Catalog 2012-2013

Languages and Literatures


Bachelor of Arts Majors and Minors

The department offers majors in Classical Languages, Classical Studies, French, German, Norwegian, and Hispanic Studies and supports majors in Chinese Studies and Scandinavian Area Studies. Minors are offered in Chinese, Chinese Studies, Classical Studies, French, German, Greek, Hispanic Studies, Latin, and Norwegian.

All majors must complete a Capstone Senior Project within the department. Majors must complete at least 12 semester hours in residence at PLU, of which 4 hours must be taken either in the senior year or upon return from a study abroad program. Minors must complete at least 8 semester hours in residence. Specific requirements (and variations from the above) for specific majors and minors are listed below.

Policy on Student Use of Machine Translation

Among the fundamental goals of second language and cultural study at the university level is the acquisition of the cognitive skills necessary to express one’s own thoughts and ideas effectively in the second language without dependence upon others. Central to this goal is the principle of Academic Integrity, which states that “students are inherently responsible to do their own work, thereby insuring the integrity of their academic records.”

The challenge, and at times the struggle, of learning to formulate coherent thoughts in a second language forms an integral part of the process of second language acquisition. The use of machine translation by students to complete assignments in courses in which second language acquisition is a primary goal subverts the aim of gaining practice and skill in thinking for oneself in the target language. Moreover, it short-circuits the capacity of students to appreciate and gain skill in the use of idiom in the target language, an aspect of translation in which machine translations are notoriously weak.

Among the definitions of cheating included in PLU’s policy on Academic Integrity is “[the use of] information or devices not allowed by the faculty, such as formulas or a computer program or data ... “ Given the aims and the realities mentioned above, and in light of PLU’s policy on Academic Integrity, the Department of Languages and Literatures issues the following guidelines on the use of machine translation for students of language, literature, and culture:

  1. The use of machine translation in the writing of graded homework and other class assignments in which language counts is strictly prohibited.
  2. The use of machine translation in the creation of other work authored by a student and submitted for a grade must be declared in writing as part of the document in question. Failure to follow these guidelines will be treated by faculty as a breach of PLU’s policy on Academic Integrity.

Language Resource Center

The language curriculum at all levels features use of PLU’s state-of-the-art multimedia Language Resource Center, located in the Mortvedt Library. Advanced students have the opportunity to work as assistants in the center, gaining computer expertise while accelerating their language skills.

Placement in Language Classes

Students planning to continue the study of French, German or Hispanic Studies must take a language placement test in their language of interest prior to registering for courses at PLU. The placement test can be taken online at or in person at the Language Resource Center on the 3rd floor of Mortvedt Library. The test takes approximately 20 minutes to complete and issues prompt feedback on placement recommendation. Students should follow the placement recommendation they receive.

Advanced Placement Credit

Students with scores of 4 or 5 on the Advanced Placement Examination in areas represented in the Department of Languages and Literatures can receive four additional semester hours upon completion of the course (with a grade of C or better) into which they place through PLU’s placement examination. Advance placement credit is not awarded for 100-level courses.

Hong International Hall

Students with an interest in foreign language and global issues are encouraged to apply to live in Hong International Hall, a living-learning community consisting of five language and cultural houses: Chinese, French, German, Hispanic Studies, International Honors, Norwegian and The International Honors house.. Located in the middle of upper campus, Hong is a hub for campus activities focused on language, culture and international issues that seeks to create “a supportive home and a hopeful environment that challenges residents and the campus to become fluent in languages and conversant with international issues.” Hong International Hall thus promotes global awareness through intentional language immersion and culture engagement. Go to the Hong International Hall Web site at for further information.

Senior Project

Students majoring in a foreign language enroll in 499 Capstone: Senior Seminar course listed in their language of study. The student presents a summary of the completed assignment at an open departmental forum. (2-4)

Prospective Teachers

Students preparing to teach in a junior or senior high school may earn either a Bachelor of Arts degree in French, German, Hispanic Studies, or Norwegian along with certification from the School of Education and Movement Studies, or a Bachelor of Arts in Education degree with a teaching major or minor in French, German, Norwegian, or Spanish. Secondary teaching minors are also available in Chinese and Latin. Elementary teaching majors are available in all of the above languages. To best prepare prospective language teachers to meet Washington State World Languages Endorsement Competencies, students are strongly encouraged to participate in one of PLU’s study away programs. See the Department of Instructional Development and Leadership section of this catalog for certification requirements and the Bachelor of Arts in Education requirements.

English as a Second Language

The School of Education and Movement Studies and the Department of Languages and Literatures have partnered with the Washington Academy of Languages to offer a summer program leading to a certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language. This eight-week intensive summer institute is offered late June through early August. Prospective teachers can complete additional requirements to obtain an ESL Endorsement. For more information, please contact or 253-535-8330.

Fields of Study:

Courses in the Department of Languages and Literatures are offered in the following general fields in addition to elementary, intermediate, and advanced language:

Cultural History In English

  • CLAS 350: Classical and Comparative Mythology
  • CLAS 321: Greek Civilization
  • CLAS 322: Roman Civilization
  • HISP 341: The Latino Experiences in the U.S.
  • SCAN 150: Introduction to Scandinavia
  • SCAN 227: The Vikings
  • SCAN 321: Topics in Scandinavian Culture and Society
  • SCAN 322: Scandinavia and World Issues

In Respective Language

  • FREN 310: ST in French History/Culture
  • GERM 321: German Cultural History to 1750
  • GERM 322: German Cultural History Since 1750
  • HISP 321: Civilization and Culture of Spain
  • HISP 322: Latin American Civilization and Culture

Literature In English

  • CHIN 371: Chinese Literature in Translation
  • CLAS 231: Masterpieces of European Literature
  • CLAS 350: Classical and Comparative Mythology
  • HISP 341: The Latino Experience in the U.S.
  • HISP 441: U.S. Latino Literature
  • LANG 271: Literature Around the World
  • SCAN 241: Scandinavian Folklore
  • SCAN 341: Topics in Scandinavian Literature
  • SCAN 422: Modernity and Its Discontents

In Respective Language

  • FREN 401: Early Modern French Literature
  • FREN 402: Modern French Literature
  • FREN 403: Contemporary French Literature
  • FREN 404: (Post) Colonial Francophone Literature
  • GERM 423: Topics in German Literature and Culture I
  • GERM 424: Topics in German Literature and Culture II
  • HISP 325: Introduction to Hispanic Literary Studies
  • HISP 421: Masterpieces of Spanish Literature
  • HISP 422: 20th Century Literature of Spain
  • HISP 423: Special Topics in Spanish Literature and Culture
  • HISP 431: Latin American Literature, 1492-1888
  • HISP 432: 20th Century Latin American Literature
  • HISP 433: Special Topics in Latin American Literature and Culture

Classical Studies and Classical Languages

  • Classical Languages
    Major: 40 hours in classical languages, plus CLAS 499

  • Classical Studies
    To view the major and minor in Classical Studies, go the Classics curriculum section of this catalog.

  • Greek
    Minor in Greek
    20 semester hours, which may include 101–102

  • Latin
    Minor in Latin
    20 semester hours, which may include 101–102

Modern Languages

  • Chinese

    Minor in Chinese
    20 semester hours which may include CHIN 101-102

  • French

    Major in French
    A minimum of 36 semester hours beyond FREN 101-102, including FREN 201-202, 301-302, 241 or 310, 499 and three 400-level courses, one of which must be completed in the senior year.

    Minor in French
    20 semester hours, excluding FREN 101–102 and including FREN 201–202, 301, and two additional upper-division courses.

  • German

    Major in German
    A minimum of 36 semester hours beyond GERM 101–102, including GERM 201–202, 301–302, 321–322, 499, and two 400-level courses.

    Minor in German
    20 semester hours, excluding GERM 101–102 and including GERM 201–202, 301, and two additional upper-division courses.

  • Hispanic Studies

    Major in Hispanic Studies
    A minimum of 36 semester hours beyond HISP 201, including 202, 301, 321, 322, 325
    • One course from: HISP 421, 422, 423
    • One course from: HISP 431, 432, and 433
    • One additional 400-level course (selected from HISP 401, 421, 422, 423, 431, 432, 433, or 441)
    • And HISP 499

Majors are strongly encouraged to pursue at least one semester of study in a Spanish-speaking country on a program approved by the Hispanic Studies faculty. Majors may not normally fulfill the requirements for the major through the election of 300-level courses during their senior year.

Continuation Policy: To remain in the Hispanic Studies major, students must maintain a 2.50 overall grade point average (GPA) and maintain a 2.50 GPA in all Hispanic Studies courses required for the major or the minor.

Minor in Hispanic Studies
20 semester hours, including: HISP 202, 301, 325, and two additional upper-division courses. Courses taught in English (HISP 341 and 441) will not count towards a minor in Hispanic Studies.

  • Norwegian

    Major in Norwegian
    A minimum of 36 semester hours beyond NORW 101 
    • Required Language Courses: NORW 102 (NORW 101 as prerequisite), NORW 201-202 and 301-302
    • Required Literature Courses (8 hours): SCAN 341 (may be repeated for credit if different topics) or SCAN 422
    • Elective Course (4 hours): SCAN 241, 341, 422, or other SCAN course.
    • Senior Capstone (4 hours): NORW 499

  Minor in Norwegian
  20 semester hours, including NORW 101, 102, 201, 202, and one of the following: SCAN 241, 341, 422; NORW 301 or 331

  • Scandinavian Area Studies

    Major in Scandinavian Area Studies
    40 semester hours

    A cross-disciplinary approach to the study of Scandinavia. To view further curriculum and course information, go to the Scandinavian Area Studies section of this catalog.