Chairperson: Rebeca Acevedo
Professors: Rebeca Acevedo, José Ignacio Badenes, S.J., Jennifer L. Eich, Véronique Flambard-Weisbart, Áine O'Healy, Alicia Partnoy
Associate Professors: Mónica Cabrera, Petra Liedke Konow, Marc Lony, Antonia Petro
The Department equips students with language proficiency as it introduces them to the multicultural nature and historical evolution of literary and other texts in the target languages. Offered courses provide opportunities to comprehend, interpret, and practice linguistic skills through oral and written exercises and assignments. Through a judicious selection of required courses and electives that include literature, history, and the arts, students acquire an increasing commitment to the mission of the University. The Department thrives to provide tools to foster transcultural understanding as the basis for mutual respect, global harmony and social justice.
Major and Minor Requirements
Students can declare a major in French, Modern Languages, or Spanish, or a minor in Chinese, French, German, Italian, or Spanish, at entry to the University, through the Office of Admission. Students wishing to declare a major/minor in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures after admission to LMU must meet with a professor from that particular program. A Change of Program Petition form will be signed by the chairperson, provided that the student has a minimum LMU GPA of 2.0 (C).
Lower division language courses (1000-2000 level) may not be challenged by exam. Students may be exempt from these courses by placing above that level through the LMU online Placement Exam for Chinese, French, German, Italian, or Spanish, and by professor evaluation for Japanese. A minimum grade of C (2.0) is required in all lower division language courses to major or minor in those languages.
Students that need more semester hours to complete the major/minor because of their language placement must take additional courses in the corresponding language. In the event that there are no courses in the language, students may take MDLG 3400 , MDLG 4400 , or FNLT 4200 (provided it is related to language concentration). If additional classes are not available in the Modern Languages and Literatures Department, students may fulfill those credits with courses in the appropriate cultural studies areas (e.g., Asian and Pacific Studies, Chicano/a Latino/a Studies, Humanities, Liberal Studies) in consultation with the corresponding language coordinator and the Department Chair.
Students with significant course credit in a language from high school or college will not be allowed to enroll in the 2101 course of that language.
The Department offers lower division language courses (1000-2000 level) in Chinese and Japanese which satisfy the language requirements for the Asian and Pacific Studies major and minor.
Foreign Language Placement Exam
The Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts requires that its incoming students take the language placement exam. Moreover, at LMU, many core and flag requirements can be satisfied with foreign language courses. The Language Placement Exams allow you to better plan, and choose courses. Additionally, some majors have foreign language requirements.
The knowledge of foreign languages promotes cultural understanding, and increases job opportunities in a variety of fields, including education, law, medicine, business, and the government. Study abroad experiences, interdisciplinary research and community-based learning opportunities are enhanced by language learning.
LMU offers online placement exams for Chinese, French, German, Italian, and Spanish. For Japanese, the placement exam is done in person. Placement exams measure student language skills in the target language so that (s)he may be placed in the appropriate college level course in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures. The score is used for language placement advising purposes only.
When do I need to take a foreign language exam?
- If you have taken Chinese, French, German, Italian, or Spanish language courses in any educational setting (for example, at a high school or community school or at another university if you are a transfer student) AND you wish to continue taking classes in these languages during the first three semesters at LMU.
- If you have taken AP language and/or literature courses in the above languages.
- If you are interested in a minor or major in the above languages so that you can begin at the appropriate level of coursework immediately.
- If you plan to take language or literature courses in a study abroad program in a country where Chinese, French, German, Italian, or Spanish are the language of instruction: summer, semester, and year-long study abroad programs sometimes require previous foreign language study.
- If you are a heritage speaker who has learned the language at home and wishes to take language or literature courses in Chinese, French, German, Italian, or Spanish.
- If you have been admitted to the University Honors Program and need to know your standing as for the language requirement.
PLEASE NOTE: If you have NEVER studied Chinese, French, German, Italian or Japanese and wish to do so, you would sign up for the 2101 level course in that language; however, all students interested in taking a Spanish course, including SPAN 2101 , must take the online placement exam. If you plan to study or travel abroad in the summer before entering LMU, please wait until you return to take the language placement exam.
Where do I take the exam?
You take the exam online. Log into MYLMU, click Brightspace > Freshman Orientation > Foreign Language Placement Exams. Then click the link for Language Placement Exam and follow the instructions. If you do not have access to the Freshman Orientation link or cannot access the placement exam for any reason, please contact the Modern Languages and Literatures department at 310.338.3051.
How long does the exam take?
The test takes approximately 20 minutes, however do not start the exam until you are ready as it must be taken in one continuous session, or your score will not post to PROWL.
Do I always take the placement exam if I wish to study a language?
If you do not speak or have not studied Chinese, French, German or Italian and wish to do so, you simply sign up for the 2101 course in that language at LMU. All students interested in taking a Spanish course, including SPAN 2101 , must take the online placement exam.
Who benefits the most from taking the Placement Exam?
Students who have studied or/and have learned at home Chinese, French, German, Italian, or Spanish and those who have taken AP language and/or literature courses would benefit from it since they might be close to a minor or major in the language. Also students who plan to study abroad, as some programs may require previous foreign language study.
Can I use books such as a dictionary? Should I guess at the answers?
It is TO YOUR BENEFIT that you answer the questions honestly and without the support of notes, textbooks, parents, or friends to avoid being placed at a level above the appropriate one based on your experiences and academic studies.
How do I get my score? Does my advisor get it?
Your score and placement will be displayed at the end of the exam and will be accessible to your advisor through PROWL. However, as a backup, you are strongly encouraged to save a copy, or write it down, and email it to your advisor.
What if I have problems taking the exam?
Please contact the ITS helpdesk at 310.338.7777.
Foreign Literature in English Translation
No knowledge of the foreign language is required.
The courses develop listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills using the direct method. Grammar points are explained in English. The student is provided an opportunity to practice conversation with native speakers to further improve oral skills. Selected topics are presented to enhance awareness and understanding of Japanese culture.
Students with significant course credit in Japanese from high school or college will not be allowed to enroll in JAPN 2101 . Students with more advanced knowledge must consult with the departmental chair or with a professor in Japanese for evaluation before enrolling in a Japanese language class.