Modern Foreign Languages Department

Rachel L. Burk, Ph.D., Chair
Therese Marie Dougherty, SSND, Ph.D.
Theresa Lamy, SSND, Ph.D.
Linda Stilling, SSND, M.A.
Marcela Valencia, Ph.D
Associate Faculty
Joseph Wieczorek, Ph.D.

Degrees offered



Main Campus

Bienvenue à notre programme de français! Our program integrates exciting interactive technology, small classes, communication-focused coursework and individualized attention. Our students take French from the classroom into the NDMU community and the larger world via study abroad, service learning, language-exchange partners, internships and a partnership with the Alliance Française of Baltimore. 

Courses provide a grounding in the essential structure of language and foster practical communication while incorporating cultural learning. Small classes, close relationships with professors, multi-media technology, and interactions with native speakers encourage General Education students to speak, write, listen and read in French while gaining broad perspectives on the Francophone world. Majors and Minors refine their language skills and at the same time immerse themselves in the literature, history, film, art, and culture of the French-speaking worlds, in Baltimore, the United States, and beyond.

Foreign Language Major

Through language courses at NDMU and schools in the consortium, students study and demonstrate proficiency in two modern languages courses. This major is highly recommended for those who want to become language teachers.


  • Forty two (42) CREDIT HOURS (14 courses)
  • GRADE OF C OR ABOVE in all language courses in the major


  • LFN 201 World of Language (Introduction to the discipline, taught in English)

First Language

  • 233 Oral Proficiency
  • 234 Written Proficiency
  • 301 Advanced Conversation & Composition I
  • 302 Advanced Conversation & Composition II

Second Language

  • 101 Beginning Language I
  • 102 Beginning Language II
  • 103 Intermediate
  • 233 Oral Proficiency
  • 234 Written Proficiency


  • 258 Readings in __________ Literature
  • 3__ Literature Course


  • 358 Culture and Civilization
  • 450 Research Seminar

Options for 300 or 400-level courses

** prior departmental approval required**

  • Consortium (Loyola, Hopkins, Goucher, Towson, Morgan)
  • Study Abroad (strongly recommended)
  • Internship or Teaching Apprentice (strongly recommended)
  • Notre Dame Study Tour Abroad

General Education Language Requirement

Native Speakers of English

Women’s College students of traditional age—first-year and transfer—may fulfill the general education foreign language requirement in one of three ways:

* AP Exam: Provide evidence of an earned grade of 3 or higher on the Advanced Placement Language or Literature exam

* Language Department Placement Exam: Place into the advanced level (301) on the language department placement exam. (These students may wish to satisfy the general education literature requirement through a literature course in the foreign language.)

* Course work: Complete one course at the intermediate level (103, 233 or 234), preferably building upon foreign language skills acquired at the secondary level.

Students in the Women’s College ages 25 years and older at the time of matriculation, as well as students in the College of Adult Undergraduate Studies, may fulfill the general education language requirement in one of two ways:

* Exam: Provide evidence of completion of one semester of foreign language study through the Advanced Placement Language or Literature exam or the CLEP test (available in French, Spanish and German through the College Board).

* Coursework: Complete one semester at the appropriate level (101,102,103 or higher).
Native speakers of English who are bilingual should consult with the chair of the language department for guidance regarding the language requirement.

Language courses that satisfy the general education language requirement are: 103, 233, 234 or any Latin course above the 102 level.

Non-Native Speakers of English

International students may fulfill the general education foreign language requirement in one of three ways:

* TOEFL Exam: At entrance, provide evidence of a score of 550 or higher on the TOEFL exam, or 213 or higher on the TOEFL: BT Test or 80 or higher on the IBT Test.

* Language department placement exam: At entrance, score on the advanced level on all parts of the language department's English placement test.

* Language department placement exam: Complete LEF-203, LEF-204, LCL-331 or LCL-332, based on the results of the English placement test.

Placement Testing

Placement testing will assure that every student studies at a level consistent with her current abilities. Students at Notre Dame must complete one semester of foreign language at the intermediate level (103) or above. The sequence of foreign language courses offered is as follows:

101-102  Beginning French I and II (do not fulfill the language requirement)

103 Intermediate French I (Courses beginning at this level fulfill language requirement.)

233/234  French for Oral/Written Proficiency

301-302 Advanced Conversation and Composition I and II


Placement result                                  Courses needed to fulfill the language requirement

101                                                    101, 102, 103

Start a new language                           101, 102, 103

102                                                    102, 103

103                                                    103

233                                                    233

234                                                    234

Students who have achieved a score of 3 or above on the Advanced Placement Language or Literature Test are considered to have fulfilled the language requirement. No additional courses are required.

Transfer students

Those who have studied a foreign language at the college level satisfy the requirement with one course at the intermediate level. Those students who have college level language credit must make this information known to their advisors! Since course numbering varies, failure to do so may result in taking the same course twice and being denied credit.


LCL-331 The Making and Meaning of Words

Studies Greek and Latin word elements as an aid to better understanding and use of English. Recommended for all students. Fulfills the general education language requirement for nonnative speakers of English. [3 credits]

LEF-203 English: Conversation for Non-Native Speakers of English

Refines listening and speaking skills while expanding knowledge of U.S. cultural values and their historical basis. Provides intensive listening practice through use of the language learning center, feature films, guest speakers and field trips. Expands vocabulary and use of idiomatic language. Improves accuracy through a focus on American English syntax and word choice, and increases oral fluency through providing numerous opportunities for discussion of current issues in U.S. culture. Laboratory required. Fulfills language requirement for non-native speakers of English. Prerequisite: Placement test. [3 credits]

LEF-204 English: Composition for Non-Native Speakers of English

Develops and refines writing skills in English in order to meet the demands of college coursework. Provides extensive practice in writing with an emphasis on the writing process, organization, syntax of American English and appropriate word choice. Prepares non-native speakers of English for ENG-101 College Writing at Notre Dame or the equivalent first-year college English composition course. Prerequisite: Placement test. [3 credits]

LFN-201 The World of Language

Overviews the history, foundations and linguistic methods, as well as the social and cultural aspects of the discipline. Makes explicit the links among language, communication and culture. Helps students to see language in its larger context and introduces them to the principles of linguistic and cross-cultural analysis. Explores current issues in the field: first and second language acquisition, language development and change, bilingualism, literacy, language and the mind, and language use in society. Taught in English. Required for minors and majors of all languages. Open to non-majors. Fulfills general education requirement in cross-cultural studies. Prerequisite: one foreign language course at the 103 level or equivalent. [3 credits]