The Language Requirement is part of Columbia’s mission to prepare students to be informed and culturally sensitive citizens. Knowledge of another language and culture is the best way to understand the contingent and constructed nature of one’s own culture, and therefore to appreciate both its achievements and its shortcomings. Turning another culture into an object of knowledge trains us to achieve the same critical distance from our own, which in turn creates the conditions for our leading an examined life within our own social milieu.
The Catalan Language Program consists of an intensive sequence of four courses that seek to foster the students’ linguistic, communicative and cultural competence while exposing them to the main sociocultural manifestation of the Catalan-speaking territories. The integration of linguistic and cultural aspects is essential in the progressive training of the students to not only be well-equipped to handle themselves in all sorts of daily real-life communicative situations, but also being prepared to approach critically a variety of academic materials and to connect contents on different subject areas.
Comprehensive Beginning Catalan is an extensive introduction to the Catalan language with an strong emphasis on oral communication as well as the reading and writing practice that will allow the student to function comfortably in a Catalan environment.
Based on the objectives of the Common European Framework of Reference for the Teaching of Foreign Languages, the main goals that should be reached at this level (A2) are:
- To understand basic expressions and essential information in short, simple texts such as advertisements, instructions and news.
- To communicate in situations which deal with familiar topics or which involve a simple exchange of information, provided the other person speaks slowly.
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