Languages and Literatures

Learning Goals & Objectives

The Department of Languages and Literatures seeks to educate students to be global citizens, with the ability and sensitivity to communicate with people of diverse cultures. Our focus is on academic, professional, and personal development through our courses, in line with the mission of Lehman College and CUNY as a whole. We aim to accomplish this through the study of foreign languages, literatures, and civilizations.

The Department of Languages and Literatures seeks to provide all Lehman students with:

  • The training necessary to speak, comprehend, read and write Spanish, French, Italian, Russian, Japanese, Irish, or Hebrew at an elementary level, which would allow students to participate in basic everyday conversations and read and write relatively simple texts such as newspaper articles, letters, forms, etc.
  • An awareness of the diverse populations and cultures in which these languages are spoken and of the sociolinguistic aspects of these languages.
  • A basic understanding of the structure of these languages as compared to the English language.

There are many Lehman students whose native language is not Spanish or for whom Spanish is a language used at home. For these students, the department provides training to a level that would allow the student to use both oral and written Spanish in his or her chosen profession.

The department’s goals for majors are, of course, more ambitious than for the general student population. As part of the College-wide Assessment Initiative begun in Fall 2009, the department articulated six broad goals for majors in Spanish, French, Italian, and Russian.  Throughout the B.A. program, students aim to:

  • Develop oral/aural proficiency in the target language consistent with an ACTFL Proficiency rating of Advanced-Mid;
  • Develop written proficiency in the target language consistent with an ACTFL Proficiency rating of Advanced-Mid;
  • Develop reading proficiency in the target language consistent with an ACTFL Proficiency rating of Advanced Plus;
  • Develop broad cultural knowledge, understanding, and awareness of the nature of the culture(s) associated with the target language;
  • Develop proficiency in the literary accomplishments of the culture(s) associated with the target language;
  • Develop professional standards to present interpretations and analyses associated with academic work.

The Department’s goals for majors in terms of professional abilities and skills acquired upon completion of a B.A. include, but are not limited to:

  • Teaching their language of specialty on the secondary school level
  • Undertaking graduate studies on the Master’s and Doctoral levels
  • Undertaking graduate training as translators and interpreters
  • Partaking in interdisciplinary studies such as linguistics, international studies, multilingual journalism, comparative literature as well as other professional studies such as bilingual education, business, nursing, and accounting.

Last modified: Oct 31, 2013

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