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Modern Languages

Mission Statement

The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures aims to develop and promote the bases for human understanding and productive interaction among members of disparate cultural groups.  We emphasize linguistic, cultural and literary competencies so as to educate students for a more informed, compassionate, productive and civic involvement in our increasingly diverse and global society.  To achieve its mission, we offer major and minor programs of the highest quality in French and Francophone, German, Italian, Japanese (minor only), and Spanish Studies.  We also offer other languages on the basis of curricular and student needs such as Arabic and Chinese.

Throughout our programs, we subscribe to a communicative and proficiency-based language curriculum modeled after the goals of the Standards for Foreign Language Learning and encourage the university’s teaching scholar model through faculty research and creative activity and critical and reflective engagement with society. In addition, we develop and co-sponsor educational events and programs that enhance our mission as well as the mission and goals of the College and University. 

Goals & Objectives

A. Student Learning:

Goal 1: Students demonstrate communicative competence through proficiency-based language programs in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish.

Objective 1: Students completing their first year of language study demonstrate the following proficiency levels:  Arabic, Chinese, Japanese: Novice-Low or higher; German: Novice-Mid or higher; French, Italian, Spanish: Novice-High or higher.

Objective 2: Graduating majors in French, German, Italian, and Spanish reach the level of Advanced of proficiency.

Goal 2: Appropriate to the level of language studied, students demonstrate knowledge and understanding of other cultures throughout the program.

Objective 3: Students display and / or explain cultural behavior appropriate to the language and cultures of study through direct and mediated communication with members from the target culture.

Objective 4: Students work with cultural and literary texts in the target language to learn about and reflect on the artistic, historical, political and social perspectives of the language and cultures studied.   

Goal 3: Appropriate to the level of language studied, students demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of literary trends and visual, cultural texts.

Objective 5: Students demonstrate a critical understanding of the major literary movements and genres of the literature of the target language within their historical, social, and political contexts.

Objective 6: Students analyze, evaluate, and interpret a wide range of literary, visual, and cultural texts using a variety of rhetorical and literary techniques.

Goal 4:  Students seeking a teaching career in Spanish demonstratelinguistic and pedagogical knowledge and competence of the target language.

Objective 7: Students demonstrate an understanding of the nature and use of language as well as theories of language acquisition and learning.

Objective 8: Students gain knowledge about methods, techniques for designing, implementing and evaluating instruction in Spanish using community and technology resources.

Goal 5:  Students demonstrate cross-disciplinary learning and integrated education

Objective 9: Students critically read and discuss authentic second language texts to increase their knowledge of other disciplines (e.g. anthropology, business, education, health, history, law, political science, sociology, etc.)

Objective 10:  Students participate in multilingual communities at home or abroad to develop first-hand communication skills and cultural knowledge and competence.