You are in the official current online General Catalog
for California State University, Fresno.
Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures
The College of Arts and Humanities
SAUL JIMENEZ-SANDOVAL, Chair
LAURA C. GRIBBEN, Department Administrative Support Coordinator
Peters Building, Room 393
Saul Jimenez-Sandoval, Chair
Yolanda Doub, Graduate Coordinator
Jacinta R. Amaral (Spanish)
Debbie Avila (Spanish)
Ted Bergman (Spanish)
Honora H. Chapman (Classics, Humanities)
Yolanda Doub (Spanish)
Kristi A. Eastin (Classics, Humanities)
David G. Engle (German, Folklore)
Saul Jimenez-Sandoval (Spanish)
Keith Johnson (Spanish)
Rose Marie Kuhn (French)
Gloria Medina-Sancho (Spanish)
David A. Ross (French)
Paula Sanmartin (Spanish)
Bruce S. Thornton (Classics, Humanities)
Cosme M. Zaragoza (Spanish)
Because of increasing mobility in our modern world, it takes no time at all to travel to places where people speak a language other than English. If you visit or go to work in another country you will quickly learn the fallacy of the phrase, "Everyone speaks English there; don't worry!" Even in California, scarcely a day goes by that you do not hear people conversing in a language other than English, because the United States has a wealth of different heritage languages. Whether you travel overseas or stay in the United States, you will be more culturally sensitive if you are bilingual and bicultural. For example, agricultural, health, and music professionals benefit from knowing another language. It is never too late to acquire another culture and language.
The goal of the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures is to encourage multiculturalism and multilingualism in the Central Valley. That includes preparing students for communication in some of the important heritage languages of the area: German, Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese. These are also important languages of Mexico, Central and South America, and the European Union, so students are able to travel or work overseas with greater ease. The department also offers Greek and Latin, as well as Classical Studies and Humanities.
The department has programs for those who wish to be middle and high school teachers of French and Spanish. We offer courses to prepare those who wish to be bilingual/ cross-cultural teachers in elementary schools. We also offer courses in Italian, Portuguese, and other languages to the surrounding community. The department offers a major and a minor in French and Spanish, a minor in German, a minor in Humanities, and a minor in Classical Studies. We collaborate with the Department of Linguistics to offer the B.A. Option in Language Studies.
Students completing the M.A. in Spanish often teach at high schools, community colleges, or go on to Ph.D. programs. Our Master of Arts program in Spanish is one of the largest and best in the California State University system. Students come from all over California to study with our prestigious faculty members. Our faculty members are well-recognized for their expertise in Spanish language pedagogy; Golden Age literature; contemporary Mexican, South American, and Peninsular literature; Spanish linguistics and dialectology; creative writing in Spanish; and Hispanic culture. M.A. students may apply for a limited number of teaching assistant positions.
Study Abroad Programs: Apply as a Sophomore
Sophomore students having a minimum GPA of 3.0 are eligible to apply for participation during their junior or senior years in one of the International Programs organized by the California State University System under agreements with universities in 18 countries, including France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, and Peru. See International Programs (Overseas). Students may find it useful to consult with a professor in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures. A small scholarship is available for qualified study abroad scholars.
Being able to communicate with many people in their own language is an asset any employer will value in today's world of international markets and international professional exchanges. The state and federal government, international organizations, airlines, shipping companies, agricultural enterprises, and multinational corporations employ bilingual and bicultural people.
That means that when your primary major is in another field of study, a second major or a minor in another language is a very good way to acquire and document language skills that are important for a job or profession. In California, fluency in Spanish and familiarity with Hispanic culture can be very useful for social workers, health professionals, elementary or secondary school teachers, teachers of English to speakers of other languages, lawyers, or any other profession in which ethnic understanding is important. For example, a growing area for language majors with an interest in computers is in translation and web design.
Many language majors aim for a teaching career. Teaching at the community
college level requires at least a master's degree, while teaching high school
requires subject matter preparation in the language (French or Spanish)
plus a teaching credential. There is currently a demand for high school
language teachers due to the foreign language admission requirement in the
University of California and California State University systems. There
are many opportunities for teaching in elementary schools having bilingual/cross-cultural
programs in Spanish.