Modern Languages

All Majors & Minors

French, German, Spanish

We lay out here the fundamental learning goals across the curriculum for French, German, and Spanish courses.

We divide our curriculum in two main mail levels for French, German, and Spanish: elementary and intermediate; and, upper division level and advanced.

The elementary and intermediate levels are constituted by courses at the 100-level. These courses satisfy the foreign language requirement but do not count towards a minor or a major.

The rest of the courses do count towards the major or  the minor, although each language has different requirements.

To see the description of a course, consult your language of interest under the Majors and Minors section of the main menu.

Learning Goals

Elementary and Intermediate Level

Elementary Level

The elementary courses prepare students to communicate successfully in some common basic social situations using the four language skills—listening, speaking, reading, and writing—within appropriate cultural contexts. The student will also acquire an understanding of cross-cultural awareness.

Intermediate Level

The intermediate courses further develop the four language skills—listening, speaking, reading, and writing—using the target language in many common basic social situations. The student will also acquire a more profound understanding of cross-cultural awareness. At the end of this sequence, students will be able to: carry on a basic conversation with a sympathetic native speaker, write simple descriptions and narrations, and understand the meaning of texts containing everyday language and/or information.

Courses: FREN/GER.101-102; SPAN.101-103; GER.101-102.

Intermediate Courses: FREN/GER/SPAN.111-112.

Upper Division Level

  • In the 201-202 levels students should be able to speak in logically sequential sentences, without mistakes impeding understanding. They begin to identify and discuss abstract ideas as they appear in the course materials, such as literature, film, and other cultural products.
  • Students increase their listening proficiency through class discussion and class presentations conducted in the target language. Through movies, short video clips, and interactions with native speakers, students will become more aware of certain national, regional, or socioeconomic linguistic differences.
  • Students should be able to write short descriptive essays, response papers, and longer analytical essays using a close textual analysis of the primary source. At the end of 201-202, they should know how to use the basic tools for information literacy to effectively integrate secondary sources in their papers. At the end of 251, 252, and FREN-254 students should learn how to produce a research paper using meaningful secondary sources adhering to the MLA practices and recommendations.
  • Students increase their cultural competence and awareness through individual student, team, or instructor presentations on subjects related to the culture of the texts studied. At the end of 251, 252, and FREN-254 students will be able to situate literary and cultural products in their appropriate historical context. Students will gain a deeper understanding of their own culture by learning about the French/Francophone, German, and Hispanic world.

Courses: FREN/GER/SPAN.201-202; SPAN.207; FREN/GER/SPAN.251-252; FREN-254; GER-253.

Advanced Level

  • Students should master the linguistic skills necessary to understand and discuss abstract ideas presented in original texts and other cultural products.
  • Students should demonstrate a deeper understanding of literature, film, essays, and art. They should be able to place a text in its cultural and historical context and relate the latter to their own interpretation. They can locate and discuss the development of ideas of a variety of texts and derive literal and figurative meaning from them.
  • Students should be able to produce papers with a clear thesis and a nuanced analysis or interpretation supported by meaningful and concrete examples from the texts studied and the secondary sources. Starting in the 300-level courses, students should utilize theoretical concepts related to literary and cultural studies. At the end of the 300-level courses and before the 400-level courses students should demonstrate a mastery of the use of information literacy tools and the integration of secondary sources in their research papers.

Courses: 

FREN-314, 318, 328, 340, 345, 350, 360, 370; GER-313, 314, 318, 319, 320, 328; SPAN-308, 317, 328, 340, 350, 351, 352. FREN-440W, 491, 492W; GER-401W, 402W, 403W, 491, 492W. SPAN-401W, 402W, 440W, 491, 492W.