2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog 
    May 27, 2024  
2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived]

Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics

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Chairperson: Dr. Leslie Barratt
Department Office: Root Hall, room A-137

Web site:
E-mail: isu-

Programs offered by the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics prepare students for active global citizenship with skills in world languages and the disciplinary tools of linguistic, cultural, and literary analysis.  The department’s programs, through its immersion experience, foster the cultural knowledge and sensitivity necessary for effective engagement with diverse populations in Indiana and throughout the world.

A degree in language studies opens up numerous career paths. Teachers of languages, including English as a second language, are in high demand in Indiana and across the United States. Government offices and international companies need employees with advanced language proficiency since the number of American consumers who speak languages other than English is growing rapidly.  The department offers programs particularly suited for students seeking a functional knowledge of more than one language to enhance their careers, and for students who plan to teach English overseas. Graduates with teaching English as a new language licensure may find employment in American public school systems, as well as in private schools and other countries.

In support of the liberal arts and sciences mission of the College of Arts and Sciences and ISU, the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics participates in the Foundational Studies Program, the Honors Program, the International Studies Program, the International Business Concentration, and the Women’s Studies Program.


Degrees Offered

The Department of Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics is unique within colleges in the Midwest in its extremely flexible undergraduate degree, which allows students to tailor their academic program to their individual career plans.  The bachelor of arts degree in language studies provides flexible options to study French, German, Latin, and Spanish (and Arabic, Chinese, or Japanese up to the intermediate level); linguistics; teaching English as a second language; or any combination of these languages or areas. In addition, language proficiency may be expanded through ISU’s extensive study abroad opportunities.  This flexibility allows students to concentrate on one language, to switch languages, to study more than one language, or to include linguistic study without changing degrees.  Majors and minors may be augmented through additional course work in English or foreign or second language pedagogy, cultures, mythology, literature in translation, and linguistics.  The program’s core courses provide a common framework for all students and encourage them to interact with those in other language, literature, and linguistic areas.  Courses leading to teaching licensure are available in French, German, Latin, Spanish, and teaching English as a new language, and may be completed as part of the major, while also requiring completion of a professional education sequence provided by the Bayh College of Education.

Also available is a certificate in teaching English as a second language/teaching English as a foreign language. Candidates for the bachelor of arts degree must successfully complete the University requirement of a minimum of 124 credit hours, including Foundational Studies  course work, as well as the requirements for the departmental major. A minor is encouraged but not required for the degree.

The College of Arts and Sciences, in consultation with departments, assigns each student a faculty academic advisor. Students new to the major or minor will be assigned an initial intake advisor, who will assess student needs and recommend a language or linguistic area advisor/mentor.  Majors and minors in the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics are encouraged to maintain good contact with their advisors, and are expected to work with their advisors prior to registration each semester. Students who do so are more likely to meet their goals and succeed academically. Students can find their assigned advisors by consulting the department, the college, or their DARS.

Departmental Opportunities

The department sponsors numerous and varied activities such as conversation tables, international films, lectures, and field trips to museums, art exhibits, musical performances, restaurants, and cultural sites in Indiana and Illinois, including Indianapolis and Chicago. The department also works in close cooperation with the Hispanic Student Association and participates in Indiana State University’s International Week programs, as well as the Terre Haute area ethnic and community festivals. Such activities provide students with opportunities for interaction with native speakers in all language areas. In addition to sponsoring the foreign language honor society, Phi Sigma Iota, and the national classics honorary society, Eta Sigma Phi, the department also offers competitive scholarships for language majors and minors.

Students in language studies may volunteer as language instructors at local elementary schools, where they work with teachers and students in a specific language. Similarly, the department helps students locate and complete foreign language and English-as-a-second-language internships, for which students earn credit as well as gain valuable professional experience.

All majors are required to study abroad, and minors are strongly encouraged to do so. The department works closely with the Academic Programs Abroad Office to provide a large number of quality study abroad opportunities ranging from summer programs to a single semester or a full academic year in over 80 countries throughout the world. Many of these programs cost only the equivalent of tuition, room, and board at ISU, making study abroad an affordable experience. Courses completed in study abroad programs are transferred to the University as transfer courses. They can be used to satisfy the specific course requirements of each concentration within the 31 credit hours of the degree program. The study abroad requirement is not in addition to the 31-credit requirement.

The department offers students a state-of-the-art, computerized language laboratory featuring networked computers with Internet access to on-line audio and video, as well as CD-ROM and DVD capabilities. In addition, the laboratory offers a wide range of visual and audio material on VHS, DVD, cassette, CD-ROM, and cable television.


Students who have not formally satisfied the Foundational Studies non-native language requirement are placed into level 101 or level 102 language classes based on their academic work in high school.

Students who have satisfied the Foundational Studies non-native language requirement and who wish to take further course work in a language are encouraged to take the Language Placement Examination in order to determine the level of language course work most appropriate for them. Depending upon the level of placement, students may receive credit for their knowledge of the language. Students who take the Language Placement Examination and complete a course above the 101 level with a sufficiently high grade may receive credit for lower-level courses.  The placement examination is administered through the University Testing Office.

Students wishing to take a language course in their native language or in a language in which they have achieved fluency must petition the department to be allowed to enroll.  Credit will be granted only if it is determined by the department that the course covers materials or develops skills that the student has not yet mastered.  No mastery credit will be awarded to students for courses in their native language (credit for 101, 102, 201, or 202) upon completion of a higher level course.

The department administers the English as a Second Language Proficiency Test to international students who wish to place out of English as a Second Language 103A or 103B.


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