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Department of Romance Languages

including French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish

College of Arts & Sciences

321 McIver Building



Carmen T. Sotomayor, Associate Professor and Head of Department

Professors Fein, Sears, Smith-Soto; Associate Professors Campo, Chesak, Goode, Grossi; Assistant Professors Derusha, García de las Bayonas, Hontanilla, Suárez; Lecturers, Beal, Bender, Córdoba, Dattalo, Daughton, Dola, Hill, Horley, Levine, McLin, Taylor; Visiting Assistant Professor Hartman

Mission Statement

Romance Languages is one of 18 departments of the College of Arts and Sciences. Its primary mission is to provide a variety of liberal arts programs in the language, literature, and culture of the three major Romance areas: French, Italian, and Spanish. In addition to offering the Bachelor of Arts and the Master of Arts degrees in French and Spanish, the Department takes very seriously its role in preparing teachers of those languages for the public schools of North Carolina. In the service of that portion of the mission, the department participates in the Master of Education degree with concentrations in French and Spanish, which is housed in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the School of Education. The Department is committed to excellence in teaching and research, and it supports intellectual community and critical inquiry across the disciplines, with the professional schools, and with the public.

The Department of Romance Languages offers a variety of programs in language, literature, and culture of three of the major Romance areas: French, Spanish, and Italian. Students may begin the study of any of these at the elementary level or continue it at the intermediate level. In fall 2004 students will be able to begin study of Portuguese at the elementary level and continue it at the intermediate level during the 2005–06 academic year.

Students with one or more years of high school French or Spanish who wish to continue the study of that same language must take the Language Placement Test. Incoming transfer students returning to the study of French or Spanish begun in high school but not previously pursued at the college level must also take the test. The test is given in groups just before the beginning of each semester and is also available on an individual basis during the year in the Romance Languages Department. Students should call for an appointment. Placement test scores will be valid for one year after the test is taken. Students with one or more years of high school Italian or Portuguese, or previous knowledge of the language, must contact the course instructor or departmental advisor before registering for courses.

At-risk students may qualify for the Modified Foreign Language Program in Spanish. Registration in the program requires written permission from the Department of Romance Languages. Contact the department for further information.

Intermediate proficiency is expected for further work in French or Spanish. According to the student’s interests, he or she may then begin the study of literature, culture, or develop language skills in composition and conversation. Native or near-native speakers must consult with an appropriate departmental advisor before signing up for courses in the Romance Languages Department. Students cannot receive credit for lower-level courses after taking and receiving credit for higher level ones.

To maintain the high quality of language instruction at UNCG, students declaring a major in either French or Spanish must sit for an oral competence evaluation during the semester in which they first take a 300-level course in their major. This evaluation is part of our ongoing program assessment and in no way affects the academic record of the students. The undergraduate advisor and/or instructor will notify majors with pertinent information at the time of the evaluation.

The Department’s goals are three-fold:

  1. To provide practical training in understanding, speaking, reading, and writing a foreign language.
  2. To promote those values in the liberal arts tradition that derive particularly from the study of language and literature: increased understanding of language itself as structure and process, and the enlightening encounter with cultures and modes of thought different from one’s own.
  3. To prepare students interested in becoming French and Spanish teachers by providing a range of courses and experiences in their prospective field.

In addition to the Bachelor of Arts degree, the department offers the Master of Arts in Romance Languages with concentrations in French and Spanish. Students interested in a Master’s of Education degree in French or Spanish should contact the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the School of Education.

Special facilities and features include language laboratories, the possibility of study abroad, and French and Spanish honor societies. Achievement in Romance studies is recognized by means of annual awards to outstanding juniors and seniors.