May 29, 2024  
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog 
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures


Telephone: (302) 831-2591
Department Website:
Faculty Listing:

The Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures advances our students’ cultural competence, international experience, and linguistic proficiency, preparing them for careers in business, service, communications, teaching, and other fields that require global perspectives and language expertise.

Modern Languages. We offer majors in Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Spanish, Three Languages, and Foreign Language Education. In addition, the Department co-sponsors joint majors in Linguistics/French, Political Science/French, German, or Spanish, and History/Classics, French, German, Russian, or Spanish. Honors Degree programs are also available for the above majors. Minors are offered in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish. Minors in French Studies, German Studies, or Spanish Studies may be completed through our approved semester programs in Paris, Leipzig, or Granada/Buenos Aires. Interdisciplinary minors offered through our department include Game Studies and Spanish for Healthcare.

At the beginning and intermediate (100 and 200) levels, we use proficiency-oriented, communicative approaches to language teaching. First-year language courses are team-taught, and there are special programs for students at this level who want to continue their language and cultural study abroad. The second year offers intensive skill-building in reading, writing, grammar, and conversation.

Advanced (300- and 400-level) undergraduate courses reflect our faculty’s broad range of research and expertise, from specific periods, geographical regions, or movements to cultural studies, film studies, and other topics designed to develop critical skills in analysis, interpretation, and presentation. Students continue to build linguistic proficiency through study and discussion of important issues, artifacts, and texts that represent the history, arts, and cultures of countries around the world.

All majors and minors are encouraged to spend at least one semester, one winter session, or one summer of study in a country in which the foreign language is spoken natively.

Ancient Languages. The BA in Ancient Greek and Roman Studies provides a liberal education in the fullest sense of that term by giving one the means to identify a problem, solve it without losing sight of its larger implications, express the solution clearly, and persuade others of its validity. Students of classical antiquity learn habits of accuracy and clarity of expression and in the process grapple with universal ethical, social, and political problems. A minor and an Honors Degree program are also offered.

Certificates. Foreign Language Certificate and Honors Foreign Language Certificate programs are offered for students in majors other than Languages, Literatures and Cultures. The Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures also collaborates with the Department of Business Administration in the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics on the major in International Business Studies.

Foreign Language Teacher Education. The Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures administers the BA program in Foreign Language Education leading to certification for teaching French, German, Italian, Latin (including a concentration in Classics), and Spanish in grades K-12. Those students pursuing teaching certification are required to study in a country where their language of study is spoken.

For Language Education majors, incoming students, transfer students, and students changing a major after matriculating will declare a Spanish Studies, French Studies, Italian Studies, German Studies, Latin Studies or Classics Studies major with “an interest in Education.” Upon completion of at least two 300-level courses, an application for official admission to the Foreign Language Education Major must be made to the Program Coordinator with a copy to the Foreign Language Education advisor. The requirements for admission are as follows:

  • Letter of application
  • A minimum GPA of 3.00 overall
  • A score of Intermediate High or higher on the OPI (for modern languages) or a score of Intermediate 4 or higher on the ACTFL Latin Interpretive Reading Assessment (ALIRA) for Latin.
  • Praxis I passing score.

Students who meet the above requirements will be admitted into the various Foreign Language Education majors. Admitted students will thus have time to work towards a proficiency level of Advanced Low which is one of the prerequisites to placement in student teaching


Placement and Duplicate Credit

Students intending to enroll in a foreign language course will be placed per the number of years of previous study of that language. As a general rule, students with two years or less of high school foreign language or the equivalent will be placed at the 105 level, students with three years will be placed at the 106 level, and students with four years or more will be placed at the 107 level. Exceptions to this rule can be made only upon the recommendation of the Foreign Language Placement Advisor. Please be advised of the following:

  • The University computer system will block students from registering for a language course for which they are overqualified. For example, the system will not permit a student who has had three years of Spanish in high school to enroll in SPAN 105.
  • Lowering your placement level: Students who are placed in 106 but who do not feel comfortable at that level may enroll at the 105 level with auditor status only. Students who are placed in 107 but who do not feel comfortable at that level may enroll at the 106 level only with permission of the placement advisor.
  • Advancing your placement level: Students may move one level higher with permission of the placement advisor; no jumping from 105 to 107 is permitted. The prerequisite for each 100-level course must be observed.
  • Students may not place themselves into the 200 level without having completed 107, the foreign language exemption exam, or the AP exam with a score of 3 or higher.
  • Sequence of courses: No credit will be granted for a 100-level course if the student has already successfully completed a higher-numbered course in the same language, e.g., credit for a 105 course will not be given if a 106 course has already been successfully completed; a student may not take Spanish 205 after taking Spanish courses at the 300 or 400-level, etcetera.
  • No pass/fail for required courses: 100-level language courses (and Latin and Greek 201 and 202) cannot be taken on a pass/fail basis if the courses are being used to satisfy a requirement or as the immediate prerequisite of a course used to satisfy a requirement.
  • It is important to note that only 12 credits of the same elementary/intermediate language will be counted towards the degree.


Study Abroad

Beginning students of language may participate in summer or winter programs in Spain or Latin America, France or Martinique, Germany, Italy, Tunisia, and other sites designed to accelerate completion of the language requirement.

For the advanced foreign language student, the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures sponsors fall semester programs in France (Paris), Spain (Granada), Argentina (Buenos Aires), Austria (Salzburg), and Japan (Akita) and spring semester programs in Austria (Salzburg), Spain (Granada), and Italy (Rome). Beginning and intermediate-level students may participate in winter and/or summer session programs in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, Costa Rica, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Martinique, Panama, Spain, or Tunisia.

All French Education, German Education, Italian Education, and Spanish Education students must participate in a Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures-sponsored study abroad program in a country where their language is spoken, preferably a semester-long program. Students majoring in French studies, German studies, Italian studies, and Spanish studies are expected to spend a semester abroad, and minors are strongly encouraged to do so.

Please consult the main office of the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures for further details on all programs.


Residency Requirement

At least 15 hours of courses acceptable for credit in the major language and literature, including at least six credits at the 400-level, must be taken on campus or as part of a semester abroad program sponsored by the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures. In the case of the Three Languages major, at least 12 of the hours must be taken in Language One on campus or as part of a semester abroad program sponsored by the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures.


Language Certificate Program

The Language Certificate Program and the Honors Language Certificate Program are intended to enhance the international dimension of the baccalaureate program for students in majors other than foreign languages by providing them with some first-hand knowledge of a foreign language and a foreign culture.


Students pursuing a major in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures or a minor in the language of the certificate are not eligible for these certificates.


To earn a degree with a Language Certificate in Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, or Spanish, a student is required to:

  1. Complete a designated sequence of four courses at the 200 and 300-levels. This is accomplished through a combination of two courses taken during Study Abroad Sessions in Tunisia, Brazil, China, France, Martinique, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, or Latin America, and two courses taken on the Delaware campus.
  2. A qualified student must complete the designated sequence of four 200 or 300-level Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, or Spanish courses with no grade below a C.

To earn a degree with an Honors Language Certificate in Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, or Spanish, a qualified student must:

  1. Complete the designated sequence of four 200 or 300-level Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, or Spanish courses with no grade below a B-.
  2. Take all four of these courses for Honors credit.
  3. Achieve a 3.000 cumulative grade index by the time of completion of the course requirements.

The Honors Language Certificate can be earned in addition to other kinds of Honors Certificates. Honors courses taken in the sequence leading to the Honors Language Certificate can also be applied toward those required for other forms of Honors recognition.



Credit by Examination: Students may receive up to six credits by examination for language courses at the 200-level and above, including but not exceeding one “conversation” class. Native speakers may not receive credits for courses in conversation.

Language Proficiency: For information concerning language proficiency see Requirements for the Degree of Bachelor of Arts, under College of Arts and Sciences.

Waivers or Substitutions: Waivers or substitutions for any requirements may be requested by seeking recommendation of the advisor and approval of the Department Chair.


Comparative Literature Program

Coordinator: Professor Deborah Steinberger
Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures
Telephone: (302) 831-2044

Both an undergraduate major and a minor in Comparative Literature are available. The aim of the program in comparative literature is to allow students to study literature in an international and intercultural relationship, across boundaries of nation and language. Comparative literature embraces the study of literary themes, forms, movements and relations, as well as the interrelations of literature and other disciplines. The program offers the student the opportunity, with the aid of an advisor, to construct a program reflecting individual areas of interest.

Students majoring or minoring in comparative literature must have a command of at least one foreign language at the advanced elective level. It is strongly recommended that majors pursue a second foreign language at least through the intermediate level. Majors are expected to make use of their command of foreign languages in comparative literature courses.

In addition to the courses designed specifically for students specializing in comparative literature, the program offers a number of courses in cooperation with other departments (English, Languages, Literatures and Cultures, Anthropology, Philosophy, etc.).


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