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Languages, Literatures and Cultures: Languages, Literatures and Cultures (6 credits)

Languages, Literatures, and Cultures (6 credits)

Overview
The mission of contemporary Language Education has broadened far beyond the outmoded narrow emphasis on developing communication skills. Standards for Language Learning in the 21st Century, a collaborative effort led by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, delineates current best practice.  The “standards” in that volume constitute the “outcomes” that inform the courses offered by the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures to fulfill the Language requirement of the Cornerstone Program of General Education. Because students may satisfy that requirement through courses on the Elementary, Intermediate, or Advanced level (or, occasionally, beyond Advanced), they achieve different degrees of mastery of the outcomes; detailed descriptions of each level may be found in the document “ACTFL Descriptions of Stages of Foreign Language Learning,” available on the departmental website.

Learning Outcomes

Key Outcomes for Modern Languages:

COMMUNICATION: Communicate in Languages Other than English

  • Students engage in conversations, provide and obtain information, express feelings and emotions, and exchange opinions.
  • Students understand and interpret written and spoken language on a variety of topics.
  • Students present information, concepts, and ideas to an audience of listeners or readers on a variety of topics.

CULTURES: Gain Knowledge and Understanding of Other Cultures

  • Students demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the practices and perspectives of the culture studies.
  • Students demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the products and perspectives of the culture studied.

CONNECTIONS: Connect with Other Disciplines and Acquire Information

  • Students reinforce and further their knowledge of other disciplines through the foreign language.
  • Students acquire information and recognize the distinctive viewpoints that are only available through the foreign language and its cultures.

COMPARISONS: Develop Insight into the Nature of Language and Culture

  • Students demonstrate understanding of the nature of language through comparisons of the language studied and their own.
  • Students demonstrate understanding of the concept of culture through comparisons of the cultures studied and their own.

COMMUNITIES: Participate in Multilingual Communities at Home and Around the World

  • Students use the language both within and beyond the school setting.
  • Students show evidence of becoming life-long learners by using the language for personal enjoyment and enrichment.

Evidence of Student Learning

Students demonstrate mastery of these outcomes through a broad range of standard activities: for example, class participation, quizzes (grammar, vocabulary, listening comprehension, etc.), tests, final exams, journals, online work (podcasts, YouTube), oral evaluations (presentations, interviews, etc.).

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