Knowledge of foreign languages and an awareness of other cultures are of critical importance in today’s world, in which international communication is instantaneous and events taking place at great geographical distances have immediate global repercussions.
The language and culture program offers students the opportunity to acquire fluency in at least one language and to gain familiarity with the society (or societies) in which that language is used. Keeping in step with the increasingly complex interactions among countries, the program also allows students to explore a diversity of cultures through the wide choice of courses that fulfill requirements for the major.
The language and culture major offers a full program in French and Spanish, with opportunities to study Chinese, German, Hebrew, Italian, linguistics, and Portuguese. A course in Nigerian/Hausa language and culture is also available through the anthropology program.
Modern languages are taught through an approach that immediately involves students in oral interactions in the target language, while developing their linguistic and cultural awareness. Beginning French and Spanish courses also include interactive language labs. As students acquire fluency, they are introduced to varied aspects of the language’s cultural context. These include courses in civilization, translation, literature, and history.
Foreign Language Placement
All students are required to complete a foreign language placement exam before enrolling in any language course. Faculty members monitor their class lists to ensure that students have taken the exam and are enrolled in the appropriate level.
Study Abroad Opportunities
Students are strongly encouraged to participate in the college’s study abroad programs. These interdisciplinary programs include courses that fulfill requirements for the major in language and culture and/or General Education requirements.
Minors in the Language and Culture Program
Students majoring in any discipline may pursue a minor offered by the language and culture program: Chinese, French, Italian, Spanish, and linguistics. Students interested in pursuing any of these minors should submit a completed Application for a Program of Minor Study to the School of Humanities main office.
Related Interdisciplinary Minors:
In addition to meeting General Education requirements, all students majoring in language and culture must complete 40 total credits as listed below:
1. Complete the Translation course in the selected language concentration with a grade of B or higher.
- SPA3735/Spanish Translation (4 credits)
- FRE 3735/French Translation (4 credits)
Note: For the French Concentration, if FRE 3735/French Translation is not being offered during a particular year, LAC 3430/An Introduction to Linguistics may be substituted for this requirement if your Advisor permits.
2. Complete Two 3000 level language courses from your chosen concentration below: (8 credits total)
3. Four courses in Hispanic or Francophone culture from your chosen concentration below: (16 credits total)
Note: For the French concentration, the same courses cannot be taken for requirements 2 and 3. For example, if you take FRE3230/The Island as Laboratory, it will fulfill either 2 or 3, and not both.
4. One elective from the list of courses in requirements 2 and 3 that have not been taken or one of the following courses:
5. Complete a two-semester Senior Project with a focus in one of the following areas: (8 Credits)
- Language Pedagogy: Creating a lesson plan and classroom materials for language instruction and applying pedagogical principals learned in the Methods of Language Teaching class.
- Translation: Propose a translation for a passage of a novel, film, etc. applying the theory and methodology of translation studies learned in the Translation course.
- Literature (Hispanic or Francophone): Engage in research on literature and supplement with materials from History, Philosophy, Art History, Political Science, etc. It is encouraged that students write their project in French or Spanish but it is not required.
- Topics in Hispanic or Francophone Culture: Students may research on topics such as Cinema, Politics and Visual Arts
- Creative Projects: Students with artistic skills may submit an original work in their genre of choice. The work must reflect Francophone or Hispanic cultures and include an explanatory essay. Approval from an advisor is needed.
- MA, Auburn University
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Language and Culture
PhD, Duke University
Associate Professor of Language and CultureCo-chair of Language and Culture and Coordinator of Linguistics Minor
- BA, MA, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
- MA, Universidad Complutense de Madrid
- MA, PhD, University of Southern California
Lecturer of German
- BA, Humberside Business School (UK)
- BA, Fachhochschule Münster (Germany)
- MA, Manhattanville College
Associate Professor of Spanish and LiteratureCo-Chair of Language and Culture
- BA, Columbia University
- PhD, University of Pennsylvania
Lecturer of French
- Licence-ès-Lettres, Maitrise-ès-Lettres, University of Antananarivo (Madagascar)
- MA, University of Cincinnati
- PhD, University of Oregon
Lecturer of Spanish
Assistant Professor of Communications and French
- BA International Development, Brigham Young University
- MBA International Administration, Thunderbird School of Global Management
- MA French Studies, Brigham Young University
- MA French, Vanderbilt University
- PhD French, Vanderbilt University
Lecturer of Italian
- BA, University of Pisa (Italy)
- PhD, University of Alberta (Canada)
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Chinese and Asian Studies
Lecturer of Hebrew
MA, Bar Ilian University and Laura/Alvan Siegal College of Judial Studies
Lecturer, Language and Culture
Lecturer, Language and Culture
Lecturer of Spanish
- BA, University of Leeds, England
Lecturer of Cinema Studies
- PhD, Vanderbilt University
- MA, University of Leeds (UK)
- BA, Baylor University
Official Catalog: Published September 22, 2023
Since actual course offerings vary from semester to semester, students should consult the myHeliotrope course schedule to determine whether a particular course is offered in a given semester.
In preparing the College Catalog, every effort is made to provide pertinent and accurate information. However, information contained in the catalog is subject to change, and Purchase College assumes no liability for catalog errors or omissions. Updates and new academic policies or programs will appear in the college’s information notices and will be noted in the online catalog.
It is the responsibility of each student to ascertain current information (particularly degree and major requirements) through frequent reference to current materials and consultation with the student’s faculty advisor, chair or director, and related offices (e.g., enrollment services, advising center).
Notwithstanding anything contained in the catalog, Purchase College expressly reserves the right, whenever it deems advisable, to change or modify its schedule of tuition and fees; withdraw, cancel, reschedule, or modify any course, program of study, degree, or any requirement or policy in connection with the foregoing; and to change or modify any academic or other policy.