Languages and Literatures

Department Chair: Daniel Fernández (Carman Hall, Room 257) 

Department Faculty: Professors: Thomas Ihde, Gary S. Schwartz, Thomas C. Spear; Associate Professors: Karin Beck, Alexandra Coller, Carmen Esteves, Daniel Fernández, Beatriz Lado, Óscar Martín, María del Carmen Saen de Casas; Assistant Professors: Evelyn Duran-Urrea, Amin Erfani, Francisco Montaño, Juan Jesús Payán, Marco Ramirez Rojas; Lecturer: Asako Tochika

The Department of Languages and Literatures offers a wide variety of language and literature courses in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Irish, Italian, Latin, Japanese, and Spanish. The Department also offers courses in literature and culture conducted in English, some of which satisfy the distribution requirement. In addition, a special Spanish-language sequence is offered for heritage speakers of Spanish to enable them to preserve and enhance their knowledge of Spanish. Students may major in French, Italian, Latin, or Spanish. Students wishing to major in Irish or Japanese may avail of the Comparative Literature program. In addition to Comparative Literature, the Department also participates in three other interdisciplinary programs in Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Linguistics, and Multimedia Journalism. For students majoring in fields with international or global goals, the Department offers courses in phonetics, business, translation, reading in the arts and sciences, and health professions. Students may also declare a minor in language programs that offer intermediate and advanced level courses. Minors in the Department consist of 12 credits above the 100 level. A minimum of two courses must be taken at the 300 or 400 level. The Department currently offers minors in Classical Greek, French, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Latin, and Spanish.

Placement in Courses: The Department places entering students on the basis of proficiency shown on tests administered before registration, in addition to an approximate placement based on a certain number of years of language study in high school. A Departmental adviser is available throughout the summer registration period.

Teaching and Other Careers: A student majoring in a language will receive a solid foundation for graduate study and may look forward to a career in many areas of business, industry, government service, and mass communication as well as in teaching at all levels from elementary school to college. Students planning to teach a language in secondary school should consult their major advisers, as well as the Office of the Dean of Education (Carman Hall, Room B-33, 718-960-4972) regarding requirements for New York State teacher certification.

Opportunities for Study Abroad: The Department encourages students to develop linguistic proficiency and first-hand cultural knowledge by participating in credit-bearing programs of study abroad. Lehman students have received credit for study in many places, including Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, China, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, England, France, Greece, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, South Korea, Puerto Rico, Russia and Spain. Additional programs are being developed to offer a wider geographical and content choice. Students need not be language majors or minors to study abroad.

Bachelor of Arts Degrees offered by the Department

  • French

  • Italian

  • Latin

  • Spanish

Minors offered by the Department

  • Classical Greek

  • French

  • Irish

  • Italian

  • Japanese

  • Latin

  • Spanish

Bachelor of Arts Degrees offered through Interdisciplinary Programs

  • Comparative Literature, specializations in Irish or Japanese among other possibilities.

  • Latin American and Caribbean Studies

  • Linguistics

  • Multilingual Journalism

Other Offerings

Courses in:

  • Arabic

  • Chinese

  • German

  • Literature & Culture (Conducted in English)