Sep 24, 2023  
2022-2023 Academic Catalog 
    
2022-2023 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

World Languages and Cultures


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Our language programs play a fundamental role in the College’s mission to educate for a global community. We encourage students to become actively engaged learners of diverse cultural traditions and global perspectives through the study of world languages, literatures, and cultures.

The programs in the Department of World Languages and Cultures emphasize language proficiency, analysis of different kinds of complex texts, cross-cultural competence, and study abroad. This preparation allows students to use their language, critical thinking skills and artistic literacy in various professional fields. Linguistic and cultural competency in a second language also allows students to participate more fully in local and international communities, enjoying a richness of life that goes beyond national boundaries.

Saint Mary’s College proposes that all of its graduates should have knowledge and understanding of another culture and its language (see below, language proficiency requirement). To this end, the department has created a lower-division curriculum whose learning outcomes meet criteria established by the American Council on Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). All students will demonstrate intermediate language skills-listening, speaking, reading and writing-in the target language. Instruction balances a solid grammatical foundation with practical training, including exposure to culture and geography, in both classroom and multimedia settings.

The Department of World Languages and Cultures offers courses in French, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish. Students can pursue a major in Spanish or French, and/or a minor in French, Spanish, East Asian Studies, German Studies or Italian Studies. Students interested in foreign language study are encouraged to explore the options of a major in Spanish or French; a double major in a foreign language and another discipline; a language minor to complement a major in another academic area; or a language studies minor. Additionally there are many natural links between the department’s course offerings and those of other departments with the same goal of global learning, such as Global and Regional Studies and History.

We strongly encourage our students to study abroad for a semester or more. Students can choose from SMC sponsored programs in China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, and Spain, or from many other international centers through Lasallian exchanges and independent programs.

Furthermore, proficiency in a second language is the natural complement to the local and international internships described in the internship database available through the department’s website. We support our students as they apply their cultural knowledge through internships related to their language of study. Students who secure an internship gain valuable work experience, enhance their professional skills, and lay the groundwork for their future careers.

We strive to prepare our students with the communicative skills necessary to participate successfully in an increasingly globalized working environment that asks for culturally knowledgeable, multilingual citizens.

Faculty

David Bird, PhD, Professor, Chair

Maria Grazia de Angelis-Nelson, Adjunct Associate Professor

Costanza G. Dopfel, PhD, Professor

Helga Lénárt-Cheng, PhD, Associate Professor

Claude-Rhéal Malary, PhD, Associate Professor

Brother Michael Murphy, PhD, Visiting Associate Professor

Alvaro Ramirez, PhD, Professor

María Luisa Ruiz, PhD, Professor

Lori Spicher, PhD, Associate Professor

Frances Sweeney, PhD, Professor

Naoko Uehara, Adjunct Associate Professor

Joan U. Halperin, PhD, Professor Emerita

Maureen Wesolowski, PhD, Professor Emerita

Programs Offered

The Department offers a major in French and Spanish, and a minor in East Asian Studies, French, German Studies, Italian Studies, or Spanish. In addition to a program of study for students who wish to major or minor in language, the Department of World Languages and Cultures plays a key role in the educational experience of all Saint Mary’s students through the Language Proficiency requirement of the Core Curriculum.

Language Placement Exam

Incoming students are strongly encouraged to take the Foreign Language Placement Exam online at https://www.stmarys-ca.edu/world-languages-and-cultures/language-placement-exam . Students should contact the Language Placement and Proficiency Coordinator who will assist them with access to the online exam. Students may take the placement exam once during each academic year and results are valid for one academic year. For placement in all other languages, students must contact the Placement and Proficiency Coordinator in the Department of World Languages and Cultures.

Advanced Placement Credit

Students who have taken the AP exam in language will receive credit for courses according to their scores.  

  • AP Exam Score 3 = course credit for level 3.

  • AP Exam Score 4 = course credit for level 3 and 4.

  • AP Exam Score 5 = course credit for level 4 and 5, 9, or 10.

Native speakers of Spanish are encouraged to take SPAN 9 as an alternative to SPAN 10. Students who have taken the AP exam in literature should consult the Placement and Proficiency Coordinator for appropriate placement.

French Studies

Major Requirements for French Studies

The French Studies major cultivates skills in research, analysis and cross-cultural communication that are essential to a lifetime of intellectual engagement and a wide variety of careers. Students in French Studies can pursue one of two options. Option A is a program for students who wish to study French but may not plan to continue to graduate school (although it does not preclude further study at the graduate level). Option B is an Honors major program for students intending to continue the study of French at graduate level. For the Honors option, a GPA of at least 3.0 in the major is required, as is the recommendation of two instructors.

Learning Outcomes for the Major in French Studies

  • DEMONSTRATE career-ready proficiency in all language modalities (speaking, writing, listening, reading) for a variety of purposes and a range of content and context

  • DEMONSTRATE knowledge of literary texts and traditions across time, including major literary and intellectual movements, genres, writers and works, and ability to discuss and analyze literary texts from a variety of media

  • DEMONSTRATE knowledge of several French-speaking cultures across time and geography, and ability to articulate an understanding of global perspectives, practices and products of those cultures

  • ARTICULATE a critical analysis of artifacts and phenomena within the above-mentioned areas of content and cultural knowledge

Split Major with French

The split major in which French is the predominant field of study requires FREN 001 , FREN 002 , FREN 003 , FREN 004 , FREN 005 , FREN 015  (.25), FREN 100 , FREN 101 FREN 196  (.25) and four electives. The split major in which French is not the predominant field requires FREN 001 , FREN 002 , FREN 003 , FREN 004 , FREN 005 , FREN 015  (.25), FREN 100 , FREN 101 , FREN 196  (.25) and three electives.

 

Spanish and Latin American Studies (SaLAS)

Major Requirements for Spanish and Latin American Studies (SaLAS)

In addition to preparing students for a number of careers, the major in Spanish and Latin American Studies (SaLAS), assists students who wish to pursue graduate education. The program of study is

vibrant, flexible, challenging, and engaging. The SaLAS concentration cultivates skills in communication, research, and analysis that are essential to a lifetime of intellectual engagement with the language, cultures and literatures of Spain and Latin America, and of Latinos in the United States. The courses required for the major fall into three broad categories: Hispanic Literary Studies, Hispanic Linguistic Studies, and Hispanic Cultural Studies.

The courses in Literary Studies offer students knowledge of the literatures and cultures of the Spanish-speaking world while achieving competency in the language. Students completing these courses will study the rich literary and cultural texts and traditions of Spain, the Americas, and the Caribbean. They will discuss major literary and intellectual movements, genres, and writers. As they do so, they will learn about history, politics, human rights, social activism, and gender roles through the lens of fictional and non-fictional characters, including the voices of writers who represent diverse class, gender, and ethnic backgrounds.

The courses in Hispanic linguistics offer students who are interested in the study of the linguistic fields of the Spanish language an increased understanding of language use and change. They provide excellent preparation for those whose career goals include graduate study in language and linguistics, and those who aspire to work in education, teaching, interpretation, and translation. They are also designed for those who wish to combine language study for the professions with another discipline (e.g., Education, Health Sciences and Psychology, Business, Justice, Community and Leadership).

The courses in Hispanic Cultural Studies are tailor-made for students interested in gaining a multidisciplinary understanding of the culture, languages and artistic artifacts of the Spanish- speaking world. From a variety of perspectives and through the use of diverse analytical tools, these courses provide students an understanding of the history, cultures, and contemporary issues of Latin America, including the presence of Latinos in the U.S., literature, film, music, politics, art, and history, among others, are featured.

Learning Outcomes for SaLAS Major:

Students who complete this major will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a career-ready proficiency in all language modalities (speaking, writing, listening, and reading) for a variety of purposes and a range of content and contexts.
  • Develop an understanding of the linguistic nature of Spanish, including its primary fields (phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, sociolinguistics and dialectology, language acquisition, second language pedagogy, and historical linguistics).
  • Demonstrate knowledge of Spanish and Latin American literary texts and traditions across time, including major literary and intellectual movements, genres, writers, and works; and discuss and analyze literary texts from a variety of sources.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of Hispanic cultures and communities across time and geography, and articulate an understanding of global perspectives, practices, and products of those cultures.

Split Major with Spanish

The split major in which Spanish is the predominant field of study requires SPAN 009 /SPAN 089  or SPAN 010 /SPAN 090 ; SPAN 011 /SPAN 091 ; 6.25 upper-division courses which must include SPAN 101 ; SPAN 102 ; two of the following: SPAN 120 , SPAN 121 , SPAN 140 , SPAN 141 ; two electives, and SPAN 196 . The split major in which Spanish is not the predominant field requires SPAN 009 /SPAN 089  or SPAN 010 /SPAN 090 ; SPAN 011 /SPAN 091 ; three upper-division courses, one of which must be SPAN 101  or SPAN 102 ; and SPAN 196 .

 

Minors in World Languages and Cultures

Learning Outcomes for a Minor

Students graduating with a minor in East Asian Studies, French, Italian Studies, German Studies, or Spanish will be able to:

  • CONVERSE using the present, past and future tenses in everyday situations.
  • DEMONSTRATE satisfactory reading and writing skills.
  • ENGAGE the target culture through various disciplines, including politics, economics, anthropology, history, literature and art.

 

Prerequisite Grades

Any course listed in this department with a prerequisite assumes a grade of C- or better in the prerequisite course.

Programs

    Bachelor of ArtsMinorOther Programs

    Courses

      French - Lower DivisionFrench - Upper DivisionGerman - Lower DivisionGerman - Upper DivisionItalian - Lower DivisionItalian - Upper Division

      Note: Upper-division courses in Italian are offered as World Languages in Translation.

      Japanese - Lower DivisionJapanese - Upper DivisionSpanish - Lower DivisionSpanish - Upper DivisionPage: 1 | 2

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