Foreign Language 210

FORL 210: Intermediate Conversation II in Critical Languages

Prerequisites: FORE 200 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 third semester extends from 9A Core Conversation 7 to the end of the book, namely Lesson 12B.

  • Lesson 9B: verbals (direct style, perfective, affirmative), dàtta, the extended predicate, nominal + ni = naru: zyoozu ni naru (become skilled/skillful), sonna ni (to that extent), verbal compounds in -suru: benkyoo-suru (study).
  • Lesson 1OA: notes on people, counting ages, polite equivalents of da, honorific-polite verbals: o- + stem + ni + naru, nominals of relative time, kanozyo ne, and verbals (direct- style negative derivatives).
  • Lesson 1O B: verbal gerund + (i)ru, siru, zonziru, nominal to + predicate: sensèe to hanasu (talk with a teacher), and more on phrase-particles kara and ni: tomodati kara (or ni) kariru.
  • Lesson 11A: more on the family, counting people, predicate X + kara: because X, patterns of manner, omou, X to omou, and the direct-style tentative copula: daroo.
  • Lesson 11B: ritual, introductions, and the extended family.
  • Lesson 12A: iu ~ ossyaru ~ moosu, telephone numbers, kirasit(e) orimasite .., and alternate questions.
  • Lesson 12B: telephone conversations, onégai-dekimàsu ka, suru ~nasaru ~ itasu.


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 handle successfully a limited but increasing number of interactive, task-oriented and social situations. They can ask and answer questions, initiate and respond to simple statements, and maintain face-to-face conversation, although in a restricted manner. The students will be able to be understood by sympathetic interlocutors.

Listening goals are: students will be able to understand sentence-length utterances which consist of recombinations of learned elements in a limited number of content areas, particularly if strongly supported by the situational context.

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