Jun 17, 2024  
2018-2019 Academic Catalog 
2018-2019 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Modern Languages and Cultures


Emmanuel T. Yewah, chair and professor.
Licencié-es-Lettres, 1978, Maîtrise, 1979, Université de Yaoundé; M.A., 1982, Ph.D., 1987, University of Michigan. Appointed 1986.

Dianne P. Guenin-Lelle, professor, and Howard L. McGregor, Jr., Professor of the Humanities.
B.A., 1979, University of New Orleans; M.A., 1983, University of Louisiana, Lafayette; Ph.D., 1988, Louisiana State University. Appointed 1987.

Teresa Hancock-Parmer, visiting assistant professor.
B.A., 2004, Ball State University; M.A., 2009, Ph.D., 2014, Indiana University. Appointed 2015.

Perry W. Myers, professor.
B.A., 1979, M.B.A., 1981, Baylor University; M.A., 1997, Ph.D., 2002, University of Texas, Austin. Appointed 2004.

Marcie A. Noble, staff lecturer.
B.A., 1997, M.A., 2003, Ph.D., 2014, Western Michigan University. Appointed 2009.

Kalen R. Oswald, associate professor.
B.A., 1995, Utah State University; M.A., 1997, Ph.D., 2001, University of Arizona. Appointed 2002.


A student of modern languages and cultures at Albion can major in French, German or Spanish. A modern language major entails extensive study of the literature and culture of a particular speech community, and it presupposes for all majors a high level of linguistic performance. Similar linguistic capabilities are expected of students who seek a minor. Specific curricula and other requirements are designed to help achieve these goals. The faculty has been chosen based on proven teaching ability, professional reputation, and varied backgrounds and points of view.

Special Features

Students are encouraged to take full advantage of the off-campus programs and other international experiences offered at Albion College. Albion’s off-campus programs in Argentina, Austria, Cameroon, Chile, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, France, Germany, Mexico, Peru, Sénégal and Spain offer immersion in French, German or Spanish culture and language. Other international off-campus programs are available to students as well (e.g., Belgium, China, Japan and Russia).

Albion College offers language-learning housing for modern language teaching assistants and language students in French, German and Spanish. This residence—called the “I-Space”—serves as a “living laboratory” where Albion College students can practice their conversational skills with fellow students and native speakers. Students speak the intended language within their living quarters and participate in weekly cultural activities organized by the teaching assistants.

French, German and Spanish students attend the Modern Language Conversation Tables held at least once per week in the I-Space.

Departmental Policy on Advanced Placement Credit and Placement

Students may obtain college credit according to their scores on a standardized Advanced Placement (AP) language examination administered at their high schools. A score of 3 merits one-half unit, a 4 merits one unit and a 5 merits one and one-half units of credit at Albion College. A maximum of one unit may be applied toward a major or minor in French, German or Spanish.

Before Student Orientation, Advising and Registration (SOAR) and during the first week of fall semester, the department administers an online placement test for students with prior study of French, German or Spanish. Students with two or more years of high school modern language course work are expected to take the placement test before enrolling in language courses at Albion. This test does not give college credit; its purpose is to place such students at the appropriate level.

Majors and Minors

Requirements for Major

In most cases a major may be earned in French, German or Spanish by completing a minimum of eight units of study at the 201-level or higher, including the courses specified in the sections on each language (see below for specific details on the different major tracks in each language). Only one unit of Advanced Placement credit can count toward a major or minor. Students considering a major in a modern language are urged to consult with a faculty member in the department early in the freshman or sophomore year. Off-campus study in an approved study abroad program is required for all majors, and highly recommended for minors. (In the Language and Culture for the Professions minor, an internship abroad or a documented internship-like experience is required.) If individual situations prevent this, the student should speak with the department chair.

Prior to their second language study at Albion College, students are placed in the level most appropriate for their experience. Students will start at the level in which they are placed, and no retroactive credit toward major or minor programs will be awarded.

All majors are required to have at least one semester, preferably a year, of residence in the I-Space language-learning housing and credit for Modern Languages and Cultures 110. If circumstances prevent a student from living in the I-Space, then the student must consult with the department chair.

It is recommended that all majors take cognate courses, for example in English, history, anthropology and sociology, relating to their language of study. Double majors are also encouraged.