Academics Navigation

Courses

Get a feel for the exciting variety of courses taught at Marlboro.

This is a list of courses that faculty felt was representational of the courses offered. It is not a complete list of courses, some courses are offered yearly, while others are infrequent. A course may be inspired by events or strong interests and taught only once.

Most advanced work is in the form of tutorials on specific subjects, a collaboration between one faculty member and one student or a handful of students.

Languages

ADVANCED CHINESE I
(4.00 Credits — Advanced)

Spring 2013

This course aims to develop students’ communicative skills through reading essays in contemporary Chinese culture and literature.

Beginning Modern Arabic IA
(4.00 Credits — Introductory)

Fall 2018
Global Perspective

Introduces students to the phonology and script of classical/modern standard Arabic and covers the basic morphology and syntax of the written language. Emphasis on the development of the four skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) at the earliest stages. Samples of modern (contemporary) and classical styles of writing introduced, and audio-visual material from the contemporary Arabic media. Prerequisite: None

Beginning Modern Arabic IB
(4.00 Credits — Introductory)

Spring 2016
Global Perspective

In this course, the focus is on vocabulary building, basic grammar structures and some cultural and historical knowledge . The course is also designed to primarily develop conversation skills. Available only to students with prior Arabic instruction.

Cinemas for French conversation
(4.00 Credits — Intermediate)

Spring 2013

This Intermediate-High level course is designed to primarily develop conversation skills. Film is used a way to initiate and develop classroom discussion in French. In the process, students will not only develop the four language skills, but also will be exposed to the different Francophone cultural contexts. Films selected include features and TV shows from Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Canada, Louisiana and the Caribbean.

Classroom activities include screening, discussion and writing about movies. We will also review linguistic concepts and/or grammar points pertaining to each movie.

Prerequisite: Intermediate

Composition, Conversation & Culture
(4.00 Credits — Intermediate)

Spring 2013

(Writing and speaking intensive) Although this course is centered on written expression in Spanish, conversation and discussion of short stories from selected Latin American and Spanish writers will serve as models for writing styles. The course reviews briefly difficult grammatical structures or idiomatic usages, sentence and paragraph structure, and making smooth transitions through writing. Using the selected literary texts, we will write short descriptions and narratives, learn how to incorporate dialogue in a short story as well as styles for personal or business correspondence. We will analyze literary texts, do library research and draft and complete full literary research papers. Students will comment on each other's work in the classroom to practice techniques of self-editing and self-criticism. This course serves as one of the foundations for advanced literary studies in Spanish. Prerequisite: at least three semesters of college Spanish, or equivalent or permission of instructor

EASING BACK INTO SPANISH II
(4.00 Credits — Introductory)

Fall 2012

 This course is a follow up to Easing Back into Spanish I. It is designed for those who have taken Spanish before but would like a review before formally entering the Intermediate levels. The course covers the five core areas of language learning: grammar, reading, writing, speaking, and awareness of cultural and linguistic diversity within the Spanish speaking world.

Elementary Chinese I
(4.00 Credits — Introductory)

Fall 2012

This course is for beginners. It is designed to help students develop communicative competence in the basic skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Students will learn basic vocabulary and sentence structures used in everyday situations through various forms of oral practice. Pinyin (the most widely used Chinese phonetic system) will be taught as a tool to learn the spoken language. Students will also learn Chinese characters in order to be able to communicate effectively in real Chinese situations. While linguistic aspects of the Chinese language are the primary focus, introduction to the social and cultural background of the language will also form an important part of the course.

An additional 50 minutes a week is to be added. The specific time is based on the mutual agreement of those who wish to enroll and the instructor.

Prerequisite: None

Elementary Chinese II
(4.00 Credits — Introductory)

Spring 2013

 This is the second half of first-year Chinese. Its aim is still to help students to develop communicative competence in the four basic skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing the Chinese language. Students will learn basic vocabulary and sentence structures for use in everyday situations through various forms of oral practice. Students continue to learn Chinese characters as well as pinyin in order to be able to communicate effectively in real Chinese situations. While linguistic aspects of the Chinese language are the primary focus, introduction to the social and cultural background of the language will also form an important part of the course.

Prerequisite: Elementary Chinese I or permission of the instructor

Elementary French I
(4.00 Credits — Introductory)

Fall 2016
Global Perspective

This four credit introductory course is for beginning students who wish to develop the basic skills in French language competency including listening, speaking, reading and writing. The course is designed to facilitate active learning about the francophone world through study of its language and cultures. Emphasis is on vocabulary building, basic grammar structures, cultural and historical knowledge. 

Elementary French II
(4.00 Credits — Introductory)

Spring 2016

This course is the continuation of Elementary French I. This course builds on and expands language and cultural skills learned in the first semester. Students will continue to develop their basic skills in French language competency including listening, speaking, reading and writing. The course is designed to facilitate active learning about the francophone world through study of its language and cultures. Emphasis is on vocabulary building, basic grammar structures and cultural and historical knowledge. Required textbook: Chez Nous: Branché sur le monde francophone, 4/E, 2014.

  • Elementary French I or permission of instructor

Elementary Spanish I
(4.00 Credits — Introductory)

Fall 2019
Global Perspective

This is a language course for first-year students of Spanish and is designed to aid development of listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. It is part of a year-long course that covers basic grammar along with a variety of vocabulary and cultural topics, and it prepares students for the second-semester Spanish.  In addition to written work and exercises, students are expected to complete home-work assignments in the Vistas website. The course meets three times a week for an hour and twenty minutes plus one hour extra for conversation.

Elementary Spanish II
(4.00 Credits — Introductory)

Spring 2020
Global Perspective

Offers a dynamic and interactive introduction to Spanish and Spanish American cultures. The course covers the basic grammar structures of the Spanish language through extensive use of video, classroom practice, and weekly conversation sessions with a native-speaking language assistant. It is a continuation of Spanish I.  Prerequisite: One semester of Spanish or some prior Spanish

  • Elementary Spanish I or equivalent
  • A semester of college Spanish
  • Instructor's permission

French Conversation and Writing
(4.00 Credits — Intermediate)

Spring 2014
Global Perspective

In this course, the emphasis will be to improve one’s speaking and writing skills on both a formal and informal level. In that regard, there will be a variety of reading, listening and speaking activities for students to build their language competencies. The course will also provide opportunities to review some tenses and to master more complex syntactical structures of the French language. In addition, the class will watch short films and current news as a way to foster cultural competency.

No partial credit will be offered for this class.

Required Textbook: Imaginez 2nd edition (2012) by Cherie Mitschke 

GENDER TROUBLE: MODERN WOMEN WRITERS IN LATIN AMERICA & AFRO-HISPANIC DIASPORA
(4.00 Credits — Advanced)

Spring 2013

Ever since feminists called attention to women's lives,the question of what it means to be a woman has been the subject of much academic debate. However, despite improvement in women's lives and shared similarities, the experience of being a woman differs markedly. Issues such as gender,race, ethnicity, class, nationality, and sexual orientation seem to account for these differences. We will examine issues of gender, race,identity, nationality, and sexual orientation in the work of selected writers. We will also consider the ways in which gender, race, and historical and cultural specificity shape and complicate these categories of inquiry. We will also readpoetry, short stories and essays by women writers. Prerequisite: Prior intermediate courses and ablility to read and write well in Spanish, permission of the instructor.

Grammar as Science
(4.00 Credits — Introductory)

Fall 2010

This course is an introduction to syntax as an exercise in scientific theory construction. It engages general intellectual themes present in all scientific theorizing as well as those arising specifically within the modern cognitive sciences. It covers such core topics in syntax as phrase structure, constituency, the lexicon, inaudible elements, movement rules, and transformational constraints, while emphasizing scientific reasoning skills. Prerequisite: None

Intermediate Arabic
(4.00 Credits — Intermediate)

Spring 2013

Available only to students with prior Arabic instruction.

Intermediate Chinese I
(4.00 Credits — Introductory)

Fall 2012

This course is the continuation of Elementary Chinese II. Students will continue to learn more skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing for daily communication. A broad variety of expressions and complicated sentence structures will be taught so that students can participate in conversations on various topics related to modern Chinese society. While equal emphasis will still be given to both characters and structures, students will be guided to write more Chinese essays. Activities related to the broad spectrum of Chinese culture will be organized to facilitate language learning with knowledge and analysis of the cultural background of the language.

An additional 50 minutes a week is to be added. The specific time is based on the mutual agreement of those who wish to enroll and the instructor.

Prerequisite: Elementary Chinese II or consent of instructor

Intermediate Chinese II
(4.00 Credits — Intermediate)

Spring 2013

This course is the continuation of Intermediate Chinese I. Students will continue to learn more essential skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing for daily communication. A broad variety of expressions and complicated sentence structures will be taught so that students can participate in conversations on various topics related to modern Chinese society. While equal emphasis will be given to both characters and structures, students will be guided to write more Chinese essays. Activities related to the broad spectrum of Chinese culture will be organized to facilitate language learning with knowledge and analysis of the cultural background of the language.Prerequisite: Intermediate Chinese I or permission of the instructor

Intermediate French I
(4.00 Credits — Intermediate)

Fall 2015

Intermediate French I is designed as a second-year French course for students have completed first-year French or its equivalent. Students will strengthen their language skills and cultural competency through vocabulary, grammar and readings. You will contribute to the classroom community by using French in and out of class, collaborating with classmates, and taking responsibility for timely completion of all assignments, quizzes, compositions, projects, and tests. No reduced credits will be offered for this class.

Intermediate Modern Arabic IIA
(4.00 Credits — Intermediate)

Fall 2018
Global Perspective

A continuation of elementary Arabic with equal emphasis on aural and oral skills, reading and writing. Selections from contemporary Arabic media are introduced and serve as a basis for reading and conversation. Prerequisite: Beginning Arabic or the equivalent

Intermediate Modern Arabic IIB
(4.00 Credits — Intermediate)

Spring 2016
Global Perspective

This course is the continuation of Intermediate Modern Arabic IIA. Students will continue to learn more essential skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing for daily communication. A broad variety of expressions and complicated sentence structures will be taught so that students can participate in conversations on various topics related to Arabic society. More emphasis will be given to speaking,structures and writing. Students will be guided to write more at the paragraph level. A language table will take place twice a week to help learners improve their communication skills.

Intermediate Spanish I
(4.00 Credits — Intermediate)

Fall 2018
Global Perspective

Strives for mastery of complex grammatical structures and continues work on writing and reading skills. Frequent compositions, selected literary readings, class discussions, and debates on films and current events. This course meets three times a week plus an additional 50 minutes for conversation. It also requires workbook online. Prerequisite: At least two consecutive semesters of college Spanish

  • Elementary Spanish
  • Prior exposure to Spanish

Intermediate Spanish II
(4.00 Credits — Intermediate)

Fall 2019
Global Perspective

Strives for mastery of complex grammatical structures and continues work on writing and reading skills. Frequent compositions, selected literary readings, class discussions, and debates on films and current events. This course meets three times a week plus an additional 50 minutes for conversation. It also requires workbook online. Prerequisite: At least two consecutive semesters of college Spanish

  • A year of college level Spanish or equivalent

Introduction to Portuguese as a World Language
(2.00 Credits — Introductory)

Spring 2014
Global Perspective

This course offers introductory exposure to the beautiful language that is Portuguese. In this course the students will learn essential conversational skills used in everyday situations (restaurants, stores, offices, etc.). Additionally, we will read a small selection of short poems from different writers as a preview of what the portuguese cultural landscape has to offer. 

Note: Portuguese is the language of Portugal and Brazil as well as of the autonomous regions of the Azores (Açores in Portuguese spelling) and Madeira. Additionally, it is the official language of Mozambique (Moçambique), Angola, Guinea-Bissau (Guiné-Bissau), São Tomé e Príncipe, the Cape Verde Islands (Cabo Verde), and East Timor. It is also still spoken in Macau and Goa. Over four million Portuguese who have emigrated to various countries retain their first language. Galician, spoken in northwestern Spain, is very similar to Portuguese. 

Language & Power
(4.00 Credits — Introductory)

Fall 2010

As the children's saying goes, "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me." But is that really so? What is the relationship of words to world in a culture where actions are supposed to "speak louder than words?" Language is more than just a means of communicating information. As one of our most characteristic forms of behavior, it constitutes us as individuals and shapes our social reality to an extent that most of us typically remain unaware of. People do things with words and words do things to people. How is it that language can have such power? And how might we obtain a degree of the power of language for ourselves? This course explores the workings of language as social symbolic power in everyday life from a cross-disciplinary perspective, drawing on work in philosophy, history, linguistics, sociology, anthropology, and social and cultural theory. Topics will include the origins and nature of language; the relation between language, knowledge, and ideology; language as symbolic capital; language and identity; institutional discourse and linguistic imperialism; and the possibilities of resignification. Prerequisite: None

Linguistic Theory: Syntax
(4.00 Credits — Introductory)

Fall 2012

This course provides a comprehensive introduction to the major issues in syntactic theory, including phrase structure, the lexicon, case theory, binding theory, movement, and locality conditions. The course is intended to prepare students with fundamentals for further study in theoretical linguistics, emphasizing scientific reasoning skills. Prerequisite: None

Practical Chinese I
(4.00 Credits — Introductory)

Fall 2016

This is a Chinese language course for beginners. It aims to help you develop communicative competence in Chinese, focusing on the four basic skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. You will learn basic vocabulary and sentence structures for use in everyday situations through various forms of oral practice. Pinyin (the most widely used Chinese phonetic system) will be taught as a tool to learn the spoken language. You will also learn Chinese characters in order to be able to communicate effectively in real Chinese situations. While linguistic aspects of the Chinese language are the primary focus, introduction to the social and cultural background of the language will also form an important part of the course.

Practical Chinese II
(4.00 Credits — Introductory)

Spring 2016

This is the second semester of Chinese language course for beginners. It aims to help you develop communicative competence in Chinese, focusing on the four basic skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. You will learn basic vocabulary and sentence structures for use in everyday situations through various forms of oral practice. Pinyin (the most widely used Chinese phonetic system) will be taught as a tool to learn the spoken language. You will also learn Chinese characters in order to be able to communicate effectively in real Chinese situations. While linguistic aspects of the Chinese language are the primary focus, introduction to the social and cultural background of the language will also form an important part of the course. New Practical Chinese Reader 1/新实用汉语课本 1, Textbook & Workbook, by Xun Liu/刘�. Publisher: Beijing Language and Culture University Press.

  • Practical Chinese I or permission of instructor

Practical Chinese III
(4.00 Credits — Intermediate)

Fall 2014

This course is the continuation of first-year Chinese. Students will continue to learn more skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing for daily communication. A broad variety of expressions and complicated sentence structures will be taught so that you can participate in conversations on various topics related to modern Chinese society. While equal emphasis will still be given to both characters and structures, you will be guided to write more Chinese essays. Activities related to the broad spectrum of Chinese culture will be organized to facilitate language learning with knowledge and analysis of the cultural background of the language. Prerequisite: First-year Chinese or permission of the instructor

Semantics
(4.00 Credits — Introductory)

Fall 2011

Semantics is the study of the literal meaning of words and the meaning of the way words are combined. This course is a practical introduction to topics in formal semantics. It aims to provide a good understanding of a range of semantic phenomena and issues in semantics, using a truth-conditional account of meaning. The topics include modality and possible worlds, counterfactuals, generalized quantifiers, aktionsarten and event semantics, opacity and specificity, tense and aspect. Prerequisite: None

Survey of Latin American Literature II
(4.00 Credits — Advanced)

Fall 2010

(Writing and speaking intensive) An introduction to Latin American texts from Modernismo, first Latin American movement at the beginning of the twentieth century to the present. Course will begin with José Martí's célèbre essay "Nuestra América" and end with Subcomandante Marcos' novel Muertos incómodos. Different cultural movements and their sociopolitical contexts are examined through representative works. Class discussions and assigned papers are based on literary analysis and research. Prerequisite: Three semesters of college Spanish plus a writing course

Syntactic Theory
(4.00 Credits — Intermediate)

Spring 2011

This course provides a comprehensive introduction to the major issues in syntactic theory, including phrase structure, the lexicon, case theory, binding, movement, locality conditions, and logical form. It aims to strengthen students' foundational knowledge of linguistic theory and prepares them for more advanced study. Prerequisite: Grammar of Science or permission of the instructor

Taller de plan / Plan workshop
(2.00 Credits — Advanced)

Fall 2012

Following Stanley Fish's provocative question: "Is there a text inthis class, or, are there only interpretative communities? This talleris offered to students working on plans in Spanish and relateddisciplines as a forum to discuss their ideas, their interpretations,their reading and writing. We will read a variety of selected articleson pos-tcolonial and feminist literary theory to start the discussion.

TOPICS IN SPANISH-AMERICAN CULTURE & HISTORY
(4.00 Credits — Advanced)

Spring 2010

Latin America is a vast region diverse in geography and culture tied together by a shared historical experience and a language. The Spanish-speaking countries are as rich and varied in their culture and historical development as they are in their geography and in the mix of peoples that inhabit them. In this course we will examine some of the most important issues in Latin America from a cultural and historical perspective: from nation building in the nineteenth century, to revolution and dictatorship, to indigenista and testimonial narratives. We will read essays, novels, and also watch films and discuss works of art. Prerequisite: Courses in Latin American literature

Word Grammar: Introduction to Morphology
(2.00 Credits — Introductory)

Fall 2013

Morphology is the study of how words are formed. This course introduces the terms and concepts necessary for analyzing words. Topics such as the mental lexicon, derivation, compounding, inflection, morphological typology, productivity, and the interface of morphology with syntax and phonology expose students to the whole of the field. Prerequisite: None

For Languages offerings, also see:

Greek IIA
Introduction to Literary Genres: Spain, Latin America, Equatorial Guinea
Latin IIA
TESOL Certificate I

Detours

(a mostly random selection of Marlboro microdestinations)