2011-2012 Catalog 
    Jun 02, 2023  
2011-2012 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Languages and Cultures

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  • Professor: Robert von Dassanowsky
  • Professors Emeriti: Douglas McKay and John Miller
  • Professor Emerita: Inez Dolz-Blackburn
  • Associate Professors: Fernando Feliu-Moggi, Teresa Meadows (Chair), and Maria Sergia Steen
  • Assistant Professor: Edgar Cota-Torres
  • Senior Instructors: Suzanne Cook, John Covell, Margaret Mistry, Blanca Glisson, Maria Goni, Maura Rainey 
  • Senior Instructor Emerita: Ilse Stratton
  • Instructors: Andrea Brehm, Carmen Frank, and Reiko McAdams

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. 

Courses of Study Offered

The department offers a BA degree in Spanish  and minor concentrations in American Sign Language French , German , Japanese Language and Culture , and Spanish . Basic courses are also offered in 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 1000 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 3000 and 4000 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.

Study Abroad

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. The Department offers opportunities for study abroad in Spanish and French. Selected programs are also available through the Office of International Education, Boulder and Denver.

Additional Language Courses

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.

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