Asian and Middle Eastern Languages and Studies

General Objectives

These are competencies concerned with foreign-language learning. All language programs, including the certificate programs and the minors, share these competencies. All of the foreign-language competencies are achievement based. Each competency listed below is to be understood in terms of what can be achieved at a particular level of study in a specific language. It is well known that some languages are easier than others for adult English speakers to learn. It is equally well known that some of the skills are more difficult to learn in some languages than others. One of the ways the department plans to address these concerns is by developing a separate assessment document to provide an explicit characterization of what should be achieved at each level of instruction for each of the eight languages taught in the department. By consulting the assessment document, it will be possible to have a clearer understanding of what these goals mean for all levels of language instruction throughout the department.

1. The four skills: To be able to speak and write and to understand the written and spoken forms of the target language at a level appropriate for the number of semesters the language was studied.

2. Communicative competence: To use the target language accurately and effectively with native speakers to meet needs, achieve goals, and engage in activities socially, professionally, and individually.

An elaboration of the notion of accuracy:

Pronunciation: To be intelligible to native speakers and to approximate the target phonology within a range appropriate for the level of study and in the view of other relevant factors like the learner’s age.

Grammar and cohesion: To speak and write the target language in conformity to its rules of grammar and ways of structuring discourses and of marking relations across linguistic units within a discourse, given the learner’s level of study.

Register: To use varieties of the target language appropriate to the situation and interlocutors, given the learner’s level of study.

An implicit component of communicative competence: to use culturally appropriate communicative strategies to facilitate and guide interactions in the target language, given the learner’s level of study.

Learning Objectives for Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, Hindi, Japanese, Korean (to be achieved by the end of the fourth semester)

1. In academic and social settings in the US and in the target culture students should be able to use the target language orally and in writing to provide personal background information, meet basic social needs, and engage in simple social interactions in ways that are:

·       grammatically and lexically accurate

·       comprehensible to an attentive target-language speaker

·       in written form recognizable and interpretable to an attentive target-language reader

·       coherent

·       cohesive

·       informed by target-language social and cultural norms

Understand the target language in brief exchanges involving:

·       personal background information

·       meeting basic social needs

·       extended simple social interactions

·       short context-rich segments from radio and TV broadcasts and movies

·       printed messages encountered on signs, schedules, and similar brief texts

·       short connected texts edited for language learners

·       short, simple authentic texts with some guidance and assistance

2. To have knowledge of the common practices, conventions, and beliefs–and an awareness of widely held norms of behavior–in the target-language’s cultures.

3. To have knowledge of some of the ways in which languages differ from each other and the importance of those differences when using the target language and also when using one’s native language with speakers of other languages.

4. To develop strategies for interacting with people from other cultures both in the target language and in one’s own native language.

5. To develop strategies to continue learning the target language on one’s own.

Learning Objectives for the Certificates in Arabic, Chinese, and Japanese

Note: Certificates comprise six semesters of language study

1. In academic and social settings in the US and in the target culture students should be able to use the target language orally and in writing to provide personal background information, meet basic social needs, and engage in simple social interactions in ways that are:

·       grammatically and lexically accurate

·       comprehensible to an attentive target-language speaker

·       in written form recognizable and interpretable to an attentive target-language reader

·       coherent

·       cohesive

·       informed by target-language social and cultural norms

Understand the target language in brief exchanges involving:

·       personal background information

·       meeting basic social needs

·       extended simple social interactions

·       short context-rich segments from radio and TV broadcasts and movies

·       printed messages encountered on signs, schedules, and similar brief texts

·       short connected texts edited for language learners

·       short, simple authentic texts with some guidance and assistance

2. To have knowledge of the common practices, conventions, and beliefs–and an awareness of widely held norms of behavior–in the target-language’s cultures.

3. To have knowledge of some of the ways in which languages differ from each other and the importance of those differences when using the target language and also when using one’s native language with speakers of other languages.

4. To develop strategies for interacting with people from other cultures both in the target language and in one’s own native language.

5. To develop strategies to continue learning the target language on one’s own.

Learning Objectives for the Minors in Arabic, Chinese, and Japanese 

The minors have the same learning goals for language as the certificates as well as several additional learning goals.

1. In academic and social settings in the US and in the target culture students should be able to use the target language orally and in writing to provide personal background information, meet basic social needs, and engage in simple social interactions in ways that are:

·       grammatically and lexically accurate

·       comprehensible to an attentive target-language speaker

·       in written form recognizable and interpretable to an attentive target-language reader

·       coherent

·       cohesive

·       informed by target-language social and cultural norms

Understand the target language in brief exchanges involving:

·       personal background information

·       meeting basic social needs

·       extended simple social interactions

·       short context-rich segments from radio and TV broadcasts and movies

·       printed messages encountered on signs, schedules, and similar brief texts

·       short connected texts edited for language learners

·       short, simple authentic texts with some guidance and assistance

2. To have knowledge of the common practices, conventions, and beliefs–and an awareness of widely held norms of behavior–in the target-language’s cultures.

3. To have knowledge of some of the ways in which languages differ from each other and the importance of those differences when using the target language and also when using one’s native language with speakers of other languages.

4. To develop strategies for interacting with people from other cultures both in the target language and in one’s own native language.

5. To develop strategies to continue learning the target language on one’s own.

6. To have systematic knowledge of the target language’s major modem and contemporary literary figures, fictional works, and themes.

7. To have systematic knowledge of the target language’s popular culture as expressed in its cinema and other popular art forms, and in social movements and trends within its speech communities.

8. To have knowledge of some of the ways academic disciplines study the modem and contemporary literature and popular culture of the target language and the kinds of questions those disciplines investigate.

9. To have knowledge of some of the ways in which the target language’s literature and popular culture are engaged with themes, movements, and concerns of global significance.