Professor Thierry Durand’s academic interests pertain to the relationship between philosophy and post-World War II French literature and literary criticism. His dissertation examined the critical and philosophical works of French essayist Maurice Blanchot. Before Dr. Durand came to Linfield in 1995, he taught at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania and was a visiting assistant professor at Middlebury College in Vermont. He also served as president of the Oregon Association of Teachers of French for two years from 1998 to 2000. In addition to studying late 19th and 20th century French literature, Dr. Durand’s current research focuses on the expression of a tragic vein in “l'extrême contemporain.”Ph.D. (Co-chair)
Professor Juan Gómez has taught at Linfield for nearly three decades. Since 1984, Dr. Gómez has led elementary, intensive elementary and intermediate comprehension and conversation courses in Spanish. In 2005, he made a 1,000-kilometer spiritual journey from Seville to Santiago de Compostela, Spain over a span of 43 days. He learned about the pilgrimage after studying the Muslim influence on Spanish culture during his first sabbatical. In addition to teaching Spanish language, Dr. Gómez incorporates knowledge about the history, culture and literature of Spain into his lectures. He has also written several publications, including a classroom textbook titled “Como? Introductory Text for Proficiency.”Ph.D.
Professor Goodall has been teaching American Sign Language (ASL) at Linfield since August 2011. He was born hearing, but lost his ability to hear due to a medical complication during his first few days of life. A self-taught reader, Professor Goodall was introduced to ASL in high school after having learned Signed Exact English (SEE) and Pidgin Signed English (PSE). Besides teaching, he is a master storyteller, performer, ASL poet and artist. His passion for the arts is evident in the fun classes he leads.
Gudrun Hommel has been teaching at Linfield since 1993. She graduated from Gymnasium and received her Abitur in 1975 in Mainz, Germany. In graduate school, Hommel based her dissertation on social criticism through female figures in German crime novels. Her academic interests include foreign language pedagogy and the use of technology in foreign language classrooms, popular German culture, German studies, and German politics. She is also interested in East German and postwar film studies and teaching with German film. In the classroom, her students describe her as a caring and encouraging professor with an enjoyable sense of humor. Besides teaching, Dr. Hommel has been a proofreader and freelance photographer for Vista Higher Learning. She is also a freelance translator.Ph.D.
Dr. Itomitsu has been at Linfield since 2009, the same year he graduated with his doctorate in Japanese from Ohio State University. His dissertation concerned the measurement of language learners’ pragmatic knowledge using a web-based standardized test. Professor Itomitsu's research interests include Japanese language pedagogy, materials development, Japanese linguistics, teacher training and testing. He serves as an ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview tester and as a writer and reviewer for AP Japanese and the SAT II Subject Test in Japanese. Apart from that, he is also a board member of the Association of Teachers of Japanese in Oregon (ATJO) and advises Linfield’s Japanese Club.Ph.D.
Chris Keaveney joined the Linfield faculty in 1997. He teaches introductory and intermediate Japanese language and culture courses and shares oversight of advising for Japanese majors and minors. In addition, he teaches courses about East Asian film and literature and oversees the Chinese Studies program while also sharing oversight of the East Asian Studies program. Professor Keaveney has co-taught several January Term courses in China and Japan and regularly offers an Inquiry Seminar course about East Asian culture.
Professor Keaveney’s research interests revolve around cultural relations between China and Japan with an emphasis on relations between the Chinese and Japanese literary communities in the mid-twentieth century. He is the author of the books The Subversive Self in Modern Chinese Literature (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004) and Beyond Brushtalk: Sino-Japanese Literary Exchange in the Interwar Period (Hong Kong University Press, 2009). His newest book, entitled The Cultural Evolution of Postwar Japan: The Contributions of Kaiz?’s Yamamoto Sanehiko, which explores how the accomplishments in the interwar period of one dynamic figure paved the way for developments in postwar Japan, is forthcoming from Palgrave Macmillan. His most recent research project interrogates the relationship in twentieth-century Japan of two of his personal passions—baseball and literature.Ph.D. (on sabbatical spring 2012)
Professor Sandra Lee joined the Linfield faculty in 1985. She is the co-author of “Seeing the Big Picture: Exploring American Cultures on Film,” which uses popular films to illustrate aspects of various cultures, including African, Chinese, Mexican and Muslim American cultures. Professor Lee's academic interests include intercultural communication and second language acquisition. She received her bachelor’s degree in French studies from Portsmouth Polytechnic in the United Kingdom, and graduated with a master’s degree in teaching English as a second language at UCLA. In fall 2012, Lee went on sabbatical and studied international communication on campus.M.A.
Marie Noussi is the newest addition to the French faculty at Linfield College. She teaches introductory courses in French and francophone studies, courses on modern African thought and African studies, and courses on French conversation and composition. Professor Noussi is interested in studying ecocriticism, a broad topic that is sometimes known as ecopoetics and environmental literary criticism. Additionally, Dr. Noussi researches postcolonialism and African and Caribbean studies. Her work includes a book chapter on the nuances of eroticism in the novel “Lettres d’une Péruvienne by Françoise de Graffigny,” and a book chapter on the translation, multilingualism, and linguistic hybridity of “The Heart of Redness.” She has also run sessions at conventions for the Modern Languages Association and presented at conventions of the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment (ASLE).
Stéphanie Ohrem is the Fulbright French Language Teaching Assistant at Linfield for the 2012-2013 academic year. She received her License in German from Strasbourg and subsequently worked as a language assistant in Hanover, Germany. Upon returning to France, she will pursue a master’s degree in translation. Besides French, Ms. Ohrem has studied English, German and Spanish, and would eventually like to work in the European Union.
A native of Mexico, Dr. Violeta Ramsay has been a part of the Linfield faculty since 1990 and specializes in theoretical linguistics. In addition to teaching Spanish language courses, she leads advanced courses in culture, with emphasis on pre-Columbian cultures, the culture of Indian groups in Latin America, and approaches to “otherness.” Her main research interests include second language acquisition and the development of cultural competency. She also studies language program assessment, language learning and teaching, and the design of foreign language textbooks. In addition, Dr. Ramsay has published research related to the evaluation of study abroad programs and the development of language acquisition stages. She is currently the co-director of Linfield’s Language in Motion (LiM) program, which seeks to promote language and culture in McMinnville schools, and actively leads study abroad programs to Oaxaca, Mexico.Ph.D.
Peter Richardson has been teaching at Linfield since 1980. He specializes in language pedagogy, linguistics, Latin, folklore, German literature and American English. For one month every summer, the 2009 Oregon Professor of the Year visits a tiny village in the Swiss Alps, where he transcribes hundred-year-old documents to be bequeathed to the local museum. As of 2009, he has transcribed nearly 1,300 of these love letters, poorhouse documents, cattle certificates, gravestone inscriptions and more. He is known for his interactive, one-on-one teaching style, which includes bringing in cowbells and butter churns to class to illustrate the lives of Swiss farmers. Dr. Richardson has published several works on Germanic philology and linguistics, folklore literature, applied linguistics, the Swiss German and academic administration. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, hiking, gardening and admiring his ancient Mercedes.Ph.D. (Co-chair)
Cecilia Tang has been teaching at Linfield since August 2010. Previously, Ms. Tang taught Mandarin at colleges in China and Montreal, Canada. She has also interned at the China Central News Agency and served as a Mandarin-English interpreter for international companies and professional athletes, including Rafael Nadal and the Williams sisters. In summer 2011, she made a 19-day journey across Tibet and Nepal by bicycle. In her classes, Tang emphasizes authentic, student-centered learning. This will be her last semester as a visiting scholar at Linfield.
Dr. Sonia Ticas received her Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in 2001 in Romance Languages and Literatures. She has been at Linfield since 2001 teaching courses in Spanish language at all levels, Latin American literature and culture classes including Latin American cultures through film, Latin American women writers and historical figures. She has directed and taught in the Oaxaca, México program and has taken students abroad for January term travel courses in Spain and Morocco to study Andalusian culture.
A native of El Salvador, her published work focuses on the history of women’s suffrage in the region and the study of women’s literature from the first half of the 20th century. She has published a number of articles studying the interplay of literature and women’s changing societal roles and is working on a book on the Salvadoran women’s suffrage movement. She also collaborates on a translation project of Costa Rican poet, Eunice Odio. Tavern Books of Portland Oregon has published the first translated volume in a series of four of Tránsito de Fuego (The Fire’s Journey, 2013).Ph.D.
Linfield recognizes language learning as an integral part of a liberal arts education. The aim is to provide experience in all phases of language learning and insight into foreign cultures and literatures. Fluency in a foreign language and familiarity with another culture dramatically increase our awareness of our own interests and intellectual direction. Through insights into foreign languages and cultures we become more tolerant and sensitive to the needs and ideas of others; we sharpen our perspective on written and spoken English and on American culture; and we gain important selfknowledge and the intellectual mobility and flexibility which are the keys to success in the modern world.
Language study at Linfield is enhanced by small classes to ensure close interpersonal relations between the faculty and students. Students are given individual attention and guidance by the faculty. The development of oral and written proficiency is stressed on all levels. Regular tutorials are available for students who wish additional practice or help. The offerings of the Department of Modern Languages are strengthened by junior year abroad programs for majors and by a variety of one-semester foreign study programs that allow students to experience other cultures first hand.
Students with majors in foreign languages, especially those who have combined their language skills with other areas of interest, can enter a broad spectrum of professions, such as business, law, international relations, medicine, journalism, and teaching.
Goals for the Major in French, German, Japanese, or Spanish
A major in one of these languages focuses on two types of proficiency: linguistic and cultural. Students will have acquired the productive vocabulary, structure, and cultural competence necessary to:
- manage conversations on current events, make public presentations on familiar topics, and participate in discussions within academic settings;
- write with authority well-structured and well-informed essays, reports, or analytical papers on a variety of cultural topics; and
- read with understanding non-technical prose as well as a variety of literary genres.
The ACTFL/ETS target levels referred to in the course descriptions below are those proficiency levels described in detail in the Proficiency Guidelines developed by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages in conjunction with the Education Testing Service. These target levels imply a median performance in the four skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Teaching in elementary and intermediate courses is proficiency-based, i.e. with a practical orientation and not a theoretical one.
Requirements for Major or Minor
The modern languages major is available as a bachelor of arts degree only.
The Department of Modern Languages offers coursework in seven distinct concentrations:
- American Sign Language (MLSL)
- Chinese (MLCH)
- French and Francophone Studies (MLFR, MLFA)
- German (MLGR)
- German Studies
- Japanese (MLJP)
- Latin (MLLA)
- Spanish (MLSP)
Courses that serve all language concentrations are labeled MDLA. For entering students who place into a 300-level course, the department will waive four of the 40 credits required for the major. Study Abroad: All majors and minors are required to study abroad. For German, Japanese, and Spanish, the requirement is one academic year for the majors and one semester for the minors. For the French and Francophone studies majors, the requirement is as follows: One year is obligatory for students starting the major in MLFR 101 or 105; with faculty approval, a minimum of one semester may suffice for those starting in MLFR 201 or 301. Minors are required to study abroad for one semester.
Students must take an appropriate language course at the 300-level (302 or above for Spanish) on the home campus after their study abroad. Courses taken abroad for the major or minor must deal with the culture of the host country. Majors and minors must work closely with their language advisors to choose appropriate courses during the study abroad experience. Course grades: Courses in which a student has earned a grade less than C may not be counted toward either the major or the minor.
For a minor in Chinese Studies: 27 credits including 4 semesters of Chinese language study (only credits from MLCH 201 and above will count toward the minor); minimum of 10 credits of Chinese language and Chinese Studies coursework taken abroad (Linfield Programs in Beijing or Kong Hong are recommended). No more than 12 credits taken abroad may be applied to the Chinese Studies minor; at least one Chinese Studies content course taken at Linfield should be taken after the student returns from study abroad.
FRENCH AND FRANCOPHONE AFRICAN STUDIES
For a major in French Studies: 40 credits in language courses numbered 202 and above, including MDLA 380, MLFR 485, and MDLA 483 or MLFR 490, as well as one course in Francophone African Studies. The third year abroad normally yields at least 20 of the 40 required. The semester abroad yields at least 15 of the 40 credits required.
For a minor in French Studies: 20 credits in courses numbered 202 and above. Up to twelve credits may be available during the semester abroad, depending on program offerings.
Francophone African Studies
For a major in Francophone African Studies: 46 credits in courses numbered 202 and above, including MLFA 230 and 240; MLFR 301 and 302; MDLA 380; MDLA 483 or MLFR 490 (Honor Thesis – by departmental invitation only); MLFA 486; and 2 additional courses taught in English by other departments on campus (see below) or at Gaston Berger in Senegal. Courses with a significant content related to Africa or people of African descent include: AAVC 210; ANTH 111; ENGL 305, 365; HIST 123, 125, 318; MUSC 080, 253; SOAN 265; courses with the same theoretical framework as African Studies (Postcolonial Studies, Gender Studies, Postmodern Studies, etc.) or that can be used as a background to understand African realities include: EDUC 302; PHIL 430 (if topic pertains to African Studies); POLS 210, 370 (if topic pertains to African Studies), 384; RELS 140, 210, 310, 452. While two semesters of study spent in Senegal, yielding at least 16 of the 46 required credits, are recommended, candidates for the major may need to study only one semester in Senegal. The required length of stay depends upon their French language proficiency and placement which will be determined by the French faculty when entering Linfield.
For a minor in Francophone African Studies: 23 credits including MLFR 202 and 301; MLFA 230 or 240; one course from another Linfield department from among those listed above for the major; and 9 credits taken abroad.
Study abroad: Majors and minors in French Studies study in France (Angers, Aix, or Marseille). Majors and minors in Francophone African Studies study in Senegal (Dakar and St. Louis).
GERMAN AND GERMAN STUDIES
For a major in German: 40 credits in German courses numbered 202 and above, including MDLA 380 and 483. The two semesters of study abroad normally yield at least 20 of the 40 required credits. By departmental invitation, students may substitute MLGR 490 (Honor Thesis) for 483.
For a minor in German: 20 credits in courses numbered 202 and above. One semester of study in Vienna, Austria. (The German course taken abroad in August does not count toward the minor.)
The German Studies major and minor aim to foster in students the integrative perspective of a range of academic disciplines from the arts and humanities and the social sciences. Central to the German Studies program are cooperation and collaboration among departments, the insistence on a high level of German language proficiency, a significant study abroad experience (at least one semester), and the opportunity for an internship abroad.
For a major in German Studies: 40 credits including MLGR 202; 212 or 312; 301; 302; MDLA 483 or MLGR 490; four years of German, or equivalent level of proficiency (ACTFL Intermediate High); and 18-20 credits taken abroad in addition to course work in associated departments on the Linfield campus. One semester or more of study abroad or possible internship.
For a minor in German Studies: 27 credits including MLGR 202; 212 or 312; 301 and 9-12 credits taken abroad in addition to course work in associated departments on the Linfield campus. One semester or more of study abroad or possible internship
Study abroad: Minors normally study in Vienna, Austria. Majors choose from programs in Germany (Freiburg, Heidelberg, or Munich).
For a major in Japanese: 40 credits in language courses numbered 202 and above, including MDLA 380 and 483. By departmental invitation, students may substitute MLJP 490 (Honor Thesis) for
483. Two semesters of study abroad are required, normally yielding at least 20 of the 40 required credits.
For a minor in Japanese: 20 credits in courses numbered 202 and above. Students normally earn 10 credits toward the minor during the required semester in Japan. (The Japanese course
taken abroad in August does not count toward the minor.)
Study abroad: For minors: fall semester in Yokohama. For majors: full year in Tokyo or Kyoto.
For a major in Spanish: 40 credits in language courses numbered 202 and above, including MDLA 380 and 483 and MLSP 485. By departmental invitation, students may substitute MLSP
490 (Honor Thesis) for 483. The two semesters of study abroad will yield no more than 20 of the 40 required credits.
Candidates for the major who have spent a year abroad before coming to Linfield (as well as Spanish-English bilingual students) may need to study only one more semester in a foreign country. This depends on their proficiency level upon entering Linfield, to be determined by placement exam and oral proficiency interview.
Because majors studying abroad take courses in the host language, they should complete course work up to and including the 302 level before undertaking foreign study.
For a minor in Spanish: 20 credits in courses numbered 202 and above. No more than 12 credits taken during the semester abroad will count toward the minor. Students must consult with Spanish faculty early in the process before choosing a study abroad site. Upon
returning from study abroad, students will need to complete the minor by taking MLSP 302 or another appropriate higher level course.
Study abroad: Spanish minors study in Mexico, Costa Rica, or Ecuador; majors study in Ecuador as well as Spain. If, while
studying in Mexico or Costa Rica, a student (with the approval of the Spanish faculty) decides to major in Spanish, the second
semester must be done in Ecuador or Spain. Consultation must take place no later than the end of the second month while
abroad, to ensure timely consideration in the second semester application process.
For information about Linfield’s semester abroad programs in Austria, China, Costa Rica, Ecuador, England, France, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Senegal, and Mexico,, see the section on International Programs. Because majors studying abroad take courses in the host language, they should complete course work up to and including the 301 level before undertaking foreign study.
The department of Modern Languages gives the Juliette Barber French Award and the DoĂ±a Marina Spanish Award to outstanding students. Linfield College also has a chapter of Pi Delta Phi, the French Honor Society.
The ACTFL target levels referred to in the course descriptions below are those proficiency levels described in detail in the Proficiency Guidelines developed by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. These target levels imply a median performance in the four skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Teaching in elementary and intermediate courses is proficiency-based, i.e. with a practical orientation and not a theoretical one.
Any Questions? If you are interested in learning more about the curriculum at Linfield, please contact the Office of Admission at (800) 640-2287 or email email@example.com. An admissions counselor will be happy to answer your questions or put you in touch with a faculty member.