Group Language

Overview

Students interested in the study of more than one foreign language from the perspectives of literature or linguistics may combine two languages or one language and linguistics into a Group Language major.

Major Requirements

A total of eleven courses is required for the Group Language major: five courses for each half of the major and one course emphasizing methods or theory.

COURSEWORK

Course requirements for each half of the Group Language major are listed below. For all the languages listed, only two of the five courses may be taken outside the Occidental language departments. Students must receive a grade of B or higher in the 202 level course for both languages to be eligible for the major.

Chinese (5 courses)

CHIN 202 and above (only one of which may be a course taught in English).

French (5 courses)

FREN 202 and four courses numbered 300 and above. FREN 490 is recommended.

German (5 courses)

GERM 202 and above (two of which may be in related areas such as history, art history, politics, language learning/linguistics). Participation in at least one of the GERM 370 seminars is required.

Japanese (5 courses)

JAPN 202 and above (only one of which may be a course taught in English).

Linguistics (5 courses)

LING 301; a second course in linguistics; one semester of a foreign language from one of the following categories: 1) Greek or Latin, 2) Spanish or French, 3) German or Russian, 4) Arabic, Chinese, or Japanese (the course must be in addition to and in a different category from the language used to fulfill the Core language requirement); and two additional courses with a language focus (such as one more foreign language course, another course in linguistics, COGS 330, PHIL 344, or EDUC 205).

LING 301 must be taken before the senior year.

Russian (5 courses)

RUSN 202 and above (two of which may be in related areas such as history, art history, language learning/linguistics).

Spanish (5 courses)

SPAN 202 or SPAN 211 plus four courses numbered 300 and above. Two of these four courses must be in either literature or linguistics. One must be numbered 340 or above. Only one course may be taken in English.

Methods or Theory Courses:

LING 301Introduction to Linguistics

4 units

SPAN 490Senior Seminar: Genre and Literary Theory

4 units

GERM 370Seminar on a Selected Topic

4 units

JAPN 273Popular Culture and Literary Traditions of Tokugawa Japan

4 units

CHIN 273Contemporary Chinese Writers in Exile

4 units

All courses taken outside of the Occidental language departments, including those taken on study abroad programs, must be approved in advance by the appropriate language department. Students combining a language with linguistics must take LING 301 before the senior year.

Second-Stage Writing Requirement

Students majoring in Group Language will satisfy the second-stage writing requirement by submitting a paper in English from a 300 level or seminar course in the fall of the senior year.

Comprehensive Requirement

Students will fulfill the Group Language comprehensive requirement in one of two ways:

(1) A student may choose to submit a 20-page paper on a senior research project on comparative literature or linguistics combining both halves of the major. To prepare for this comparative paper written in English, the student should enroll in two two-unit Independent Studies (with separate faculty advisors for the corresponding halves of the major) in the fall of the senior year. If one or both of the languages for the major is French, German, or Spanish, the student must also submit a complete version of the paper in one of these languages. In the spring semester of the senior year, the student will also give an oral presentation, conducted in both languages of the major, on the comparative paper.

OR

(2) Students choosing not to write a comparative paper may conduct two separate research projects and do the following for each half of the Group Language major:

Chinese

A student will fulfill the Chinese portion of the comprehensives through: (1) a two-unit Independent Study in the fall of the senior year, in which the student will produce a 10-page paper in English on Chinese literature or linguistics which include texts written in Chinese; followed by (2) an oral presentation in Chinese about the research project in the spring semester.

French

A student will fulfill the French portion of the comprehensive EITHER (1) by completing the Major Seminar FREN 490 which includes an oral presentation on a seminar theme; OR (2) by completing a two-unit Independent Study in the fall semester of the senior year, which includes writing a 10-page paper in French on a topic in francophone literature and making an oral presentation in French on the paper's topic.

German

A student will fulfill the German portion of the comprehensive EITHER (1) by enrolling in a GERM 370 seminar during the senior year and writing a separate 10-page-paper on a topic in German Studies (literature, culture, history) and making an oral presentation, in German, on the topic OR (2) by taking a three hour written examination focusing on two-selected topics in German Studies, followed by an oral examination on the topics, in either the fall or spring semester. The completion of an additional two-unit Independent Study in the fall or spring semester of the senior year, which focuses on background research for the Comps topic, is recommended.

Japanese

A student will fulfill the Japanese portion of the comprehensives through: (1) a two-unit Independent Study in the fall of the senior year, in which the student will produce a 10-page paper in English on Japanese literature or linguistics which include texts written in Japanese; followed by (2) an oral presentation in Japanese about the research project in the spring semester.

Linguistics

A student will fulfill the Linguistics portion of the comprehensives through: (1) a two-unit Independent Study in the fall of the senior year, in which the student will produce a 10-page paper in English on a topic in linguistics; followed by (2) an oral presentation in English about the research project in the spring semester.

Russian 

A student will fulfill the Russian portion of the comprehensives through: (1) a two-unit Independent Study in the fall of the senior year, in which the student will produce a 10-page paper in English on Russian literature or linguistics which include texts written in Russian; followed by (2) an oral presentation in Russian about the research project in the spring semester.

Spanish

A student will fulfill the Spanish portion of the comprehensives EITHER through:

  • the Spanish Senior Seminar in the fall semester of the senior year, followed by an oral presentation in Spanish of the seminar paper in the spring semester; OR
  • a two-unit Independent Study in the fall of the senior year, in which the student will produce a 10-page paper in Spanish on a topic in Hispanic literature or linguistics, followed by an oral presentation in Spanish of the paper in the spring semester.

College Honors

Group Language majors with an overall GPA of 3.25 and a 3.5 GPA for major courses may submit an honors research proposal at the end of the fall semester of the senior year. If the proposal is supported by faculty from both components of the major, the student will enroll in two two-unit Independent Studies in the spring, in which they will develop the comprehensive papers from the fall into two distinguished papers of 20 pages each. Papers for French, German, and Spanish must be written in the target language. The student may instead choose to conduct a comparative study and integrate the two papers into a single paper of 40 pages in English. If one or both of the languages for the major is French, German, or Spanish, the student must also submit a complete version of the paper in one of these languages.

Transfer Credit Policies

The Group Language policy on transfer credit conforms to College policy. For all the languages listed for the major, only two of the five courses may be taken outside the Occidental language departments. All courses taken outside of the Occidental language departments, including those taken on study abroad programs, must be approved in advance by the appropriate language department. For languages within Group Language in which 201 or 202 are offered, students who earn a score of 4 on an AP Language examination will earn four units of credit and be placed into 201 in that language while those who earn a score of 5 will earn four units of credit and be placed in to 202 in that language. Students are not placed in language courses based on IB or A-level examinations. Students should reference the Transfer Credit section for more details.

Courses

Group Language Courses:

Chinese Courses

French Courses

German Courses

Japanese Courses

Linguistics Courses

Russian Courses

Spanish Courses

Faculty

Advisory Committee 

Robert Ellis

Norman Bridge Distinguished Professor of Spanish, Spanish and French Studies

B.A., Pomona College; M.A., Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles

Hanan Elsayed

Associate Professor, Spanish and French Studies

B.A., Montclair State University; M.A., Ph.D., Rutgers University; Graduate Certificate in African Studies, Rutgers University

Motoko Ezaki

Non-Tenure Track Professor, East Asian Languages and Cultures

B.A., M.A., Seinan Gakuin University; M.A., Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles

Salvador Fernández

Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs

Professor, Spanish and French Studies; Affiliated Faculty, Latino/a and Latin American Studies

B.A., University of California, Riverside; M.A., Indiana University; Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles

Susan Grayson

Professor, Spanish and French Studies

B.A., M.A., Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles; Ph.D., Wright Institute Los Angeles Attestation d’études, Université de Bordeaux

Felisa Guillén

Professor, Spanish and French Studies

B.A., M.A., University of Madrid; Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara

Arthur Saint-Aubin

Professor, Spanish and French Studies

B.A., Swarthmore College; M.A., Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University

Swee Fong Lee

Non-Tenure Track Instructor, Comparative Studies in Literature and Culture

B.A., Tokyo Gakugei University; M.A., Hitotsubashi University; M.A., California State University, Long Beach

Andrew Miller

Non-Tenure Track Instructor, Comparative Studies in Literature and Culture

B.A., Princeton University; M.A., University of California, Los Angeles

Walter Richmond

Non-Tenure Track Professor, Comparative Studies in Literature and Culture

B.A., Arizona State University; M.A., Ph.D., University of Southern California

Arthur Saint-Aubin

Professor, Spanish and French Studies

B.A., Swarthmore College; M.A., Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University

Michael Shelton

Associate Professor, Spanish and French Studies; Cognitive Science

B.S., St. Cloud State University; M.A., Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University

Yuki Taylor

Non-Tenure Track Associate Professor, Comparative Studies in Literature and Culture

B.A., M.A., Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles