The Modern Languages and Literatures Department offers language courses in Chinese, French, German, Latin, Portuguese and Spanish, as well as culture and literature courses in the target languages and in English. The department occasionally offers courses in other languages and helps facilitate university credit for students who study languages abroad. Language and cultural studies provide an excellent liberal education. Knowledge of languages enhances virtually any career and increases employment opportunities. World language, culture and literature studies open students to new and exciting horizons, place them in contact with worldwide artistic and intellectual accomplishments, help them to understand other people, and prepare them for success in an increasingly globalized world.
The department offers programs leading to the bachelor of arts degree with majors in French, Spanish, secondary education French and secondary education Spanish. Minors are offered in French, German, Spanish, French education, German education and Spanish education. Language students are encouraged to participate in language conversation tables.
- French Club
- German Club
- Portuguese Club
- Spanish Club
- Student Michigan Education Association
The department has a Language Learning Laboratory located in 203 Jamrich Hall. It includes wireless and wired connection to the Internet and a software library. It also has listening and viewing stations for the center’s numerous audio and videotapes. The laboratory is available for class and individual student use. The department also has a resource room for students, while Northern’s Olson Library contains representative works by foreign authors, works of criticism and linguistics, and a fine collection of records on history, art and architecture from around the world.
Placement Policies for French, German and Spanish
Students with no previous academic experience with a particular language may take 101 in that language. Students who have passed 101 with a "C" or better in a language may take 102 in that language. Students who have passed 102 with a "C" or better in a language may take 201 in that language, but they may NOT take 101. Students who have passed 201 with a "C" or better in a language may take 202 in that language, but they may NOT take 101 or 102. Students who have passed 202 with a "C" or better in a language may take 300 or 305 in that language, but they may NOT take 101 or 102 or 201. Students who have passed 300 with a "C" or better in a language may take other upper division courses in that language, but they may NOT take 101, 102, 201 or 202. Students who have passed other 300-level classes in a language may NOT take 101, 102, 201 or 202.
Students with credit on their high school transcript for a language or who have any other form of language experience (such as having lived or studied abroad or having grown up hearing a language) must take the online WebCape Placement Exam in that language. Students who wish to enroll in a course other than the one indicated by the Placement Exam results must receive special permission to enroll in a different course by the Department Head or the Instructor of the course via an Add card.
Students who do not observe the foregoing policies will be dropped from the courses for which they register. They will be informed of this action via e-mail.
Advanced Placement Credit
Students may obtain credit for French, German and Spanish I and II (FR, GR and SN 101 and 102) through the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP).
Students who complete FR/GR/SN 102 or 201 at NMU with a grade of “C” or higher can receive credit for the course that immediately precedes it (101 or 102) in the sequence.
Students with high school language preparation or experience abroad who wish to major in French or Spanish or to minor in French, German, or Spanish may earn up to eight advanced placement credit hours for FR/GR/SN 201 or 202 by taking a departmental test. Students who pass the advanced placement examination (APP-CEEB) with a score of three or higher will receive advanced placement credit in either language or literature depending on the examination that was taken.
Native speakers of French, German, Spanish or other languages may not test out of their native language. They may, however, take a CLEP or departmental test in any other language besides their own.
All non-teaching majors and minors and students seeking language certification must earn a minimum grade of “C” in every language course. Students majoring in secondary education French or secondary education Spanish, or minoring in French education, German education, or Spanish education must maintain a grade point average of 2.70 or greater with no grade below a “C” in the professional education sequence, the major and/or minors and required cognates combined.
Departmental majors must take a minimum of 8 credit hours toward their major under the direct supervision of NMU faculty. Departmental minors must take a minimum of 4 credit hours toward their minor under the direct supervision of NMU faculty.
Use of Courses Taught in English for the French Major/Minor and German Minor
Students majoring in French may apply two NMU courses taught in English (a maximum of eight credits) toward the major. French and German minors may apply one NMU course taught in English (a maximum of four credits) toward the minor. Language majors or minors enrolled in courses taught in English will be expected to complete some assignments in either French or German.
Enrolling in LG 350, Methods and Materials in Teaching Language Education
- All students intending to seek teaching certification in one or more languages should contact the faculty member in charge of teaching methods and student supervision as soon as they declare their major and/or minor. They will be monitored throughout the rest of their studies at NMU for satisfactory academic progress and language proficiency.
- Prior to enrolling in LG 350, students must obtain Evaluation Form 1 and 2 from the Modern Languages and Literatures Department secretary or LG 350 instructor, then complete an oral proficiency interview with a faculty member in each of the languages in which they intend to earn certification. The results of this interview will be entered on Evaluation Form 1 and filed with the Modern Languages and Literatures Department.
- Students are also required to submit Evaluation Form 2 indicating their potential for becoming successful teachers (maturity, commitment).
Students will be notified of their enrollment status, based on the results of the evaluations. LG 350 is not taught as a directed study.
Study Abroad Programs
Students who major or minor in French, German or Spanish are encouraged to study abroad for at least a semester to improve their language skills and to become immersed in the target culture. Programs are also open to students in other disciplines who want to pursue their studies abroad. For more information please see the “Study Abroad” section of this bulletin.
Language Certification Program Policies and Procedures
The Modern Languages and Literatures Department offers a language certification program in which degree-seeking students can validate their language proficiency skills at less than the minor level, but beyond sophomore-level proficiency. Language certification is available in French, German or Spanish.
Language certification applications can be obtained in the Modern Languages and Literatures Department upon completion of the requisite courses. Accomplishment of language certification will be noted on NMU transcripts, and the student will receive a certificate from the department.
Liberal Studies: Complete information on the liberal studies requirements and additional graduation requirements, including the health promotion requirement, is in the “Liberal Studies Program and Graduation Requirements” section of this bulletin.
Courses within each major that can be used to satisfy liberal studies requirements are listed with the Roman numeral (in brackets) that coincides with the liberal studies division the course falls under.