All courses in programs in Languages, Literatures, and Cultures are taught in the target language, with the exception of courses listed under the LLC rubric. Elementary and intermediate language courses integrate vocabulary and grammatical structures with cultural materials in order to build students’ linguistic and cultural proficiency. Courses at the 300-level focus on a range of topics: from conversation and composition to culture, civilization and literature. The 300-level literature courses fulfill the field of study literary studies (FSLT) general education requirement and enhance students’ reading ability and analytical skills while also providing deeper insights into the languages and cultures of the regions under study. Courses at the 400-level usually focus on specific topics and periods, with an emphasis on more advanced reading and analytical skills. Through the study of literary texts, films and other documents, students explore historical and contemporary questions in a cultural context.
As an aid to student learning in the elementary and intermediate language courses, the department has created a “practice assistants” program in which students with advanced language skills can apply to serve as assistant teachers in the Chinese, French, German, and Italian language programs. The assistant leads one to two 50-minute practice sessions per week, each with no more than 10 language students. Language students gain the benefit of practicing their skills outside of the regular class sessions and advanced students reinforce their fluency as they work with beginner and intermediate students.
Practice assistants receive a small stipend and academic credit. Tryouts are usually held in late spring and early fall for the following semesters and are led by language program directors. Students who have never worked on campus before must contact Student Employment before beginning work. International students must also obtain a letter from the Office of International Education as well as a social security number prior to beginning employment.