A major or minor in Modern Languages Course Offerings 2002-2003 Faculty Students

Resources at Kenyon Study Abroad Programs Russian Links


A Major or Minor in Modern Languages at Kenyon


The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures Placement Examinations Diversification and Courses Open to New Students
Course Assignments Beginning and Middle Levels: Language Skills Middle Level: Literature and Culture
Advanced Level: Language and Culture Requirements for the Major Requirements for the Minor
Additional Requirements Senior Exercise Honors Projects


The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures


The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures (MLL) offers a range of language, literature, and culture courses in French, German, and Spanish to majors and nonmajors. Language and culture courses in Chinese, Italian, Japanese, and Russian are available. In addition, courses in other languages or literatures may occasionally be offered. The department offers courses in literature taught in the original lan-guages, as well as others taught in translation. Courses requiring no knowledge of foreign languages appear among the following offerings and are also listed separately under "Literature in Translation."

A student may major in French, German, or Spanish. There are three types of majors, depending on the focus of study: (1) literature, (2) language (a primary and a secondary one), and (3) area studies.

All major programs are devised by the student in consultation with an MLL faculty member of his or her choosing. All students majoring in the department must, as part of their Senior Exercise, take a language- competency examination, given at the beginning of their senior year. Language majors must take an examination in each of their two languages. Please see below for a description of the three types of majors and their respective requirements.

A minor is available in Chinese, Italian, Japanese, and Russian. Study toward the minor must begin by the sophomore year. Because of limited staffing, study abroad may be necessary in order to complete a minor. See below for further information about the minor.

Visit the department web site.



Placement Examinations

During the Orientation Program, placement tests are given in French, German, and Spanish. If you have had little or no exposure to one of these languages and are thinking of enrolling in a beginning course in one of them, there is no need to take the placement test. you should take the test, however, if you want to be placed in an intermediate or advanced course in French, German, or Spanish. The list of departmental recommendations will be made available to your faculty advisor and will be posted outside the Language Practice Room (Ascension 102) as soon as the placement tests have been processed. Should there be cogent reasons why you cannot take the placement test at the scheduled time, consult with your faculty advisor or an MLL faculty member to make alternate arrangements.

If you have studied more than one modern language in secondary school and are considering courses in more than one language or literature, you are best advised to take the placement test in the language in which you feel most competent or which you are most likely to continue studying at Kenyon. Arrangements can be made with individual instructors to determine placement for the other language(s).

Students who have scored 4 or 5 on the College Board Advanced Placement test in language or liter-ature need not take a placement xamination in that language. Kenyon faculty advisors will have a list noting any advanced placement credit and will recommend appropriate courses.



Diversification and Courses Open to New Students

Depending on your interests, your language background, and the results of your placement test, almost every departmental offering listed in the course catalogue is open to you and is appropriate for diversification. Look for the symbol, which designates those courses particularly appropriate for first-year or upperclass students new to the MLL curriculum.



Course Assignments

Since many of the courses have no prerequisites and hence are open to first-year students, it is impossible to note here typical assignments for each course. Be sure to attend the departmental discussions during the Orientation Program, and feel free to seek out individual instructors for further information and help in making your course selections.



Beginning and Middle Levels: Language Skills

Courses numbered 111-112 are begin-ning language classes. Courses numbered 213-214 are middle-level language classes. These courses stress language skills with some treatment of literary and/or cultural materials. All introductory courses listed as 111-112 are taught through the Kenyon Intensive Language Model (KILM), an intensive approach that com-presses into one year beginning and intermediate materials. KILM classroom activities aim at dispelling inhibitions and encouraging commu-nication. For each meeting with the professor (typically five times per week in 111 and four times per week in 112), there is a daily session with Kenyon undergraduate apprentice teachers working with groups of approximately ten students. Daily work in the Language Practice Room is also required. Apprentice-teacher classes are arranged when the class first meets with the professor. Some middle-level courses numbered 213-214 meet for a fourth hour with an apprentice teacher.



Middle Level: Literature and Culture

The following courses serve as an introduction to literature and/or culture and also continue the development of language skills.

Courses offered in 2000-01:
FREN 323 Introduction to French Poetry and Theater (fall)
FREN 324 Introduction to French Prose (spring)
GERM 325 Introduction to German Literature (spring)
SPAN 323 Survey of Spanish Literature I (fall)
SPAN 324 Survey of Spanish Literature II (spring)
SPAN 338 Introduction to Spanish-American Fiction (fall)

Courses to be offered in other years:
FREN 328 Aspects of French Civilization

Students are placed in these courses on the basis of their scores on the placement examination or as the result of advanced placement credit.



Advanced Level: Language and Culture

Courses numbered 300-399 are advanced-level language and/or civilization courses. Courses numbered in the 400s and above are usually advanced-level literature or culture courses. See below for a full description of these courses.



Requirements for the Major

Three types of majors are available to students:

I. Literature major

The primary concerns of this major program are the cultivation of the skills of literary analysis and the appreciation of works of literature in their cultural and historical contexts.

Course requirements: 4 units (minimum).

The department offers three distinct literature majors: French literature, German literature, and Spanish literature. Literature majors take a minimum of 4 units of work in literature courses in the chosen disci-pline. They must also take courses covering a certain range of time periods, according to their chosen discipline: in French, a minimum of one pre-1800 and one post-1800 literature course; in German and Spanish, a minimum of one pre-1900 and one post-1900 literature course. Literature majors must take at least one semester of Introduction to Literature (331, 333, or 334) or the equivalent course taken off-campus (with prior approval by the department), preferably when they begin their work towards the major. Introduction to Literature courses do not count towards fulfillment of the time-period requirement.

In addition, an advanced-level language and/or civilization class (300-399) and a course on the theory of literary criticism are strongly recommended.

II. Modern Languages major

The aim of this major program is to enable students to develop proficiency in reading, listening, speaking, and writing in at least two modern languages.

Course requirements: 5 units (minimum).

At least 5 units of language or culture/literature courses drawn from two disciplines within MLL are required. A variety of combinations is possible: French, German, or Spanish may be elected as the first language in the major program, and Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, or Spanish chosen as the student's second language. Under exceptional circumstances a student may choose Chinese, Italian, Japanese, or Russian as her or his primary language if she or he studies abroad for the junior year, taking as many courses in the target language as possible and achieves the appropriate level of proficiency. However, the student must first obtain approval from the appropriate faculty member, and then inform the department chair and the departmental senior-majors liaison of such a change, in writing, by the end of the second week of classes of her or his senior year. A course at the introductory level (111-112) in the student's first language does not count toward the modern languages major; the 111-112 level course in the student's second language does count toward the major requirements. In the first language, students must take at least 2 units above the 213-214 level. In the second language, students must take a minimum of 1/2 unit above the 213-214 level.

It is recommended that the student take 1 unit in areas related to the study of foreign languages and cultures. In the study of the phenomenon of language, students may elect courses in linguistics and in the philosophy and psychology of lan-guage as offered by MLL and the departments of anthropology, classics, English, philosophy, and psychology. In the area of classical languages, students may elect language courses in ancient Greek, Latin, or Classical Chinese. In the area of culture, students may choose among appropriate offerings within fine arts, humanities, and social sciences.

III. Modern Languages and Literatures Area Studies: French Studies major, German Studies major, Spanish Studies major

This major program enables students to pursue a broadly based major by combining the study of foreign language, culture, and literature with such fields as anthropology, art history, classical civilization, drama, economics, history, the Integrated Program in Humane Studies, music, philosophy, political science, and religion. Language competency and a breadth of knowledge of the particular culture are the desired results. The student must provide a two- to three-page written statement of interest and plan of study, developed in consultation with a faculty member in his or her proposed discipline, as a precondition to obtaining the approval of the MLL chair. The plan should explore disciplines outside the MLL department. By the end of the first week of classes of the senior year, the student must meet with the advisor to ensure that the program of study has been proceeding according to plan.

Course requirements: 6 units (minimum).

I. In the target discipline, the student must take 4 units above the 111-112 level consisting of the following:

A. 1 unit of 213-214 or of an appropriate language course above that level.

B. A minimum of 3 units above the 213-214 level with at least 1 1/2 units in literature.

II. In related areas, the student must take 2 units of courses outside the department, which provide opportunity for interdisciplinary study of a foreign culture or for study of issues of an international nature. An updated list of suitable courses will be provided by each of the three major disciplines in the department. In order for courses taken outside the department to qualify for credit toward the major, the student must give evidence to the faculty advisor that work has been done that involved reading and research in a foreign language, as follows:

1. The student must submit for the advisor's signature course validation sheets specifying use of a reasonable number of foreign-language sources. The student will confer with the advisor to determine what may constitute, in any given case, a reasonable number of sources.

2. The student must submit to the advisor copies of papers written for courses outside of the department. These papers, attached to the course validation sheet and filed in the advisor's office, will serve as documentation of the student's completion of requirements outside of the department.



Requirements for the Minor

The department provides students with the opportunity to declare a minor in Chinese, Italian, Japanese, or Russian. Because entering students who might want to declare a minor may or may not have had previous experience in the language, we offer two different minor tracks within the department.

Plan A:
For students who have had little or no previous instruction in a language, the minor will consist of a minimum of 3 units beginning with the 111-112 level. It will include at least one semester of coursework above the 213-214 level, that is, beyond the second-year level of proficiency. Please note that this means a student who chooses to pursue a minor will have to begin his or her study of the language at Kenyon before the junior year.

Plan B:
For students who have had extensive experience in the language and place out of 111-112 or 213-214 (normally by virtue of an advanced placement test score or a Kenyon placement test), the minor will consist of a minimum of 2 1/2 units above either the 111-112 or the 213-214 level. It will include at least 1 1/2 units above the 213-214 level for students who place out of 111-112 and 2 1/2 units above the 213-214 level for those who place out of 213-214.

Because of limited course offerings, students who qualify under Plan B will be expected to fulfill all but one course requirement above the 213-214 level through study abroad, transfer credit, independent study, or a combination thereof.



Additional Requirements

In order to declare a minor in a language, students must obtain approval from the chair of MLL and from the faculty advisor for the minor by the end of the second full week of the first semester of their senior year, at the latest.

Students must pass a language-proficiency test appropriate to minors, administered in early October of their senior year.

Students can apply up to 1/2 unit of advanced-placement credit toward the MLL minor provided that, in the case of students on Plan B, it be at least equivalent to the 213-214 level.

A minimum of 1 unit toward the minor must be completed in residence.

Students should not expect to fulfill the requirements for the minor by registering for Individual Study.

Students are encouraged to undertake study abroad.



Senior Exercise

All departmental majors are required, as part of the Senior Exercise, to pass a language-proficiency exam in the language(s) of their major. These exams are administered in September. The second language exam for modern language majors is administered in early October, on the same day as the exam for minors. In addition, each of the three majors offered by the department requires a written project, the first draft of which is due in February. Oral exams in the language of the major follow the submission of the final draft.

Modern Language Major
The written portion of the exercise is a research paper of at least fifteen (double-spaced) pages. It must be written in the first foreign language. The advisor(s) and student will agree on a topic for an oral exam to be held in the second foreign language.

French, German, and Spanish Studies Majors
The written portion of the exercise consists of a research paper of twenty to thirty (double-spaced) pages. The paper may be written in English. No special credit is given to papers written in the foreign language. An oral exchange of ideas in the foreign language between the student and appropriate faculty member takes place within three weeks of the sub-mission of the final draft.

Literature Major
The written portion of the exercise consists of a research paper of twenty (double-spaced) pages. The paper may be written in English. No special credit is given to papers written in the foreign language; however, it is expected that the student will write the foreign language with a reasonable degree of accuracy and fluency. An oral exchange of ideas in the foreign language between the student and appropriate faculty member takes place within three weeks of the submission of the final draft. (See the department chair for a full description of the expectations and requirements for the Senior Exercises.)



Honors Projects

Candidates seeking to do an honors project must apply to the MLL department, whose members will then meet to approve the honors candidacy. Candidates must submit to the department a description of the proposed project and a writing sample. This should be done prior to the end of the second week of the senior year.


A major or minor in Modern Languages Course Offerings 2002-2003 Faculty Students

Resources at Kenyon Study Abroad Programs Russian Links