Mar 01, 2021  
2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog 
2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Archived Catalog

Foreign Languages and Literatures

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Professor Felicia Sturzer, Head


The department offers the B.A. degree in Foreign Languages with concentrations in French, Greek and Latin, Latin, and Spanish. A student may also pursue a B.A. in Humanities degree with an emphasis in classical civilization.  Elementary and intermediate Chinese, Japanese and Italian are offered and may be chosen to fulfill the foreign language requirement. Modern language courses, taught in English, which focus on foreign literatures and civilizations, afford the non-foreign language student a broader perspective of other peoples and cultures.

The department also offers minor programs in Classics, French, German, Greek, Latin, or Spanish.

A native speaker of a language that is offered for credit by the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures or anyone with native speaker proficiency in such a language must consult the department for proper placement and approval to enroll.

Independent studies will be offered only for 4000-level courses, with the exception of courses in German and the Classical languages, which will be taught at any level in this format. Independent studies will only be offered  upon availability of staff and by mutual consent of student and instructor.

All incoming students who have three years or more of high school study in a single foreign language (and no college level study of the language) and who wish to continue study in that language will be required to take a placement test to determine their level of competence in that language. A student should begin study of the language in question at the level established by the placement test. Under special circumstances, exceptions may be granted upon appeal to the department head.


The Mission of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures is to teach the languages and cultures of a variety of peoples. In the Classical languages, the faculty assists students in achieving sufficient mastery of reading, writing and translation skills so they can profitably approach texts that are fundamental to an in-depth understanding of the Greek and Roman cultures, the basis of what is known as Western Civilization. In the Modern Languages, our faculty assists students in achieving proficiency appropriate to their level of study in each of the basic skills of living in a language: speaking, writing, listening comprehension and reading  proficiency. Through the study of a foreign language, the faculty endeavors to make students aware of the relationship between language and culture. The faculty also encourages students to engage in study abroad programs. This allows them to experience first-hand the language and culture they are studying.

In addition to being engaged in scholarly and professional development activities, faculty members in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures participate in the life of the institution through work in a variety of committees and task forces, as well as the community. They provide their professional skills in service projects, consultation for local schools, the courts, the criminal justice system, regional health providers, local and regional businesses, and other government and private entities.

Program Outcomes

Modern language majors are proficient in each of the areas mentioned in our mission statement. This means that they can communicate with a native speaker, give or receive instructions or explanations orally and in writing, tell and understand stories, lectures, films, newspaper and journal articles, broadcasts or websites. Students can also read and comprehend more nuanced or technical materials, thus learning to analyze and critique texts.  In writing, they can tell stories and express arguments.  Most important, modern language majors understand culture as the source of the language and people they study.

In the Classical languages, students gain proficiency in the areas mentioned in our mission statement. More specifically, they can recognize, conjugate and parse verbs, recognize, decline and parse nouns and adjectives, and read and translate Greek and Latin texts in a variety of genres. They also gain an appreciation of ancient Greek and Roman cultures within the context of Western Civilization.  In addition, Latin students gain limited oral competency in the language.

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