Robert N Baah, Kathryn Mary Bartholomew, Michelle Beauclair, Owen M Ewald, Lylje H Klein, Katya Nemtchinova, Eric William Vogt, Michael Joakim Ziemann
There are doubtless many different languages in the world, and none is without meaning, but if I do not know the meaning of the language, I shall be a foreigner to the speaker and the speaker a foreigner to me. So with yourselves; since you are eager for manifestations of the spirit, strive to excel in building up the church. — I Corinthians 14:10-12
The Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures seeks to help students (1) understand and appreciate the rich diversity of world languages and cultures, both ancient and modern; (2) be a blessing as a stranger in another land and be hospitable to strangers in one’s own land; and (3) reach stated levels of language proficiency, as defined by national standards.
Three years or more of language study in high school are strongly recommended for all students entering one of the degree programs in Foreign Languages and Literatures. In addition, it is recommended to take advantage of intercultural opportunities including travel for study or missions. Superior students are encouraged to take Advanced Placement courses and exams if possible.
All students entering SPU having studied a foreign language are required to take the online placement exam. This exam is for placement purposes only and cannot be used to satisfy the proficiency requirement.
There are three departmental degree programs: European Studies, with specializations in French, German, Latin, Russian, Spanish, Linguistics and a general Europe track; Latin American Studies/Spanish; and Classics. All programs emphasize the relationship between culture and language. The European studies majors and the Latin American Studies/Spanish major require participation in an overseas travel/study program, typically in an area where the language of specialization is spoken. All students majoring in programs involving spoken languages must take the ACTFL Oral Proficiency exam in the language(s) studied before graduation, and must write a senior paper and present it in The Symposium (formerly called the European Studies Symposium).
Applicants for a major within the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher in all college work applicable to the B.A. degree and a 2.5 GPA in 10 credits of coursework at SPU in foreign languages and literatures, linguistics, and/or European or Latin American studies.
The European studies major offers students a B.A. degree with the choice of one of five language programs: French, German, Latin, Russian, and Spanish; of a general-studies program titled Europe; or a program in Linguistics. All programs focus on the language, culture, and literature of Europeans and former European colonies. Graduates in European studies follow careers in business, missions, travel, government, and education, among other fields. Students must complete all non-credited and language proficiency requirements found on the Languages department page.
All European studies majors must complete satisfactorily the following major requirements:
- 19 credits in European studies courses (base courses).
- Forty credits in one of the seven programs listed above; 25 of these credits must be upper-division; for the language programs a minimum of 18 upper division credits must be in courses taught in the language.
- One quarter of study in Europe with the SPU European Quarter, or an approved alternative.
- A senior paper that integrates learning (see below for information about The Symposium).
- Proficiency in a second European language (other than English) equivalent to one year of college-level language study.
Latin American Studies/Spanish
Latin American Studies major.
The minimum requirement for minors within the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures is 33 credits, of which a minimum of 15 must be upper-division. Students will take a minimum of two courses from the base requirements of the corresponding major. For spoken languages, a minimum of 7 upper-division credits must be in courses taught in that language. Students should work closely with their faculty advisors to choose appropriate courses.
An intensive, three-week, 5-credit study abroad/missions trip hosted at the Fuente de Vida church in Santiago, Chile. Students participate in the ongoing ministry activities of the church, and homestay with local families. The program involves three hours of academic study of Spanish in the morning, three hours of one-on-one Spanish conversation practice with a Chilean native in the afternoon, followed by outreach and ministry-related activities in the evening.
European Quarter is held Spring Quarter of odd-numbered years. Sites vary, depending on faculty leadership, but participants meet the expectations of a quarter’s study in Europe both academically, earning a minimum of 12 credits, and culturally, through in-depth contact with the language/culture connection.
The Paris Study program offers students the opportunity to earn 10 credits while immersing themselves in French language and culture. Intensive French courses focus on oral proficiency in common, everyday situations encountered in Paris. The program includes the study of European civilization using the museums, theaters, and historic sights of the city as our classroom. Students also participate in a weekend excursion outside of Paris.
The Salamanca program is a 10-credit summer program in history and language offered in collaboration with the University of Salamanca.
More information about these programs, and about overseas programs sponsored by the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) can be found at the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures or at Bestsemester
The Symposium is a gathering of faculty and students for the presentation of academic and creative work related to foreign languages and literatures, cultural studies, and linguistics. It is held during Winter Quarter. All majors in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures must make a presentation in The Symposium before graduation, typically during their senior year.
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