Opportunities to study the languages of the Middle East expanded in Spring 2009 when the Department of Modern Literatures and Cultures launched its new Self-Directed Language Acquisition Program in Modern Hebrew, Persian/Farsi, and Turkish.

If you are interested in the languages and cultures of the Middle East–or if you’re looking for a new linguistic challenge–this program allows you to learn more about studying languages and cultures and set your own goals for learning an uncommon language.

More information is available from Sharon Scinicariello, who is directing the program.  Students who desire to study a language other than Hebrew, Persian, or Turkish must obtain permission from Dr. Scinicariello to enroll in the program.  The availability of language partners and objective language assessment tools as well as student motivation is an important consideration.

What will I learn in the SDLAP?

As a participant in the Self-Directed Language Acquisition Program you will:

  • learn to set and fulfill your own language-learning goals;
  • explore the culture(s) in which your language is spoken;
  • develop competence in speaking, reading, and writing.

How will I learn?

This program is ‘self-directed’, which means that you develop your own learning plans and use available resources to fulfill goals that you have set for yourself.  The University is acquiring a number of print and electronic resources for these languages; you will be expected to spend 9 – 10 hours each week learning through these resources.  In addition, you will meet regularly with a language partner to work on oral skills and cultural understanding.

During the first semester of your participation, you will enroll in two courses, SDLC 105 (1/2 unit) and SDLC 110 (1 unit).  In subsequent semesters you may enroll in up to three more units of self-directed learning courses.

SDLC 105, Introduction to Self-Directed Language Learning, helps you develop the skills you need to become an autonomous learner of language and culture.  You will develop a basic understanding of the structure of human languages and the relationship between language and culture.  You will learn how to create a learning plan, use multimedia resources, work with your language partner, and assemble a learning portfolio.

NOTE:  SDLC 105 is scheduled one day each week.  Students with time conflicts may be able to arrange independent meetings with the course professor, Dr. Nuray Grove.

In SDLC 110, Self-Directed Language Learning I, you will develop skills in reading, writing, and speaking the language you have chosen.  You will investigate the history of the language and the cultures of the areas in which the language is used.

In subsequent semesters, you will register for SDLC 111, 112, or 113 as you continue to acquire new knowledge.

How will I be graded?

Your grade in SDLC 105 will be based on the learning journal that you create in class and other activities on language and culture.  The journal will include both the activities you complete for class and reflections upon those activities.  In SDLC 110 you will complete a learning portfolio, which will include both weekly reflections on language and culture as well as a short research-based project on a specific linguistic or cultural topic.  Your language learning will be assessed at the middle and end of the semester.  Your grade will be based on assessment of your portfolio and these assessments.

What else do I need to know about the SDLAP?

There are two important things to know:

  • You cannot use courses in the SDLAP to fulfill the COM 2 requirement.
  • Successful self-directed learning requires a high level of motivation and self-discipline.  To obtain permission to enroll in the program, you must demonstrate your interest in the language and your willingness to be responsible for your own learning in an interview with either the chair of Modern Literatures and Cultures or the director of the program.

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