Associate Professor Michele Dávila Gonçalves, Chairperson
Professors: Jon Aske, Elizabeth Blood, Kristine Doll, Anna Rocca, Fátima Serra, Nicole L. Sherf
Associate Professor: Kenneth S. Reeds
Professors: Stanley M. Finkenthal, Alex R. Quiroga
Associate Professor: Harry G. Allard
Bachelor of Arts – World Languages and Cultures
Spanish Professional Studies
Programs in World Languages and Cultures
The Department of World Languages and Cultures offers a Bachelor’s degree in World Languages and Cultures, with concentrations in French, Italian and Spanish, as well as Master of Arts in Teaching Spanish. Our minor programs include Arabic Studies, Chinese Studies, French, German Studies, Italian, Spanish and World Languages (a combination of any two languages). 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 interpersonal, cultural and intellectual skills you develop when you learn a foreign language. A major, double major or a minor in a second language are excellent ways to achieve this goal, which is also very favorably viewed by graduate schools and prospective employers.
Bachelor of Arts in World Languages and Cultures
The World Languages and Cultures major sets as priorities the use of language for communication and the integration of culture as central to all learning experiences. The major offers four concentrations which are: a Spanish Professional Studies Concentration, with a focus on translation and interpretation, and interdisciplinary concentrations in French, Italian or Spanish, each with a liberal arts base. In addition we offer a Combined Bachelor of Arts in World Languages and Cultures, Concentration in Spanish with a Minor in Teacher Education, and Master of Education with Teacher Licensure Options for Spanish Education: Grades PK-6 or 5-12. Each concentration is comprised of 12 courses (36 credits) in language, literature and culture, with interdisciplinary options in the liberal arts concentrations. All majors complete an experiential learning course (an internship, community service placement, or study-travel project), allowing them to use their language skills in a practical and meaningful way within the local or global community. The combined B.A. and M.Ed. is comprised of 102 undergraduate credits, 36 of which are in Spanish language, culture and literature starting at the SPN 202 level, in addition to 36 graduate credits in Spanish and Education. The Department of World Languages and Cultures also strongly encourages its majors to participate in a study abroad program to improve their language proficiency and to learn first-hand about the cultures they are studying in our programs. Study abroad credits pre-approved by the Department and taken through the Center for International Education may count towards major or minor programs. Students in a major or minor 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), the NYU Proficiency Test, and the Advanced Placement (AP) subject test for a foreign language. See the Foreign Language Requirement section of the General Education Requirements section of the Curriculum Overview in the online catalog (catalog.salemstate.edu).
Double major World Language and Cultures and Business/International Business Concentration
Students double-majoring in International Business (BSBA-International Business concentration) and World Languages and Cultures (BA-French, Italian or Spanish concentrations) may count twelve credits of IB major concentration courses towards the Interdisciplinary courses requirement of the WLC French, Italian or Spanish flowsheets. Students may use the following Business courses for section C: BUS 370 , MGT 472, BUS 473, MGT 345, MKT 445, FIN 350 Six credits of advanced language courses may count towards both the WLC advanced language major requirement courses and the IB concentration electives.
Certificate in Translation
The World Languages and Cultures Department is offering now a Certificate in Translation. The program consists of 18-21 credits taken in the World Languages and Cultures Department and the English Department plus a professional experience or equivalent interdisciplinary course. Required courses are: WLC300 , ENL306, an advanced grammar course in French, Italian or Spanish (FRE301, ITL350, SPN350), an advanced writing course in English or target language (ENL310, ENL316, FRE352, ITL354, SPN354), a professional experience or course (BUS170, CRJ101, SWK101, IDS260, MCO316, SPN250, BIO 200/201, POL251, POL354, or target language 400-level literature course, the translation practicum (FRE400, ITL400, SPN450), and WLC501.
Phi Sigma Iota: International Foreign Language Honors Society
The World Languages and Cultures department joined Phi Sigma Iota, an international honor society, in 2010. Our honors society members are inducted every spring semester. These include undergraduate majors and minors, graduate students in Spanish and faculty members. New members are recruited by invitation from faculty based on exceptional academic achievement in foreign language study.
Exit Requirement for Majors with Concentrations in Spanish Elementary and Secondary Education
Students completing the Combined B.A. and M.Ed. in Spanish Education 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 above the elementary level in the language of their choice. Any 5 language courses numbered 200 or higher, will complete the minor. Culture courses taught in English do not count towards the French, Italian, or Spanish minor. Typically, the hours comprising the French, Italian, 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 Arabic Studies
This minor is comprised of 18 credits, including 12 credits of Arabic language, plus 6 credits chosen from the following: ARA301, ARA302, GPH237, HST237, HST372, POL375. Other courses related to the Arabic World may be substituted for the above support courses with permission of the department chairperson.
The Minor in Chinese Studies
This minor is comprised of 18 credits, including 12 credits of Chinese language (Mandarin), plus 6 credits chosen from the following: ART333A, HST240, PHL310N, POL377, WLC130. Other courses related to China may be substituted for the above support courses with permission of the department chairperson.
The Minor in German Studies
The minor is comprised of 18 credits, including completion of the intermediate level German sequence (GER201-202), plus 12 credits chosen from the following: GER101, GER102, GER351, HST270, HST271, HST273, HST442,HST465, MUS100, POL370, POL372. Other courses related to the Germanic world may be substituted for the above support courses with permission of the department chairperson.
Credit by Examination
Credits may be granted by examination for students pursuing a major or minor 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), the NYU Proficiency Test, and the Advanced Placement (AP) subject test for a foreign language. See the Foreign Language Requirement section of the General Education Core Requirements in the Curriculum Overview online catalog (catalog.salemstate.edu).
Residency Guidelines for Majors and Minors
Transfer courses from other universities and credit by examination: Students may transfer a maximum of 12 credits towards the major in World Languages and Cultures. Students may transfer a maximum of 6 credits towards one of the minor programs (Arabic Studies, Chinese Studies, French, Italian, Spanish, World Languages). Exceptions may be made by the Department chairperson.
Study abroad credits: Students may apply study abroad credits earned through Salem State University’s Center for International Education towards a major or a minor program, provided that a student in the major takes at least 18 towards the major in World Languages & Cultures at Salem State or that a student in the minor take at least 3 credits towards a minor in Arabic Studies, Chinese Studies, French, Italian, Spanish, or World Languages at Salem State.
The Department of World Languages and Cultures 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 University, 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 choose a program that matches their interests and apply pre-approved credits towards their major or minor according to the guidelines described above. For more information about these programs, see a faculty member in the Department of World Languages and Cultures.
Summer Immersion Programs
The Department of World Languages and Cultures has special relationships with the University of Oviedo in Spain, Latin University of Costa Rica, the Université Laval in Canada, and the University of Sorrento in Italy. Month-long or longer intensive summer language programs at these institutions allow students to earn up to 6-9 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 Department of World Languages and Cultures website.
Foreign Language Requirement
Learning another language and knowledge of 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 we live in now. That is why foreign language study is 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 demonstrating intermediate-level competency in a language. This is shown by completion of the fourth-semester (202-level) course, an equivalent intermediate course (such as SPN220 or SPN222), or any higher-level language course (300 or 400 level) in any of the languages we offer. 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 Requirement section in the Curriculum Overview of the online catalog (catalog.salemstate.edu).
General Education Courses
The Department offers a variety of courses that meet requirements for the General Education Curriculum in the categories of World Cultures and Creative Expression and Appreciation and level 2 and 3 Writing courses. Note that any intermediate (201 or 202) language course will satisfy the World Cultures category of the General Education Curriculum. Please see below for language placement and consult the college catalog for more information about general education courses offered by our Department.
The Department also offers several literature sequences that fulfill the Division I Literature sequence requirement that may be required of students following the old general education curriculum or the transitional core. These include Continental European Literature (WLC251- 252), Introduction to Spanish Literature (SPN401-402), Latin American Literature (SPN417-418), and Introduction to French Literature (FRE401-402).
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, or German, should follow the Department’s placement guidelines below and/or consult a faculty member in the Department of World Languages and Cultures. The AP test, SAT-II subject test, or the CLEP test can be used to determine placement (see below). Another option is to take one of the tests found under Placement Tests in the department’s Canvas page at: https://elearning.salemstate.edu/courses/1165638.
Guidelines for placement
|Indicators of Proper Placement
|No experience in the language (true beginner)
|Less than one year of secondary school study in the language
|Below 400 on the SAT language test
Two years of secondary school study in the language
|400-460 on the SAT language test
Three to four years of secondary school study in the language
|461-559 on the SAT language test
Four or more years of secondary school study in the language
|560-699 on the SAT language test
|3 on the AP subject test
Five years or more of secondary school study in the language
|700 or above on the SAT language test
|4 or 5 on the AP subject test
|Special permission of the Department’s chairperson
We recommend that students who earn a grade lower than a C- in an elementary or intermediate language course (101, 102, 201, 202) retake that course before continuing to the next level of language study. In language learning, each level builds on the knowledge and skills from the previous level. Students who earn lower than a C- are not likely to succeed at the next level of language study.
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 University’s policy on Academic Integrity at the end of this catalog for more information about academic dishonesty.
Any placement test may not be used to exempt a student from the foreign language requirement. They are used solely to determine proper placement for students studying French, Italian or Spanish. French, German and 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).