Foreign Language 200

FORL 200: Intermediate Conversation I in Critical Languages.

Prerequisites: FORL 100 in the same language or the equivalent and written permission of the Critical Language Program Coordinator

Credit Hours: (4)

Intermediate practice in listening comprehension of and in speaking a critical language. Three hours of drill and conversation with tutors plus self-study and practice. This course has been approved for credit in the Foreign Languages Area of the Core Curriculum.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

The content varies with the critical language offered. An example of the Japanese course content follows:

Textbook: Japanese: The Spoken Language Part 1, by Eleanor Harz Jorden with Man Noda. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1987. The second semester extends through 9A Core Conversation 6.

  • Lesson 5B: nominal modifiers of nominals, inverted sentences, -hodo, kore mo sore mo.
  • Lesson 6A: phrases and compounds, the kotira series, place words, moo, sukosi saki, patterns of location, the phrase-particle ni, multiple particles, and word order.
  • Lesson 6B: the koko series, desyoo,ka + nê(e).
  • Lesson 7A: phrase particles place + màde or e ~ ni + ikimàsu, place + de + tabémàsu, verbal gerund + kimasu, polite requests with kudasaimasèn ka, animate location imasu, and politeness in-group/out group.
  • Lesson 7B: verbals -masyoo, phrase particles takusii de ikimasu, koré o ikimasu, humble- polite verbals okiki-simasu, adjectivals in -tai, introduction to the extended predicate, and verbal gerunds -te.
  • Lesson 8A: time classifiers -ka/-niti, -zikan, -zi, -hun, the perfective in recall, approximation -goro and -gurai, casual style, and the copula gerund de: raku de ii desu.
  • Lesson 8B: phrase-particles nan-zi made, koko dara, zyuu-zi ni, nominal + phrase-particle + dèsu, polite style irassyaimàsu — mairimàsu go, classifiers -syuukan, -gatu, -kagetu, -nen( kan), questions without ka: Nan-nen desyoo.
  • Lesson 9A: verbals (direct-style, imperfective, affirmative), dà, more on style (careful and casual, distal and direct, polite and plain, gentle and blund, masculine and feminine), dare kara no tegami (a letter from whom?), adjectival + naru: osoku nàru (become late), tentative predicates in desyoo, zyuu-zi made ni (by 10 o’clock).


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

Native speakers trained as drill instructors check and improve students’ mastery of the dialogues, assist with the development of correct pronunciation, organize drills to involve the students in manipulation of the structural and lexical elements of the given lesson, and encourage more creative language manipulation through personalized conversation on a variety of cultural topics.

Students study the “facts of the language (grammatical explanations) with their textbooks, and practice the “acts” of the critical language (speaking and listening) in extensive work with audio and video cassettes, and in the drill and conversation in class.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

Speaking and listening goals (standardized ACTFL proficiency criteria): Students will be able to speak the critical language by relying heavily on learned utterances but occasionally expanding these through simple recombinations of their elements. Students can ask questions or make statements involving learned material. There will be some spontaneity, but speech will continue to consist primarily of learned utterances. As regards listening skills, students will be able to understand short, learned utterances and some sentence-length utterances, particularly where context strongly supports understanding and speech is clearly audible. There is no practice in reading or writing. In the case of Japanese, e.g., all characters have been romanized.

Students will achieve a degree of competence in a foreign language and culture. 


Students will be able to:

a. demonstrate language skills appropriate to the level of study

b. analyze similarities and differences between their own and the target cultures

c. explain contemporary international issues from the perspectives of their own and the target cultures


Assessment Measures

The students’ conversational skills will be assessed by inviting an outside examiner at the end of the semester to give half hour oral tests contextualized in the target language culture. The students will demonstrate, in a one-on-one or small group context, their abilities to comprehend and to speak about the cultural topics and current global issues to which they have been exposed. Their success in this interview will demonstrate not only their linguistic abilities but also their cultural competence to anticipate and identify different cultural perceptions and behaviors, to simulate their use as if they were indeed conversing in the target culture, and to differentiate between a variety of cultural behaviors and evaluate performatively, in a real interchange between interlocutors of the other culture, the relative appropriateness of one response or perception over the others. The grade received for this exam becomes the course grade.


Other Course Information

Other critical languages can be offered under this course designation. This critical language program is affiliated with and recognized by the National Association of Self-Instructional Language Programs.


Approval and Subsequent Reviews
September 2005 Reviewed Philip Sweet