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This position paper argues that collegiate foreign language (FL) education has lost sight of the central role that language plays in the profession. Regardless of one's sub-field within foreign language education (i.e., linguistic, literary, or cultural studies), the profession shares the common focus of exploring how to make and interpret meaning in and through language. The paper therefore recommends that an acknowledgement of and re-commitment to this foundational principle provides common ground to effect the types of change within departments that have long been called: the integration of upper- and lower-level instruction; the reform of graduate student teacher education to foster curricular thinking; the explicit and systematic attention to the development of advanced language abilities; and the establishment of a collaborative departmental culture centered around publicly shared beliefs and concerns.