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Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures

Mission Statement

The Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures is a central site on campus for the implementation of James Madison University internationalization efforts. Through its course offerings, study abroad programs, organizations and clubs, and the presence of faculty with research areas in diverse foreign cultures, the department embodies cultural diversity, particularly international diversity, at JMU. The strong presence of international students and faculty on campus is a critical indicator of this recognition of international diversity.

The Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures offers students and the community a broad range of educational courses and programs that help develop foreign language competence, a global perspective, and an understanding of foreign cultures both ancient and modern.

The department’s mission is to ensure that all graduates with a B.A. have sufficient knowledge of a modern foreign language to build fluency in that language when future personal or professional needs require it; prepare language majors for success as professionals in language-related career fields; enhance the education of non-language majors by providing them foreign language skills that complement their chosen major; teach understanding and appreciation of foreign cultures and provide basic knowledge about the literature, culture, and intellectual achievements of countries other than the U.S.; play a leading role in internationalizing the college curriculum; provide opportunities for language and cultural study abroad; support cross-listed courses for the departments of English and History as part of their major requirements, and the General Education program with courses for the Cluster Two requirements.

The department also plays an important role in the university cross disciplinary minors by offering courses for Russian Studies, Latin American Studies, World Literature and Classical Studies.

Goals and Objectives

The department strives to fulfill this mission by pursuing the following goals. Within each area, students should:

Knowledge

  • Be familiar with a variety of linguistic principles in both the target language and their own.
  • Understand the major literary movements of the target culture and be familiar with selected major literary texts of the target culture.
  • Be familiar with the great ideas of humanity and of Western civilization in particular, especially as they have originated in or influenced the target culture.
  • Understand the institutions and history of the target culture.
  • Understand similarities and differences between the target culture and their own.

Skills

  • Demonstrate reading, writing, listening and speaking skills in both English and the target language.
  • Think critically, analytically and objectively.
  • Make and formulate informed aesthetic and linguistic judgments.
  • Research a topic thoroughly using both traditional and online sources.
  • Use computers effectively for a variety of purposes, from word processors and spell checkers in the target language to terminological databases and machine-aided translation tools.

Experiences

  • Ponder what it means to be human in response to literary and cultural studies.
  • Engage great texts and great ideas.
  • Realize what it is like to be a foreigner with incomplete cultural and linguistic competence.
  • See the world through the filter of another language and culture.
  • Realize that every language is an imperfect vehicle, riddled with traps and ambiguities.

Attitudes

  • Embrace life-long learning.
  • Approach issues from cross disciplinary, global and historical perspectives.
  • Respect diversity among cultures and within any given culture.
  • Respect the opinions and beliefs of other people—and other peoples—while defining and advancing their own.
  • Recognize the contingent nature of knowledge.

Program

The department offerings address a wide spectrum of student needs. Our program seeks to:

  • Offer a minor and a major in a specific language.
  • Strongly recommend a second major and/or minor in another discipline.
  • Offer advanced courses for cross disciplinary programs.
  • Offer basic courses required for Bachelor of Arts candidates.
  • Organize and participate in Honors courses.
  • Provide General Education courses in Cluster Two and reinforce Cluster One goals in all courses.

Faculty

The faculty members of the department strive to:

  • Meet the ever-evolving needs of the students.
  • Develop innovative teaching techniques, courses and programs while preserving a traditional core.
  • Engage consistently in scholarship.
  • Provide dutiful service to the college, the university and the profession.
  • Be a role model for students as educators and as human beings.

General Objectives

All language majors are expected to acquire:

  • Knowledge of critical thinking methods and the ability to apply them.
  • Know-how with regard to computers, including word processing skills and the ability to use software devoted to grammar exercises, vocabulary development, literature and culture.
  • An appreciation and affective feel for other cultures in addition to an intellectual perspective.

Specific Objectives

The Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures offers programs designed to:

  • Teach students to understand and speak a language with relative ease.
  • Develop skills in reading and writing.
  • Provide an acquaintance with foreign literatures.
  • Develop an appreciation of foreign cultures.
  • Prepare students for professions in education, government work and international trade or for research leading to advanced degrees.

Career Opportunities

  • Banking
  • Criminal Justice
  • Education
  • Foreign Service
  • Imports/Exports
  • Law
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Medicine
  • Ministry
  • Museum work
  • Public Relations
  • Social work
  • Translation

Co-curricular Organizations

The department supports the following organizations:

  • Le Cercle Francophone
  • Dobro Slovo
  • German Club
  • Il Circolo Culturale Italiano
  • Phi Sigma Iota
  • Russian Club
  • El Club de Español
  • Sigma Delta Pi

Minimum Grades

A student must receive a minimum grade of "C-" for course credits to count toward any major or minor in the Department of FLLC.

Degree and Major Requirements

Bachelor of Arts in Modern Foreign Languages

Students can earn both a B.A. in Modern Foreign Languages and a minor in a specific language. Currently the department provides:

  • Four years of instruction in Arabic, French, German, Italian and Spanish.
  • Three years of instruction Chinese and Japanese.
  • Two years of instruction in Ancient Greek, Latin, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Russian and Swahili.

The minimum requirement for a major in languages is 33 upper-division credit hours in a specific language.

Degree Requirements

Required Courses

Credit Hours

General Education 1

41

Foreign language classes (intermediate level required) 2

0-14

Second Foreign Language (intermediate level required) 2

0-14

Philosophy course (in addition to General Education courses)

3

University electives 3

15-43

Major requirements (listed below)

33


 

120

1 The General Education program contains a set of requirements each student must fulfill. The number of credit hours necessary to fulfill these requirements may vary.

2 The foreign language requirement and the second language requirement may be satisfied by successful completion of the second semester of the intermediate level of the student's chosen language (typically 232) or by placing out of that language through the Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures' placement test. The second language is not required of double majors or education minors.

3 The number of university electives varies depending on the number of actual credits earned with the first and second language requirements. These language requirements may be fully or partly satisfied through the Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures' placement tests, but these tests do not confer actual credits and subsequently the number of university electives students take will vary.

Major Requirements

All language sections share certain core requirements.

Courses

Credit Hours

Two language courses (300 and 320) 1

6

Two civilization courses (307 and 308)

6

Literature courses in the target language

6-12

Other courses as specified by the section 2

9-15


 

33

1 These courses fulfill the College of Arts and Letters writing-intensive requirement for the major.

2 The courses required for Spanish majors are different, as shown in the Spanish listing.

Arabic

Courses

Credit Hours

ARAB 300. Arabic Grammar and Communication 1

3

ARAB 307. History of Islamic Civilization 600-1600

3

ARAB 308. Contemporary Islamic Civilization

3

ARAB 320. Arabic Oral and Written Communication

3

ARAB 371. Advanced Arabic Grammar and Translation

3

ARAB 400. Advanced Arabic Writing and Conversation

3

Two 300- or 400-level ARAB literature courses

9

Three other 300- or 400-level ARAB courses

9


 

33

French

Courses

Credit Hours

FR 300. French Grammar and Communication 1

3

FR 307. History of French Civilization

3

FR 308. Contemporary French Civilization

3

FR 320. French Oral and Written Communication

3

FR 335. Introduction to French Literature

3

Three 300- or 400-level FR literature courses

9

Three other 300- or 400-level FR courses

9


33

German

Courses

Credit Hours

GER 300. German Grammar and Communication 1

3

GER 307. History of German Civilization

3

GER 308. Contemporary German Civilization

3

GER 320. German Oral and Written Communication

3

GER 341. German-English Technical/Commercial Translation

3

Two 400-level GER literature courses

6

Four more courses (see following list)

12

Group 1:

 

GER 308. Contemporary German Civilization (may be repeated)

 

GER 330. Business German

 

GER 341. German-English Technical/Commercial Translation (may be repeated)

 

Any 400-level GER literature courses

 

Group 2 (no more than one):

 

ENG/GER 436. Studies in German Literature

 

HUM 200. Great Works (German works in translation)

 

HIST 388. Germany Since 1871

 


33

Italian

Courses

Credit Hours

ITAL 300. Italian Grammar and Communication 1

3

ITAL 307. Italian Civilization

3

ITAL 308. Contemporary Italian Civilization

3

ITAL 320. Italian Oral and Written Communication

3

Three 300- or 400-level ITAL literature courses

9

Three other 300- or 400-level ITAL courses

9


 

33

Russian

(not available in 2015-2016 academic year)

Spanish

Courses

Credit Hours

SPAN 300. Grammar and Communication 1

3

SPAN 307. Spanish Civilization

3

SPAN 308. Latin American Civilization

3

SPAN 320. Oral and Written Communication

3

SPAN 335. Introduction to Spanish Literature

3

Three SPAN literature courses

9

Three other 300- or 400-level SPAN courses

9


 

33

1 This course fulfills the College of Arts and Letters writing-intensive requirement for the major.

2 For the RUS 490 course description, see FL 490.

Additional Language

Students majoring in modern foreign languages must complete the intermediate level of a second language unless they are:

  • Completing a second major
  • Completing an education minor
  • Completing two degrees
  • Completing a pre-professional health program

If the student has a previous background in a second language, the second language requirement may also be satisfied by placing out of it through the Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures' placement test. However, in this case, the student must proportionally increase the number of university electives as indicated in the B.A. Degree Requirements.

Teaching Licensure

Coordinator: Mary O’Donnell

Email: odonneme@jmu.edu

Phone: (540) 568-5110

In conjunction with the College of Education, the department offers programs leading to the teaching license in French, German, Italian and Spanish. In addition to the general education and academic major requirements, students desiring PreK-12 teaching licensure in French, German, Italian or Spanish must be accepted for admission to the teacher education program offered by the College of Education prior to enrolling in professional education courses. The required licensure courses consist of 32 hours of credit.

Students interested in teacher licensure in French, German, Italian or Spanish must also meet the specific curriculum requirements of their foreign language major as part of the undergraduate academic degree.

For a complete description of admission and retention policies and procedures for teacher education, refer to the College of Education. Students seeking licensure are encouraged to consult regularly with the teaching licensure coordinator.

Required Courses

Credit Hours

PSYC 160. Life Span and Human Development

3

EDUC 300. Foundations of American Education

3

EXED 303. Foundations of Classroom and Behavior Management

3

READ 420. Content Area Literacy, K-12

2

TESL 426. Concepts in First and Second Language Acquisition

3

FLED 470. Methods of Modern Foreign Language Teaching

3

FLED 471. Modern Foreign Language Field Experience

3

FLED 475. Supervised Student Teaching Experience

12


32

Minor Requirements

Modern Foreign Language Minor

A minor in a modern foreign language consists of 18 upper-division credit hours in a specific language.

Arabic

Courses

Credit Hours

ARAB 300. Arabic Grammar and Communication

3

One 300 or 400-level ARAB literature course

3

Four other 300 or 400-level ARAB courses

12


18

Chinese

Courses

Credit Hours

CHIN 300. Chinese Grammar and Communication

3

One 300 or 400-level CHIN literature course

3

Four other 300 or 400-level CHIN courses

12


18

French

Courses

Credit Hours

FR 300. French Grammar and Communication

3

FR 320. French Oral and Written Communication

3

One 300 or 400-level FR literature course

3

Three 300 or 400-level FR courses

9


18

German

Courses

Credit Hours

GER 300. German Grammar and Communication

3

One 300 or 400-level GER literature course

3

Four other 300 or 400-level GER courses

12


18

Italian

Courses

Credit Hours

ITAL 300. Italian Grammar and Communication

3

One 300 or 400-level ITAL literature course

3

Four other 300 or 400-level ITAL courses

12


18

Russian

Courses

Credit Hours

RUS 300. Russian Grammar and Communication

3

One 300 or 400-level RUS literature course

3

Four 300 or 400-level RUS courses

12


18

Spanish

Courses

Credit Hours

SPAN 300. Grammar and Communication

3

SPAN 335. Introduction to Spanish Literature

3

Four other 300 or 400-level SPAN courses

12


18

Professional minors

Business French

Courses

Credit Hours

FR 300. Grammar and Communication

3

FR 308. Contemporary French Civilization

3

FR 320. French Oral and Written Communication

3

FR 330. Business French

3

FR 351. French/English Translation

3

One 300 or 400-level FR course

3


18

Business German

Courses

Credit Hours

GER 300. German Grammar and Communication

3

GER 308. Contemporary German Civilization

3

GER 320. German Oral and Written Communication

3

GER 330. Business German

3

GER 341. German-English Technical/Commercial Translation

3

One 300 or 400-level GER course

3


18

Business Italian

Courses

Credit Hours

ITAL 300. Italian Grammar and Communication

3

ITAL 308. Contemporary Italian Civilization

3

ITAL 320. Italian Oral and Written Communication

3

ITAL 330. Business Italian

3

ITAL 375. Business and Society in Italy

3


18

Business Spanish

Adviser: Andrea Naranjo

Email: naranjap@jmu.edu

Phone: (540) 568-6327

The professional minor in business Spanish is intended for students who wish to consolidate and improve their knowledge of Spanish in several business areas. The main aim of the minor is to teach students how to use specific business terms in Spanish and to handle selling techniques, negotiation strategies, product presentations, commercial activities, marketing, and business correspondence in Spanish. Students acquire a greater knowledge of Spanish as well as deeper understanding of Spanish or Hispanic societies and their business cultures.

The minor comprises one linguistic component, one elective component, one translation/interpretation component and three profession-specific linguistic components.

Required Courses

Credit Hours

SPAN 300. Grammar and Communication

3

One elective Spanish course from: SPAN 307SPAN 308SPAN 320, SPAN 407SPAN 408, or SPAN 447

3

SPAN 330. Business Spanish

3

SPAN 430. Advance Business Spanish

3

Choose one:

3

SPAN 485. Business and Society in Latin America

 

SPAN 486. Business and Society in Spain

 

Choose one:

3

SPAN/TR 435. Spanish-English Translation Strategies

 

SPAN/TR 436. Introduction to Interpretation

 


18

Law Enforcement Spanish

Adviser: Stephen C. Gerome

Email: geromesc@jmu.edu

Phone: (540) 568-6851

The professional minor in law enforcement Spanish provides a framework for learning the appropriate Spanish usage for thematic areas such as victim reporting, field interviews, investigations, traffic stops, and armed and dangerous calls, as well as medical emergencies and public safety situations. The minor is designed to prepare students to understand cultural differences and to identify and communicate terminology and phraseology needed for effective cross-cultural communication in the public safety arena. It is intended for all future public safety professionals, including law enforcement officers (federal, state and local), firefighters, lawyers, probation/parole officers, corrections officers, emergency medical technicians, social workers, court service officers and victim-witness coordinators.

The minor comprises one linguistic component, one elective component, one translation/interpretation component and three profession-specific linguistic components.

Required Courses

Credit Hours

SPAN 300. Grammar and Communication

3

One elective Spanish course from: SPAN 307SPAN 308SPAN 320, SPAN 407SPAN 408, or SPAN 447

3

SPAN 360. Law Enforcement Spanish

3

SPAN 460. Advanced Law Enforcement Spanish

3

SPAN 495. Practical Law Enforcement/Practical Legal Spanish

3

Choose one:

3

SPAN/TR 435. Spanish-English Translation Strategies

 

SPAN/TR 436. Introduction to Interpretation

 


18

Legal Spanish

Adviser: Javier Fernández-Torres

Email:fernancj@jmu.edu

Phone: (540) 568-6851

The minor in Legal Spanish is designed for students who wish to improve and consolidate their knowledge of Spanish in several legal areas. The main aim of the minor is to teach students how to use specific legal terms in Spanish and to manage legal documents such as contracts. Students also acquire a basic understanding of the differences between common law and Roman law and investigate several branches of law such as civil law, labor law, criminal law and commercial law in Spanish-speaking countries.

The minor comprises one linguistic component, one elective component, one translation/interpretation component and three profession-specific linguistic components.

Required Courses

Credit Hours

SPAN 300. Grammar and Communication

3

One elective Spanish course from: SPAN 307SPAN 308
SPAN 320, SPAN 407SPAN 408, or SPAN 447

3

SPAN 370. Legal Spanish

3

SPAN 470. Advanced Legal Spanish

3

SPAN 495. Practical Law Enforcement/Practical Legal Spanish

3

Choose one:

3

SPAN/TR 435. Spanish-English Translation Strategies

 

SPAN/TR 436. Introduction to Interpretation

 


18

Medical Spanish

For health service professionals, knowledge of medical Spanish is no longer an option but a necessity. Unless they have a reasonable level of Spanish, communication with patients whose only language is Spanish will be difficult. Courses in medical Spanish are therefore hugely relevant today. The minor in medical Spanish is intended for all future health service professionals, including physicians and their assistants, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, medical laboratory technicians, emergency medical technicians, medical aides, medical interpreters, healthcare industry professionals, and psychologists.

The minor comprises one linguistic component, one elective component, one translation/interpretation component and three profession-specific linguistic components.

Required Courses

Credit Hours

SPAN 300. Grammar and Communication

3

One elective Spanish course from: SPAN 307SPAN 308SPAN 320, SPAN 407SPAN 408, or SPAN 447

3

SPAN 365. Medical Spanish

3

SPAN 475. Advanced Medical Spanish

3

SPAN 476. Culture and Medicine in Spain and Latin America

3

Choose one:

3

SPAN/TR 435. Spanish-English Translation Strategies

 

SPAN/TR 436. Introduction to Interpretation

 

SPAN 494. Practical Medical Spanish

 


18


Spanish-English Translation and Interpretation

Translation and interpretation are two of today's fastest-growing professions. An obvious requirement for anyone wishing to enter these professions is the ability to speak two languages fluently. Students who wish to make a positive impact as a translator or interpreter, however, require more than just the ability to speak two languages well. What they need is the linguistic, cultural and technical expertise they can only get from courses designed specifically to prepare them for the demands of these challenging professions. In the minor in translation and interpretation, students take their first steps toward acquiring this expertise.

The minor comprises one linguistic component, one elective component and four profession-specific linguistic components for a total of 18 credit hours.

Required Courses

Credit Hours

SPAN 300. Grammar and Communication

3

One elective Spanish course from: SPAN 307SPAN 308SPAN 320, SPAN 407SPAN 408, or SPAN 447

3

SPAN/TR 311. Spanish-English Contrastive Linguistics

3

SPAN/TR 312. Spanish-English Translation Competences

3

SPAN/TR 435. Spanish-English Translation Strategies

3

SPAN/TR 436. Introduction to Interpretation

3


18

International Education and Studies Abroad

The department strongly supports – and greatly benefits from – the university’s excellent Studies Abroad programs. Majors are strongly encouraged to spend a significant amount of time abroad. Students are urged to check with their language advisers to see which courses taken abroad count toward the language major. Majors in modern foreign languages must take 33 credit hours of foreign language courses specified by the department. Students are required to take 18 of those in courses taught in the Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures based on the main JMU campus.

Minors in modern foreign languages must take 18 credit hours of foreign language courses specified by the department. Students are required to take nine of those in courses taught in the Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures based on the main JMU campus.

Placement Tests

The score a student receives from the online placement test will be valid for registering in a language class that takes place up to and including the second semester of the sophomore year at JMU. A student who chooses to wait until his/her junior year to begin language study will be required to repeat the online placement test. Students will be placed in a class according to the new score, even if this means starting in a lower-level class than was indicated by the first placement test. In this circumstance, the student will take more classes to fulfill the language requirement for the B.A. degree.

The faculty of the Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures strongly recommend that students begin their required language classes no later than the second semester of the sophomore year, and ideally as soon as possible after taking the online placement exam.

Semester Registering

Accepted Placement Score

Fall, first year

First year test

Spring, first year

First year test

Fall, sophomore year

First year test

Spring, sophomore year

First year test

Fall, junior year
(and all later semesters)

Must retake test in spring of sophomore year or later in order to register for language classes for this semester and all later semesters

Heritage Speakers and International Students

Heritage speakers who would like to pursue a major or minor in FLLC studies in their heritage language must take the JMU Foreign Language placement test. Placement into level 300 is required in order to qualify to take the examination for credit for 300. Students who pass the examination for credit for 300 are entitled to register in other FLLC courses that have 300 as a prerequisite or to proceed to take the examination for credit for 320.

International students who are admitted to JMU and would like to pursue a major or minor in FLLC studies in their native language(s) need to take the examination for credit for 300 and 320 and then register for more advanced courses.

Heritage Speakers and international students who need to satisfy a language requirement need to complete a waiver form after being tested for proficiency.

Heritage Speakers and international students who wish to take elective credits in their language need to be tested for proficiency.

For testing of languages not offered by FLLC department, contact the department.