Institutional Philosophy

We believe that much classroom time must be spent in helping you to develop abilities to communicate and interact in the target language. In our program, then, we will attend to developing your ability to carry out a number of functions in the target language (e.g., introduce yourself, apologize, suggest, express opinions), and we will also spend much time giving you the opportunity to understand what others say when they introduce themselves, refuse invitations, describe others, suggest and express opinions. We believe it is equally important to develop your academic skills in the target language. We will thus spend classroom time in helping you to comprehend written texts in the target language, to understand academic presentations in the target language, and to present information on academic and non-academic topics in which you have a special interest. Finally, we will attend to structure and to form as well, in order to ultimately facilitate communication. Linguistic knowledge is important. It is not, however, the principal subject matter of our language classes. Much study of formal grammar is,assigned to be done outside of class. Our goal is for clarification and practice of structures and form to take up less than 20% of the class period. As a department, our approach to language teaching is holistic and flexible.