Jul 14, 2024  
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures

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Dr. Giuliana Fazzion, Department Head
Phone: (540) 568-6128
Email: fazziogx@jmu.edu
Location: Keezell Hall, Room 301
Website: http://www.jmu.edu/forlang

J. I. Barrio Olano, P. Eubanks, G. Fazzion, T. Regalado López, C. Szeps-Fralin

Associate Professors
J. Lang-Rigal, M. Mason, D. Polanz, A. Shahin

Assistant Professors
G. Cardillo, D. Galarreta-Aima, Y. Montes de Oca, H. Yanacek

L. Cangiano, E. Castro, V. Haun, K. Kline-Gabel, L. Morris, J. Tkac, B. Warden

D. Campora, G. Danielli, M. Fiorello, E. Guolo, I. Haseloff, S. Hernández, H. Moreira, V. Riso


The Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures (FLLC) is a central site on campus for the implementation of James Madison University’s internationalization efforts. Through its course offerings, study abroad programs, organizations and clubs, and the presence of faculty with research areas in diverse foreign cultures, the department embodies cultural diversity, particularly international diversity, at JMU. The strong presence of international students and faculty on campus is a critical indicator of this recognition of international diversity.

The Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures offers students and the community a broad range of educational courses and programs that help develop foreign language competence, a global perspective, and an understanding of foreign cultures both ancient and modern.

The department’s mission is to ensure that all graduates with a B.A. have sufficient knowledge of a modern foreign language to build fluency in that language when future personal or professional needs require it; prepare language majors for success as professionals in language-related career fields; enhance the education of non-language majors by providing them foreign language skills that complement their chosen major; teach understanding and appreciation of foreign cultures and provide basic knowledge about the literature, culture and intellectual achievements of countries other than the U.S.; play a leading role in internationalizing the college curriculum; provide opportunities for language and cultural study abroad; and support cross-listed courses for the departments of English and history as part of their major requirements and in the General Education  program with courses for the Cluster Two requirements.

The department also plays an important role in the university cross-disciplinary minors by offering courses for Russian Studies , Latin American, Latinx and Caribbean Studies Minor World Literature  and Classical Studies .

Goals and Objectives

The department strives to fulfill this mission by pursuing the following goals. Within each area, students should:


  • Be familiar with a variety of linguistic principles in both the target language and their own.
  • Understand the major literary movements of the target culture and be familiar with selected major literary texts of the target culture.
  • Be familiar with the great ideas of humanity and of Western civilization in particular, especially as they have originated in or influenced the target culture.
  • Understand the institutions and history of the target culture.
  • Understand similarities and differences between the target culture and their own.


  • Demonstrate reading, writing, listening and speaking skills in both English and the target language.
  • Think critically, analytically and objectively.
  • Make and formulate informed aesthetic and linguistic judgments.
  • Research a topic thoroughly using both traditional and online sources.
  • Use computers effectively for a variety of purposes, from word processors and spell checkers in the target language to terminological databases and machine-aided translation tools.


  • Ponder what it means to be human in response to literary and cultural studies.
  • Engage great texts and great ideas.
  • Realize what it is like to be a foreigner with incomplete cultural and linguistic competence.
  • See the world through the filter of another language and culture.
  • Realize that every language is an imperfect vehicle, riddled with traps and ambiguities.


  • Embrace life-long learning.
  • Approach issues from cross disciplinary, global and historical perspectives.
  • Respect diversity among cultures and within any given culture.
  • Respect the opinions and beliefs of other people – and other peoples – while defining and advancing their own.
  • Recognize the contingent nature of knowledge.


The department offerings address a wide spectrum of student needs. Our program seeks to:

  • Offer a minor and a major in a specific language.
  • Strongly recommend a second major and/or minor in another discipline.
  • Offer advanced courses for cross disciplinary programs.
  • Offer basic courses required for Bachelor of Arts candidates.
  • Organize and participate in Honors courses.
  • Provide General Education  courses in Cluster Two and reinforce Cluster One goals in all courses.


The faculty members of the department strive to:

  • Meet the ever-evolving needs of the students.
  • Develop innovative teaching techniques, courses and programs while preserving a traditional core.
  • Engage consistently in scholarship.
  • Provide dutiful service to the college, the university and the profession.
  • Be a role model for students as educators and as human beings.

General Objectives

All language majors are expected to acquire:

  • Knowledge of critical thinking methods and the ability to apply them.
  • Know-how with regard to computers, including word processing skills and the ability to use software devoted to grammar exercises, vocabulary development, literature and culture.
  • An appreciation and affective feel for other cultures in addition to an intellectual perspective.

Specific Objectives

The Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures offers programs designed to:

  • Teach students to understand and speak a language with relative ease.
  • Develop skills in reading and writing.
  • Provide an acquaintance with foreign literatures.
  • Develop an appreciation of foreign cultures.
  • Prepare students for professions in education, government work and international trade or for research leading to advanced degrees.

Career Opportunities

  • Banking
  • Criminal Justice
  • Education
  • Foreign Service
  • Imports/Exports
  • Law
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Medicine
  • Ministry
  • Museum work
  • Public Relations
  • Social work
  • Translation

Co-curricular Organizations

The department supports the following organizations:

  • Le Cercle Francophone
  • Dobro Slovo
  • German Club
  • Il Circolo Culturale Italiano
  • Phi Sigma Iota
  • Russian Club
  • El Club de Español
  • Sigma Delta Pi

Minimum Grades

A student must receive a minimum grade of “C-” for course credits to count toward any major or minor in the Department of FLLC.

International Education and Studies Abroad

The department strongly supports – and greatly benefits from – the university’s excellent studies abroad programs. Majors are strongly encouraged to spend a significant amount of time abroad and teaching licensure candidates must either spend a semester abroad and/or demonstrate an advanced level of foreign language proficiency. Students are urged to check with their language advisers to see which courses taken abroad count toward the language major. Majors in modern foreign languages must take 33 credit hours of foreign language courses specified by the department. Students are required to take 18 of those in courses taught in the Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures based on the main JMU campus.

Minors in modern foreign languages must take 18 credit hours of foreign language courses specified by the department. Students are required to take nine of those in courses taught in the Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures based on the main JMU campus.

Placement Tests

The score a student receives from the online placement test will be valid for registering in a language class that takes place up to and including the second semester of the sophomore year at JMU. A student who chooses to wait until his/her junior year to begin language study will be required to repeat the online placement test. Students will be placed in a class according to the new score, even if this means starting in a lower-level class than was indicated by the first placement test. In this circumstance, the student will take more classes to fulfill the language requirement for the B.A. degree.

The faculty of the Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures strongly recommend that students begin their required language classes no later than the second semester of the sophomore year, and ideally as soon as possible after taking the online placement exam.

Semester Registering Accepted Placement Score
Fall, first year First year test
Spring, first year First year test
Fall, sophomore year First year test
Spring, sophomore year First year test
Fall, junior year (and all later semesters) Must retake test in spring of sophomore year or later in order to register for language classes for this semester and all later semesters

Heritage Speakers and International Students

Heritage speakers who would like to pursue a major or minor in FLLC studies in their heritage language must take the JMU Foreign Language placement test. Placement into level 300 is required in order to qualify to take the examination for credit for 300. Students who pass the examination for credit for 300 are entitled to register in other FLLC courses that have 300 as a prerequisite or to proceed to take the examination for credit for 320.

International students who are admitted to JMU and would like to pursue a major or minor in FLLC studies in their native language(s) need to take the examination for credit for 300 and 320 and then register for more advanced courses.

Heritage speakers and international students who need to satisfy a language requirement need to complete a waiver form after being tested for proficiency.

Heritage speakers and international students who wish to take elective credits in their language need to be tested for proficiency.

For testing of languages not offered by FLLC department, contact the department.


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