Loyola University Maryland

Modern Languages & Literatures

General Learning Aims for Majors in Modern Languages and Literatures

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The standards for teaching modern languages in the United States are organized according to the guidelines of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) created by “The Five C’s of Foreign Language Education”: Communication, Cultures, Connections, Comparisons and Communities. These goal areas, which were developed to reflect the wide variety of purposes for and uses in modern languages, are interconnected in many respects; however, for purposes of clarity, we interpret these standards below an one by one from the perspective of the Loyola College undergraduate educational aims.

The faculty of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures endorse and promote all of the ACTFL standards in courses which fulfill the requirements for our majors in French, German, Spanish and CCLS:

Communication

Courses for students who specialize in our programs are conducted in the target language. In these advanced courses, we train students to engage in conversations as well as discuss content. Students are expected to participate by listening and speaking. Additionally, students are expected to produce written work on a variety of topics and readings in the language studied. Thus, they are expected to present information, concepts, and ideas to an audience in real world situations (e.g. to fellow student learners) on a variety of topics.

Cultures

Culture is defined is as a spectrum of textual production and discursive practices. Culture includes non-literary contexts such as political, social, and cultural institutions. One of the most important ways students learn about culture, however, is through the study of texts: literature, film and other cultural documents. These artifacts help students decipher other cultures and ideologies. In oral and written work, students articulate the relationships between culture and text and become sensitized to cross-cultural differences.

Connections

Through the study of modern languages students acquire the ability to make connections between their use of the modern language and the implications that this knowledge has in relation to other disciplines. Students develop an understanding of the linguistic intricacies and the cultural practices associated with the modern language studied as well as foster an understanding of its role in faith and social justice issues. Students acquire a global perspective through which they are able to connect intellectually to the socio-historical context of the countries in which the language or languages they study are spoken and to analyze multiple perspectives in a meaningful way.  Students also use these perspectives to recognize distinctive viewpoints that are only available through the study of modern languages and cultures.

Comparisons

By engaging in discursive practices involved in the process of second language acquisition, students gain a broader linguistic perspective and develop a more profound understanding of the nature of language through actively identifying and seeking comparisons of the language studied and its variants and their own native language. Through the study of modern languages, students develop the ability to analyze and appreciate not only the contributions and practices of their own culture, but also that of other societies and populations.  In addition, students are able to compare and contrast aspects of various cultural manifestations, institutions and ideals. 

Communities

Because the languages that we teach and the students learn are living manifestations of the human experience, students use these languages beyond the school setting. For example, they participate in community service among language-specific populations. They also travel to and study in countries where the language they have learned is spoken and, at the same time, often live with families in those countries. An important first step in using language beyond the classroom begins with university- and department-sponsored events, such as lectures, films, excursions and other community-building events.

Furthermore, students show evidence of becoming life-long learners by pursuing and promoting an appreciation of the language and cultures they have studied. Finally, our students, who serve as ambassadors of inter-cultural awareness and appreciation to their campus and to the greater community, recognize the dynamic interdependence between self and others through their study of transglobal realities.

The Five C’s and Learning Aims for the Humanities at Loyola University Maryland

Since the Learning Aims for the Humanities at Loyola University Maryland have been approved by the Faculty Senate, and since Modern Languages is a Humanities discipline, our discussion of how the five C’s coordinate with the learning aims at the college is framed within those of the Humanities.

As shown on the table below, the Learning Aims of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures fulfill all of the Humanities Learning Aims at Loyola University Maryland.

 

Loyola University Maryland
Humanities Learning Aims

ACTFL’s Five C’s

Communication (C1)

Cultures (C2)

Connections (C3) Comparisons (C4) Communities (C5) 
Intellectual Excellence  

 X

 X  X  
Standard of Eloquence

 X

       
Questions and Methods  X X X  
Appreciation of Beauty   X      
Leadership X        X
Understanding the Jesuit Catholic Mission      X  X  X
Diversity of the Human Experience   X
Awareness of Moral Issues      X    X
The Examined Life      X    X
 

Intellectual Excellence (C2, C3, C4)

Cultures

By studying and writing about cultural institutions and artifacts such as literary texts, students develop an understanding of the perspectives, products and practices of cultures other than their own.

Connections

Students reinforce and further their knowledge of other disciplines and they recognize the distinctive viewpoints that are only available through the modern language and its cultures.

Comparisons

By comparing their native language and culture to the language(s) that they acquire through the study of a modern language(s), students develop and demonstrate an understanding of the nature of language and of the multi-faceted concept of culture.

Standards of Eloquence (C1) 

Communication

Students learn to communicate effectively and fluently in conversation and writing in the modern language that they are studying. Always striving to improve their language skills, they engage in both written and oral analysis and learn to present their ideas in a clear and professional way. Students are provided with a variety of rhetorical models through the study of literary texts and authentic cultural products.

Questions and Methods (C1, C2, C3, C4)

Communication

Students develop strategies to analyze and question the historical and socio-political eras studied as well as the literary and cultural artifacts that these eras produce. They also learn strategies and methods of presenting their ideas in a clear and analytical way in their second language through written and spoken discourse.

Cultures

The perspectives that students gain from their study of culture trains them not only to seek and ask appropriate questions regarding the target culture(s) but also how to successfully search out answers to these questions.

Connections

Students learn to connect their study of a modern language and culture to their studies in other courses; their study of a modern language and culture informs and enriches their study and helps them to further answer questions in the various humanities disciplines.

Comparisons

Students, in comparing their own culture to other modern cultures, develop an understanding of how to question these cultures and how to answer those questions. In addition, students are also invited to question aspects of their own culture and to reflect on how it relates or differs from the target culture.

Appreciation of Beauty (C2)

Cultures

By developing an appreciation of other cultures and their cultural production, students deepen their understanding of concepts of beauty and how culture influences how we define and interpret beauty.

Leadership (C1, C5)

Communication

As they perfect their language skills and cultural knowledge, students are able to take an active role as leaders when they study abroad and when they engage in volunteer activities. Both in classes at Loyola and in classes that students take abroad, their increasingly sharpened language skills allow them to assume leadership roles and serve as examples for fellow students.

Communities

Students learn to participate as leaders in multilingual communities at home and around the world. The MLL faculty encourages encourage its students to participate in volunteer work and service-learning components of our courses.

Understanding the Jesuit Catholic Mission (C3, C4, C5)

Connections

Although our classes do not teach theology as a primary subject, our courses help students to connect with the religious traditions of the countries we study.

Comparisons

Because the target cultures often feature religious practices different from those of our students, students develop insight into the role of religion in other linguistic and cultural communities.

Communities

Our students are encouraged to emulate the early Jesuits by going to live in another culture during a study abroad experience and by striving to see the world from the perspectives of communities in other cultures.

Diversity of the Human Experience (C2, C3, C4, C5)

Cultures

As stated in the Humanities Learning Aims, students in our courses "think about their own culture and learn, through acquiring knowledge about cultures and languages other than their own, to understand and value the diversity of human experience."

Connections

Students make connections between their own culture and language and those of other parts of the world while at the same time acquiring information about those target languages and cultures.

Comparisons

By comparing their experiences to the experience of others, students discern a deeper understanding of the diversity of the human experience.

Communities

 The ability of students to become involved in diverse communities is enhanced by their ability to speak a language other than their native language and their knowledge and understanding of other cultures.

Awareness of Moral Issues (C3, C5)

Connections

Students acquire information regarding the moral issues of our time through their study of a modern languages and cultures and recognize the distinctive viewpoints that are only available through a study of modern language and cultures.

Communities

Students discern a new understanding of moral issues that are present within other communities and are encouraged to work in other communities as volunteers.

The Examined Life (C3, C5)

Connections

Students become informed in their knowledge of world events and reflect on the ethical implications of these events.

Communities

Students show evidence of becoming life-long learners by using the target language for personal enjoyment, enrichment and introspection.