Jul 13, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate Academic Updates 
    
2024-2025 Undergraduate Academic Updates

World Languages & Cultures


Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Academic Departments Information

 

View Programs and Courses  

Faculty

 Professor:  Kenneth S. Reeds, Chairperson

Professors: Elizabeth Blood, Kristine Doll, Michele Dávila Goncalves, Anna Rocca, Fátima Serra, Nicole L. Sherf

 

Faculty Emeriti

Professors:  Jon Aske, Stanley M. Finkenthal

Associate Professor: Harry G. Allard

Programs Offered

               

         Bachelor of Science, Healthcare Studies and Spanish  

         Bachelor of Science, Criminal Justice and Spanish  

         World Languages and Cultures, Spanish BA-MEd Secondary Education  

 

Bachelor of Arts Concentrations

French  

Italian     

Spanish     

 

 

Minors

Arabic Studies  
Chinese Studies  
French   
German Studies   
Italian                                 
Spanish 
World Languages   

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Programs in World Languages and Cultures

The Department of World Languages and Cultures offers a Bachelor of Arts in World Languages and Cultures, with concentrations in French, Italian or Spanish.  There is also a Combined Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Studies and Spanish and a 5-year combined BA/ME.d. Spanish teacher licensure program. We also have a special agreement with the International Business program to allow students to more easily complete a double major in International Business and French, Italian or Spanish.  At the graduate level, the department offers a Master of Arts in Teaching Spanish.  We offer robust minors in French, Italian, Spanish and World Languages (a combination of any two languages) and also have interdisciplinary minors in Arabic Studies, Chinese Studies and German Studies.  Whether a student opts to take only one or two classes, to complete a world 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 three concentrations which are: French, Italian or Spanish, each with a liberal arts base and flexible course options.

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.

In addition, we offer a Combined Bachelor of Arts in World Languages and Culture, 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.  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 Language and Cultures also strongly encourages its major to participate in a study abroad program to improve their lauguage 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, the Language Opportunity Coalition (LOC) Seal Biliteracy, other nationally recongnized tests of language test for a world language.  All students who earn the Seal of Biliteracy will also receive credits.  See the World Language Requirement section of the General Education Requirements sections of the Curriculum Overview in the online catalog.

 

Combined Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Studies and Spanish

Our Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Studies and Spanish combines the university’s growing healthcare studies program – which prepares students for non-clinical careers in healthcare – with courses from its world languages program, which offers a concentration in Spanish. The new combined major is designed to fill a need for healthcare professionals who are fluent in Spanish and who have demonstrable intercultural competence. The program is designed for both heritage-Spanish speakers and non-heritage-Spanish speakers. The BS in Healthcare Studies and Spanish provides an avenue for students to combine professional preparation in healthcare studies with Spanish language skills, making them stand-out candidates in a growing healthcare industry.

 

The Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Studies and Spanish includes a unique combination of courses as well as an experiential component. Students will develop an understanding and appreciation for the wide range of roles within the U.S. healthcare arena; build an advanced level of communication in Spanish using a variety of linguistics registers, acquire an idiomatic use of the language, and the capacity to write accurately and effectively in different levels of formality, with a particular focus on healthcare-related terminology; and gain an appreciation of the complex and diverse cultural, political, and socio-historical processes that shape the Spanish-speaking world and its relationship with the U.S.

 

The curriculum is designed to ensure key touchpoints throughout the program. Early in the program, students will complete BHS101 Healthcare in the U.S. and SPN 250 Spanish for Healthcare Professionals. Both courses will provide a strong introduction to the combined degree program and the potential for professional careers. A unique feature of the Healthcare Studies curriculum will also be included in this combined major, that of the “pre-professional” course sequence (BHS203 Healthcare Seminar and BHS320 Cornerstone to Health Professions) with the experiential learning/internship experience (BHS520 Internship or SPN385 Community Placement) identified as the culminating experience. Considered to be high impact practice, this series of courses allows students to explore the employment opportunities of a vast healthcare industry while also developing and building on their professional skills.

The Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Studies and Spanish is suited for both traditional undergraduate students and adult learners. This program prepares graduates to enter a growing job market where there is a demonstrated need in the region and across the state.

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, MGT472, BUS473, MGT345, FIN350.  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 offers 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 include an advanced grammar course in French, Italian or Spanish, an advanced writing course in English or target language, a professional experience or course or target language 400-level literature course and the translation practicum.   

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 world language study. 

The Frederick A. Meier Book Award

The Frederick A. Meier Book Award recognizes yearly a student from the department of World Languages and Cultures for outstanding achievements at Salem State University. The senior is selected by the full-time faculty of the department. This award is made possible thanks to the Ed Francis Endowment.

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.

Minors

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 15 credits, including 6 credits of Arabic language plus 9 credits of specified electives . 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 15 credits, including 6 credits of Chinese language (Mandarin), plus 9 credits of specified electives .  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 15 credits, including 6 creits of German language, plus 9 credits of specified electives. Other courses related to the Germanic world may be substituted for the above support courses with permission of the department chairperson.

Credit by Examination or Seal of Biliteracy

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, the Language Opportunity Coalition (LOC) Seal Biliteracy, other nationally recognized tests of language proficiency after consultation with the Chair, and the Advanced Placement (AP) subject test for a foreign language.  All students who earn the Seal of Biliteracy will also receive credits.  See the World Language Requirement section of the General Education Requirements section of the  Curriculum Overview in the 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, German, 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.

Study Abroad

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, world languages and cultures, allowing for rapid language acquisition and a deeper understanding of a world 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 Center for International Education (CIE).

World Language Requirement

Learning another language and knowledge of world cultures have extraordinary potential for opening the mind by providing a unique perspective on international issues and on cultural and communicative patterns, especially in the globalized and multicultural world we live in now.  That is why world language study is an integral part of a liberal arts education and an Arts and Sciences degree. Students may satisfy the World 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 SPN222 ), or any higher-level language course (300 or 400 level) in French, Italian, or Spanish. The World 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 World 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 World 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 World Cultures and Creative Expression and Appreciation and level 2 and 3 Writing courses. Note that any elementary (101 or 102) language course (except Spanish), all intermediate (201 or 202) language courses 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.

 

Language Placement Guidelines 

 Students must begin their language studies at Salem State at the approriate 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 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 

Level

Indicators of Proper Placement

101

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

   

102

Two years of secondary school study in the language

 

400-460 on the SAT language test

   

201

Three to four years of secondary school study in the language

 

461-559 on the SAT language test

Documented Intermediate-Mid level or LOC Biliteracy Achievement Award

   

202

Four or more years of secondary school study in the language

 

560-699 on the SAT language test

Documented Intermediate-High level or MA Seal of Biliteracy

 

3 on the AP subject test

   

300-400     

Five years or more of secondary school study in the language

 

700 or above on the SAT language test

Documented Advanced-Low level or MA Seal of Biliteracy with Distinction

 

4 or 5 on the AP subject test

 

Special permission of the Department’s chairperson

 
 

 

Department Guidelines

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 less 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 for more information about  academic dishonesty.

A placement test may not be used to exempt a student from the World Language Requirement. They are used solely to determine proper placement for students studying French, Italian or Spanish. Students may, however, fulfill the university’s BA World Language Requirement by earning credit through examination. See the University catalog for more information on the BA World Language Requirement and approved sources of credit by examination.

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, an approved transfer course from another institution in the U.S., or study abroad). Directed studies for advanced courses (300-500 level) are typically approved by the department chairperson only if a student has junior or senior status, and the course is required for the major, and the course is not scheduled to run before the student’s anticipated graduation date. The Department also limits the number of directed study courses that faculty are allowed to teach to one additional preparation (unique course not currently being offered) per semester and to four students per semester maximum.


 

 

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Academic Departments Information