University of Pittsburgh

 

Undergraduate

About Language Programs

Our Goal

Our goal in elementary and intermediate language courses is to help students develop to the greatest possible extent a competency in comprehending and producing the foreign language, both spoken and written, as well as socio-cultural competency in communicating with members of the target culture.

Our Class Focus

The main focus of classes is on communication, and we strive for maximum use of the foreign language in the classroom. Because students might have limited opportunities to speak or hear the foreign language outside of class, classroom time is devoted to the development of competency in these areas. This means that instructors speak only French or Italian to students during class, and students are expected to do the same with their instructor and classmates.

Our Approach

The approach used in these courses can be characterized in two ways:

Communicative Courses
“Communicative” means that the focus is on language use in realistic settings, not on performing exercises with no immediate justification other than the practice of a particular procedure.

A good deal of class time is spent using the language to perform tasks that simulate a communicative event that might occur in real life; this involves meaningful communication between students and instructors and between students.

Intergrated Courses
“Integrated” means the various aspects that make up the language-learning experience are not separated or isolated but treated as complementary to one another. In one single activity, students learn cultural facts and classroom directions as well as practice certain grammatical structures and communicative strategies.

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