University of Pittsburgh

 

Undergraduate

Teaching Objectives of our Language Program

Our goal in the French and Italian language programs is to guide our students in the development of their literacy skills through the communicative acts of reading, writing, and creating discourse around texts of all types.

We want our students to develop to the greatest possible extent a competency in comprehending and producing the target language, both spoken and written, as well as socio-cultural competency in communicating with people who speak the target language. The main focus of classes is on communication, and we strive for maximum use of the foreign language in the classroom. 

The approach used in our courses can be characterized as communicative and integrated.

Communicative means that the focus of the course is on language use in realistic settings, not on performing exercises, which have no immediate justification other than the practice of a particular procedure.

Integrated means that the various aspects that make up the language-learning experience are not separated or isolated but will be treated as complementary to one another. In one single activity, students may learn some facts, procedures, practice certain grammatical structures, and practice communicative strategies. Our approach is also “Integrated” in the sense that language and culture are not treated as separate but inter-related: We are teaching our students about culture not only when we listen to a song or analyze a cultural document but also when we use the language itself which is a social and cultural tool.

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