Feb 22, 2024  
2010 Undergraduate Catalog 
2010 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Foreign Languages

View Programs and Courses 


Associate Professor: Elizabeth Blood, Chairperson

Professors: Kristine Doll, Fátima Serra

Associate Professors: John Aske, Nicole L. Sherf

Assistant Professor: Michelle Dávila Goncalves, Kenneth S. Reeds, Anna Rocca

Faculty Emeriti

Professors: William C. Clark, Stanley M. Finkenthal, Edwin L. Francis, Alex R. Quiroga, Henri Urbain

Associate Professor: Harry G. Allard

Programs Offered

Bachelor of Arts – Spanish


Elementary Education (P-6)  
Literature/Culture Concentration  
Professional Concentration  
Secondary Education (5-12)  


Foreign Languages  

Programs in Foreign Languages

The Department of Foreign Languages offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in Spanish, as well as programs in Arabic, Chinese, French, and Italian. German and Latin courses are also occasionally offered through the Division of Continuing Education. Whether a student opts to take only one or two classes, to complete a foreign language requirement, or to enroll in a minor or major program, our courses are designed to help students acquire the communicative language skills, cultural competency, and analytical ability needed in order to be successful, active participants in the global community.

Students often study languages for personal or academic enrichment, but language learning also has practical implications. The internationalization of the arts, media, politics, education, science and technology, along with the economic interdependence of the world’s nations and the increasingly multicultural character of American society, have created a very real demand for multilingual professionals in nearly every sector of the economy. Knowing a second (or third) language is a real asset in today’s marketplace, not only because you might need to use that language to communicate with native speakers in the U.S. or abroad, but also because of the personal, cultural and intellectual skills you develop when you learn a foreign language. A major or a minor in a second language is an excellent way to achieve this goal, which is also very favorably viewed by graduate schools and prospective employers.

Bachelor of Arts in Spanish

The Spanish major sets as priorities the use of language for communication and the integration of culture as central to all learning experiences. The major currently has four concentrations : a Spanish Professional Studies Concentration for careers requiring language skills; Spanish Elementary or Secondary Education Concentrations for teacher preparation in Spanish; and a Spanish Literature and Culture Concentration with a liberal arts base. Each concentration includes 12 courses (36 credits) in Spanish, some of which are required and some of which are chosen from a number of options. All majors complete an internship experience, either through Peer Tutoring or Community Placements, allowing them to use their language skills in a practical and meaningful way, while acquiring volunteer work experience. The Department of Foreign Languages also strongly encourages its majors to participate in a study abroad program to perfect their language ability and learn first-hand about Spanish-speaking cultures. Students may transfer 9 credits from study abroad to apply towards the completion of the major (12 credits may be accepted with special permission from the Department). Students in the major may also receive credit by examination. Acceptable tests are the College Board’s College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) test (currently available for French, German and Spanish) and the Advanced Placement (AP) subject test for a foreign language. See the Foreign Language Requirement  section of the General Education Core Requirements pages at the beginning of this catalog for score and course equivalencies.

Departmental Honors

Students who demonstrate superior knowledge of the subject area and exemplary participation in co-curricular activities or volunteer service, or study abroad, may apply in writing to the chairperson of the Department of Foreign Languages by the end of the second month of their last semester of study to be considered for Departmental Honors. In order to be eligible for departmental honors a student must have a grade point average of at least 3.5 in the major.

Exit Requirement for Majors with Concentrations in Spanish Elementary and Secondary Education

Students completing the Spanish Elementary Education or the Spanish Secondary Education degrees must complete an Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI or OPIc) test before graduating. This is a nationally-recognized proficiency exam that is required for accreditation and will enhance your teaching portfolio. Students in other major concentrations and in the minors are also encouraged to complete an Oral Proficiency Interview. See the Department’s Secondary Education Coordinator or the Department Chairperson for information about this test.


The Minors in French, Italian and Spanish

Students wishing to minor in French, Italian or Spanish must earn 15 credits beyond the elementary level in the language of their choice. Any 5 language courses above the elementary level will complete the minor. (Culture courses taught in English do not count towards a minor.)  Typically, the hours comprising the French Minor , Italian Minor , or Spanish Minor  consist of 6 intermediate credits (201 and 202), plus 9 additional credits earned by completing 3 courses chosen from the advanced 200, 300, or 400 series.

The Minor in Foreign Languages

This is an individually designed minor involving the study of two languages and consisting of 18 total credits, at least 12 of which must be above the 101-102 level. Approval of the Department chairperson is required. For additional information go to Foreign Languages Minor .

Credit by Examination

Credits may be granted by examination for students pursuing minors in accordance with previously stated policies. Acceptable tests are the College Board’s College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) test (currently available for French, German and Spanish) and the Advanced Placement (AP) subject test for a foreign language.See the Foreign Language Requirement  section of the Competency-Based Skills Requirements pages at the beginning of this catalog for score and course equivalencies.

Residency Guidelines for Minors

At least 9 of the 15 credits required for a minor in French, Italian, or Spanish, and 12 of the 18 credits for the Minor In Foreign Languages, must be taken at Salem State College. Exceptions may be made by the Department chairperson.

Study Abroad

The Foreign Languages Department strongly encourages study abroad for majors, minors, and any student interested in languages. Students who study abroad are fully exposed to, and immersed in, foreign languages and cultures, allowing for rapid language acquisition and a deeper understanding of a foreign culture. Salem State College, through its Center for International Education (CIE), belongs to the College Consortium for International Studies (CCIS) and it is affiliated with numerous other organizations, such as Academic Programs International (API), and the Center for International Studies (CIS). These organizations offer a wide range of month-long, semester-long and year-long programs worldwide, which are rigorously reviewed by international institutions and accredited agencies. Students may chose a program that matches their interests and transfer the credits for use for their major (9-12 credits maximum) or minor (6 credits maximum). For more information about these programs, see a faculty member in the Foreign Languages Department or visit the CIE Web site (salemstate.edu/cie).

Summer Immersion Programs

The Department of Foreign Languages has special relationships with the University of Oviedo in Spain, the Université Laval in Canada and the Università di Firenze in Italy. Month-long intensive summer language programs at these institutions allow students to earn up to 6 transferable language and/or culture credits. Semester and year-long study abroad programs are also available in these and many other locations around the world. For more information, visit the Foreign Languages Department website (salemstate.edu/languages).

Foreign Language Requirement

Learning another language and acquaintance with world cultures have extraordinary potential for opening the mind by providing a different perspective on international issues and on cultural and communicative patterns, especially in the globalized and multicultural world in which we live. Foreign language study is therefore an integral part of a liberal arts education and an Arts and Sciences degree. Students may satisfy the Foreign Language requirement (an integral part of most Bachelor of Arts degrees) by completing the fourth-semester (202-level) course, an equivalent course (such as SPN 212 , SPN 220 , andSPN 222 ), or any higher-level language course (300 or 400 level) in any of the languages we offer. Typically, however, German and Latin are offered only through the Division of Continuing Education, depending on available resources and demand, and may not always be available for completion of the foreign language requirement. The Foreign Language Requirement does not compel students to start their language studies at the 101 level or to take four language courses, but rather to successfully complete the 202 (advanced intermediate) course, its equivalent, or any higher level course in the language. For other ways to satisfy the Foreign Language Requirement (through examination, transfer courses, proof of graduating from a high school where the language of instruction was not English, or petition for substitution), please consult the Foreign Language Requirement  section of the General Education Core Requirement section at the beginning of this catalogue.  

Division I Literature Sequence Requirement 

The Department offers several literature sequence courses that may be taken to satisfy the college-wide Division I literature sequence distribution requirement, including Continental European Literature I & II (

  -  ), which is a course in English translation, offered every year; Introduction to Spanish Literature I & II (  -   ), taught in Spanish, offered every other year; Hispano-American Literature I & II (  -  ), taught in Spanish, offered every other year; or Introduction to French Literature I & II (  -  ), taught in French, offered every three or four years.

Language Placement Guidelines 

It is very important for students to begin their language studies at Salem State at the appropriate level. If a student has studied a language in high school or speaks the language due to life experience, he or she should not enroll in the 101-level course. The 101 course is designed for beginners who have very little or no prior experience with the language.

Students who have previous experience in Arabic, Chinese, French, Italian, Latin, or German, should follow the Department’s placement guidelines below and/or consult a faculty member in the Department of Foreign Languages. Students who have had prior experience in Spanish and wish to continue their study of Spanish at Salem State are required to take the Spanish Placement test (see below). The AP test, SAT-II subject test, or the CLEP test can also be used to determine placement.

Students who believe they have extenuating circumstances or students who score borderline results should consult with the chairperson in the Foreign Languages Department.

Guidelines for placement 

Level Indicators of Proper Placement
101 No experience in language (true beginner)
  Less that two years of secondary school study on the language
  Below 400 on the SAT subject test
  below 250 on Spanish WebCAPE placement test

Two to three years of high school

  400-460 on SAT subject test
  251-320 on Spanish WebCAPE placement test

Three to four years of high school

  461-559 on SAT subject test
  321-399 on Spanish WebCAPE placement test

Four or more years of high school

  560-699 on SAT subject test
  400-499 on Spanish WebCAPE placement test
  3 on the AP subject test

Five years or more in secondary school

  700 or above on SAT subject test
  500 or above on Spanish WebCAPE placement test
  4 or 5 on the AP subject test
  Special permission of the Department’s chairperson

Spanish Placement Test 

The WebCAPE Spanish placement test is free for Salem State students and can be taken online at any time to determine placement level. Visit the Language Resource Center’s Web site for details (lrc.salemstate.edu). You may contact the Language Resource Center’s coordinator if you have any questions. The results of the placement test, together with the guidelines above, will be used to determine the appropriate level for placement, preferably with the assistance of a Spanish instructor or faculty advisor.

Department Policies

It is considered academically dishonest for native speakers, heritage speakers (those who learned a language through family or life experience), or students with significant prior study of a language (in secondary school or at another institution of higher education) to enroll in elementary-level language courses. Students who intentionally conceal their language background and place themselves into elementary-level language courses may face charges of academic dishonesty which can result in exclusion from the course and the filing of a report of Academic Misconduct. See the College’s policy on Academic Integrity  at the end of this catalogue for more information about academic dishonesty.

The SSC WebCAPE Spanish Placement test may not be used to exempt a student from the foreign language requirement. It is used solely to determine proper placement for students studying Spanish. Students may earn exemption from the foreign language requirement by taking the CLEP test or the AP subject test, or by showing proof of graduation from a high school where English was not the primary language of instruction.

The Department does not offer directed studies for elementary or intermediate language courses. If you need a course in a particular semester and none of our offerings fit your schedule, you must seek alternative course options (i.e., NECCUM network, a transfer course from another institution in the U.S., or study abroad).