World Languages  
 

 

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Degrees / Courses

 
General Education Requirements Majors Minors
Certification in Business French Courses Education Students
 
Projected Language Courses
French (pdf) German (pdf) Spanish (pdf)
 
Four-Year Advising Plans
For French Majors and Minors (pdf) For German Majors and Minors (pdf)
 
For French Majors: Equivalent AQ Credit for CIDEF-UCO Courses at Angers, France (pdf)
 
The Department of World Languages offers courses in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Latin, Spanish, and Methods of Teaching Foreign Languages in K-12. Major studies may be pursued in French, German, and Spanish through departmental offerings at Aquinas College and through Study Abroad programs. Minors may be obtained in French, German, Japanese, and Spanish.
 
 
Major Requirements (French, German, Spanish)
For French, a total of 33 semester hours (exclusive of 101 and 102) including FH301 and FH302 are required. For a French Language and Culture emphasis, FH325, 327 and 401 are required. For a French for Professions Emphasis, FL405, FH413 and 415 are required.
For German, a total of 33 semester hours (exclusive of 101 and 102) including GN301, GN302, one literature (GN325 or 326) and one culture class (GN309 or 310) are required.
For Spanish, a total of 35 semester hours (exclusive of 101, 102 and 201) including SH301, 302 and 305, two literature courses (SH325 or 326 and 327 or 329) and one culture course (SH320, 363 or 370).
 
Students seeking to major in French, German, or Spanish must complete all courses beyond the introductory level with a grade of “C” or higher to continue with the next-level language class (102, 201, 202, 301, and 302). At graduation the student must have a cumulative G.P.A. of B (3.0) or higher in those courses used to fulfill the major requirement. Overseas language study is strongly recommended for all majors. At least 18 credit hours must be taken at Aquinas College, which may include courses taken while studying abroad. Aquinas College conducts a variety of Study Abroad programs representing the World Languages offered by the Department. Participants in study abroad programs remain registered at Aquinas College and the student’s financial aid package may be applied in full.
 
All French, German and Spanish majors and students who wish to enroll in FH/ GN/SH496 and/or 497 must demonstrate proficiency at the ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) standard of Advanced-Low in Writing and Speaking through examination in FH/GN/SH301 and 302. This standard may equally be met by French students who pass the DELF B1 or B2 (Diplôme d’Etudes en Langue Française), or the DFP Affaires B2 (Diplôme de Français professionnel Affaires), and by German students who pass the ZMP (Zentrale Mittelstufenprüfung Deutsch des Goethe Institutes).
 
Students transferring credits for FH/GN/SH 301 and/or 302 from other institutions will be required to take a proficiency exam and demonstrate proficiency at the ACTFL standard of Advanced-Low in Writing (for FH/GN/SH301 credits) and Speaking (for FH/GN/SH302 credits). Students must consult with the department chair to arrange the proficiency exam.
 
Minor Requirements

A minor in French, German, or Japanese, may be obtained by completing 21 credit hours (exclusive of 101 and 102 in French and German, and exclusive of 101 in Japanese); including FH/GN/JE301 and FH/GN/JE302.

 

For French at least one of the following advanced course is required (FH401, 413 or 415).

 

For German at least one literature course and one culture course are required (GN325 or 326 and GN309, 310 or 398).

 

A minor in Spanish may be obtained by completing 23 credit hours (exclusive of SH101, 102 and 201); including SH301 and 302. At least two literature courses (SH325 or 326, and 327 or 329) and one culture course (SH320, 363 or 370) are required for a Spanish minor.

 
At least 12 credit hours must be taken at Aquinas College, which may include courses taken while studying abroad.
 
Students seeking to minor in French, German, Japanese or Spanish must complete all courses beyond the introductory level with a grade of “C” or higher to continue with the next-level language class (102, 201, 202, 301, and 302). At graduation time, the student must have a cumulative G.P.A. of B– (2.7) or higher in those courses used to fulfill the minor requirement. The language minor is not available for those students seeking teacher certification.
 
The Language Requirement for General Education
To successfully complete the two-semester language requirement (101 and 102) for the General Education program, all languages offered by the department count to fulfill this requirement. However, students must complete the sequence and receive a minimum grade of “C-” or higher in 101 or 110 and 102 or 120. Traditional-age freshman and transfer students who have not earned an Associate of Arts degree must take a language proficiency test for correct placement in, or possible waiver from, the required language courses. Students who have not studied a foreign language in high school, or those who choose to study a language other than that taken in high school, will be placed in a 101 level course. Transfer students who have earned an Associate of Arts degree, and Continuing Education students are not required to fulfill a language requirement under the General Education Program.
 
A maximum of eight credit hours toward the major or minor may be earned through Credit by Examination (CBE) or through Credit for Demonstrating Prior Learning and Competencies (CDPLC). Before applying for CDPLC, students should consult the Student Guide for CDPLC. All CDPLC credits must be approved by the department’s chairperson.
 
Important Information for Education Students
Students seeking Elementary and/or Secondary Michigan teacher certification must have a major in French, German, or Spanish. In Spanish, students can obtain an Elementary (K-8) or Secondary Certification (K- 12), in German and French, students can obtain a Secondary Certification (6-12). Candidates must successfully complete 30 credit hours of the language beyond FH/GN/SH202, including FH/GN/SH301 and 302, and seven additional advanced-level FH/GN/SH courses. Please contact an Education Department advisor for details.
 
FH/GN/SH496 (Methodology of Teaching Foreign Languages in the Elementary and Middle School, K-8) and FH/GN/SH497 (Methodology of Teaching World Languages in the Secondary School, 9–12) are required of all students seeking teacher certification in French, German, or Spanish. These courses do not count as credit hours toward the foreign language major, but rather as methodology courses for the Education Department. The Department of World Languages works closely with the Education Department to obtain a Bilingual Minor Endorsement and with the Business Department to obtain an International Business Degree. Please see appropriate Department Chairs for details.
 
Certification in Business French
Aquinas College is an approved examination center of the Paris Chamber of Commerce. Students may take the Diplôme de Français professionnel Affaires B 2 de la Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie de Paris at Aquinas College. This French diploma, identical to the one taken in France, is highly respected in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Students who succeed in obtaining this certificate have an in-depth knowledge of the French language and can work in any business-related field. The following course sequence prepares students for the certification in Business French: FH101, 102, 201, 202, 301, 302 and 413.
 
*NOTE: FH designates offerings in French; GN, German; JE, Japanese; SH, Spanish; LN, Latin; CH, Chinese; and FL, other language-related courses.
 
Course Grade Requirement for all Language Majors and Minors
The required grade for all courses listed beyond French, German, Japanese, and Spanish 201 is a grade of “C” or higher in FH/GN/JE/ SH201. All subsequent courses must also be completed with a grade of “C” or higher in order to count towards the Major and/or Minor.
 

Courses

CH/FH/GN/JE/SH101 First Semester in the Language: Four Skills (4)
Introduction to listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills, and the culture of the countries.
Prerequisite: None.
 
CH/FH/GN/JE/SH102 Second Semester in the Language: Four Skills (4)
Continuation and development of listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. Further exposure to the culture of the countries.
Prerequisite: C- or higher in 101 or equivalent.
 
LN101 First Semester Latin (4)
Introduction to Latin vocabulary, grammar, and syntax with emphasis on the language and culture of the classical period.
Prerequisite: none.
 
LN102 Second Semester Latin (4)
Continuation and development of skills acquired in LN101.
Prerequisite: LN101 or equivalent.
 
FH/GN/JE/SH201 Third Semester in the Language (4)
Expansion of the four language skills and cultural knowledge at an intermediate level.
Prerequisite: C or higher in 102 or equivalent.
 
FH/GN/JE/SH202 Fourth Semester in the Language (4)
Further expansion of the four language skills and cultural knowledge at an intermediate level.
Prerequisite: C or higher in 201 or equivalent.
 
FL110 Semester in a Foreign Language (4)
Introduction to listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills, and the culture of selected countries.
Prerequisite: None.
 
FL120 Second Semester in a Foreign Language (4)
Continuation of listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. Further exposure to the culture of selected countries.
Prerequisite: FL110.
 
FL230 European Cultures and Identities (3)
This course examines the notions of Europe and the diverse interactive cultures and identities of the people living in Europe. From a multidisciplinary perspective it offers students the opportunity to improve their knowledge of Europe in light of a broad spectrum of cultures. Specifically, it explores the development and current state-of-affairs of these cultures in France, Germany and Spain as European Union members. This is not a course about the history of the European Union per se; however, selected readings will demonstrate how historical experiences and memories play a vital role in shaping identities and cultures. Students are encouraged to reflect upon the different perspectives and issues arising from this cultural diversity and study European cultures within a wider international and global viewpoint. Offered alternate years.
Note: Strongly recommended for FH/GN/SH majors and minors, this course counts towards degree requirements.
Prerequisite: None
 
FL405 Theory and Business of Translation (3)
Students from various language interests will explore and discuss theoretical approaches to translation, practical problems translators encounter, and prepare themselves for careers in translation. In addition, the course will be supplemented with distinguished professionals in the field of translation to discuss their own translations and experiences in translation. Offered alternate years.
Prerequisite: FH/GN/SH202 or JE202 or instructor approval. 
 
FL/EN457 Teaching English as a Second Language (3)
Theory and techniques of teaching English as a second language with a workshop approach. Field work required.
Prerequisite: Instructor approval.
 
JE301 Fifth Semester Japanese (4)
Conversation, advanced grammar, and writing of Kanji. Students read stories in Japanese and write short letters and compositions. Offered every Fall.
Prerequisite: JE202 or equivalent.
 
JE302 Sixth Semester Japanese (3)
Conversation, emphasizing “honorific” expressions in business settings and cross-cultural communication. Continued learning of Kanji for reading and writing. Offered every Spring.
Prerequisite: JE301 or equivalent.
 
JE310 Special Topics (Variable)
Variable topics offered on an occasional basis.
Prerequisite: Instructor approval.
 
FH301 Advanced Composition and Grammar Review (4)
Strong emphasis on reading, writing, and grammar review. Students approach writing as a process. Different writing genres are explored, including description, narration, exposition, argumentation and literary analysis. Students study and critique model compositions, and practice the composition process in stages. Emphasis on grammar structures and vocabulary enhancement is designed to improve written communication. Multiple drafts and peer editing of compositions are part of the process. Students must demonstrate an ‘Advanced-Low’ proficiency level (ACTFL) in writing order to pass this course. Offered every Fall.
Prerequisite: FH202 or equivalent.
 
FH302 Advanced Oral Communication (3)
Emphasis on speaking and listening comprehension through discussion of current issues. Students must demonstrate an ‘Advanced-Low’ proficiency level (ACTFL) in speaking in order to pass this course. Offered every Spring. Prerequisite: FH202 or equivalent.
 
FH303 French for Professions (3)

This content-based language course, taught in French, introduces economic, business and professional terminology  through  the study of the following topics: financial institutions  (banking, stock market, and insurance); business practices (business letters  and resumes); trade  and advertising; the internal structure and legal forms of French companies. The course also emphasizes verbal communication through three components: (1) In-class activities such as problem-solving tasks, discussions  and debates; (2) The study of authentic materials such  as newspapers and magazine articles,  video clips and radio shows; and (3) A series of students’ presentations. Finally, in order to use  and practice the new economic and business terminology  studied in this course, and to also further explore  the structure, the management, and the operations of the French companies, students will work in pairs on a research project about a major French company of their choice.  One of the other goals  of this course is to also prepare the students to take one of the exams offered by the Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry: the Diplome de Francais Professionnel, Affaires, B2. This exam  will be held on campus in December. Prerequisites: FH301 or equivalent. No business background necessary.

 
FH310 Special Topics (Variable)
Variable topics offered on an occasional basis.
Prerequisite: Instructor approval.
 
FH/HY320 Modern France (3)
Survey of French History focusing on the French Revolution, the Bourbon Restoration, the July Monarchy, the Second Republic and the Second Empire, the Third Republic, Occupied France, the Fourth Republic, the Gaullist Revolution, after De Gaulle: Pompidou and Giscard and from “La Grande Alternance” to “Normalisation”. Particular emphasis will be given to the role of political memory, the contribution of women and the impact of colonialism and post- colonialism. Students taking the course for French credit will do reading and writing in French. Offered alternate years.
Prerequisite: FH301 or equivalent.
 
FH325 Culture and Civilization of France (3)
Taught in French, dealing with the history, society, ideas and major works of literature from the Middle Ages through the Fourth Republic.  Offered alternate years.
Prerequisite: FH301 or equivalent.
 
FH327 Contemporary France (3)
Taught in French. Study of contemporary institutions, society, politics, and culture. Offered alternate years.
Prerequisite: FH301 or equivalent.
 
FH 401: Seminar in French Studies (3)
Variable topics in French literature and culture, in seminar form for students with advanced skills in French reading and speaking.  Credits may be earned under different seminar content. Offered alternate years.
Prerequisites: FH 301 or equivalent
 
FH 413 French for Professions (3)
This content-based language course, taught in French, introduces economic, business and professional terminology through the study of the following topics: financial institutions (banking, stock market, and insurance); business practices (business letters and resumes); trade and advertising; the internal structure and legal forms of French companies.  One of the other goals of this course is to also prepare the students to take one of the exams offered by the Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry: the Diplome de Francais Professionnel, Affaires, B2. This exam will be held on campus in December. Offered alternate years.               
Prerequisites: FH 301 or equivalent. No business background necessary.
 
FH415 French Translation: Concepts and Practice (3)
Introduction to methods, techniques, and problems involved in translating from French into English. Emphasis is on the practice of translating general materials with some consideration for the translation of specialized materials, such as subtitles. The course will also involve the discussion of translation problems, recognition of appropriate solutions, and the use of specific translation strategies in French to English translation. Offered alternate years.
Prerequisite: FH301 or equivalent.
 
GN301 Advanced Composition and Grammar Review (4)
This course places a strong emphasis on reading, writing, and grammar review. Students approach writing as a process. Different writing genres are explored, including description, narration, exposition, argumentation and literary analysis. Students study and critique model compositions, and practice the composition process in stages. Emphasis on grammar structures and vocabulary enhancement is designed to improve written communication. Multiple drafts and peer editing of compositions, including a Final term paper, are part of the process. Students must demonstrate an ‘Advanced-Low’ proficiency level (ACTFL) in writing in order to pass this course. Offered every Fall.
Prerequisite: GN202 or equivalent.
 
GN302 Advanced German Conversation (3)
This course is designed to assure students’ language skills at an advanced level, especially in spoken language, through discussion of contemporary social, cultural and political issues in German-speaking countries. Topics include (but are not limited to) language change and tendencies, national and personal identities, diversity issues, foreigners, minorities, the educational system, religion, gender issues, and the role of the European Union. Students must demonstrate an ‘Advanced-Low’ proficiency level (ACTFL) in speaking in order to pass this course. Offered every Spring.
Prerequisite: GN301 or equivalent.
 
GN303 Business German (3)
This course is designed for German majors and minors and International Business majors interested in learning about economic issues in a business context in Germany. Introduction of specialized vocabulary for business, economics and politics and concentration on various text types (e.g. business letters encountered in specific business situations). Course emphasizes contemporary social, economic, and political issues using authentic texts (i.e. newspapers, magazines, video clips, Internet). Offered alternate years.
Prerequisite: GN301 or equivalent.
 
GN309 Studies in German Culture and Society through Film (3)
Intensive study of German culture and society through the viewing and discussion of representative German feature and documentary films from both East- and West Germany, and Post-Wende Cinema. Credits may be earned under different specific titles, based on the focus of the course. Offered alternate years.
Prerequisite: GN301 or equivalent. For students from other disciplines: Instructor approval.
 
GN310 Special Topics (Variable)
Variable topics offered on an occasional basis.
Prerequisite: Instructor approval.
 
GN325 Seminar in German Literature: 17th and 18th Centuries (3)
An introduction to major German literary works from the Baroque and Enlightenment to the Classical Period in Germany. Reading, discussion, and analysis of literary works as part of their larger cultural and socio-historical contexts. Exploration of literary movements, genres, themes, and authors. Offered alternate years.
Prerequisite: GN301 or equivalent.
 
GN326 Seminar in German Literature: 19th and 20th Centuries (3)
An introduction to major German literary works from the Romantic Period to Post-War German Literature. Reading, discussion, and analysis of literary works as part of their larger cultural and socio-historical contexts. Exploration of literary movements, genres, themes, and authors. Offered alternate years.
Prerequisite: GN301 or equivalent.
 
GN401 Seminar in German Studies (3)
Designed as a research seminar this course will expose students to major themes in German culture, history, and philosophy. By examining the changing nature of German culture through a variety of texts on a particular theme, students are asked to pose questions that assist them in developing a comprehensive research project related to the subject matter of the course. They will present their project at the end of the course in a public forum. Students will also complete a language learning portfolio that documents the learners' proficiency in German language and culture as well as their intercultural skills. To achieve these goals, students will work with a wide variety of texts that range from autobiographical and fictional works, to films, film reviews, music, on-line newspaper articles, government press releases, surveys, statistics, and political cartoons. They will acquire and practice sophisticated vocabulary, grammatical structures, and discourse markers that will allow them to comprehend and discuss these texts. Formats will include in/formal conversations, prepared debates, group discussions, and written essays. Offered alternate years.
Prerequisites:  GN 301 or equivalent
 
SH301 Advanced Composition (4) 
Strong emphasis on reading and writing in Spanish. Students read authentic literary texts for language comprehension, vocabulary acquisition, and understanding literature as art. Mastery of key grammar topics through self-study and discussion in class. Organizational skills in writing and correct grammar will be emphasized within various exercises such as multiple drafts and peer editing of several short compositions. Students must demonstrate an ‘Advanced-Low’ proficiency level (ACTFL) in writing in order to pass this course. 
Prerequisite: C or higher in SH202 or equivalent.
 
SH302 Advanced Spanish Conversation and Diction (3) 
A course designed to integrate the four basic language skills: speaking, listening, writing and reading. The main focus of this course is based on controlled conversations correlated with readings, reports, debates, discussions and presentations. Topics include, among others, language, politics, national and personal identities, diversity issues, foreigners, minorities, the educational system, religion, and gender issues. Students must demonstrate an ‘Advanced-Low’ proficiency level (ACTFL) in writing in order to pass this course. This course may be repeated if taken abroad and on campus. Offered every Spring.
Prerequisite: C or higher in SH301 or equivalent.
 

SH303 Spanish in the Business World (3) 
A course designed mainly for International Business majors and other Spanish majors or minors interested in learning about economic issues and culture in a business context in Spain and Latin America. Concentration on various types of texts (e.g. business letters), vocabulary, past/current issues and developments frequently encountered in particular business professions. Offered on an occasional basis. 
Prerequisite: C or higher in SH301 or equivalent.

 
SH 304 Spanish Pronunciation (3)
This course provides a comprehensive description of the sound system of Spanish, with attention to the major phonetic characteristics of regional varieties of Spanish both from Spain and Latin America. The main goal of this class is to help students improve their own pronunciation of Spanish through an understanding of how sounds are articulatory produced (phonetics) and organized in the Spanish language (phonology).  It will also address common pronunciation problems faced by learners of Spanish. Offered every fall.
Prerequisite: C or higher in SH 301 or equivalent.
 
SH305 Spanish-English Linguistics (3) 
Examination of major phonetic, morphological, and syntactic differences between Spanish and English. The history of Spanish, dialectal differences among various Spanish-speaking regions, and practical applications of linguistic knowledge are also discussed. Offered every spring. Prerequisite: C or higher in SH301. Recommended: SH302.
 
SH310 Special Topics (Variable) 
Variable topics offered on an occasional basis. 
Prerequisite: C or higher in instructor approval.
 
SH320 Hispanic Film and Literature (3) 
Study of Spanish feature films from Spain, Latin America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Includes film viewing, discussion, in-class essays, oral presentations, and thematic compositions based on literature and film with common issues. Organizing themes vary, as does the selection of film to be viewed. Emphasis is on language acquisition, historical and cultural understanding, character and plot analysis, discussion, and self-expression. Offered alternate fall semesters.
Prerequisite: C or higher in SH301 or equivalent.
 
SH325 Seminar in Spanish Literature: Medieval and Early Modern Spain (3) 
Reading, discussion, and analysis of Peninsular works in prose, poetry, and/or theater from the 12th century to the 17th century. The course’s organizing theme and its selection of genres may vary. Offered every spring, except spring 2014.
Prerequisite: C or higher in SH301 or equivalent. Recommended: SH302.
 
SH326 Seminar in Spanish Literature: 18th Century to Present Day Spain (3) 
Reading, discussion, and analysis of Peninsular works in prose, poetry, and/or theater from the 18th century to the present. The course’s organizing theme and its selection of genres may vary. Offered alternate spring semesters.
Prerequisite: C or higher in SH301 or equivalent. Recommended: SH302.
 
SH327 Seminar in Latin-American Literature (3) 
Reading, discussion, and analysis of several short stories and books related to a given theme, period, genre, or author. 
Offered every fall.
Prerequisite: C or higher in SH301 or equivalent.
 
SH 329 Chicano/a and Latino/a Literature (3)
In this course we will develop skills in speaking, listening, and writing; the means of which will be acquired through reading Chicano/a or Latino/a literature. Through this study we will gain a perspective on multicultural and multilingual life in the Spanish-speaking diasporas and places of origin. Class lecture, discussions and assignments will be conducted in Spanish. This course has a travel component. Offered alternate spring semesters.
Prerequisite: C or higher in SH301 or equivalent.
 
SH 333: English/Spanish Medical Interpretation (3)
This course consists of investigating the theory, application and practice of English-Spanish and Spanish-English medical interpreting and translating. Throughout the course, students will practice and perfect sight translations, consecutive interpretations, and simultaneous interpretations in English-Spanish and Spanish-English. This course is primarily designed to assist students who are currently involved with the medical profession and students wishing to pursue a career related to medicine or interpreting and/or translating. Offered alternate fall semesters.
Prerequisite: C or higher in SH 301 or equivalent
 
SH363 Latin-American Culture and Civilization (3) 
Study of political and social institutions, education, art, architecture, literature, and music from pre-Columbian period to present; contemporary problems and everyday life. Offered every spring. 
Prerequisite: C or higher in SH301 or equivalent.
 
FH/SH/SY 370: Service Learning (3)
Courses taught in conjunction with Service Learning trips to Mexico during Winter Break and the Caribbean in early summer. Students prepare for their experience abroad and analyze the concepts of service and social justice. Classes are interdisciplinary and include art, government and history to encourage students to appreciate the lives, values and background of the people they will encounter.  Students taking the courses for language credit will do reading and writing in Spanish and French. Offered on an occasional basis.
Prerequisite: FH301 or SH301 for Language Majors, Instructor approval for SY students.
 
SH 372: Engaging Hispanic Grand Rapids (3)  
This is an experiential learning course dedicated to understand the effects of immigration on Spanish speaking children in the greater Grand Rapids Area.  Aquinas students will analyze Spanish narratives and films.  Class lecture and discussion will be conducted completely in Spanish, as well as the assignments and exams. In addition, Aquinas students will volunteer two hours a week at a Bilingual School such as Cesar E. Chavez Elementary School. Through this study, we will gain a perspective on multicultural and multilingual life in the Spanish-Speaking diaspore of Western Michigan. Offered alternate fall semesters.
Prerequisite: C or higher in SH 301
 
FH/GN/JE/SH398 Advanced Readings in the Foreign Language (Variable)
Individually negotiated program of readings on selected topics established by contract between instructor and student. Contracts are filed with the Registrar.
Prerequisite: Approval of the chairperson.
 
FH/GN/JE/SH399 Independent Project (Variable)
Individually negotiated project of defined nature that are established by contract between instructor and student. Contracts are filed with the Registrar.
Prerequisite: Approval of the chairperson.
 
FH/GN/SH496 Methodology of Teaching Foreign Languages in the Elementary and Middle School, K-8 (3)
These courses do not count as credit hours toward the foreign language major, but rather as methodology courses for the Education Department. Offered every Fall.
Prerequisite: FH/GN/SH301and 302 or equivalent.