Coordinator, JANE CANOVA

The Critical Languages program enables students to study foreign languages not offered in regular courses at Williams. The languages currently available are Arabic, Hebrew, Hindi, Korean, and Swahili. Each may be studied for one year. The courses are not open to first-year students.

The Critical Language Program is a self-instructional language program that follows the principles of the National Association of Self-Instructional Language Programs (NASILP). Students will be expected to work with a standard language textbook and individual cassette tapes for roughly ten hours per week, and to attend two hours of review per week with trained tutors. Midterm and final exams will be conducted by language specialists from other universities. Final grades will be determined by the outside examiners.

To be eligible for a Critical Languages course, the student must:

-demonstrate proven capability for independent work and previous success in foreign language study,

-explain how study of the language will integrate with his or her major or other academic interests,

-enlist a member of the Williams faculty as a sponsor,

-in some cases take a pre-test for placement,

-have at least a 3.00 Grade Point Average.

Interested students must meet with the program coordinator and obtain an application for the desired course prior to the Spring break. Applications are due in the Center for Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Cultures no later than the first Monday after Spring break. The application must be completed and approved before registering for the course. Because of the special arrangements with tutors and examiners that must be made for each course, students planning to register for the course must attend an organizational meeting the first week of the fall semester.

Students should note that Critical Languages courses are hyphenated, meaning no credit is given for the first semester until the second semester is successfully completed. Students must normally begin a course in the Fall semester. Under no circumstances will the Critical Languages Program support a petition to receive credit for the first semester of a year-long course without the student having passed the second semester of that course. Critical Languages cannot be taken Pass/Fail. Moreover, a Critical Studies course will be scheduled only if and when a minimum of two students is accepted into the course.