Language

Major and minor programs are offered in French, German, Latin, and Spanish.

A major in French or Spanish consists of 32 hours*, with a minimum of 18 hours in courses numbered 300 or above. FRE 301, 302, and either 303 or 304 are required for a French major, and 315 is strongly advised. For Spanish majors, a peninsular survey (SPN 303, 304, or 320) and a Spanish-American survey of literature (306 or 310) are required; majors are also urged to take SPN 313 or 314. Non-native speakers of Spanish pursuing the major are required to take SPN 301 and SPN 302. A minor in French or Spanish consists of a minimum of 18 hours 9 of which must be in courses numbered 300 or above. French and Spanish majors must pass an exit examination.

A major in German consists of 28 hours*, with a minimum of 14 hours in courses numbered 300 or above. German majors must complete the Zertifikat Deutsch examination with a passing grade (minimum of "ausreichend bestanden''). A minor in German consists of a minimum of 18 hours*, to include GER 311 and one other 300-level course.

A major in Latin consists of at least 24 hours*, 15 of which must be in courses numbered 300 or above. Majors are encouraged to take courses in related areas, such as ancient history and classical literature. A minor in Latin consists of 18 hours*, 9 of which must be in courses numbered 300 or above. Latin majors must pass an exit examination.

*IN ALL FLL MAJORS AND MINORS, SOME LOWER-DIVISION REQUIREMENTS MAY BE EXEMPTED AS A RESULT OF EXAMINATION OR EVIDENCE OF PRIOR TRAINING OR EXPERIENCE.

 

Students who place into and successfully complete FLL 251 or above will receive an additional four hours of credit toward graduation for the elementary sequence.

There are four levels of instruction for the study of French, German, and Spanish at Mercer University:

  • Elementary   (100-level courses)
  • Intermediate (200-level courses)
  • Minor (lower 300-level courses)
  • Major (higher 300- and all 400-level courses)

For the study of Latin there are three levels of instruction:

  • Elementary   (100-level courses)
  • Intermediate (200-level courses)
  • Advanced (300- and 400-level courses)

Objectives for Students Pursuing a Minor in French, German, or Spanish

SPEAKING: Ability to interact creatively and effectively with native speakers in most everyday social situations. Speech may still be characterized by errors in grammar, pronunciation and intonation. Students begin to demonstrate an ability to circumlocute and are thus able to participate more competently in conversations. Most native speakers should understand students at this level, even though words and sentences may need to be repeated.

LISTENING: Ability to understand brief conversations involving social and personal needs, such as spontaneous conversations, telephone exchanges, and radio and television programs. Misunderstandings may arise. Understanding may still be uneven, but the general meaning of of the conversation and many details should be understood.

READING: Ability to comprehend the main ideas of texts and to scan for factual information in short texts regarding familiar topics and areas of personal interest. Students may grasp main ideas of more complicated texts through repeated readings, although complex grammatical structures may still impede full understanding.

WRITING: Ability to create coherent paragraphs and short themes on a variety of familiar topics and areas of personal interest. Signs of rhetorical style and persuasive argument are evident, although still inconsistent. Despite occasional errors in grammar and word selection, student writing samples should be understood by most native speakers.

Objectives for Students Pursuing a Major in French, German, or Spanish

SPEAKING: Ability to initiate, sustain, and close a conversation on everyday topics with a number of strategies appropriate to a variety of situations. Despite errors in grammar and word selection there is emerging evidence of connected discourse. Most native speakers should have no difficulty understanding students at this level, even though words and sentences may need to be repeated.

LISTENING: Ability to understand main ideas and most details of connected discourse on a wide variety of topics. Understanding may still be uneven when students are confronted with unfamiliar topics.

READING: Ability to comprehend the main ideas of texts and to scan for factual information in more complicated texts, such as short stories, news reports, personal and business correspondence. An emerging awareness of the aesthetic properties of language and literary styles permits comprehension of a wider range of texts written primarily for native speakers of the language.

WRITING: Ability to write routine social and business correspondence as well as lengthy, coherent compositions on a variety of familiar topics and areas of personal interest. Despite occasional errors in grammar and word selection, student writing samples should be understood by most native speakers, even those unfamiliar with the writing of non-natives.