We provide courses in Arabic, language and culture, but the Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics does not offer a full degree program or certificate.
Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics
S561 Ross Building
Arabic is a Semitic language spoken by more than 250 million people around the world, primarily in the Middle East and North Africa but also in many other places. Arabic is also the language of Islam. Arabic has many different dialects but, at York, we teach Modern Standard Arabic, the language used in business and the media.
The Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics offers one of the widest selections of languages of any Canadian university: American Sign Language, Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), German, Greek (both Classical and Modern), Hebrew, Hindi-Urdu, Jamaican Creole, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swahili and Yiddish. The ESL section fosters the developing abilities of domestic and international students to use English for academic purposes, allowing them to engage more fully in their programs. The study of foreign languages and literatures makes communication possible among people of different linguistic and cultural backgrounds and fosters intercultural understanding. This enables our students to engage the global community thoughtfully and creatively.
The department also offers courses in Linguistics, the discipline concerned with discovering the organizing principles of human language and applying these principles to the description of individual languages. Linguistics attempts to answer questions about the structure of languages, about how languages are alike and how they differ, about how children acquire language, about the relation between language and thought, language perception and production, as well as language and society. As a result, the study of linguistics can provide new perspectives on almost every aspect of the humanities and social sciences.
The department offers courses leading to Honours BA and BA degrees in German Studies, Italian Culture, Italian Studies, Linguistics, Portuguese and Luso-Brazilian Studies and Spanish, as well as graduate MA and PhD degrees in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics. The department also offers Certificates of Language Proficiency in Chinese, German, Italian, Japanese, Modern Greek, Modern Hebrew, Portuguese and Spanish, as well as a Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). Students may also take courses in Hebrew towards an Advanced Certificate in Hebrew and Jewish Studies, offered by the Department of Humanities. The department’s language programs, through their various courses and language proficiency certificates, contribute to a variety of area studies and interdisciplinary programs: African Studies, Business and Society, Classical Studies, East Asian Studies, Environmental Studies, European Studies, Hellenic Studies, International Development Studies, Jewish Studies, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, South Asian Studies, Religious Studies and Women’s Studies. The department's language programs may also contribute to a variety of graduate programs such as Development Studies. For specific program requirements, certificate requirements and course listings, please consult the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies Programs of Study section.
Any student may enrol in a language course at any level, subject to the conditions below.
a) Admission to a student’s first course in a language at York is by placement questionnaire and/or interview, or departmental authorization slip.
b) In most cases, students who have completed a 1000-level language course with a grade of at least C are automatically admissible to a course at the next level in the same language, but may be pre-tested for purposes of course or section placement.
c) Registration in any language course may be limited at the discretion of the department.
d) Students intending to major or minor in German studies, Italian studies, Portuguese studies or Spanish are encouraged to begin study of the relevant language in their first year.
2. Credit for Language Courses
A language course may be taken for credit in any year of any undergraduate program. Credit is given for a course if a grade of D or better is achieved. However, to advance from one level to another level, a student must achieve at least a grade of C.
3. Language of Instruction
Some literature and culture courses are given in English. In others, instruction is given in the relevant language, and entry to courses and programs depends upon the student’s ability to function in that language. The department may require a student to demonstrate language competence before granting admission to a course. For details, please consult the department’s online supplemental calendar.
4. Frequency of Course Offerings
Not all of the courses will necessarily be offered in any given year. For details of courses to be offered, please consult the Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics online supplemental calendar.