Brooke Lenz, Ph.D., Chair
Offering an intellectually stimulating curriculum to a diverse community of learners, the department of English and World Languages aims to challenge and support students in their intellectual, spiritual, personal and professional development, especially in nurturing students’ appreciation for and understanding of the diverse literatures, languages, and cultures of our world. Almost every student at Saint Mary’s takes at least one class offered by the department of English and World Languages.
Offerings in English engage those skills at the heart of a liberal arts education and essential to lifelong learning and success beyond the entry-level job. English Courses for majors and non-majors help students develop the capacity to:
- Read literary and nonliterary texts with understanding and insight;
- Write effectively in academic and professional genres;
- Do research efficiently and honestly;
- Understand the significance of writers and works in their social and historical contexts;
- Understand how works reflect and express diverse cultural perspectives; and
- Assess the value of various critical approaches to literary and humanistic questions
English offerings prepare students for a lifetime in which their facility as readers and writers not only helps them succeed and advance professionally, but also, by allowing them to engage with the cultural discourse surrounding them, contributes to making their intellectual and personal lives more pleasurable and meaningful.
The main goals of the department are to help English majors do the following:
- Read with comprehension and aesthetic appreciation, think critically about and respond to texts from a variety of genres and periods, and articulate why they respond the way they do to the readings.
- Produce written documents that demonstrate an understanding of the roles that audience, context and purpose play in determining rhetorical choices. Further, these documents should demonstrate the ability to state and develop a thesis; to employ an effective organizational scheme; to write unified and coherent sentences and paragraphs; and to edit for correctness in grammar, punctuation, usage and mechanics.
- Conduct, assess, and make use of research done through a variety of media.
English Study Abroad
The department offers a short-term study abroad program in England through the Saint Mary’s University study abroad office on an alternate year basis.
English Honors at Graduation
The department of English and World Languages awards departmental distinction in English at faculty discretion to graduating seniors. These honors are to inspire and reward students who have completed outstanding work within the English major. Students must have a minimum 3.700 department and major-field GPA and a 3.300 cumulative GPA. Students must complete a superior senior thesis with a grade of A, present some piece of their work in a public forum, and demonstrate truly distinctive ability and performance in the English major.
John Reed, Ph.D., Coordinator
Offerings in World Languages provide a comprehensive study of the language, literature, and cultures of the Hispanic world designed to prepare students for a professional career in international business, a career in teaching, or graduate study in Spanish. The use of proficiency-based methodologies and audio-visual tools in the study of culture and language bring the student to an understanding and an active command of Spanish in the areas of reading, writing, listening, and speaking. All Spanish courses are conducted in the target language. A full complement of courses for a Spanish major or minor is available on the Winona campus. Additionally, the department offers beginning and intermediate courses in Latin and Greek, as well as beginning courses in Hebrew.
World Languages Goals
Upon completion of their studies, majors are able to demonstrate:
- The ability to engage in conversations, provide and obtain information, express feelings and emotions, and exchange opinions;
- The ability to understand and interpret both spoken and written language on a variety of topics; and
- The ability to present information, concepts and ideas to an audience of readers on a variety of topics.
Credits by Placement
- All students who have taken Spanish in high school must have an interview with a Saint Mary’s University professor prior to continuing in that language at Saint Mary’s University. The interview facilitates placement at an appropriate level and is given prior to registration each semester. Upon completion of one semester of study with a final grade of B or above, a student earns 2 credits for each class bypassed in the language sequence (courses numbered 101, 102,201, 202). If a student earned a 3 or higher through the CEEB AP program, she/he may receive 4 100-level credits. A maximum of 8 credits may be earned that count toward a Spanish minor, and as elective credits that count toward graduation.
- Native/Heritage speakers may test out of SP301 Advanced Spanish Conversation with consent of coordinator.
- Native speakers who have completed high school in their home country may test out of SP302 Advanced Grammar/Composition with consent of coordinator.
The department offers several extracurricular opportunities in world languages. Alpha Mu Gamma is a national foreign language honor society. Eligible seniors majoring or minoring in Spanish or who have taken at least two Latin or Greek courses are annually inducted into the Eta Delta Chapter. The department also sponsors Cineclub, which is open to the university community. Films from both Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries are screened throughout the year, providing a venue for both artistic and cultural reflection.
Spanish Studies Abroad
Saint Mary’s University has an affiliation with Spanish Studies Abroad, which offers courses and internships in Spain (Seville, Alicante, Barcelona), Argentina (Cordoba), Cuba (Havana), and Puerto Rico (San Juan). These are semester or academic-year programs as well as short-term options during the winter, spring, or summer. Saint Mary’s University also partners with the Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs (HECUA), which offers semester-long internship opportunities in Ecuador. The department also offers a short-term study abroad program in Buenos Aires through the Saint Mary’s University study abroad office on an alternate year basis.
World Languages Honors at Graduation
The department of English and World Languages awards departmental distinction in Spanish at faculty discretion to graduating seniors. These honors are to inspire and reward students who have completed outstanding work within the department. Students must have a minimum 3.700 department and major-field GPA and a 3.300 cumulative GPA. Students must complete a superior senior capstone project with a grade of A, present some piece of their work in a public forum, and demonstrate truly distinctive ability and performance in Spanish/Spanish Education major.