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Language Experience Requirement (MA)
Policy. All students are expected to have undergone a reasonable amount of second language learning before completion of the MA in SLS.
Rationale. The aim of this requirement is to give the student insights into the language learning process, thus developing in the student an empathy and understanding of what the second language learner experiences, with the ultimate hope that this experience will make that individual a better language teacher. Moreover, as the student progresses through courses in the department, s/he will have the opportunity to reflect upon his/her second language learning experience and evaluate that experience in light of what has been learned in the course of graduate studies.
Method of Fulfillment. (Non-native speakers of English are automatically exempted from this requirement)
- Students who have recently studied a foreign/second language extensively (for example, as in a Peace Corps training program), especially those who have resided in the country where the language is spoken, are exempted from this requirement. In addition, students who have completed two or more years of a foreign language at the college or university level within three years of being accepted into the MA program in SLS are likewise exempted. There may be other circumstances that will qualify students for exemption. In any event, all native English-speaking students may file for exemption, if they have not fulfilled the requirement in this manner. (See Procedures) Students who have taken a course or two of a language only in high school, for example, would not be eligible for exemption.
- Students not qualifying for exemption may fulfill the requirement in a number of ways. A comprehensive list detailing most of the University of Hawai’i course offerings that may satisfy the requirement is indicated elsewhere in this section. It is suggested that the language chosen have some geographical relevance to the student’s career goals, preferably by taking as many as four semesters of a second language.
- Other alternatives include off-campus elementary language courses. In addition, student-initiated language learning experiences that are approved in advance by the Graduate Faculty may be used.
Procedures for filing for an exemption
- Every student applying should fill out the “Fulfillment of the Second Language Learning Requirement” form after consultation with his/her advisor, to be included in the student’s file.
- Students applying for an exemption on the basis of having taken regular university courses in another language within the previous three years may write a very brief petition. Simply state what courses were taken, when and where.
- Students applying for exemption on the grounds of other types of second language learning experience must describe that experience in detail. Specifically: 1) Give the dates of the language learning experience. 2) If the experience involved classroom instruction, give the number of hours of instruction per day, the kinds of classes taken, etc. 3) Describe the language teaching methods used. 4) If there was an evaluation, provide the grades earned. If you have a transcript or certificate, you should attach a copy of it, but such documentation is not absolutely required. 5) If the experience involved informal exposure to a second language, describe what sort of informal exposure was involved. For instance, did you primarily use the language to do shopping? Did you have a job that required regular use of the language? Did you attend a school where this language was the language of instruction? Did you watch television programs requiring knowledge of the language frequently? Did you live with a native-speaking family? Did you also use self-study materials, a tutor, or language tapes? 6) Describe as accurately as possible your proficiency level, and document this if possible. 7) It may be helpful to provide your personal reactions to the language learning experience, and how you feel it relates to your current MA program. You should do this especially if your experience was several years ago.
- Students who wish to use an alternative method (i.e., not a regular UHM language course offering) should write up a proposal describing the proposed language learning experience. The proposal must include a detailed description of the course and its rationale. The proposal is then submitted to the graduate chair via the academic advisor.
Some Ways of Meeting the Language Experience Requirement
Elementary Language Courses
East Asian Languages:
- Chnse 101 – Elementary Mandarin
- Chnse 131 – Beginning Cantonese
- Jpnse 101 – Elementary Japanese
- Kor 101 – Elementary Korean
- EL 199V – Directed Language Study
- Fr 101 – Elementary French
- Fr 103 – Intensive Elementary French
- Ger 101 – Elementary German
- Greek 101 – Elementary Greek
- Ital 101 – Elementary Italian
- Lat 101 – Elementary Latin
- Port 101 – Elementary Portuguese
- Rus 101 – Elementary Russian
- Rus 107 – Reading Scientific Russian
- Span 101 – Elementary Spanish
- IP 101 – Directed Elementary Language Study
- Burm 101 – Elementary Burmese
- Cam 101 – Elementary Cambodian
- Haw 101 – Elementary Hawaiian
- Haw 131 – Hawaiian for Reading Proficiency
- Hndi 101 – Elementary Hindi
- Ilo 101 – Elementary Ilokano
- Ind 101 – Elementary Indonesian
- Lao 101 – Elementary Lao
- Sam 101 – Elementary Samoan
- Snsk 181 – Introduction to Sanskrit
- Tag 101 – Elementary Tagalog/Pilipino
- Taht 101 – Elementary Tahitian
- Thai 101 – Elementary Thai
- Viet 101 – Elementary Vietnamese
Off-Campus Elementary Language Courses
300- and 400-level Language Courses with the permission of the student’s advisor.
600-level Languages Courses. (N.B. These may be included as part of the 39-units required for Plans A and B.)
- Eng 640 Old English
- SLS 642 Bilingual Studies & Comparative Grammar