Please note: This page has been superseded by the current version of the FOL requirement
Foreign Language (FOL)Description:
Foreign Language: This requirement aims to develop language skills, extend understanding of language as a human phenomenon, and generate insights into a culture other than one's own. Students must demonstrate intermediate-level language proficiency by:
A. Completion of a fourth semester course (or beyond) in French, German, or Spanish;
B. Completion of a third semester course (or beyond) in Chinese, Greek,
Japanese, Latin, Norwegian or Russian;
C. Proficiency examination; or
D. Transfer of credit.
Intended learning outcomes for students:
Students will demonstrate:
- Language proficiency: Proficiency in reading and writing (all languages) as well as in listening and speaking (modern languages only) commensurate with the amount of study completed.
- Cultural understanding: The ability to understand, through a target language, that language's culture(s) and one's own culture.
- Metalinguistic awareness: Awareness of language as a system, and of the ways in which language organizes thought processes and information and reflects culture.
Note: the intended level of proficiency to be attained in the requisite skills/modalities upon completion of the FOL requirement will be established by individual language departments in accord with guidelines for proficiency in world languages established by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). The language proficiency levels targeted for each language taught at St. Olaf recognize the distinction between classical languages (reading and writing only) and modern languages (reading and writing as well as listening and speaking). They also take account of the fact that languages are classified in different groups in terms of their relative difficulty (for native speakers of English) and the amount of instructional time required to attain a given level of proficiency. Norwegian, French and Spanish, for example, are classified as Group 1 languages whereas Chinese, Japanese and Russian are Group 3 languages. The level of proficiency a student can be expected to achieve at the end of a given number of semesters of study will therefore depend in part on the language the student is studying.
Guidelines for courses:
- Courses develop effective and appropriate communication skills in a language other than one's native language.
- Courses include the study of authentic texts, which are texts produced by or for native speakers.
- Courses develop a general awareness of language as a socio-cultural phenomenon and of the subtleties and complexities of language.
- Courses present information about the cultures of those who use the language.
Additional information for faculty proposing FOL courses - includes committee comments on course guidelines to assist instructors in preparing proposals for GE accreditation