Languages and Cultures

109 Main Hall
West Chester University
West Chester, PA 19383
Dr. Williams, Chairperson
Dr. Moscatelli, Assistant Chairperson
Dr. Pauly, Graduate Coordinator

Professors [top]

Margarete J. Landwehr, Ph.D., Harvard University
Frederick R. Patton, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
Rebecca M. Pauly, D.M.L., Middlebury College
Michel H. Sage, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
Stacey Schlau, Ph.D., City University of New York
Alice J. Speh, Ph.D., Bryn Mawr College
Andrea Varricchio, Ph.D., Temple University
Maria Van Liew, Ph.D., University of California, San Diego
Jerome M. Williams, Ph.D., Yale University

Associate Professors

Maria José Cabrera, Ph.D., Rutgers University [on leave]
Marcos Campillo-Fenoll, Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Anne-Marie L. Moscatelli, Ph.D., Bryn Mawr College
Israel Sanz-Sánchez, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley

Assistant Professors

Mahmoud Amer, Ph.D., Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Jason Bartles, Ph.D., University of Maryland, College Park
Cristóbal Cardemil-Krause, Ph.D., Rutgers University
Jelena Colovic-Markovic, Ph.D., The University of Utah, Salt Lake City
Megan Corbin, Ph.D., University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
William Keith Corbitt, Ph.D., Indiana University
Gloria Maité Hernández, Ph.D., Emory University
Joseph W. Moser, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
Iliana Pagán-Teitelbaum, Ph.D., Harvard University
Innhwa Park, Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles
Megan Saltzman, Ph.D., University of Michigan
Esther Chui Kian Smidt, Ph.D., University of Minnesota


West Chester and Millersville Universities offer a new combined graduate degree program, the Master of Arts in Languages and Cultures (MALC), starting in fall 2014. This single joint degree is a collaboration between both language departments and facilitates prompt and successful completion of the students’ coursework, as meaningfully and efficiently as possible. The 33-credit degree program may be completed in from 2-5 years.

Students may enroll in up to three courses in the program while they are finalizing their application, which includes a cover form, two letters of recommendation, a goals statement in the language, and transcripts of all post-secondary coursework completed. Any study from another country must be evaluated by WES and forwarded to our admissions offices to be considered in the application.

Entrance Requirements

To enroll, students must have an undergraduate degree and reach the Advanced Low (AL) proficiency level of the ACTFL OPI (Oral Proficiency Interview) and WPT (Written Proficiency Test). Students scoring less than AL may complete a provisional semester and be retested at the end of that semester. Qualified students may take additional coursework in a second program language with a performance level of Intermediate High on the ACTFL OPI and WPT tests.

The department encourages students to apply for a Graduate Assistantship at WCU for 3-12 semester credits of tuition waiver and a graduate stipend, in exchange for 5-20 hours a week with the department faculty or in other departmental service.

The program contains three core seminars totaling 9 credits to be taken by all students enrolled for the 33-credit degree program: LNC 501 Linguistic Studies, LNC 502 Interpretive Strategies, on critical thinking and analysis, and LNC 503 Cultural Studies. These seminars are offered each academic year, shared by both schools, and will be taught in English, to allow students in all three languages to study and work together.

Additionally students will complete 12 semester hours of a general curriculum in the language of their choice, either French, German, or Spanish, which includes courses in communicative proficiencies and cultural competencies.

Courses will be offered in all six academic sessions of each calendar year, including both semesters, the three summer sessions, and the winter session.

To complete the master’s degree experience, students may choose 12 semester credit hours from elective options, in accord with their experience, needs, and future professional career plans. These include courses in other fields such as nursing, marketing, criminal justice, etc., study abroad, an internship, courses in pedagogy, courses from the PA K-12 Graduate Certification in Foreign Languages curriculum, or courses from the MALC General Curriculum.

Exit Requirement

All students have their choice of three options: (1) an exit capstone assessment project of an oral and written specialized exam, (2) a research project, (3) or a portfolio defended at an oral exam with the faculty.

Graduate Certification

Students may enroll in graduate certification in a number of languages, as a separate second "career." Four of the required courses for graduate certification may be included in the MALC. as electives. Students must consult the university’s Certification Office and the College of Education for formal admission to teacher education (FATE) before they can enroll in certain required courses. Additionally, clearances are required for enrollment in several of the required courses: EDP 550, EDP 531, EDS 505, and LAN 503. Students are encouraged to complete any unmet undergraduate course requirements before enrolling in graduate certification or the MALC, since they will be charged graduate tuition once they are admitted, and grades for these courses will be factored into their graduate GPA. Additionally, the five-year window for completion will begin at that point.
Certification may be completed separately from the master's degree. 

Master of Arts in Languages and Cultures[top]

Curriculum (33 semester hours)

  1. Required courses (for all languages) (9 semester hours)
    LNC 501, LNC 502, LNC 503
  2. General curriculum courses (for all languages) (12 semester hours)
    These courses may be chosen from offerings at West Chester University or Millersville University.*
    1. Communication
      Choose two (2) courses from among the following: FRE 503, 523, 540; SPA 510, 512, or 513.  Note: German courses in this category are available at Millersville University.
    2. Culture
      Choose two (2) courses from among the following: FRE 504, 510, 512, 513, 514, 515, 520, 521, 550; GER 500, 501, 505, 508; SPA 514, 520, 530, 532, 533, 535, 536, 537, 540, 541, 542, 544, 547, 549,  or 560
  3. Electives (for all languages) (12 semester hours)
    Electives may be chosen from the general curriculum, as well.
    1. Electives for the professions
      FRE 501, LAN 525 (3-12 semester hours), and SPA 556
    2. Electives for teaching professionals
      FRE 521; LAN 500, 503, and 569
    3. Electives for graduate certification in a language
      Choose any four (4) of the following required courses for certification (all are offered in the College of Education at WCU; graduate language methods courses also available at Millersville University.*)
      EDA 511, 542; EDP 531, 550; EDR 550; EDS 505; EDT 500; and LAN 503

Please see the MATESL program for electives from the graduate ESL courses.

*Millersville University course offerings and descriptions available at the following website: (Click on “Current Graduate Catalog.”)

Course Descriptions [top]

Courses Common to all Languages
Symbol: LAN

500 Methods and Materials of Research in Second Language Education (3) Techniques of research in language education, including sources, design, interpretation, evaluation, and reporting of data.

503 Techniques of Second Language Teaching (3) Advanced course in recent theoretical bases, methods for teaching beginning and advanced levels, curriculum design, and evaluation. PREREQ: LIN 501 or equivalent.

504 Use of Media in Language Teaching (3) Role of media in language instruction including the tape recorder, language laboratory, television, and the computer.

505 Introduction to Bilingual/Bicultural Education (3) Introduction to history, philosophy, current status, and future directions of bilingual/ bicultural education. Survey of materials, tests, techniques, instructional processes, and instructional patterns. Overview of testing, placement, and pupil evaluation.

511 Roman Civilization (3) Roman civilization and its influences on Europe. This course may be taken again for credit.

525 Internship (3-12) A structured and supervised experience for students wishing to enhance their language study directly in the workplace. Credits earned are based on time spent on the job. For approval, students must apply to the department chair or language section coordinator.

527 Introduction to Applied Linguistics for Foreign Language Majors (3) An introduction to applied linguistics structured to meet the needs of language majors and future world language teachers. Examples are drawn from the languages of expertise of the students.

560 Directed Studies (3) To provide an opportunity for students to pursue areas of study not regularly provided by the department. Focus of course to be announced when offered.

569 (3) Teaching English Language Learners PK-12 A study of issues and the application of techniques, strategies, and materials for meeting the needs of English language learners in inclusive classrooms. Emphases include sociocultural issues in educational contexts, TESOL through the content areas, linguistics, second language acquisition, the integration and applications of the Pennsylvania English Language Proficiency Standards PK-12 (ELPS) and current trends in second language teaching, learning, and assessment. Includes a field component.

580 Seminar in Second Language Education (1-4) Specialized workshop seminar devoted to a particular area of language education.

583 Second Language Acquisition (SLA) (3) Introduction to key issues in SLA research and theory. Analysis of SLA studies in connection to second language teaching. Design of original mini-study of second language learning. Crosslisted as ENG 583. PREREQ: LIN 501.

585 Institute in Second Language Education (4-8) In-depth study of a particular area of language education.

590 Independent Study (1-3)

610 Thesis (6)

612 Assessment of ESL/Second Language Students (3) Selection, evaluation, adaptation, and creation of assessment instruments for ESL/second language students. Practice administering tests and interpreting results. Overview of issues in assessing second language students. Crosslisted as ENG 612. PREREQ: LIN 501. See also Linguistics (LIN)

Symbol: LNC

501 Linguistic Studies (3) The study of the basics of linguistics as the scientific, principled analysis of human language and individual languages, and on the applications of linguistics to a variety of fields of human activity, including language teaching, translation and interpretation, or the study of communicative disorders. The course is taught in English, but frequent examples and some parts of the coursework will be dedicated to French, German and Spanish, the languages of the MALC program.  This is an online course.

502 Interpretive Strategies (3) is a graduate course for foreign language majors on the theoretical and practical approaches to literary studies in a cross-cultural context. Students will explore the various schools of modern literary criticism to interpret a wide array of texts and genres, and they will learn how to apply these methodologies to cultural texts in their target language of specialization.

503 Cultural Studies (3) is a graduate course on the theoretical and practical approaches to the study of cultural context, practice and production. Students will explore the various threads of modern cultural criticism to interpret cultural production and practices in terms of local-global tensions. Students will also learn how to apply these methodologies to cultural contexts in their target language of specialization.

Symbol: FRE

501 French Business Culture (3) The course offers advanced French language skills in an international Francophone business context. It covers intercultural management, work ethics, business etiquette, communication guidelines, and cross-cultural self awareness. Activities include case studies, market simulations, international correspondence, mock interviews, and preparation for internships in French-owned or French-related companies. Regularly scheduled online group discussions and individual research presentations are required components of the course. No prior knowledge of business or economics is necessary.

503 Oral Proficiency (3) Advanced oral discussion of prepared topics in Francophone culture to aid graduate students in achieving or maintaining ACTFL Advanced Low capabilities in open dialogical exchange.

504 Francophone Literature and Culture (3) This course offers francophone literature texts in context with art, music, political history, and cultural traditions through presentations involving images, audio, and video.

505 Writing Proficiency (3) Writing proficiency course emphasizing expression on a variety of topics to aid students in achieving the performance level of Advanced Low as outlined by ACTFL.

511 Modernism in French Literature (3) Close consideration of some prime innovative texts of fiction, poetry, film, and polemic as manifestations of the spirit and aesthetic of modernism.

512 French Narrative (3) A study of prose texts, their ethos, and their narrative techniques, from the epics and contes of the Middle Ages to the experimental works of the late 20th century.

513 French Poetics (3) An intensive survey of French poetry, its theory and practice, using models drawn from the whole tradition, from Villon to Bonnefoy.

515 French Civilization (3) A study of France since 1789, with emphasis on social, political, economic, and educational institutions.

520-521-522 Topics in French Literature and Language (3) Course topics courses will vary by semester and instructor, and may include titles such as genre studies, film study, women writers, francophone writers, the study of literary periods or movements, and structural and applied linguistics. This course may be taken again for credit.

523 Translation Techniques (3) A theoretical and practical study of modes of lexical and syntactic transposition, from L1 to neutral zone to L2. Extensive practical exercise in diverse types of translation.

540 Writing French Children’s Stories (3) This course is a writing workshop for advanced French students consisting of authoring five children’s stories in French and studying narrative structure and techniques of developing description, dialogue, character, and plot. Group participation through critical feedback in D2L.

550 French Film Studies (3) Viewing and reviewing 75 years of French cinema, to develop critical analytical skills regarding 20th and 21st century French culture.

Symbol: GER

500 20th Century German Culture (3) This course offers a cultural history of 20th-century Germany including artistic, philosophical, cinematic, and literary contributions to Western culture. Emphasis will be given to representative literary works of each era and to themes such as the contribution of women, Jews, and minorities to German culture, and questions of political vs. cultural identity.

501 Post-Wall German Literature and Film (3) This course will offer students a cultural history of post-war Germany primarily through the lens of post-wall German literature and film. The class will consist of lectures, screenings of excerpts from German films, and discussions of literary texts, articles, assigned films, and current events in Germany and Europe.

505 20th-Century German Culture through Cinematic Texts (3) An analysis of German culture through 20th century German films.

508 German Society Dramatic Texts: Wilhelmine Era to the Present (3) Analysis of the political and social concerns of German society through the lens of dramatic texts.

Symbol: SPA

510 Spanish Phonetics and Applied Linguistics (3) A study of Spanish morphology, phonology, and syntax (sound, word, sentence formation). The structure of the language will be studied from a theoretical and practical perspective.

511 Spanish through Time and Space (3) A study of the history of the Spanish language and the factors leading to the dialectal diversity that Spanish exhibits in the present. The course allows students to familiarize themselves with the main internal processes that have shaped the evolution of the language and to expose them to the basics of research in the history of a language, by making use of primary sources and other objects of interest to diachronic linguistics.

512 Advanced Spanish Grammar and Stylistics (3) An informal, rapid review of Spanish grammar, with emphasis on problems fundamental to the American classroom. Exercises include idiomatic expression, various levels of style, and translation.

513 Living in Two Languages (3) This course examines the diversity of historical, social and cultural issues related to the use of Spanish in the United States alongside other languages, mainly English. The goals of the course are to allow students to familiarize themselves with the main sociolinguistic facts of Spanish language use in the United States, encourage students to establish connections between facts and social perceptions, and to expose students to the fundamentals of research in language sociology, by making use of primary sources and applying fundamental theoretical concepts to their analysis.

514 The Hispanic World (3) Major philosophical and artistic contributions of the Hispanic world to Western civilization. The social and economic institutions of the Hispanic world.

520 Medieval and Renaissance Literature (3) Analysis of major Spanish texts and authors from 1100-1500, including Mío Cid, la Celestina, Alfonso X, Manrique, Don Juan Manuel, Berceo, Encina, and Juan Ruiz.

530 Spanish "Comedia" of the Golden Age (3) Survey of the comedia before Lope de Vega; the contributions of Lope de Vega; Tirso de Molina and Ruiz de Alarcón; the Baroque theatre of Calderón de la Barca.

532 Spanish Literature of the Golden Age (3) Novel and poetry. Spanish literature of the 16th and 17th centuries: mysticism, poetry, novel.

533 Cervantes (3) Life and works of Miguel Cervantes Saavedra: Novelas ejemplares, Ocho comedias y otro entremeses, La Numancia, La Galatea, all of which lead to the study of the meaning, philosophy, and influence of Don Quixote.

535 19th-Century Spanish Literature (3) An analysis of the major movements of the century, including Romanticism, "Costumbrismo," Realism, and Naturalism.

536 The Generation of 1898 (3) The revitalizing forces which took hold in the late 19th century, and a study of the works of Unamuno, Azorín, Menéndez Pidal, Pio Baroja, Valle Inclán, Benavente, Martínez Sierra, and Rubén Dario.

537 20th-Century Spanish Literature (3) Introduction to representative works of 20th-century Spanish literature. Authors studied include Arrabal, Cela, Delibes, Lorca, Goytisolo, Matute, Sender, and others.

541 Colonial Latin American Literature (3) A study of colonial Latin American literature within the context of conquest and colonization, with emphasis on religious, historical, and literary aspects of the New World as seen through primary authors and readings.

542 Modern Latin American Literature (3) Spanish-American literature, thought, and culture as revealed in outstanding works representative of major authors and movements from the Independence to 1950 (including Romanticism, Modernism, Regionalism, and avant garde).

543 Contemporary Latin American Literature (3) A study of major authors and literary movements in contemporary Latin America, including magical realism, theatre of the absurd, and poetic movements.

544 Latin American Theatre (3) A study of theatre as a reflection of social realities and of dramatic movements and techniques in Latin America. The cultural history of the Latin American stage also will be examined.

545 The Latin American Novel (3) The development of the novel in Latin America. The colonial period, the period of independence, the romantic period; realism, modernism, criollismo, and naturalism.

547 Hispanic Women Writers (3) An examination of representative women authors and their prose, poetry, and theatre from the 17th century to the present in Spain and Spanish America.

549 Masterpieces and Movements in Spanish Literature (3) A seminar on the development of Spanish thought and artistic expression through selected masterpieces of literature and art.

556 Seminar I (3) This course may be taken again for credit.

557 Seminar II (3) This course may be taken again for credit.

560 Nobel Laureates in Hispanic Letters (3) A course devoted to study those Spanish-language writers from Spain and Spanish America who won the Nobel Prize in Literature during the 20th and 21st century for their literary achievements; to analyze their works and the sociopolitical context of their writings; and to examine the politics of literary awards and the significance of their recognition.