Molly Lynde-Recchia, Chair
Main Office: 410 Sprau Tower
Telephone: (269) 387-3001
Fax: (269) 387-6333
Rand H. Johnson
Joseph G. Reish
The Department of World Languages and Literatures offers undergraduate instruction in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Latin, and Russian, including course work in culture, literature, linguistics, and pedagogy. We do not anticipate offering Russian instruction in 2014-15, however.
Students (either entering or advanced) who wish to continue in a language they have studied in high school or learned through travel or residence abroad must take the online placement exam if they have studied French or German. For placement in other languages, students should contact the departmental advisor of the language in question or the Department Chair.
Native speakers of a given language must consult with a departmental advisor before registering for courses.
Students may be eligible for retroactive credit based on the level at which they began their coursework. Questions about this matter should be referred to the advisor for the language.
Students who will graduate from the College of Arts and Sciences must fulfill that college’s foreign language requirement. Other colleges or specific departments may also have a foreign language requirement. Students who have questions about this matter should consult their advisor.
Many language students study abroad as part of the undergraduate program. Western has a number of excellent study abroad programs. Students interested in receiving credit for foreign study must consult with the advisor in the appropriate language well in advance of such study in order to plan properly and to obtain approval.
5000-level courses may be taken only by advanced undergraduate students. Advanced undergraduate students are defined as those who have satisfactorily completed a minimum of four courses, or equivalent, applicable toward a major or minor in any one language. Each course, however, may have more specific and/or additional prerequisites.
All students interested in pursuing a language major or minor should consult with an advisor as early as possible.
Majors and Minors
As soon as students decide to major or minor in a foreign language, they should confer with the advisor for that language in order to plan their program. Major slips are required for all majors. Minor slips are required for all minors.
Only courses in which a grade of “C” or better is obtained can be counted toward a major or minor.
For students majoring or minoring in a modern foreign language, a course in modern European, Asian, or Middle Eastern history is desirable. For Latin majors and minors, a course in Roman history is recommended. Students majoring in Latin in either the Liberal Education or the Secondary Education curriculum may apply eight (8) credits toward a Latin major by taking both GREK 1000 and GREK 1010.
Teaching certification is approved for majors or minors in secondary and middle school and junior high school education for the following languages: French, German, Latin (secondary only), and Russian (minor only). A language methods course is required for all teaching majors and minors in the foreign languages. Exceptions to the patterns may be granted only by departmental permission. In order to receive state teacher certification, all candidates must pass the MTTC and the Oral Proficiency Interview at the appropriate level. Students should consult advisors in both the College of Education and the department for more information.
Baccalaureate Writing Requirement for Majors
Students who have chosen to major in French, German, Japanese or Latin will satisfy the Baccalaureate Writing Requirement by successfully completing LANG 3750 Foreign Literature in English Translation or LANG 4040: East-West Literary Relations.
Residency Requirement for Majors and Minors in French or German
Majors in French must take at least four courses (of the total required for the major) at Western Michigan University. One of these must be a 5000-level class. Minors in French must take at least three courses (of the total required for the minor) at the 2000-level or above at Western Michigan University.
Majors or minors in German must take at least the last two courses in their German program at Western Michigan University (LANG 5580 may not be used to fulfill this requirement). Students who have completed their work at other institutions and who wish to be certified for teaching German must complete at least three courses in German at Western Michigan University (LANG 5580 may not be one of these).
Credits for language study at a foreign university may be granted on official proof that the student has completed the course work successfully.