Professor: Robert von Dassanowsky; Professors Emeritus: John Miller and Inez Dolz-Blackburn; Associate Professors: Fernando Feliu-Moggi, Teresa Meadows (Chair), and Maria Sergia Steen; Assistant Professor: Edgar Cota-Torres; Senior Instructors: Margaret Mistry, Blanca Glisson, and Maria Goni; Instructors: Suzanne Cook, Carmen Frank, Reiko McAdams, and Maura Rainey.
The University of Colorado considers the study of languages an essential part of a sound liberal education. Competence in a language other than English not only promotes international understanding and communication, but also increases student’s career opportunities in commerce and finance, diplomacy, library science, education, social work, publishing, communication, scientific and technical research, and the arts. It also prepares them for graduate school, which normally requires proficiency in at least one foreign language. Students might consider taking language classes as excellent complements to their major. Consult the Distributed Studies section of this Bulletin; French or German can be used as part of a Distributed Studies degree.
Courses of Study Offered
The department offers a BA degree in Spanish and minor concentrations in French , German , Japanese Language and Culture , and Spanish . Basic courses are also offered in American Sign Language, Greek, Italian, Latin and Russian. Students desiring to major in French and German may do so through a Distributed Studies major or by completing requirements for the major in French or German at the Boulder campus, by approval of the appropriate Boulder department.
Language courses at the 100 level introduce students to essentials of grammar, reading, oral fluency, and aural comprehension, as well as to a general understanding of the cultural context. Courses at the 300 and 400 levels are taught almost exclusively in the language.
Foreign culture studies courses are designed to give students the opportunity to explore different facets of foreign culture, film, and literature in courses, including on-site experiences.
The department strongly recommends that all majors and minors include study in a setting where the language of concentration is spoken. Credit earned will normally count toward satisfaction of the major/minor requirements, but the student must see the department chair before enrolling in an external study program to assure full transfer of credit. Selected programs are also available through the Office of International Education, Boulder and Denver.
Additional Language Courses
American Sign Language
American Sign Language (ASL) provides a unique modality— visual and gestural rather than the traditional aural/oral approach to modern language teaching. ASL is a fully developed language, containing rich verbal aspects and a classifier system. Elements of deaf culture are also presented through theoretical and applied simulations.
The language of the great literature of the Renaissance, grand opera, and the influential neo-realist cinema. Italian is not only a language of artistic achievement, but one of strong American ethnic heritage and international business.
Greek has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language. Classical Greek is the language of Homer and the great works of literature and philosophy which are the foundations of modern mathematics, science, and western cultures. Classical Greek is a strong corollary to studies in the arts, sciences, and literature.
With 50 percent of English vocabulary derived from Latin, it is not surprising to discover that students who have studied Latin score about 150 points more on such standardized verbal tests as the SAT than do students who have not had Latin (Washington Post). Latin is also the basis of the five romance languages (Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, and Rumanian) and as such helps students with further language study.
Russia, expanding in social and economic importance, has a history of great literature and great art. Turgenev, Dostoyevski and Solzhenitsyn as well as the artistic treasures of the Kremlin are revealed through a study of this language.