Modern Languages Department
Maria Snyder (chair), Amy Young
The department of modern languages believes that the ability to communicate (listen, speak, read and write) in another language is fundamental for attaining an understanding of the many cultures that make up the world. For significant intercultural understanding, students must also learn what members of other cultures consider worth talking about: their historical, artistic and literary heritage; their contemporary political, social and economic problems; and their basic customs and values.
Modern language course offerings are intended to build basic communication skills and insight into important topics in literature and culture. All on-campus courses include regular conversation sessions with native-speakers or advanced speakers of the target language and are supported by co-curricular activities in the language, including the language house program and social activities. All courses aim to increase language proficiency and cultural awareness as well as to prepare students for an extended, off-campus immersion in a culture where the target language is spoken.
All majors in the department of modern languages (especially those seeking secondary teaching licensure) are expected to spend one year – or at least one semester – in Central’s study abroad program in Vienna, Austria. Before departure, students should review with their advisor those courses offered abroad that can be used to meet major requirements, and file a preliminary plan of study with the advisor. Students must make effective use of their time and experience abroad in order to reach the proficiency levels required of the major. Students seeking a minor in the department are encouraged to study abroad as well.
Students seeking teaching licensure must secure information from the department of modern languages and the department of education concerning departmental and state requirements. Requirements for students seeking teaching licensure are not necessarily identical to those of the general major/minor.
For information on earning credit by proficiency in a foreign language, please see the Credit by Proficiency section of this catalog.
Students completing the German Studies major may choose from three emphasis areas: literature, language or cultural history. At the heart of each student’s major program is study in a German-speaking country, typically as a participant in the Central College Germany/Austria program. Graduating majors are expected to demonstrate skills in German comparable to those of persons qualified to do advanced work at a German or American university. The ultimate aim of the program goes beyond the acquisition of linguistic competence, however, to laying the foundations for active and responsible world citizenship. German majors are encouraged to plan early for participation in the Central College Germany/Austria program.
All German majors will successfully complete significant written and oral work in one (or more) 300-400 level course.
Note: All majors are expected to study in Germany/Austria or a German-speaking country, and to have skills in German comparable to those of persons qualified to do advanced work and receive admission to a German university. Students are advised to confer with the department regarding the best sequence of course work to fulfill major requirements, and the courses in Vienna that may be applied toward departmental requirements. Whenever possible, the civilization requirement should be met before going abroad.
Complete all of the following:
At least 3 credits must be taken after studying in Vienna
During the year abroad, majors may take support courses in Austrian culture and the civilization. The department can help students to choose the civilization and literature courses in Vienna that can count toward major requirements. On campus, majors are encouraged to start a second major or to get strong minors in areas of interest (e.g., business, communications, linguistics, various pre-professional curricula, etc.); students are particularly encouraged to pursue work in another language, literature or area of cultural studies.
Note: Special requirements apply for teacher certification.