The study of foreign languages has always been an important part of the liberal arts curriculum. It is more relevant than ever in the global community of the 21st century. Knowledge of a foreign language is often a requirement for students seeking an advanced degree. It is an invaluable asset for anyone seeking international employment or any career that involves global partnerships. For everyone, learning another language enriches communication skills, deepens cultural understanding, and gives an edge in business, academic research, and social engagement.
The Department of Foreign Languages offers courses in many languages (including American Sign Language). All courses are designed to help students communicate in a language as quickly as possible and to offer insight into the cultures where those languages are spoken. Class sizes are small to ensure opportunities for all to engage actively in learning activities.
The New School does not offer degrees in foreign languages, but matriculated undergraduate students (whose programs permit a minor) can minor in Chinese Studies, French Studies, Hispanic Studies, or Japanese Studies. Each minor curriculum combines practice in reading, writing, speaking, and listening with courses that introduce the cultures associated with a language. Students complete four designated core language courses and two elective cultural courses, which may be taught in the target language or in English.
One of the best ways to acquire proficiency in a foreign language is to study in another country. There are increasing opportunities for New School undergraduates to study abroad. Follow the links below to learn more.
There are three course modules:
Undergraduate degree students are expected, whenever possible, to take the 4-credit courses in the undergraduate module. Matriculated degree students who wish to study a language not offered in the four-credit module (German, Portuguese, Russian, Sign Language, Turkish, Yiddish) can, with advisor approval, take courses for credit in the continuing education module.
A foreign language curriculum open to anyone on an open-enrollment basis. All courses can be taken on a noncredit basis. Most can also be taken for undergraduate credit as part of a New School degree program or for transfer.
For most languages, courses are offered
in a five-term sequence. Each level corresponds to one college semester
of study. Levels 1, 2, and 3 represent introductory stages of language
learning; Levels 4 and 5, intermediate stages. Beyond level 5,
advanced-level courses are taught entirely in the language and involve
readings and discussion devoted to a particular topic, including
sociopolitical studies, literature, film, and other aspects of popular
Exceptions: Languages like Arabic, Chinese,
and Japanese, require more contact hours to achieve advanced
proficiency, and therefore the levels of fluency achieved at the end
of the sequence might differ from acquired in a European language in the same sequence. Note also that Sign Language courses do not follow this structure.
An intensive three-day, noncredit language immersion experience (with four levels) designed for travelers or anyone wishing to acquire or refresh basic practical communication skills in a short time. On the go workshops are currently offered in seven languages.
The Department of Foreign Languages offers self-administered placement tests in most of the languages taught at The New School. The test can be taken at home or in the Foreign Languages office.
Undergraduate students should consult with their advisors and may also contact the language curriculum coordinator for an oral assessment.
To learn more about placement exams or to contact a language coordinator about an oral assessment, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 212.229.5676.
Arabic speakers are in demand in a wide range of professions. At The New School, Arabic is taught as a living language, with instruction in both Modern Standard Arabic (the language of formal discourse and correspondence, contemporary literature, and the mass media) and colloquial spoken Arabic (regional dialects used in everyday discourse and popular cultural media such as music and movies). This innovative approach enables students to communicate in Levantine Arabic (the spoken language in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine) as well as read and read modern Arabic.
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English Language Studies