First Year Advising – FAQs for foreign language courses, departments and programs

If students indicate they do not intend to begin/continue a foreign language, ask why.

  1. Language phobic – take an ancient language where you do not have to worry about pronunciation/accent.
  2. Learning differences – if they have had experience with the study of a foreign language in high school and felt that a learning difference made the work difficult:
    1. remind them that many students with learning differences study foreign languages at Bates
    2. remind them of the stellar support for student learning offered by the Office of Accessible Education and the Academic Resource Commons.
  3. Hated their high school language teacher: Bates language faculty are excellent and rated very highly by Bates students.
  4. Hated their high school language class: try a new language.  Language is like murder, it gets easier after the first one.
  5. Liked their high school language class and teacher but tired of the language:
    1. you have done all the hard and boring stuff – it’s sexy poetry and action packed novels from here on out.
    2. study abroad in the country of the language you studied in high school will be significantly more enriching if you continue your studies.
    3. try a new language.  Language is like murder, it gets easier after the first one.

If students have questions about the appropriate language course to sign up for,

  1. remind them of the language placement tests;
  2. remind them not to undervalue their prior learning (i.e., don’t take a lower level course than the placement tests suggest);
  3. direct them to the appropriate contact in the foreign language departments and programs.
    1. French – Prof. Alex Dauge-Roth (
    2. Spanish -Prof. Claudia Alberto-Guzmán (
    3. German -Prof. Raluca Cernahoschi (
    4. Russian -Prof. Dennis Browne (
    5. Japanese -Prof. Keiko Konneida (
    6. Chinese -Prof. Shuhui Yang (Shuhui Yang)
    7. Latin and Greek -Prof. Dolores O’Higgins (

Foreign language study and study abroad

  1. Students planning on going abroad: requirements are
    1. 2 semesters of the language for those going to Japan, China, or Russia;
    2. 4 semester for those going to Germany or French or Spanish-speaking countries.