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Romance Languages and Literatures

Learning Goals and Objectives

In the Department of Romance Languages & Literatures, we teach a variety of different courses to different constituents of the student body. Accordingly the goals we set vary depending on the type of students-majors & minors; students fulfilling the language requirement; students fulfilling various distribution requirements. What follow are the various learning goals and objectives that correspond to the wide array of courses we teach in French, Italian, and Spanish.

Courses for the major or minor in French, Italian, or Spanish:

  1. Learning Goal: Students should develop linguistic skills in oral and written expression.
    Objectives:
    Students should be able to:
    1. demonstrate the ability to understand speech in the target language in most social and professional situations;
    2. demonstrate the ability to communicate orally in the target language in most social and professional situations;
    3. demonstrate the ability to understand written texts (journalism, non-fiction, literature, etc.);
    4. demonstrate adequate mastery of the grammar of the target language;
    5. demonstrate the ability to write grammatically and analytically at a variety of language levels.
  2. Learning Goal: Students should develop a sense of the cultural aspects of the peoples who speak the target language.
    Objectives:
    Students should be able to:
    1. recognize political, social, economic, and linguistic factors that influence components of the language and the culture;
    2. develop understanding of people of other cultures in general and in the particular local setting(s).
  3. Learning Goal: Students should be able to demonstrate an ability to read and analyze literature written in the target language.
    Objectives:
    Students should be able to:
    1. develop a sensitivity for literary language;
    2. become familiar with various literary terms and concepts and be able to use them in explicating and interpreting literary texts;
    3. become acquainted with a diverse range of literary genres, trends, schools, and groups;
    4. analyze and interpret literary texts;
    5. understand the historical, social, and political context of literary works and apply that knowledge to a literary analysis of those works.

Courses fulfilling the language requirement:

I. Language Requirement Courses
These goals and objectives extend over the first 4 levels of language learning, known as the elementary [FREN, ITAL, and SPAN 1 & 2] and intermediate [FREN, ITAL, and SPAN 3 & 4] levels. The objectives listed here pertain to each course, increasing in degree with each successive level. Each of the objectives is addressed incrementally in each of the 4 courses in the language requirement sequence.

  1. Learning Goal: Students will develop linguistic skills in the target language.
    Objectives:
    By the end of the sequence of language courses, students should be able to:
    1. understand sentence-length utterances and longer stretches of connected discourse on a number of topics pertaining to different times and places;
    2. initiate, sustain, and bring to a close basic oral communicative tasks;
    3. create with the target language by combining and recombining learned elements;
    4. read simple, connected texts in a consistent way with reasonable and graduated understanding;
    5. take notes, write simple letters, synopses and paraphrases, summaries of biographical data, work, school, and personal experience;
    6. have an emerging ability to write description and narration in paragraphs.
  2. Learning Goal: Students will develop a sense of the cultural aspects of peoples who speak the target language.
    Objectives:
    By the end of the sequence of language courses, students should be able to:
    1. negotiate the culture of the target language region(s);
    2. develop an understanding for and appreciation of the complexities of the human experience across cultures.

Courses fulfilling the distribution requirement:

Learning Goal: For distribution courses in translation, students will develop an understanding of other cultures through translations of literature as well as non-fiction documentation that originate from the region where the target language is used as an official mode of expression.
Objectives: Students should be able to accomplish the following:

  1. develop an understanding of people of other cultures in general and in the particular local setting with individuals of those cultures;
  2. develop an appreciation of the political, social, economic and linguistic factors, including prejudices, that characterize the human experience across cultures in the particular local setting(s) with individuals of those cultures;
  3. understand the historical, social, and political context of literary works and apply that knowledge to a literary analysis of those works.