Group Language

Overview | Requirements | Courses | Faculty

Overview

Students interested in the study of more than one foreign language from the perspectives of literature or linguistics may combine two languages or one language and linguistics into a Group Language major.

Requirements

A total of eleven courses is required for the Group Language major: five courses for each half of the major and one course emphasizing methods or theory (such as LING301, SPAN490, FREN490, GERM370, JAPN273, CHIN273).

COURSE REQUIREMENTS: Course requirements for each half of the Group Language major are listed below. For all the languages listed, only two of the five courses may be taken outside the Occidental language departments. All courses taken outside of the Occidental language departments, including those taken on study abroad programs, must be approved in advance by the appropriate language department. Students must receive a grade of B or higher in the 202 level course for both languages to be eligible for the major.

COMPREHENSIVE REQUIREMENT: Students will fulfill the Group Language comprehensive requirement in one of two ways:

(1) A student may choose to submit a 20-page paper on a senior research project on comparative literature or linguistics combining both halves of the major. To prepare for this comparative paper written in English, the student should enroll in two two-unit Independent Studies (with separate faculty advisors for the corresponding halves of the major) in the fall of the senior year . If one or both of the languages for the major is French, German, or Spanish, the student must also submit a complete version of the paper in one of these languages. In the spring semester of the senior year, the student will also give an oral presentation, conducted in both languages of the major, on the comparative paper.

OR

(2) Students choosing not to write a comparative paper may conduct two separate research projects and do the following for each half of the Group Language major:

Chinese: A student will fulfill the Chinese portion of the comprehensives through: (1) a two-unit Independent Study in the fall of the senior year, in which the student will produce a 10-page paper in English on Chinese literature or linguistics which include texts written in Chinese; followed by (2) an oral presentation in Chinese about the research project in the spring semester.

French: A student will fulfill the French portion of the comprehensive EITHER (1) by completing the Major Seminar FREN490 which includes an oral presentation on a seminar theme; OR (2) by completing a two-unit Independent Study in the fall semester of the senior year, which includes writing a 10-page paper in French on a topic in francophone literature and making an oral presentation in French on the paper's topic.

German: A student will fulfill the German portion of the comprehensive EITHER (1) by enrolling in a German 370 seminar during the senior year and writing a separate 10-page-paper on a topic in German Studies (literature, culture, history) and making an oral presentation, in German, on the topic OR (2) by taking a three hour written examination focusing on two-selected topics in German Studies, followed by an oral examination on the topics, in either the fall or spring semester. The completion of an additional two-unit Independent Study in the fall or spring semester of the senior year, which focuses on background research for the Comps topic, is recommended.

Japanese: A student will fulfill the Japanese portion of the comprehensives through: (1) a two-unit Independent Study in the fall of the senior year, in which the student will produce a 10-page paper in English on Japanese literature or linguistics which include texts written in Japanese; followed by (2) an oral presentation in Japanese about the research project in the spring semester.

Linguistics: A student will fulfill the Linguistics portion of the comprehensives through: (1) a two-unit Independent Study in the fall of the senior year, in which the student will produce a 10-page paper in English on a topic in linguistics; followed by (2) an oral presentation in English about the research project in the spring semester.

Russian: A student will fulfill the Russian portion of the comprehensives through: (1) a two-unit Independent Study in the fall of the senior year, in which the student will produce a 10-page paper in English on Russian literature or linguistics which include texts written in Russian; followed by (2) an oral presentation in Russian about the research project in the spring semester

Spanish: A student will fulfill the Spanish portion of the comprehensives EITHER through

  1. the Spanish Senior Seminar in the fall semester of the senior year, followed by an oral presentation in Spanish of the seminar paper in the spring semester; OR
  2. a two-unit Independent Study in the fall of the senior year, in which the student will produce a 10-page paper in Spanish on a topic in Hispanic literature or linguistics, followed by an oral presentation in Spanish of the paper in the spring semester.

HONORS: Group Language majors with an overall GPA of 3.25 and a 3.5 GPA for major courses may submit an honors research proposal at the end of the fall semester of the senior year. If the proposal is supported by faculty from both components of the major, the student will enroll in two two-unit Independent Studies in the spring, in which they will develop the comprehensive papers from the fall into two distinguished papers of 20 pages each. Papers for French, German, and Spanish must be written in the target language. The student may instead choose to conduct a comparative study and integrate the two papers into a single paper of 40 pages in English. If one or both of the languages for the major is French, German, or Spanish, the student must also submit a complete version of the paper in one of these languages.

WRITING REQUIREMENT: Students majoring in Group Language will satisfy the final component of Occidental College-wide writing requirement by submitting a paper in English from a 300 level or seminar course in the fall of the senior year.

Courses

Courses that Count Towards a Major in Group Language

Complete listings and descriptions of language and linguistics courses are available under the following departments: East Asian Languages and Cultures (for Chinese and Japanese courses); German, Russian, and Classical Studies (for German and Russian courses); Spanish and French Studies (for Spanish, French, and Linguistics courses).

Chinese: 5 courses: CHIN202 and above (only one of which may be a course taught in English)

French: 5 courses: FREN202 and four courses numbered 300 and above. FREN490 is recommended.

German: 5 courses: GERM202 and above (two of which may be in related areas such as history, art history, politics, language learning/linguistics). Participation in at least one of the GERM370 seminars is required.

Japanese: 5 courses: JAPN202 and above (only one of which may be course taught in English)

Linguistics: 5 courses: Ling 301; a second course in linguistics; one semester of a foreign language from one of the following categories: 1) Greek or Latin, 2) Spanish or French, 3) German or Russian, 4) Arabic, Chinese, or Japanese (the course must be in addition to and in a different category from the language used to fulfill the Core language requirement); and two additional courses with a language focus (such as one more foreign language course, another course in linguistics, Cognitive Science 330, Philosophy 370, or Education 205).

Russian: 5 courses: RUSS202 and above (two of which may be in related areas such as history, art history, language learning/linguistics)

Spanish: 5 courses: Spanish 202 or 211 plus four courses numbered 300 and above. Two of these four courses must be in either literature or linguistics. One must be numbered 340 or above. Only one course may be taken in English.

Faculty

Advisory Committee

Sarah Chen

Professor, East Asian Languages and Cultures; Advisory Committee, Group Language

B.A., Rutgers University M.A., Ph.D., Stanford University

Robert Ellis

Norman Bridge Distinguished Professor of Spanish, Spanish and French Studies; Affiliated Faculty, Latino/a and Latin American Studies; Advisory Committee, Group Language

B.A., Pomona College; M.A., Ph.D., UCLA

Hanan Elsayed

Assistant Professor, Spanish and French Studies; Advisory Committee, Group Language

B.A., Montclair State University; M.A., Ph.D., Rutgers University; Graduate Certificate in African Studies, Rutgers University

Motoko Ezaki

Adjunct Associate Professor, East Asian Languages and Cultures; Advisory Committee, Group Language

B.A., M.A., Seinan Gakuin University; M.A., Ph.D., UCLA

Salvador Fernández

Professor, Spanish and French Studies; Affiliated Faculty, Latino/a and Latin American Studies; Advisory Committee, Group Language

B.A., UC Riverside; M.A., Indiana University; Ph.D., UCLA

Susan Grayson

Professor, Spanish and French Studies; Advisory Committee, Group Language

A.B., M.A., Ph.D., UCLA; Ph.D., Wright Institute Los Angeles Attestation d’études, Université de Bordeaux

Felisa Guillén

Professor, Spanish and French Studies; Affiliated Faculty, Latino/a and Latin American Studies; Advisory Committee, Group Language

B.A., M.A., University of Madrid; Ph.D., UC Santa Barbara

Mary Johnson

Assistant Professor, Spanish and French Studies; Affiliated Faculty, Linguistics; Advisory Committee, Group Language

Adelaida López

Professor, Spanish and French Studies; Advisory Committee, Latino/a and Latin American Studies; Advisory Committee, Group Language

B.A., Wellesley College; M.A., Ph.D., Columbia University

Jürgen Pelzer

Professor, German, Russian, and Classical Studies; Advisory Committee, Group Language

M.A., University of Constance; Ph.D., University of Wisconsin

Walter Richmond

Adjunct Assistant Professor, German, Russian, and Classical Studies; Advisory Committee, Group Language

B.A., Arizona State University; M.A., Ph.D., USC

Arthur Saint-Aubin

Professor, Spanish and French Studies; Advisory Committee, Group Language

B.A., Swarthmore College; M.A., Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University

Michael Shelton

Associate Professor, Spanish and French Studies; Advisory Committee, Cognitive Science; Affiliated Faculty, Linguistics; Affiliated Faculty, Latino/a and Latin American Studies; Advisory Committee, Group Language

B.S., St. Cloud State University; M.A., Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University