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The Department of Foreign Languages at Wilson College offers majors and minors in French and Spanish, as well as minors in German and Latin. We also offer literature and culture courses in translation.
Our courses are designed to provide students with rigorous training in both oral and written expression. Through critical study and analysis of foreign literatures, philosophies, and cultures from ancient times to the present , our students learn not only about worlds outside their own, but also develop new perspectives on their own cultures and communities.
The Department sponsors weekly Language Tables for French and Spanish, a wonderful opportunity for all members of the Wilson Community to come together and practice their conversational skills over a meal. The Department also organizes Foreign Film Nights, with regularly scheduled French, German, and Spanish language films, and other cultural activities ( such as the Cervantes/Don Quijote celebration, on the 400th anniversary of the novel’s publication).
Language students are strongly encouraged to travel to foreign countries and to participate in Study Abroad programs sponsored either through Wilson or other approved institutions.
Students who major in French should attain a reasonable knowledge of both French and Francophone worlds. Students will be provided with a suggested reading list. In addition, it is highly recommended that students in this major spend time working or studying in a country where French is a primary language.
Students who major in Spanish should attain a reasonable knowledge of both Spanish and Spanish- American worlds. Students will be provided with a suggested reading list. In addition, it is highly recommended that students in this major spend time working or studying in a country where Spanish is the primary language.
The French major is designed to provide training in linguistic expression and literary analysis as well as a good understanding and appreciation of the culture and civilization of both France and Francophone countries. The courses of the French curriculum examine the significant thinkers, themes, movements, and ideologies (analyzed within their sociohistorical context) which have contributed to shape the French and Francophone identities. Continuous use of French is expected and travel abroad is strongly recommended. A major in French will normally consist of eight courses within the department above French 202. Of these, at least one will be in the area of culture and civilization and three at the 300-level. Two 200-level literature courses are required before the student can take advanced literature courses. At the minimum, students who major in French should attain a reasonable knowledge of the history of ideas and literature in France from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. Students will also increase awareness and understanding of modern Francophone cultures and literature.
The Spanish major provides instruction in the language, the literature, and the cultures and civilizations of Spain and Spanish-America. Introductory courses offer panoramic overviews of the cultural and literary developments; the more advanced courses examine major authors, significant works, and important themes. At any level, representative literature is studied both as artistic achievement and as cultural expression within a socio-historical context. Secondary
certification in Spanish is also available—see Education.
Note: Students who major in Spanish should attain a reasonable knowledge of both Spanish and Spanish- American worlds. Students will be provided with a suggested reading list. In addition, it is highly recommended that students in this major spend time working or studying in a country where Spanish is the primary language.
A Special Major in German is also available by application to the Chair of Foreign Languages and with the approval of the Committee on Academic Policy and Procedures.
Comprehensive overview of Francophone literature from its beginnings to
contemporary movements and writers (Africa, the Caribbean and Quebec). LIT
Critical and historical analysis of literary genres and problematics of the periods in question. LIT, WI
Development of listening and speaking competency through extensive use
of multimedia (text, audio and visual materials). Intensive
participation is required in order to improve freedom and proficiency of
oral expression. Special attention is given to spoken French and
includes intensive concentration on pronunciation, intonation, rhythm
Special problems in French grammar and syntax; a writing-intensive
course directed toward the improvement of stylistic skills and lexical
expansion through translation exercises, literary analysis (emphasis on
explication de texte, resumé, commentaire composé and dissertation) and
composition. WI, FT
Critical analysis of French and Francophone culture with emphasis on
political, social, economic, intellectual and artistic currents through
the reading and discussion of historical and literary texts from the
Middle Ages to the present. HWC
Three additional courses in French at the 300 level, which may include FRN 399 Senior Thesis.
Comprehensive overview of Spanish literature, with analysis and
discussion of selected representative texts. This is a course designed
to develop or enhance critical and analytical skills in the appreciation
of literature. LIT
Comprehensive overview of Spanish- American literature, with analysis
and discussion of selected representative texts. This course is designed
to develop or enhance critical and analytical skills in the
appreciation of literature. LIT
Intensive practice in conversation with special emphasis on correct
pronunciation and greater fluency. Reading, writing and oral
Short texts in a variety of modes (expository, narrative, descriptive,
persuasive, etc.) will be used as models for weekly compositions:
personal essays, journals and letters, creative compositions, business
correspondence, etc. There will also be intensive practice in
translation from English into Spanish. This course will aim at
correctness of expression, vocabulary acquisition and some basic
stylistic sophistication. FT
This course will trace the evolution of Spanish civilization from its
beginnings to the present. The focus will be on the major intellectual,
artistic, political and social manifestations that can be considered the
basis of Spain’s cultural identity. HWC
This course will trace the development of Spanish-American civilization
from its pre- Columbian periods to the present. The focus will be on the
major intellectual, artistic and political attempts at articulating a
self-consciously Spanish-American identity. FWC, NWC
Three additional Spanish courses at the 300 level, which may include SPN 399 Senior Thesis
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