Learning Outcomes

French, German, Italian, and Spanish

In Spring 2008, the Department of World Languages and Literatures developed a series of "gates" that clearly delineate expected student outcomes in seven key categories: listening and reading comprehension, oral proficiency, written proficiency, meta-linguistic analysis, cultural awareness, academic competencies, and real-life use of language. These categories were determined in coherence with the National Standards for Foreign Language Learning developed by the American Council of the Teaching of Foreign Languages. The National Standards are Communication, Cultures, Comparisons, Connections, and Communities. The Department of World Languages and Literatures currently has four "gates" where student progress and level of success in the seven categories are measured and marked.

Gate 1 is upon completion of two semesters of language study (ARB101, CHI101, FRE101, GER101, HBR101, ITA101, JPN101, LAT101, POR101, RUS101, and SPA101), or equivalent. Students at this level are expected to reach a level of Novice Mid to Novice High (French, German, Italian, Latin, Portuguese, and Spanish); Novice Low to Novice Mid for less frequently taught languages (Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, Japanese, and Russian). The measuring tool for this gate is a final exam or project in the second semester course. We are exploring the possibility of using an external proficiency testing tool called STAMP (Standards-based Measurement of Proficiency) to ensure results that are accurately calculated by certified  assessors who have been trained and in the ACTFL proficiency scale.

Gate 2 is upon completion of four semesters of language study (ARB210, CHI210, FRE210, GER210, HBR210, ITA210, JPN210, LAT210, POR210, RUS210, and SPA210), or equivalent. Students at this level are expected to reach a level of Novice High to Intermediate Low (French, German, Italian, Latin, Portuguese, and Spanish); Novice Mid to Novice High for less frequently taught languages (Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, Japanese, and Russian). The measuring tool for this gate is a final exam or project in the fourth semester course. We have explored the possibility of using the STAMP test for accurate results. In Fall 2010, we tested all our fourth semester students as well as third semester students and obtained favorable results. This testing was supported by a university assessment grant that was petitioned by Dr. Elena Schmitt, Dr. Judith Hammer and Dr. Jian Wu. Beginning Fall 2011, with the implementation of the University Liberal Education Program, this testing will become mandatory for all students at the university and will involve a student fee.

Students pursuing a major or a minor pass Gate 3 upon successful completion of the required 300 level courses as well as by reaching the expected level of Intermediate Mid to Intermediate High. Currently, the measuring tool for this gate is a final exam or project in the highest 300 level course taken by the student.

Gate 4 is upon completion of the requirements for the major as well as by reaching the expected level of Advanced Low. Currently, for students pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in French, German, Italian, and Spanish and for students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish, the measuring tool for this gate is the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview and Written Production Test. A score of Advanced Low or Higher is required for graduation. For students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in French, German, and Italian, the measuring tool for this gate is a final exam or project in the highest 400 level course taken by the student.

MA in Romance Languages

  • Students will demonstrate knowledge of historical, political and social contexts that shape language, culture, and literature;
  • Students will conduct research using all available scholarly resources;
  • Students will apply critical analysis and a variety of theories to the study of literature, language and culture;
  • Students will write critical analyses of literary works and cultural artifacts from a range of periods, currents and genres;
  • Students will engage in informed discussions about literary works and cultural artifacts from a range of periods, currents and genres;
  • Students will advance their written and oral communicative abilities in the language of study.
  • Students will analyze their target language from a linguistic perspective including its structure, its comparative historical/cultural development, as well as how this  foreign language is acquired;
  • Students will engage in informed discussions about linguistic, historical and cultural varieties of their target language;
  • Students will articulate the significance of literary and cultural artifacts within their historical and cultural context;
  • Students will create original work in the target language.

Bilingual Education/TESOL

At the program's completion, graduates will be able to:

  1. Develop and deliver effective academic programs for English language learners based on a sound understanding of language development theory and language learning pedagogical principles and on personal reflection concerning one's own professional practice;
  2. Effectively teach English as a second language and develop ESL and/or bilingual education programs in a variety of instructional contexts and for various levels of language abilities;
  3. Indicate through their practice their value of the maintenance and the appropriate use of the learner's native language for the learner's academic development and second language development; and
    1. (for those who are proficient in a language other than English) effectively teach content to English language learners in a bilingual setting, that is, in English and in the primary language.
  4. Effectively advocate for the social, emotional, and instructional needs of English language learners.
  5. Effectively engage in professional discussions and activities related to the field.