Saint Louis University

All PhD students are required to demonstrate competency in three languages before advancement to the prospectus exam in the third year of study. One language must be ancient and one modern. The language choices are determined by the student's research specialty as approved by the Director of Graduate Studies. The language possibilities include but are not limited to: Greek, Latin, Syriac, German, French, Spanish or Italian.

Competency is measured by the student translating into clear English a text using a dictionary during a two-hour examination. The text will be selected by the Director of Graduate Studies and graded by the Department of Modern and Classical Languages.

Prior to acceptance into the program, students must assure competency in at least one of the above languages. The student must demonstrate this competency during the first year of study.

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In addition to the three language requirements some research interest may compel students to learn additional languages.

 

For further information on the Jesuit Language Scholarship see Special Opportunities.

 

Language Examinations

All PhD students are required to demonstrate competency in three languages before advancement to the prospectus exam in the third year of study; one language must be ancient and one modern. The language choices are determined by the student's research specialty as approved by the Director of the PhD Program in consultation with the chair of the student's prospectus examination. The language possibilities include, but are not limited to: Greek, Latin, Syriac, German, French, Spanish, or Italian. Prior to acceptance in the program, students must assure competency in at least one of the above languages. The student must demonstrate this competency during the first year of study. If competency is not demonstrated during the first year, the student will be removed from the program. The second language should be examined in the second year, and the third language in the third year before the prospectus exam. The expected time for taking language exams is the Fall semester.

In addition to the three language requirements for advancement to PhD candidacy, other languages to conduct research for the dissertation may be required by the director of the candidate's dissertation. For example, a student who fulfills the three language requirements with Latin, German, and French and plans a dissertation topic on Bonaventure would also have to develop proficiency in Italian. Hence, the dissertation is the final arbitrator of the languages required.

Language Examination Procedures

1.In a two-hour period and with the use of a printed and/or electronic dictionary/lexicon, students will translate accurately and in good English the selected text.
2.Faculty from the Department of Classical and Modern Languages or other qualified evaluators (with the exception of Syriac, which will be evaluated in the DTS) will evaluate and recommend to the director a pass or fail. Expected timeframe for assessment is two weeks, but under certain circumstances may take up to one month.
3.All language competencies must be demonstrated prior to the "prospectus exam" in the third year. Students are allowed two retakes of language exams (three exams total) to demonstrate competency that is acceptable to the external evaluators. Each retake follows the procedure outlined in #1 above.


Assessment Rubrics for Language Examinations

Exemplary
(High Pass)
Accomplished
(Pass)
Developing
(Low Pass)
Remedial
(No Pass)
Length of Translation within two-Hour Timeframe with Difficulty of Original Text Factored into Assessment
Grammar Cases
Verb Tenses
Idioms
Vocabulary / Nuanced Language
Overall Flow/Readability

 

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