Santa Clara University

Modern Languages and Literatures department

CRITERIA FOR Self Placement 

in ELEMENTARY COURSES

Arabic
Chinese
French
German
Italian
Japanese
Spanish


 

Elementary Arabic 1

This course is for students with no prior knowledge of Arabic. The focus of the course is the writing system and the sounds and pronunciation of Arabic letters. It also includes basic vocabulary related to greetings and introducing oneself.

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Develop accuracy and fluency in pronunciation and writing of Arabic letters
  • Acquire reading and writing comprehension of basic vocabulary and language structure
  • Learn to use culturally appropriate social greetings and other expressions
  • Learn the basics of the language structure
  • Study the culture of and diversity in the Arabic-speaking world


Elementary Arabic 2

This course is for students with a minimal knowledge of Arabic – a working knowledge of the writing system, pronunciation of Arabic letters, and basic vocabulary (one quarter or semester of Arabic).  The focus of the course is the basic rules of Arabic grammar including nominal sentences, adjectives, and present tense verbs.  It also includes vocabulary related to the family, food, numbers, the weather, days, and time.

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Describe actions using present tense verbs
  • Describe the weather and where they live
  • Give reasons and asking the why question

Maintain basic conversations in present tense and about various topics.

Elementary Arabic 3

This course is for students with some prior knowledge of Arabic, particularly the present tense, basic Arabic sentences and phrases (at least two quarters or one semester of Arabic).  The focus of the course is the past tense verbs,Arabic root system, object pronouns, and using the dictionary. It includes vocabulary related to travel, study, relationships, and business. 

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to successfully communicate in a number of practical situations. They will be able to:

  • Speak about the future in general and their goals in particular
  • Express opinions/emotions on a variety of subjects
  • Make plans for a trip or travel
  • Maintain basic conversations about religion, politics and studies
  • Use quantifiers to describe various activities.

All courses utilize Al-kitaab Series, Georgetown University Press. 

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Elementary Chinese 1

This course is for students who have little or no prior knowledge of Chinese. The focus of the course is the introduction of pronunciation system (Pinyin), Chinese character writing, and basic grammatical structures. It includes basic vocabulary related to greetings, family, dates and time, hobbies, and visiting friends. Students will understand basic cultural differences on those topics.

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to communicate in a number of practical situations. Examples include: 

  • Meeting people and responding to introductory greetings and questions
  • Describing people's age, occupations, hobbies, and places etc.
  • Asking and responding to questions about time and dates

Elementary Chinese 2

This course is for students with a minimal knowledge of Chinese—a working knowledge of Chinese Pinyin, character writing and basic vocabulary. The focus of the course is auxiliary verbs, past tense, and grammatical patterns. It includes vocabulary related to making appointments, studying Chinese, school life, shopping and transportation. Students will understand cultural differences on those topics.

 

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to communicate in a number of practical situations. Examples include:

 

  • Making appointments, talking about school life  
  • Purchasing and exchanging items in stores
  • Taking transportation (taxi, bus, subway or car) to the airport
  • Maintaining a basic conversation about daily routines and activities

Elementary Chinese 3

This course is for students with some prior knowledge of Chinese, particularly the present tense and the past tense. The focus of the course is comparative sentences, verb complements, and grammatical patterns. It includes vocabulary related to talking about the weather, eating in a restaurant, asking directions, inviting someone and attending a party, and seeing a doctor. Students will also develop critical thinking to the issues related to the culture and the country.

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to communicate in a number of practical situations. Examples include:

  • Talking about the weather
  • Ordering food and eating in restaurants
  • Asking for and giving basic directions
  • Inviting someone and attending a party
  • Seeing a doctor and discussing about basic medical problems

All courses utilize Integrated Chinese (中文聽說讀寫), Cheng & Tsui Publisher, 2008.

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Elementary French I

This course is for students with little or no prior knowledge of French (one year of high school French maximum). The focus of the course is the present tense, the immediate future, and the acquisition of basic communicative structures. It includes vocabulary related to the classroom, family, clothing, weather, countries of origin, calendar, daily activities and routines

 

After successful completion of this course, students will be able:

  • to make personal introductions and greetings
  • to describe people and things
  • to talk about family
  • to express possession
  • to describe their typical day at the university
  • to describe their leisure activities in general
  • to talk about the future
  • to ask and respond to questions about nationality, date, location of objects, the seasons, etc.
  • to express necessity
  • to express quantity

 

Culture: proper greetings; the diversity of French population; le Vieux Montréal; French views on vacation and leisure activities.

 

Grammatical structures include: the verb êtreavoir, negation, indefinite and definite articles, il y a, ‑er verbs, aimer +infinitif, expressions with faireallerpouvoirvouloirsavoir, prepositions of location, prendreil fautdevoir and the partitive article.

 


Elementary French II

This course is for students with a minimal knowledge of French---a working knowledge of the present tense and possibly a general idea of the past tenses (two to three years high school maximum). The focus of the course is the two primary past tenses (the passé composé and the imparfait), the comparative, direct and indirect object pronouns, relative pronouns, and interrogatives.  It includes vocabulary related to the home and neighborhood, daily routines, leisure activities, holidays, shopping, and ordering in a restaurant. 

After completion of this course, students will be able:

  • to describe where they live (rooms of the house, furniture, household appliances, and daily chores)
  • to talk about their neighborhood
  • to talk about their mental and physical states (feeling hungry, thirsty, sleepy, angry, etc)
  • to describe their daily routine
  • to talk about past experiences and personal histories
  • to talk about the weekend and leisure activities
  • to describe their childhood and what they used to do
  • to describe relationships with others
  • to talk about holidays
  • to talk about food and drink, grocery shopping and order in a restaurant
  • to ask questions
  • to express location, destination, and origin
  • to discuss ecology and environmental issues
  • to talk about moral obligation (what you should do)


Culture:  French cities, villages, and neighborhoods; the Mona Lisa; the musée d'Orsay; Toussaint-Louverture; introduction to Francophonie; Quebec; la gastronomie;  the geography of France; overseas departments and territories; Senegal.


Grammar structures include:  placement of adjectives; the comparative;  regular verbs in –ir; regular verbs in –re;  direct object pronouns;  the verb connaître;  expressions with avoir; the passé composé with avoir and with être;  irregular past participles; negative expressions; the verbs direlire, and écrire; the imperfect tense; relative pronouns; indirect object pronouns; idiomatic reflexive verbs;  the verbs voir and croire; comparison of passé composé and imperfect tenses;  the partitive articles; the verbboire; the pronoun en;  the adjective and pronoun tout; asking questions using qui, que, and quoi;  avant de + infinitive and après + past infinitive; prepositions with place names; the verb vivre; the verb devoir.

Elementary French III

This course is for students with some prior knowledge of French, particularly the present and the two primary past tenses (three to four years high school French maximum). The focus of the course is the future tense, the present subjunctive and the conditional modes, and commands. It includes vocabulary related to studying and jobs, travel, communications, health and emergencies.

After completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • to talk about their studies, jobs and career plans
  • to express future projects
  • to talk about travel needs, experiences and situations arising during trips
  • to express necessity
  • to talk about means of communication and the media: Internet, cinema, TV and radio
  • to give orders
  • to talk about hypothetical situations
  • to talk about health and fitness
  • to describe illnesses, treatments and accidents
  • to talk about past experiences

 

Culture:  Le bac; feminization of professions; Islamic scarves in schools; Belgium; counting differences in Belgium, France and Switzerland; French vocabulary vs. anglicisms; French health system; Molière and Le Malade imaginaire; les Antilles.


Grammar structures include:  use of pronoun y; emphatic pronouns; c'est vs. il/elle est; present tense + depuis; future tense; the subjunctive; verbs conduire and suivre; double object pronouns; superlative; lequel and celui; the conditional; relative pronounsdontce quice quece dont ; commands with pronouns; hypothetical sentences using si + imperfect; review of passé composé vs.imparfait; narration in the past; present participle; recent past; venir de + infinitive

All courses utilize Deux Mondes: A Communicative Approach, McGraw-Hill, 6th edition, 2009.

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Elementary German 1

This course is for students with no or little prior knowledge of German  (One year of high school maximum).  In this course you will learn basic words to communicate in every day situations. You will be introduced to basic grammatical concepts such as the grammatical gender of nouns, the accusative case, personal pronouns, the present tense of the verb, word order rules.  You will learn words to talk about the class room, the body, the family, the calendar, geography, weather and seasons, education, clothing, and various activities.

 

In this course students will learn:

  • to introduce themselves
  • to describe objects and people using numbers, colors and other appropriate adjectives
  • to talk about personal preferences and daily routines

 

Elementary German 2

This course is for students who have successfully completed German 1 or have a minimal knowledge of German.  You will continue to increase your vocabulary and ability to express your thoughts in German.  You will be introduced to grammatical concepts such as the dative case of the noun, the past tense and present perfect tense of the verb, the relative clause, comparative and superlative of adjectives.

 

You will talk about:

  • Leisure activities
  • Cultural events and celebrations
  • Travel experiences
  • Forms of housing in rural and urban areas
  • Modes of Transportation

 

 

Elementary German 3

This course is for students who have successfully completed German 2, or its equivalent.  We will continue to build on the knowledge acquired in German 1 and 2.  You will further increase your  vocabulary to talk about various aspects of life in 

Germany .  food and drink, childhood and youth, traveling, and health.  You will familiarize yourselves with grammatical concepts such as: attributive and predicate adjectives, adjective endings, destination vs. location, future tense of the verb, dependent clauses, prepositions, reflexive pronouns, indirect questions, and word order in dependent and independent clauses.

 

You will learn to successfully communicate about:

  • Buying and preparing food, ordering meals in restaurants
  • Your childhood and youth
  • Traveling in German Germany and German speaking countries
  • Health and medical issues and emergencies
  • Personal relationships and multicultural encounters and issues

 

Upon successful completion of this course students will enroll in Intermediate German 21

All courses utilize Kontakte, A Communicative Approach, McGraw-Hill, 6th edition, 2009.

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Elementary Italian 1

This course is for students little or no prior knowledge of Italian.  The focus of the course is the introduction of basic language structures: nouns, indefinite and definite articles, adjectives and the present tense of regular and irregular verbs. It includes basic vocabulary related to visiting a new city, daily activities and routines, classes and studies, meals and food, and family connections. Students will develop cultural understanding  and awareness on those topics.

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to communicate in a number of practical situations.  Examples include:

  • Meeting people and responding to introductory greetings and questions
  • Describing people and places
  • Asking and responding to questions about daily routines and class schedules
  • Purchasing groceries and ordering meals in restaurants

Elementary Italian 2

This course is for students with a minimal knowledge of Italian – a working knowledge of  articles/nouns/adjective agreements and the present tense, The focus of the course is the introduction of two primary past tenses (passato prossimo and imperfetto), reflexive verbs,  direct and indirect object pronouns and commands.  It includes vocabulary related to traveling, the home and neighborhood, clothing and shopping for clothes and the mass media. Students will develop cultural understanding and awareness on those topics.

Upon successful completion of the course student will be able to communicate in a number of practical situations.  Examples include:

  • Traveling (by air or train), making hotel and bank transactions
  • Describing interests like reading, films and TV
  • Shopping
  • Maintaining a basic conversation in present and past tenses
  • Give and respond to both formal and informal commands
  • Expressing likes and dislikes using the verb "piacere"

Elementary Italian 3

This course is for students with prior knowledge of Italian, particularly the present and the two primary past tenses, the passato prossimo and imperfetto. The focus of the course is the introduction of the pronouns ci and ne, combined object pronouns,comparisons, the future and conditional tenses and the use of the subjunctive mood. It includes vocabulary related to the home, going on vacation, professions, sports, health and medical emergencies, and finally the arts. Students will develop cultural understanding and awareness on those topics.  

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to communicate in a number of practical situations.  Examples include:

  • Looking for an apartment and describing their home
  • Describing and planning a vacation
  • Speaking about the future and their professional goals in particular
  • Making and discussing comparisons
  • Discussing basic medical emergencies
  • Visiting art museums and attending theatre performances
  • Expressing opinions/emotions on a variety of subjects using the subjunctive mood

All courses utilize Salve!  by Carla Larese Riga, Heinle Cengage Learning, 2009

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Elementary Japanese 1

This course is for students with no prior knowledge of Japanese (no more than one year of high school Japanese).  The focus of the course is the present and past tenses (~masu, ~mashita, ~masen, ~masendeshita). It includes basic vocabulary related to family, clothing, country of origin, calendar and daily activities and routines.

Upon successful completion of the course, a student has learned to read and write hiragana, katakana, and 29 kanji.  S/he will be able to communicate successfully in a number of practical situations. Examples include:

  • Self-introduction and asking names and occupations.
  • Asking time, prices, phone numbers, etc.
  • Asking and responding to questions for shopping, placing orders at the restaurants.
  • Talking everyday routines and habits/customs. 
  • Describing location of things or direction of places.
  • Describing things that happened in the past.

Elementary Japanese 2

This course is for students with a minimal knowledge of Japanese – knowledge of the present and past tenses of verbs and numbers (one to two years of high school Japanese maximum.)   The knowledge of hiragana, katakana, and some kanji is expected.  The focus of the course is adjectives in the present and past tenses (~i desu/~katta desu/~desu/~deshita), verbs in the past tense(~mashita),, te-form, present progressive tense (~teimasu), short forms in the present tense (~u/ru), and negative form (~nai).  It includes vocabulary related to travel, shopping, family, and party.

Upon successful completion of the course, a student has learned to read and write 57 new kanji.  S/he will be able to communicate successfully in a number of practical situations. Examples include:

  • Talking about and planning for a trip and party.
  • Requesting politely and asking for permission,
  • Conveying what you heard from others.
  • Expressing your thoughts.
  • Maintaining a basic conversation in the present and past tenses

Elementary Japanese 3

This course is for students with some prior knowledge of Japanese, particularly verb te-form and ta-form, and nai-form (two to three years of high school Japanese maximum).  The focus of the course is the short form in the past negative (~shinakatta), and comparison.

Upon successful completion of the course, a student has learned a total of 145 kanji for a year.  S/he will be able to communicate successfully in a number of practical situations. Examples include:

  • Expressing your opinion about the past.
  • Explaining your reason.
  • Describing people.
  • Comparing people and things.
  • Expressing what you want to do and your plans for the future.
  • Talking about things you did during a vacation.
  • Going to a doctor in Japan and discussing basic medical problems
  • Giving advice

All courses utilize Genki volume 1, The Japan Times, 1999, ISBN 4-7890-0963-7

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Take Spanish Language Placement Survey


Elementary Spanish 1

This course is for students with little or no prior knowledge of Spanish (one year of high school Spanish maximum).  The focus of the course is the present and present progressive tenses and reflexive verbs. It includes basic vocabulary related to family, clothing, country of origin, weather, calendar and daily activities and routines.

Upon completion of the course, a student will be able to successfully communicate in a number of practical situations.  Examples include:

  • Meeting people and responding to introductory greetings and questions
  • Asking and responding to questions such as who a person is, what he/she is wearing, where his/her interests lie, where he/she is from, etc.
  • Describing calendar and climatic related events (seasons, months, days, time)
  • Asking for and giving basic directions
  • Describing typical activities and routines

Elementary Spanish 2

This course is for students with a minimal knowledge of Spanish---a working knowledge of the present tense and possibly a general idea of the past tenses (two to three years high school Spanish maximum)*.  The focus of the course is the two primary past tenses (preterit and imperfect)direct and indirect object pronouns and comparisons.  It includes vocabulary related to the home and neighborhood, shopping, clothing, the human body, health and medical emergencies.

Upon completion of the course, a student will be able to successfully communicate in a number of practical situations.  Examples include:

  • Speaking with professionals about his/her field of study
  • Going to a doctor in a Spanish speaking country and discussing basic medical problems
  • Describing where he/she lives and comparing their experiences with those of individuals in Spanish-speaking countries
  • Purchasing clothing and basic household goods
  • Maintaining a basic conversation in present and past tenses

Elementary Spanish 3

This course is for students with some prior knowledge of Spanish, particularly the present and the two primary past tenses, the preterit and imperfect (three to four years high school Spanish maximum)*.  The focus of the course is the present subjunctive modecommands and future and conditional tenses. It includes vocabulary related to travel, neighborhood activities, relationships, business and ecology. 

Upon completion of the course, a student will be able to successfully communicate in a number of practical situations.  Examples include:

  • Speaking about the future in general and his/her goals in particular
  • Expressing opinions/emotions on a variety of subjects (i.e. the subjunctive mood)
  • Making plans for a trip
  • Maintaining a basic conversation about religion, politics and the environment
  • Conveying an understanding of a basic office environment and organization, corporate structure and work norms.

 TextbookMosaicos; published by Prentice Hall (Pearson) -- used by all elementary Spanish courses

 *Students who have not taken a Spanish course in two or more years and have had little contact with the language should consider placing themselves one level lower than indicated.

 

Placement into Higher Level Spanish Courses

  • Students who have successfully passed an AP Spanish course and/or have received a score of 3 or higher on the AP Spanish exam are likely too advanced for elementary courses and should consider Intermediate Spanish 21, 22 or 23.
  • Students who have taken 3 or more years of Spanish AND have completed the AP exam with a score of 4 or 5 should begin with Spanish 100.
  • Native Spanish speakers should consult with the Department for guidance on the appropriate entry level, which will generally be Intermediate Spanish or Spanish100.

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