Comparative Literature and Languages

Comparative Literature, Languages, & Linguistics
Mission Statement, Goals and Learning Objectives

The mission of the Department of Comparative Literature, Languages, and Linguistics is to foster in students an appreciation of both languages and literatures of the world (both Western and non-Western) through the acquisition of multiple languages and the close analysis of literary texts and other cultural documents, to promote an interest in the way different literatures relate to one another across national and cultural boundaries, and enter into dialogue with other disciplines, media, or forms of art. Such study often tracks the influence or affinity of works of literature from different languages and cultures through literary and artistic movements, and different historical periods (from ancient to contemporary), under the global concept of World Literature. This study entails critical awareness of the necessity, with both merits and limitations, of translations of literature from the original languages.

The department supports the vision of the ACLA to "promotes the study of intercultural relations that cross national boundaries, multicultural relations within a particular society, and the interactions between literature and other forms of human activity, including the arts, the sciences, philosophy, and cultural artifacts of all kinds."

The language programs in the department of Comparative Literature, Languages, and Linguistics endeavor to develop the linguistic proficiency of its students from the introductory level through fourth-year language study.  By the end of the most advanced level of coursework for languages other than ancient Greek and Latin, students should be able to utilize the language at Levels 4 (“Advanced”) or 5 (“Educated Native Speaker”), as defined by the American Council of the Teachers of Foreign Languages.

The department prepares students for the BA in Asian Studies, Chinese, Classics, Comparative Literature, German, Modern Hebrew, Latin, Linguistics, and Russian. The department also prepares students for undergraduate minors in Arabic, Asian Studies, Chinese, Classics, Comparative Literature, German, Modern Greek, Modern Hebrew, Japanese, Latin, Linguistics, and Russian. The department also administers Hofstra University’s English Language Program (ELP) and graduate programs in Applied Linguistics and Linguistics: Forensic Linguistics.

One way that the Department of Comparative Literature, Languages, and Linguistics strives to fulfill its mission is through its commitment to meeting the following goals and objectives.

  1. Learning Goal: Writing Skills
    Objectives: Students should be able to:
    1. write grammatically coherent sentences;
    2. write about linguistic and literary phenomena with scholarly and disciplinary-appropriate terminology;
    3. document primary and secondary sources responsibly and correctly;
    4. defend their thesis statements with literary and linguistic evidence.
  2. Learning Goal: Speaking Skills
    Objectives: Students should be able to:
    1. express their ideas clearly before an audience;
    2. talk about linguistic and literary phenomena with scholarly and disciplinary-appropriate terminology;
    3. incorporate visual technology in the presentation of their ideas.
  3. Learning Goal: Linguistic Skills
    Objectives: Students should be able to:
    1. demonstrate grammatical aptitude in the target language;
    2. interpret a range of meanings of individual words and phrases in context.
  4. Learning Goal: Cultural Sensitivity and Familiarity
    Objectives: Students should be able to:
    1. describe intelligently the culture(s) of the target language or text;
    2. demonstrate sensitivity to cultural differences.
  5. Learning Goal: Critical Thinking
    Objectives: Students should be able to:
    1. evaluate evidence and sources rationally and/or scientifically;
    2. develop a sound thesis and persuasive argument.