Department Chair: Isabel Asensio
Location: Elizabeth Hall, Room 434
Telephone Contact: Sandy Thomas 801-626-6183
Professors: Isabel Asensio, Craig Bergeson,Thomas Mathews; Associate Professors: Diego Batista, Electra Fielding, Kacy Peckenpaugh, John Trimble; Assistant Professor: Aubrey Jones Kubiak; Visiting Assistant Professor: Cynthia Jones; Instructors: Tomono Adachi, Chantal Esquivias
The Department of Foreign Languages promotes global awareness and intercultural understanding by providing instruction and study abroad opportunities in various languages. We prepare majors and minors to function effectively in a foreign language by offering courses in literature, culture, linguistics, pedagogy and language for professional purposes.
A bachelor of arts degree is offered. Students may select a regular major, a teaching major or a major with a commercial emphasis in French, German or Spanish. Regular and teaching minors are offered in these three languages as well. In addition, a Japanese minor is offered, and the department participates in Asian Studies, European Studies and Latin American Studies minors and in a departmental Honors Program. A language emphasis for the BIS degree requires a minimum of 18 hours, 15 of which must be upper-division course work. Courses in other languages may be offered as need and resources allow. The curriculum is based on the National Standards for measuring proficiency. Each course is designed to foster linguistic skills and to increase the student’s ability to participate in the culture.
Foreign Language Requirement for the Bachelor of Arts Degree
The Bachelor of Arts degree includes a foreign language or ASL (American Sign Language) requirement which may be met by one of the following:
- Documentation of a proficiency level of “Intermediate Low” or better through an examination administered by the WSU Foreign Language Department or through an examination by a recognized testing agency.
- Completion of WSU foreign language course ASL 2020 or CHNS 2020 or FRCH 2020 or GRMN 2020 or ITLN 2020 or JPNS 2020 or PTGS 2020 or SPAN 2020 with a grade of “C” or higher, or comparable transfer credit.
- Completion of any upper-division WSU foreign language course with a grade of “C” or higher, or comparable transfer credit.
- Students for whom English is a second language may meet the BA foreign language requirement by verifying their proficiency in their native (non-English) language in cooperation with the Foreign Language Department and verifying their proficiency in English as a Second language by passing the ESL Special Examination.
- Documentation of a minimum proficiency level in American Sign Language through an examination administered by the American Sign Language/Interpreting program at Salt Lake Community College (SLCC). The signer must “produce and maintain American Sign Language with continuity and precision.”
- Completion of SLCC’s American Sign Language Course ASL 1050 with a grade of “C” or higher, or comparable transfer credit.
- Completion of twelve semester-hours of foreign language.
Obtaining Foreign Language Credit for Prior Language Experience
Students with prior language experience may obtain lower-division foreign language credit by completing one of the following options:
- Students may obtain credit for 1010, 1020, 2010 and 2020 by passing a higher numbered course with a minimum grade of “C”
- Students may obtain credit for 1010, 1020, 2010 and 2021 through examination, but only in those languages in which the Department of Foreign Languages has expertise (usually limited to French, German, Japanese and Spanish). This examination is administered regularly by the department. Credit for Humanities General Education (2020) cannot be obtained through examination.
Upon payment of a nominal fee, hours earned through either option are recorded as “credit” on the transcript and do not affect the student’s GPA. The department may accept results from other foreign language testing agencies as evidence of proficiency. Application for credit is to be made at the office of the Department of Foreign Languages.
Generally, students may not earn lower-division foreign language credit for proficiency in their native language. If a student’s second language is English, then English may fill the BA foreign language requirement (see specific BA-major department advisors).
The Foreign Languages Department participates in the Asian Studies, European Studies, Linguistics, and Latin American Studies Minor Programs. Students who wish to enroll in one of these programs should indicate their desire to do so with the program coordinator who will help them work out a proper combination of courses to fit their particular needs. (See the Engaged Learning, Honors, and Interdisciplinary Programs section of this catalog.)
Oral Proficiency Requirements
The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) has defined a scale for the evaluation of the language proficiency of students. The ACTFL Proficiency scale has four levels: Novice, Intermediate, Advanced and Superior. The Department of Foreign Languages requires that students achieve a determined proficiency level, depending on the students’ goals. In addition, instructors assume that students entering any class have acquired the entry-level proficiency indicated for that class. (These levels are indicated in parentheses by the description of each course. N=Novice; NH=Novice High; IL=Intermediate Low; IM=Intermediate Mid; IH=Intermediate High; AL=Advanced Low.)
Students at this level have no experience in the language they are studying. They begin by learning the sound and spelling system and by memorizing words and phrases. During the course, they will progress to the point of being able to create simple sentences, to ask some questions, and to initiate, sustain and conclude simple social tasks more than half of the time.
Novice High (NH)
At the Novice-High level student’s progress from the ability to respond simply with learned utterances to the ability to create language face-to-face, to ask and answer simple questions, and to create sentence-level constructions.
Intermediate Low (IL)
At the Intermediate-Low level students continue to build mastery of personal social-oriented informational tasks and move to a higher level by practicing informational tasks beyond the immediate and personal. Students will move from simple-sentence to more complex sentence-level discourse. They will practice narration, description and comparison, but mastery is not expected.
Intermediate Mid (IM)
Students at this level build on an ability to perform informational tasks beyond immediate and personal needs while they continue to practice narration, description and comparison. In addition, students begin practice in supporting opinions and hypothesizing in the language. They move from complex sentence-level structures to paragraph-level discourse.
Intermediate High (IH)
At this level students can function at the Advanced level most of the time. They still need practice narrating, describing and comparing, and Linking sentences together smoothly. In addition, they encounter more tasks that require them to support opinion and to hypothesize. Student’s progress from complex sentences to paragraphs to extended discourse.
Advanced Low (AL)
Students at this level function at the Advanced level all or almost all of the time. Students have no difficulty with extended discourse, narration in all tenses and explanation. They are able to and use language both oral and written in complex and sophisticated ways.
Foreign Language Course Descriptions
ProgramsAssociate of ArtsInstitutional CertificateBachelor of ArtsMinorTeaching MinorHonors, Departmental