The study of language in adolescence can broaden a young person’s possibilities for self-definition and reduce the “foreignness” of others by exposing him or her to different cultural practices and points of view.

Diana L. Beste, Department Head

Sample Courses

Voices of France's Youth

Today in France, teenagers and young adults are a powerful force in art and politics. This course examines works composed in the French language by authors younger than 30 years of age. Blogs, books written in text message format, graphic novels, current slang terms, video clips, poems, websites, songs, short stories and film are studied.

Latin Literature: The Myth and Birth of Empire

Students examine the founding myth of Rome and the birth of the Roman Empire by reading extensive selections from Vergil’s Aeneid and Caesar’s Dē Bellō Gallicō. This honors sequence addresses differences in the genre of each work and expands on a variety of themes: what it means to be Roman, the view of “the other”, the relationship between humans and gods, the implications of war, and the development of empire.

Third Year Arabic

In this course, students are expected to manage extensive readings in Modern Standard Arabic, and to comprehend lengthy authentic listening materials and follow-up discussions on a variety of social, cultural, and political topics by using argumentative discourse, and to give extended oral presentations with facility.

Chinese in the Cyber Age

This course is a guided exploration of cultural products accessible online as instruments of Chinese language learning, from blogs, forums, advertisements, and commercials to television movies and video clips. Students transcribe, annotate, analyze, and present materials both assigned and self-compiled to rediscover and reconstruct China’s socio-cultural realities in the cyber age.

Machismo to Feminismo and Beyond

This course examines the literary sources of stereotypes and archetypes of masculinity – the Don Juan, the Latin lover – and how they have evolved over time. Furthermore, students will study many feminine voices in literature and explore the construction of gender and changing perceptions of masculinity, femininity and non-binary identities.