MODERN LANGUAGES AND LITERATURES
Dept. Codes: ARB, CHI, FRE, GER, HAI, HEB, ITA, JPN, MLL, POR, SPA
www.as.miami.edu/mll


INTRODUCTION

The study of languages is integral to education in a global university. In addition to providing access to various cultural perspectives, multilingualism fosters success in business, economics, law, medicine, education, social sciences, politics, the arts, and humanities. Language study most effectively enriches academic as well as personal experiences when students choose a language based on its relevance to possible careers, to research in particular fields, to personal heritage, or to the understanding of unfamiliar cultures. At the University of Miami, students can choose courses in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Haitian Creole, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish.

Many students combine advanced modern language study with majors in other fields. Students majoring in a modern language often choose second majors in programs such as International Studies, Communications, History, Political Science (and other pre-law fields), Biology (and other pre-med fields), English, Finance, Latin American Studies, Anthropology, Psychology, Computer Science, Sociology, and Philosophy.

The Department has Undergraduate Advisors for each language. You are encouraged to consult with them for placement, and must consult with them if you plan to major, minor, or study abroad (contact the Department office for names and office hours). If you plan to double major, you must have an advisor from each of your fields.

Students may qualify for a wide range of departmental awards for excellence in linguistic and literary achievement. The Modern Languages and Literatures Awards Reception takes place annually during graduation week. Some awards are conferred through nomination by professors; others require an application. Students may obtain information on specific awards in the Department office. The annual deadline for applications is usually in early March.

PLACEMENT GUIDELINE FOR MLL COURSES
Most students studying a second language can determine their appropriate level by following these guidelines:
• If you have not studied Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, or Spanish in high school, or have completed one to two years of high school instruction, take 101; for Portuguese, take 105.
• If you have taken 101 or its equivalent at another institution, take 102.
• If you have completed three years of high school instruction in French or Spanish, or scored a 3 on the AP language exam take 105. If you have had three years of high school Arabic, Chinese, German, Hebrew, Italian, or Japanese, take 102.
• If you have taken four years of high school French or Spanish, scored a 4 on the AP exam or a 4 on the IB exam in French or Spanish, or took the equivalent of 102 or 105 at another university, take 211. If you have taken four years of high school German, Italian or Portuguese, take 211. If you have taken four years of Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, or Japanese, take 201.
• If you had five to six years of high school French, German, Italian, or Spanish, take 212.
• If you have taken the equivalent of 211 at another university, or scored a 5 on the AP exam, you have completed your language requirement.  If you wish to continue your studies, take 212.
• If you took the equivalent of 212 in French or Spanish at another university or scored a 4 on the AP literature exam, you have completed your language requirement.  If you wish to continue your studies, take 214. If you took the equivalent of 212 in German, Italian or Portuguese at another university, you have completed your language requirement.  If you wish to continue your studies, take 301.
• If you scored a 5 on the AP literature exam in French, Italian or Spanish, you have completed your language requirement. If you wish to continue your studies, take 301.
The Department offers courses open to native speakers of French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. Native speakers may not enroll in 101, 102, 105, 201, 202, 211, 212, 214, or 301 in their language. If you are a native speaker of French, German, Italian, or Portuguese, and graduated from a high school where that was the official language of instruction, you may take any course above 301 (consult with the respective Undergraduate Advisor). If you are a native speaker of Spanish and graduated from a high school where that was the official language of instruction, your first SPA course at UM must be either SPA 302 or 303 or 343 (which is a prerequisite for other literature courses).
The Department of Modern Languages & Literatures identifies as heritage learners of Spanish those students who begin their university studies of the language with little or no prior instruction in Spanish but who, because of family background or social experience, can already understand much casual spoken Spanish and have a passive knowledge of the language (though they may not usually speak the language themselves). In the great majority of cases, they have been born and fully educated in the United States, and may have grown up speaking principally English (or a ‘mix’ of Spanish and English, i.e. ‘Spanglish’) in the home with their grandparents, parents and siblings. Heritage learners may or may not consider themselves as “bilinguals” or “native speakers”, since both of these terms carry very different connotations—linguistic, social, and psychological—for different individuals. Some state that they “do not really speak Spanish” even though they are able to comprehend much spoken language (i.e., they are “passive bilinguals”). In the great majority of cases, they self-identify as “Hispanic” or “Latino/a”.
HERITAGE LEARNERS OF SPANISH MUST BE PLACED IN ONE OF THE FOLLOWING FOUR COURSES:
SPA 143 Basic Spanish for Heritage Learners is for those students with little or no prior instruction in Spanish who, because of family background or social experience, can understand casual spoken Spanish and have a passive knowledge of the language although they do not usually speak the language themselves. Generally, their abilities to read and write Spanish are very weak. CLOSED TO STUDENTS WHO GRADUATED HIGH SCHOOL IN A SPANISH-SPEAKING COUNTRY.
SPA 243 Intermediate Spanish for Heritage Learners is for those students WHO HAVE ALREADY TAKEN AND PASSED SPA 143 or who have studied Spanish for AT LEAST TWO YEARS IN HIGH SCHOOL. They can understand casual spoken Spanish and have some functional ability in speaking, reading and writing the language. CLOSED TO STUDENTS WHO GRADUATED HIGH SCHOOL IN A SPANISH-SPEAKING COUNTRY.
SPA 244 Advanced Spanish for Heritage Learners is for those students who have studied Spanish for four years in high school and who have developed functional abilities in speaking, reading and writing the language. Students who earned a score of 5 on the AP Spanish Language Exam should register for this course. CLOSED TO STUDENTS WHO GRADUATED HIGH SCHOOL IN A SPANISH-SPEAKING COUNTRY.
SPA 343 Introduction to Literary Studies for Native/ Heritage Speakers is intended for those students who have completed secondary and/or university studies in a Spanish-speaking country and for those heritage learners who demonstrate an advanced level of productive competence (in the written and spoken modes) in Spanish because of prior formal study of the language. Many heritage learners who place directly into 343 have taken AP Spanish literature in high school and earned a score of 4 or 5. 
>>> SPA 101, 102, 105, 211, 212 AND 214 ARE NOT FOR HERITAGE LEARNERS. ANY HERITAGE LEARNER WHO ENROLLS IN ONE OF THESE COURSES WILL BE OBLIGATED TO SWITCH TO A HERITAGE LANGUAGE COURSE (SPA 143, 243, 244 OR 343) DURING THE FIRST WEEK OF CLASS.
Arts and Sciences Language Requirement
The College of Arts and Sciences requires all B.A. and B.S. degree students to show competency in a language other than English by successfully completing an approved college language course at the 200-level or higher. Students wishing to fulfill the language requirement in a language not taught at UM, may take the equivalent of a 300-level course or higher at an accredited institution and submit appropriate documentation for approval.

Humanities Literature and Writing Credits
The Department offers a variety of courses that fulfill these Distribution Requirements for students in most majors (please consult the guidelines of your School or College); students can easily fulfill some or all of these requirements by majoring or minoring in a modern language. Any literature courses in French, German, Italian, Portuguese or Spanish on the 300-level or higher fulfills a Humanities Literature requirement and counts as a writing credit. In addition, all 300-, 400- and all 500-level courses, unless otherwise specified, are for writing credit. NOTE: Courses may simultaneously fulfill the Humanities Literature Requirement and Writing Credit, or the Foreign Language Requirement and Writing Credit. A course cannot simultaneously fulfill the Foreign Language Requirement and the Humanities Literature Requirement.


DEGREE PROGRAMS

Students pursuing a single major in Arts and Sciences earn a BA.


MAJOR

Goals of the major: The major is designed to allow students to gain advanced linguistic, literary and cultural competence in the given language. Students will develop analytical and critical skills.  They will learn to build coherent arguments orally and in writing; to develop tools for the interpretation of various texts; to perform research and write critical papers; to find and evaluate sources of information; to heighten their sensitivity to contexts of language, and to appreciate language as art.  Students will also acquire a broad, structured knowledge of the history, literature and culture in the target language. Finally, they will learn to carry out cultural comparisons and to view their own culture with new eyes.

You do not have to be a student of the College of Arts and Sciences to major in a modern language; you need only the approval of your college or school advisor and to complete the departmental requirements. If you wish to complete a double degree, consult with an Arts and Sciences Advisor.

Students completing a major in a modern language are encouraged to study abroad. The International Education and Exchange Program (IEEP in Allen Hall, room 212) sponsors programs for Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish. It is also possible to fulfill some Arts and Sciences distribution requirements abroad. In order to take full advantage of study abroad, students should visit IEEP early in their university careers, discuss course equivalencies with the Study Abroad Advisor for their chosen languages (contact the Department office for names and office hours), and consult with their major advisors. Credit toward the major for courses taken abroad will be determined on an individual basis.

Majors in French, German, and Spanish

A major consists of at least 24 credits beyond 212/243, which must include the following distribution:

• at least 9 credits must be at the 300 level;
• at least 6 credits must be above the 300 level; of these, 3 credits must be at the 500 level (capstone course);
• Five writing intensive classes (W) in the department are required of all majors.
• Spanish majors must take one full 3-course sequence of survey courses in either Peninsular or Latin American Literature, or a combination of both that covers all three chronological periods.  That is, Spanish majors must take 353 OR 363; 354 OR 364; and 355 OR 365.

Only one professional Spanish course (SPA 432 or SPA 433) will count towards the Spanish major, although students are free to take both. Students with transfer credits at the 300-level must take at least 21 graded credits at or above the 300-level at the University of Miami; i.e., up to 9 credits at the 300- and 400-level may be transferred from another institution or a study abroad program not administered by UM. Up to 12 credits taken abroad in a UM-administered program may count towards any of the majors in the Department. Students must earn a grade of C- or higher in every course counting toward the major, and maintain a minimum overall average of 2.5 in the major.

Capstone Courses

The final course in the major is the capstone course (501) which must be taken in residence. This course will:
• Integrate the various skills acquired during the course of study (linguistic, analytical, knowledge-based);
• Incorporate interpretive as well as presentational modes of communication;
• Contain an over-arching and cohesive theme;
• Include an element of collaboration among students.

It will constitute a moment of recapitulation of, synthesis, and reflection on a student’s experience in the major as well as a bridge towards graduate-level studies, should s/he decide to pursue them.

Of the 24 credits required for the major, a minimum of 12 credits must be earned in courses taught by MLL faculty (whether on campus or in faculty-led study-abroad programs). Since we encourage students to study abroad in UM-sponsored programs, up to 12 credits from these programs may be applied toward the major. Up to 6 transfer credits from other institutions may count toward the major; whether these are credits transferred from another U.S. institution or from non-UM study abroad programs, transferred credits must be granted UM equivalency in order to be eligible to count toward the major. Please note, however, that the total number of combined UM study-abroad (exclusive of MLL faculty-led programs) and transfer credits shall not exceed 12 credits.

For example:

    *A student may use 3 transfer credits with UM equivalency and 9 credits from a UM-sponsored study abroad program toward fulfillment of the major; the remaining 12 credits must be earned in courses taught by MLL faculty.
    *A student may use 6 transfer credits with UM equivalency and 6 credits from a UM-sponsored study abroad program toward fulfillment of the major; the remaining 12 credits must be earned in courses taught by MLL faculty.
    *A student may use 12 credits from a UM-administered study-abroad program not led by MLL faculty and 12 credits in courses taught by MLL faculty to fulfill the major.

Exceptions to this 12-credit rule may be made in cases where a student will participate in a UM-administered study-abroad program for a full academic year.


MINOR

You do not have to be a student of the College of Arts and Sciences to minor in a modern language; you need only the approval of your college or school advisor and to complete the departmental requirements. If you wish to complete a double degree, consult with an Arts and Sciences Advisor.

Students completing a minor in a modern language are encouraged to study abroad. The International Education and Exchange Program (IEEP in Allen Hall, room 212) sponsors programs for Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish. It is also possible to fulfill some Arts and Sciences distribution requirements abroad. In order to take full advantage of study abroad, students should visit IEEP early in their university careers, discuss course equivalencies with the Study Abroad Advisor for their chosen languages (contact the Department office for names and office hours), and consult with their major advisors. Credit toward the major for courses taken abroad will be determined on an individual basis.

Minors in French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish

A minor in one modern language consists of a minimum of 12 credits in that language, earned according to the following guidelines: a minimum of 9 credits must be at the 300 level and at least 6 of these credits must be graded credits taught by UM faculty. A maximum of 3 credits, out of the 12, may be transferred from another institution or from a study-abroad program not administered by UM. Students must earn a grade of C- or higher in every course counting toward the minor, and maintain a minimum overall average of 2.5 in the minor.

Minor in Modern Languages

The minor in two foreign languages consists of at least 24 graded credit hours with 12 credits in one language on any level and 12 credits in any other language, 6 of which must be on the 300-level or above. For example: Arabic 101, 102, 201 and 202 along with Spanish 212, 214, 301 and 322 would constitute a Minor in Modern Languages; so would French 212, 214, 301 and 332 along with Italian 101, 102, 211 and 212. Many other combinations are possible. This minor must include 6 graded credits per language from the University of Miami. Students must earn a grade of C- or higher in every course counting toward the minor, and maintain a minimum overall average of 2.5 in the minor.

Minor in Arabic Studies

A minor in Arabic Studies consists of a minimum of 15 credits, passed with a “C” or higher.  Courses must be distributed as follows:  1) At least 3 credits in a 200-level Arabic language course (ARB201 or ARB202 or the equivalent); 2) At least 3 credits in ARB310 Topics in Arabic Studies in Translation; 3) At least 3 additional credits in any ARB course beyond ARB 101 (to reach a total of 9 ARB credits); 4) At least 3 credits, outside of ARB courses, in humanities or social science courses focused on the Middle East, North Africa, Islam, or the Arab world.  For example:  REL171, ARH260, INS352, GEG242, and POL387, or another relevant course as approved by the program director; 5) 3 additional credits from either an ARB course beyond ARB 101 or any approved course focused on the Middle East, North Africa, Islam, or the Arab world. 

Up to 9 credits taken abroad in an Arabic-speaking country are eligible to fulfill the requirements for the minor.  Up to 6 transfer credits from an accredited university or 4-year college in another region of the world are eligible to fulfill the requirements for the minor.  In all cases, whether the credits are from a UM-affiliated study abroad program or transfer credits from any institution, the credits’ UM equivalency, if any, will be determined by the UM Arabic Studies Program Director; ARB 310 must be taken within the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at UM; and the student must fulfill the distribution of requirements and other criteria stipulated above. 

If a student has studied Modern Standard Arabic (fusha) in another setting (e.g., a high school foreign language program or schooling in an Arab country), she/he may request a proficiency evaluation from the Program Director.  If the student’s Modern Standard Arabic is equivalent to, or beyond, the Intermediate level, the student may be exempted from the requirement to earn 3 credits in a 200-level Arabic language course; however, the student will still be required to take at least 9 credits of ARB courses and a total of 15 credits, as stipulated above, to complete the minor. 

 

DEPARTMENTAL HONORS

Departmental Honors in Modern Languages are possible in the three languages for which the major is offered: French, German and Spanish. In order to request admission to Departmental Honors, candidates must have completed at least twelve credits at the 300 level or above. They must have a GPA of 3.5 in all their major courses and a 3.5 overall average GPA. Both GPAs must be maintained in order to graduate with Departmental Honors.
During their junior year, candidates for honors will identify an honors thesis supervisor and a second reader and request admission to Departmental Honors.  Admission to candidacy must also be approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies for the appropriate language.
In addition to fulfilling the regular major requirements, students must register in their Senior year for FRE or GER or SPA 594-595, Senior Honors Thesis. This is a two-semester, six credit sequence: 594 for research and 595 for the actual writing of the honors thesis.
The honors thesis advisor and the second reader will determine whether the finished thesis merits Departmental Honors.