Modern & Classical Languages

Learning Goals & Mission


The mission of the Department of Modern & Classical Languages and Literatures is to prepare our students to live in a multilingual world, and in an increasingly multilingual society here in the United States. The Department provides an excellent preparation in numerous languages and literatures at the undergraduate level which will allow the student to communicate effectively in target languages other than English, both in professional and colloquial environments. The Department provides superior preparation for graduate studies in the target languages and in Comparative Literature. Finally, the Department strives to offer the best possible training in the skills necessary to compete successfully in the increasingly competitive global economy.

Learning Goals

At the conclusion of the program majors/minors will be able to:

I. Demonstrate Proficiency in the Target Language in the Four Core Language Skills of Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing

  1. Oral/Interpersonal: Narrates, describes, and interacts with native speakers in all moods and tenses in paragraph-length discourse, both in colloquial and formal contexts, and in a variety of topics of both personal and public concern;
  2. Oral/Presentational: Reports, narrates, and describes in extended discourse and in all moods and tenses, both orally and in writing, in a variety of topics of personal and public concern;
  3. Writing: Narrates and describes using appropriate grammatical and syntactical structures to produce written texts in several genres on a variety of topics of personal and public concern

II. Demonstrate Competency in the Interpretation of Texts (especially Literary Texts) in the Target Language through Formal Analysis of Grammar, Syntax, Lexicon, and Literary Devices, as Well as Situating These Texts in the Socio-Historical, Philosophical, Theological, and Aesthetic Contexts of the Western Tradition and of World Literature in General

Performance Indicators:

  1. Analyzes and evaluates the use of grammatical, syntactical, and lexical elements in texts, as well as the use of literary devices in narrative and the presentation of factual information; interprets the ideological strategies employed by the writer through the application of theories of literary criticism and socio-historical and aesthetic analysis; situates texts chronologically within the tradition of the target language

III. Demonstrate Cultural Competency in the Target Language through Appreciation of the Diversity of Worldviews, Construction and Articulation of Factual Information, Selection of Appropriate Lexicon and Register, Expression of Emotions, and Use of Non-Verbal Forms of Communication

Performance Indicators:

  1. Identifies information that is germane to the culture of the target language;
  2. Identifies attitudes, themes, and concerns expressed by members of cultural groups that speak the target language;
  3. Identifies industries, products, and ways of living that are typical of cultural groups that speak the target language;
  4. Identifies and understands the national, religious, ethnic, and local customs of the major groups that speak the target language;
  5. Recognizes cultural and linguistic stereotypes, identifies their fallacies, and can provide proper information regarding the cultural groups that speak the target language;
  6. Describes the major civil, cultural, religious, and economic institutions that underpin the functioning of the societies in which the target language is spoken;
  7. Discusses the historical, literary, and social traditions of the societies in which the target language is spoken;
  8. Explores the many dimensions of the popular culture of the societies in which the target language is spoken, especially in the areas of music, visual arts, film, culinary arts, sports, handicrafts, and performance arts