Department of Foreign Languages, ESL and Humanities

Through the study of the language, literature and civilization of various cultures, the Department of Foreign Languages aims to enrich the education of all students and prepare them for various careers.

The principal objectives are to:

  • prepare students to understand, read, speak and write a second language;
  • give them an understanding and appreciation of the literature and civilization particular to that language;
  • provide them with a comparative element that will enable them to improve communication skills in their own language.

The department offers courses in a variety of languages, interdisciplinary courses in the Humanities, courses in English as a Second Language and in Puerto Rican Studies, with majors in French and Spanish and minors in French, Italian Studies, Latin American Studies, Puerto Rican Studies, Spanish, Women's Studies and World Literature. The instructional program is enhanced by a state of the art digital Language Laboratory and web supported materials. Annual events sponsored by the department helping to reinforce the instructional program are poetry contests, student journals, international film festivals, conferences and colloquia,designed not only to enhance the academic program but also to involve high school of the Queens area and the Jamaica community.

Note:  If it is determined that a student is too advanced for a specific language course after observation in the classroom by the instructor, the student may be requested to change to a higher level course.

Surveys indicate that graduates who can demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language expand their career opportunities. To help students prove achievement in their foreign language studies, the Department grants a Citation of Achievement in French, Italian or Spanish, which can be presented to prospective employers. An intermediate proficiency citation will be offered to students completing 10-14 credits in foreign language with a B average in those courses. Intermediate Proficiency (Credits 10-14)
Required Courses to be chosen from the following:

  • French — French 101*, 102, 105, 106 or 213.
  • Italian — Italian 101*, 102, 105, 106 or 230.
  • Spanish — Spanish 101*, 102, 105, 106

*This course may be waived if the student is qualified to pass an exemption examination.

Foreign Language Literature Courses Offered in English

These courses also are open to all students.

  • French 221 (French Literature from the Middle Ages to the Revolution in Translation),
  • World Literature 201: The Literature of the Western World through The Renaissance
  • World Literature 210 (Modern French Literature in Translation),
  • Humanities 204 (Ibsen and Strindberg),
  • World Literature 211 (Italian Theatre in Translation),
  • Italian 353 (Italian Culture and Civilization), Italian 356 (A Major Italian Author in Translation),
  • World Literature 212 (Masterpieces of Spanish Literature in Translation),
  • World Literature 206 (Introduction to the Literature of the Caribbean),
  • World Literature 205 (Introduction to Francophone Literature),
  • World Literature 207 (Introduction to the Literature of Latin America)
If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart. (Nelson Mandela)

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