Foreign Language

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Curriculum  |  Courses

The Foreign Language Program at Pitt-Johnstown offers students the opportunity to develop language proficiency at the elementary, intermediate, and advanced levels in French and Spanish.

Students may obtain a Bachelor of Arts in humanities with a concentration in foreign language and literature; often they utilize their language training within the International Studies Program and in preparation for approved study abroad programs or for graduate study.

A foreign language minor is popular with many students, as it helps them to further an interest in a language they studied in high school, a new language, or even to help bolster their job prospects in a chosen field. Any study in foreign languages is increasingly indispensable as global connectivity increases at an astronomical rate.

Contact Us
Alvaro A. Bernal, PhD, Spanish Language Program Coordinator
Department of Foreign Languages
227A Biddle Hall
814-269-7154
 
Barbara Petrosky, PhD, French Language Program Coordinator
Department of Foreign Languages
223D Biddle Hall
814-269-7153

Curriculum

Courses

Spanish Courses

Schedule of Course Offerings »

SPAN 0111 Spanish Language & Culture 1

A thorough introduction (in two terms) to the Spanish grammar, with extensive practice in the four skills: reading, writing, understanding, and speaking. 4 credits

SPAN 0112 Spanish Language & Culture 2

A thorough introduction (in two terms) to the Spanish grammar, with extensive practice in the four skills: reading, writing, understanding, and speaking. Prerequisite: SPAN 0111. 4 credits

SPAN 0211 Intermediate Spanish 1

This course is a continuation of the first-year sequence and includes a functional review of language structure and vocabulary. Primary emphasis is development of conversational skills, with topical reading and some writing. Prerequisite: SPAN 0112. 3 credits

SPAN 0212 Intermediate Spanish 2

Students continue a functional review of language structure and build vocabulary. Emphasis is on conversational, reading and writing skills. Prerequisite: SPAN 0211. 3 credits

SPAN 0320 Conversation

The aims of this course are to improve the learner's ability to understand and speak fluent Spanish. A native speaker instructor guides the student, but the learner does most of the talking. Emphasis in small classes is on vocabulary building and some basic structures. Daily participation is necessary. Prerequisite: SPAN 0212. 3 credits

SPAN 0325 Grammar And Composition

A review of Spanish grammar, designed to aid the student in building vocabulary, translating from English to Spanish, and writing compositions. Prerequisite: SPAN 0212. 3 credits

SPAN 0351 Latin American Civilization

Readings, lectures, films, and class discussions in Spanish on the historical development of Latin American civilization and its major social, economic, and cultural features. This course is required for Spanish majors. Prerequisite: SPAN 0212. 3 credits

SPAN 0355 Introduction To Hispanic Literature 1

Aims to acquaint students with major genres and trends of Spanish literature from the 16th century to the present, to equip them with essential techniques of literary criticism, and to develop their ability to speak and write in the second language. Prerequisite: SPAN 0212. 3 credits

SPAN 0356 Introduction To Hispanic Literature 2

Aims to acquaint students with major genres and trends of Latin American literature from the 16th century to the present, to equip them with essential techniques of literary criticism, and to develop their ability to speak and write in the second language. Prerequisite: SPAN 0212. 3 credits

SPAN 0451 Seminar In Cervantes

A seminar for Spanish majors and others that focuses on Don Quixote and various minor works. Quixote is read closely in Spanish and analyzed in class for content, narrative technique, structure, and style. Prerequisite: SPAN 0212 or equivalent. 3 credits

SPAN 0453 Seminar In Hispanic Poetry

This seminar focuses on the finest poetry of Spain and Spanish America. All poetry is read in Spanish and discussed in English or Spanish. Students formulate specific topics and present the results of their study to the seminar. This seminar may be taken twice for credit, provided the focus is not duplicated. 3 credits

SPAN 0454 Seminar In 20th-Century Spanish-American Fiction

A seminar for Spanish majors and others focusing on the novel and short fiction of the recent boom in Latin American literature. The following authors are considered: Borges, Garcia Marquez, Vargas Llosa, Carpentier, Puig, Fuentes, Cortazar, Rulfo, Denevi, Cabrera Infante, and others. Works are read in Spanish and discussed in Spanish for content, theme, structure, narrative technique, and style. Texts vary from term to term. Prerequisite: SPAN 0212 or equivalent. 3 credits

SPAN 1021 Advanced Conversation

This course develops advanced oral skills in small class groups. Students work to build vocabulary and gain a control of the essential structures. Both Spanish majors and nonmajors who wish to improve their fluency may enroll in this course. Prerequisite: Spanish 0212 or its equivalent. 3 credits

SPAN 1026 Advanced Grammar

An advanced study of Spanish grammar designed for students who have already taken SPAN 0325 grammar and composition or have equivalent knowledge. While the emphasis is on practical usage, theoretical aspects of the finer points of syntax will also be considered. Prerequisite: SPAN 0325. 3 credits

SPAN 1193 Literary And Non-Literary Translation

This course is intended to develop translating skills in literary (including scholarly and critical), journalistic, and advertising texts. The course is an introduction to the art of translating texts from Spanish to English and to a lesser extent from English to Spanish. The aim of this course is to provide students with basic translation skills and to develop students’ understanding of Spanish grammar and syntax. This course counts as credit towards the Spanish major/minor. Prerequisites: SPAN 0212 or equivalent. 3 credits

SPAN 1308Advanced Spanish

This is a course in advanced Spanish that allows students to acquire a broader and deeper knowledge of Spanish structure, vocabulary, and idiomatic usage. In addition, students will be able to progress in their reading and aural comprehension skills as well as in their command of the spoken language and their familiarity with aspects of the various cultures of the hispanophone world. 3 credits

SPAN 1331 Structure Of Modern Spanish

This course teaches the structure of the Spanish language, including components which address Spanish phonology, morphology and syntax. Prerequisite: SPAN 0212. 3 credits

SPAN 1443 Latin American Narrative

This course deals with the development of Latin American prose narrative as it moves from 19th century realism and naturalism in the direction of modernista and vanguardista innovations, culminating in the narrative of the boom and the post-boom. Taught in Spanish. Prerequisite: SPAN 0212. 3 credits

SPAN 1444 Latin American Topics

This interdisciplinary seminar deals with literary, linguistics, or cultural topics – or a combination of these. The topic will vary but may include also one of the following: manifestations of popular culture; history; and film studies. Primary emphasis is on developing an understanding of contemporary cultures in Latin America. Prerequisite: SPAN 0212 or equivalent. Course may be repeated for credit, provided the topic is different. 3 credits

SPAN 1445 Seminar: Latin American Literature And Culture

This course studies various cultural and literary topics according to the needs and interests of the students. Its purpose is to allow students to do original research on topics of interest in the field of Latin American literature and culture. Taught in Spanish. Prerequisite: SPAN 0212 or equivalent. 3 credits

SPAN 1640 Survey Of Spanish Literature

This course surveys the development of Spanish literature from the 12th century to the present. Taught in Spanish. Prerequisite: SPAN 0212, SPAN 0355, or equivalent. 3 credits

SPAN 1841 Don Quixote And The Novel

This course deals in-depth with Cervantes’ Don Quixote as the first modern novel and its profound influence on European literature. Taught in English. 3 credits

SPAN 1844 Contemporary Latin American Literature

This course deals with contemporary Latin American literature, showing its literary development up to and including the so-called boom, as well as post-boom developments. The course also will deal with the cultural values and concepts of the works read. Taught in English. 3 credits

SPAN 1846 Hispanic Drama In Translation

This course deals with contemporary Spanish and Latin American drama (in English translation) with emphasis on the ways in which the dramas reflect cultural and social concepts and values. 3 credits

SPAN 1941 Independent Study

This course allows students to work in-depth in areas of their choice; evaluation is by examination or by the production of a term paper. 1–6 credits

SPAN 0082 Latin America Today

This course is an overview of contemporary Latin America and its people and is designed to be an introduction for students who have no previous knowledge of the area. Students will be exposed to several aspects of Latin America. A special attempt will be made to show contemporary social reality as interpreted by some of the region's most gifted writers. Taught in English. 3 credits

SPAN 1805 Contemporary Hispanic Literature and Society

This course deals with contemporary Spanish and Latin American societies as revealed in short stories, novels and poetry in an effort to ascertain the cultural values and concepts of these societies. Taught in English. 3 credits

Spanish Courses for Special Purposes

Spanish for Healthcare Professionals (SPAN 0110)

This course is designed as a practical introductory Spanishcourse that will include technical vocabulary and idiomatic expressions needed by healthcare professionals who must communicate orally with Spanish-speaking patients. We will emphasize grammar, speaking and pronunciation skills. Students will learn and practice useful phrases within a medical context as well as acquire vocabulary and basic grammatical knowledge.  3 CREDITS

Spanish for Business Professionals (SPAN 0109)

This course is designed as a practical introductory Spanishcourse that will include technical vocabulary and idiomatic expressions needed by healthcare professionals who must communicate orally with Spanish-speaking patients. We will emphasize grammar, speaking and pronunciation skills. Students will learn and practice useful phrases within a medical context as well as acquire vocabulary and basic grammatical knowledge.  3 CREDITS

Spanish for Reading and Translation (SPAN 0108)

An intensive basic reading course in Spanish designed to all students who want to study Spanish for reading knowledge and translation. No prior knowledge of Spanish is required. Readings are drawn from many areas, including the Spanish language press, the natural sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities. A great course for students headed for graduate school. 3 CREDITS

Digital Spanish (SPAN 0107)

Introduction to Spanish language and culture on the web: social networking sites, trends in digital culture, including video and music. The student will learn blogging, text messaging, and digital basic skills in Spanish. The course is aimed at facilitating the acquisition of the necessary abilities and intercultural competence to manage multimedia tasks in Spanish at a basic level. 3 CREDITS

Spanish for Science and Engineering (SPAN 0106)

An intensive reading course in Spanish designed to science and engineering students who want to study Spanish for reading and communication knowledge. The course stresses language skills useful for the science and engineering profession. Provides training in basic reading, writing and conversation with emphasis on the use of language in a professional context. 3 CREDITS

* These courses do not fulfill the language requirement; they do not count toward the Spanish Minor either. However, for a non-Humanities major, these classes could fulfill Gen Ed requirements in the Humanities. For Humanities majors, these courses could be counted as free electives. Knowledge of Spanish is not required. The courses are not open to heritage or native speakers of Spanish.

French Courses

Schedule of Course Offerings »

FR 0111French language and Culture 1

Introduces the oral-aural and reading-writing skills in the language, and stresses communication and grammatical structure. Emphasis is placed on using the spoken language. The students will also familiarize themselves with the main Francophone countries and learn about their different cultures. 4 credits

FR 0112French language and Culture2 4 credits

A continuation of Elementary French 1, this course expands oral-aural and reading-writing skills in the language and stresses communication and grammatical structure. Emphasis is placed on using the spoken language. Prerequisite: FR 0111. 4 credits

FR 0211 Intermediate French 1

This course is a logical continuation of the first-year sequence. Emphasis continues to be placed on communication. The students will review grammar and expand their vocabulary. They will also learn about Francophone culture. Prerequisite: FR 0112. 3 credits

FR 0212 Intermediate French 2

This course is a continuation of Intermediate French 1. Prerequisite: FR 0211. 3 credits

FR 0250 Special Topics

The study of a special topic in French. Prerequisite: FR 0212. 3 credits

FR 0311 Business French

This course will be an introduction to business practices in France. The major topics covered in class will include written business, communication, financial institutions, trade, and advertising. The students will be asked to do translations, to write professional correspondence and to read articles related to the world of business, economics, and finance. Cross-cultural differences regarding the work place are also a focus of the course. Prerequisite: FR 0212. 3 credits

FR 0320 Introduction To Civilization

This course is designed to lead students to a better understanding of France today. Particular attention is directed to the major aspects of contemporary French life and society. Students will learn about French culture from the Enlightenment period to decolonization through films, discussions and lectures. Prerequisite: FR 0212. 3 credits

FR 0321 Approaches To French Literature

The goal of this course is to illustrate ways of looking at literary texts. Students shall examine plays, short prose works, and poems focusing on textual elements such as narrative technique, characterization, societal factors, and language. Students will read texts from the Middle Ages and tales from the 17th and 18th centuries to learn the major literary movements. Prerequisite: FR 0212. 3 credits

FR 0355 French Conversation

This course is designed to help students already familiar with the basic grammatical structure of the language improve their facility in oral expression. Students will read and discuss poetry, songs, newspaper articles, and films. Prerequisite: FR 0212. 3 credits

FR 0356 Written French 1

This course is designed to enable students to improve their understanding and control of essential elements of written French. Students will continue to review the grammar and learn how to write a descriptive essay, a summary, a film review, and a resume. Prerequisite: FR 0212. 3 credits

FR 0380 Modern French Novel

The French novel is to a great extent a genre in which psychological analysis has been brought to a high level of sophistication. This shall be studied through close analyses of six to eight works in English translation. 3 credits

FR 0452 Independent Study

To be arranged in consultation with instructor. Prerequisite: FR 0212. 1–9 credits

FR 1011 Poetry

The study of poetry cannot be divorced from the special requirements of versification. Students shall begin by examining the general aspects of French prosody. Then, the regular work of the class will be devoted to the close reading of poems by a number of poets including Ronsard, Victor Hugo, Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Mallarme, Verlaine, and Apollinaire. Prerequisite: FR 0212. 3 credits

FR 1013 French Theatre

Course considers the distinctive characteristics of French drama from the 17th century to the mid-20th century. Prerequisite: FR 0212. 3 credits

FR 1017 Novel 2

This course traces transformation in the French novel from the mid-19th century to the mid-20th century new novel. Students will read novels in French chosen for their literary merit as well as their importance as landmarks in the evolution of the French novel. Prerequisite: FR 0212. 3 credits

FR 1019 20th-Century Topics

This course, offered infrequently, will treat some aspect of the literature of the 20th century in France. Prerequisite: FR 0212. 3 credits

FR 1083 Special Topics In Literature (English)

This course will teach a literary genre, a thematic topic, or cultural issue within French literature. 3 credits

FR 1090 Introduction To Translation Studies

The students will read theoretical essays about the techniques of translation and will translate the following: newspaper articles, poetry, short stories, letters, and film subtitles. 3 credits