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Course Descriptions

Foreign Language Course Descriptions

CHN 3020 Advanced Chinese                                                                                    Li
Chinese 3020 is the third year and the 6th semester of the sequential Chinese language study, which represents an advanced stage of Chinese language acquisition.  Advanced Chinese will continue focusing on the development and integration of students’ four language skills.  In addition to the further learning of extensive grammar, this course will also aim to enlarge students’ vocabulary immensely, enhance students’ reading and writing abilities, and improve their spoken proficiency in communicating thoughts fluently regarding a wide range of topics. It will continue to develop students’ appreciation for and knowledge of Chinese culture.

FRE 2100 Intermediate Studies                                                                            Brown
French 2100 is an intermediate-level French course designed to provide a bridge to more advanced courses.  This course places strong emphasis on reading skill development through constant reinforcement of reading strategies.  Reading will be, therefore, placed alongside speaking and listening as an active language skill.  The skills of listening, speaking, and writing will continue to be reinforced.  Class discussions will concentrate on the readings.  Practice will also be provided in writing and revision, through frequent writing assignments.  Various aspects of the cultures of the francophone world will be discussed as frames to better understand the writers and the writing studied.  Because your developing ability to use the French that you know is important, your active participation in class discussion is strongly encouraged.  This class will be conducted entirely in French.  French 2100 is enthusiastically recommended to students who intend to take 3000-level French courses.

This course addresses several challenges of the intermediate level.  One of these is to stimulate class discussion through interesting readings.  A second challenge is to present students with the linguistic tools that will enable them to read well, to begin to think in French, and to discuss readings in the target language.  A third challenge is to guide students through a writing process, helping them to organize their thoughts and to convey them in a clear and concise manner.  

Reading strategies will be introduced that will help students understand how to use reading strategies that they already know to help them read a foreign language. Every reading will be preceded by background information and pre-reading exercises.  Post-reading exercises start with comprehension checks and build up to discussion and composition activities.  Students will read texts of differing levels of linguistic complexity.   They will read for comprehension, but will also be guided toward a critical literary analysis of theme, narrator, characters, structure, etc.  Vocabulary exercises will serve to strengthen and enlarge the student's lexicon.  Composition topics will be correlated with the readings and with class discussion.     

FRE 3010 Introduction to French Literature and Civilization I                      Brown
Study of French civilization and literature from the Middle Ages through the Classical period. This course is an overview of French literary history from the Middle Ages through French Classicism focusing on prominent writers and their work.  It is designed to help students to grasp the basic structural relationships of a literary text in order to read more critically and imaginatively.  It is designed to prepare students for more advanced study in literature.  French 3010 is also an overview of French civilization focusing on important events, movements, and persons in the political and artistic history of France.  In this course students will continue to build on their speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills.  Speaking skills focused upon include detailed narration and description and communication of reactions to and analysis of the assigned reading selections.  Listening skills will be challenged as the students are exposed to short lectures in French on a variety of topics.  Students will read texts closely, focusing on the structure and stylistics of the selection but also on the vocabulary and grammatical structures used.  Finally, students will be given practice in note-taking and will be asked to write short résumés, compositions, and written responses to comprehension questions relating to the reading selections.

FRE 3600 La Civilisation française contemporaine                                                  Paine
This course will present an overview of French culture and society today, including French politics, the family, the arts, and France’s position in the EU, as well as multiple aspects of French popular culture.  Students will have ample opportunity to improve their skills in written and spoken French.

GER 3500 Topics in German Literature                                                                      Schwarzmeier
1949-1989 Representations of a Divided Country: Germany East and West

This course is an exploration of Germany’s history from 1949-1989, from the partition of the country to its reunification, and its representation in literature, film and art. It will introduce students to the political, ideological, economic, social and cultural developments in Germany East and West and investigate the construction of national identities based on writings by major East and West German intellectuals and creative writers. The variety of topics promises to be stimulating for discussions, and since the class will be conducted in German it will further aid students in improving their language skills.

 GER 3600 Special Topics in German                                                                          Schwarzmeier
World War I and the Weimar Republic
This class is designed as a survey course in German history, philosophy, literature and culture from 1914 to 1933. In political and ideological context, we will study the representations of World War I in literature and art, the artistic achievements of Expressionism and the rich cultural heritage of the Weimar Republic.
This course will be taught in German and combine practice in oral and written expression with the close study of selected readings in the original.

ITL 3370/HUM 3895   Italian Cinema                                                                       Muccini

Like the people who crowded the movie theater in Nuovo Cinema Paradiso , you will stare, wonder, laugh, or cry, while watching different stories about the dramas, dreams and accomplishments of Italians in the last 70 years or so. Come to the movies to learn about Italian culture and language.

We will study major Italian films in order to gain an overview of the dramatic economic, social and political changes in Italian society over the last 70 years or so. We will begin with Amarcord where Fellini shows the tragedy of Fascism through his characters. Then, we will watch the Neorealist classics Open City, The Bicycle Thief, and Umberto D in order to examine the political, economic, social and psychological problems Italy faces in the aftermath of World War II.  Next we will examine films that portray Italy during the years of the economic miracle (1957-1962) to show both prosperity in some classes and regions of Italian society and continuing economic and social problems in others (Accattone and Big Deal on Madonna Street).  We will also examine the social tensions, violence, corruption, mafia terror, and lack of confidence in the institutions and national identity which still plague the country. The course is in English. No previous knowledge of Italian is necessary. For students of Italian, however, some assignments will be in Italian.

JPN 3990 Advanced Japanese                                                                                Murata Soraci
This course assists students to sharpen and further develop their fluency in Japanese by consistent review and practice of intermediate/advanced-level grammar, rhetorical expressions, and kanji vocabularies. Students will be able to read and comprehend longer and more complex text materials, and convey both in speech and writing their thoughts in Japanese with ease and accuracy. Introductory academic texts as well as about 200 new kanji characters are introduced.


SPA 3110: Advanced Spanish II                                                                                 Boero
SPANISH 3110 is the second in a series of two advanced level courses offered at Belmont for students who have just completed our intermediate sequence (SPA 2010 & 2020).  The primary focus of both SPA 3100 and SPA 3110 is to develop the students’ proficiency (in writing, reading, listening, and speaking) through a series of thematic units that are structured by authentic texts from a variety of genres (poetry, journalism, short story, essay, song lyrics, comic strips, films, etc.).  Each unit is made up of three chapters that introduce difficult vocabulary terms, and that include an in depth review of the grammatical paradigms students need to master in order to perform at the advanced to superior level of proficiency. 

In the spring of 2017, students enrolled in Professor Boero’s sections of SPA 3110 will read, think about, and communicate their ideas on a variety of topics affecting Hispanics all over the world: national identity as ideological construction, oppressive governments, demands for social justice, exile, and the immigrant experience.


In order to have access to how Hispanics living abroad feel about many of the topics we will discuss in class,  students will participate in five TalkAbroad conversations (via SKYPE) with native speakers of Spanish living throughout Spanish America. Moreover, these five conversations will be carefully designed to give each student the opportunity to develop his/her interpersonal communication skills by performing within a specific range of difficulty. All conversations will include speaking tasks ranging in difficulty from the intermediate to the advanced-high / superior levels of speaking proficiency.


All students enrolling in SPA 3110 should have successfully completed SPA 3100 at Belmont University or its equivalent at another institution.  If this is not the case for you, please contact Prof. Boero at (some exceptions may be made).


SPA 3600 Hoy en el mundo hispano                                                                      Julseth
Prerequisite: SPA 2020 or equivalent. Students in SPA 3110 Advanced Spanish II may take this course concurrently. What are the trending topics in the countries where Spanish is spoken? Our text for classroom analysis and conversation will consist of videos and articles with audio recordings from Hispanic countries on far-ranging topics of: music, art, entertainment, science, politics, sports, business, food, and travel. We will use technology to bring us in contact with these current events and to focus on reading and listening skills by training the ears to comprehend spoken Spanish. We will learn how to use computer programs, apps, and web sites that can increase vocabulary, enhance cultural knowledge, and help students develop life-long language learning skills.


SPA 3500 Migration and Exile literatures and cultures                                      Pelaz

“The people who have emigrated (there are a hundred and twenty thousand of them) and the people who have been silenced and removed from their jobs (there are half a million of them) are fading like a procession moving off into the mist. They are invisible and forgotten” (Milan Kundera. The book of the laughter and Forgetting, 23)

The goal of this course is to introduce students to the literatures generated by the condition called exile and migration movements. Questions regarding current events on immigration and politics, national and individual identity, nationalisms and the idea of nation, language and memory will be discussed in the class. Moreover, through the different readings we will construct a transatlantic approach to literatures and cultures. In addition, the course will pursue the development of the four communicative skills: speaking, reading, writing, and listening. Therefore, the course will be based on the close reading and in-class discussion of the designated texts.

Advanced Spanish I is a requirement. Students may take Spanish Advanced 2 concurrently with this class.