ULA, the factory tours are now also open to members of the University Business Association.
Patterson said the foreign language department is just starting using factory tours as a means of teaching the importance of language in the workplace this year. He said the ULA would like to eventually tour more factories and businesses and involve more departments and broader groups of students.