Courses & Requirements

Courses & Requirements

Spanish and French Studies

Overview

The study of a culture through its language offers insights into unfamiliar worlds which cannot be realized in any other way; such study is one of the distinguishing features of a liberal arts education. Moreover, competence in a language other than English can provide a decided advantage for any post-graduate education or career objective.

The Spanish and French Studies program at Occidental is designed to provide the student with an analytical grasp of the traditions and complexities of the Spanish and/or French-speaking world. The rich cultural and literary expressions of Spain and Latin America provide the context for a classroom environment that builds strong conversational skills and immerses the student in intensive language use. Similarly, the department introduces students to the rich intellectual, literary, cultural, and political traditions of the Francophone world through the study of works from Africa, Canada, the Caribbean, and Europe. Classroom instruction and discussions take place entirely in Spanish or French, and Occidental College's strategic position in Southern California also provides students with numerous opportunities to use the Spanish language interactively. The department also offers courses in Modern Standard Arabic, as well as courses in Arabic conversation and Arabic literature and culture in translation.

The department strongly encourages all students, whether considering a major in the department or not, to investigate Occidental's opportunities for study abroad (see Off-Campus Study). In recent years, students from a wide variety of departments, including the sciences, have taken advantage of these programs, greatly enhancing their education and future opportunities. These programs exemplify Occidental's ideal of a liberal education that increases sensitivity to and appreciation of other cultures. Finally, the department also invites students to engage in community-based learning through the different activities available in the intermediate and advanced Spanish language classes.

Linguistics at Occidental College is housed in the Department of Spanish and French Studies.

Linguistics is the scientific study of language as a type of human activity: how languages are constructed and why, where they came from, and how they got that way. It also delineates the breadth and limitations of language's usability. Thus linguistics straddles the sciences, social sciences, and humanities. As an applied field, it is highly useful to anyone learning another language, to those intending to teach English or any other language, to people studying other cultures (since culture is encoded and transmitted largely via language structures), and to those studying human cognition or child development (since language structure plays a central role in both).

French Studies Requirements

The French Studies major may choose either a literature or a culture concentration.

For both the literature and culture concentration, majors must enroll in at least 4 units in the department during their senior year; this course can be the Senior Seminar (FREN 490) or an independent study during one or both semesters.

Literature Concentration

Particularly recommended for students interested in further study of French language and Francophone cultures (7 courses).

FREN 202Introduction to Literary Analysis/Advanced Composition and Grammar

4

Six additional courses above FREN 202

One course (4 units) can be in literary theory or linguistics.

A maximum of 3 courses can be taken outside of the department, including courses abroad.

Culture Concentration

Recommended for students with near-native language skills in speaking, writing, and reading French (7 courses).

FREN 202Introduction to Literary Analysis/Advanced Composition and Grammar

4

Six additional courses above FREN 202

Three courses must be taught by faculty in the French section at Occidental College.

One course can be in linguistics.

Students may choose one course (by petition) in literature, art, history, music, or politics from other departments to be applied to the major.

A maximum of 3 courses can be taken outside of the department, including courses abroad.

WRITING REQUIREMENT

Students majoring in French will satisfy the final component of Occidental's college-wide writing requirement with the submission of their translation portfolio (see Comprehensive Requirements below) which consists of two essays in English and one in French. Students should familiarize themselves with the departmental requirement at the time of declaring the major. See the Writing Program and the department chair for additional information.

COMPREHENSIVE REQUIREMENT

The comprehensive requirements in French consists of components, three of which are completed through coursework: proficiency in grammar and competency in textual analysis (with a score of 85% or higher in FREN 202) and proficiency in translation (with a score of 85% or higher in FREN 350). Students complete the final two components of the comprehensive requirements during the senior year: an oral presentation and a written essay (either a dissertation en temps limité or a senior thesis). Majors can also complete the comprehensive requirements in the Senior Seminar.

HONORS

Majors in the department with an overall GPA of 3.25 may qualify for Honors at graduation through a distinguished comprehensive thesis or examination. See the Honors Program and consult the major advisor and chair for details by the end of the fall semester, junior year.

Spanish Studies Requirements

Spanish majors are required to take 8 courses, including SPAN 202 or SPAN 211, six courses numbered above SPAN 202/SPAN 211, and SPAN 490. Of the group of 6 courses, a minimum of two must be in literature and one in linguistics. At least one of the six courses must be numbered SPAN 340 or above. A maximum of three courses may be taken outside the department, including those taken on study abroad programs. Only one course may be taken in English. All courses taken outside the department for the Spanish major must be approved in advance by the student's' departmental adviser. Students are responsible for documenting the work they do abroad, especially regarding independent research, internships, or courses taken directly at a university. A portfolio of their work should be submitted upon their return in order to get credit towards the Spanish major or minor. For both the Spanish major and minor, the terms literature and culture refer to the literatures and cultures of Spain, Spanish America, and the Latino United States. The term linguistics includes courses taught both in English and Spanish.

Spanish Literary Studies

Literature Component

Students must select three courses from the list below:

Linguistics Component

Students must select one course from the list below:

LING 301Introduction to Linguistics

4

LING 350Psycholinguistics

4

LING 355Sociolinguistics

4

Additional Electives

Students are also required to complete two additional Spanish electives in literature, culture, or linguistics.

Spanish Linguistics


Literature Component

Students must select two courses from the list below:

Linguistics Component

Students must select three courses from the list below (only one may be taught in English):

LING 301Introduction to Linguistics

4

LING 350Psycholinguistics

4

LING 355Sociolinguistics

4

Additional Elective

Students are required to complete an additional Spanish elective in literature, culture, or linguistics.

Spanish Cultural Studies

Cultural Component

Students must select three courses from the list below:

Literature Component:

Students must select two courses from the list below:

Linguistics Component:

Students must select one course from the list below:

LING 301Introduction to Linguistics

4

LING 350Psycholinguistics

4

LING 355Sociolinguistics

4

WRITING REQUIREMENT

Students majoring in Spanish will satisfy the final component of Occidental College's writing requirement by receiving a grade of B- or higher in a Spanish course numbered 340 or above. See the Writing Program and the department chair for additional information.

COMPREHENSIVE REQUIREMENT

The comprehensive requirement consists of the senior seminar and an oral presentation on a topic related to the senior research paper.

HONORS

Majors in the department with GPA of at least 3.50 in major courses and an overall GPA of 3.25 may qualify for Honors at graduation through a distinguished comprehensive thesis. See the Honors Program and consult the major advisor and chair for details by the end of the fall semester, junior year.

Group Language Requirements

Students may combine two languages (Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Linguistics, Russian, or Spanish) to form a Group Language major. Please see the Group Language entry in this catalog for details.

Students also may pursue a double major. Pairing a language major with such disciplines as Art, Diplomacy and World Affairs, English, and History can be especially advantageous for careers or further study based on these fields.

Minor Requirements

French Studies:

A minor in French consists of 5 courses (20 Units), including FREN 201 plus 4 courses (16 units) above FREN 201, and including one course (4 units) at the 350 level or above. A maximum of two courses can be taken outside the department, including courses abroad.

Linguistics:

Students pursuing a minor in Linguistics are required to take LING 301. Subsequently, they must take a second course in linguistics. This course may be a second course listed under linguistics in the catalog, a Spanish linguistics course, or a linguistics course via transfer or study abroad (with approval of the linguistics faculty). All students must take 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. This course must be in addition to and in a different category from the language used to fulfill the Core language requirement. Students must also choose two additional courses with a language focus in consultation with the linguistics faculty. These courses may include one more foreign language course, a course in Spanish linguistics, COGS 330, PHIL 370, EDUC 205, or a linguistics course via transfer or study abroad (with approval of the linguistics faculty).

Spanish Studies:

Spanish minors are required to take 5 courses, at the 202/211 level or higher. Courses numbered 300 and above are courses in literature, linguistics, and culture. At least one course must be numbered 340 or above. A maximum of 2 courses may be taken outside the department, including those taken on study abroad programs. Only 1 course may be taken in English. All courses taken outside the department for the Spanish minor must be approved in advance by the department.

Courses

French Courses

Spanish Courses