Religious studies introduces summer language program


Crucial to the work of researchers in any field is the ability to read relevant scholarly literature in languages other than English. Most language courses, however, are not designed to meet this need. Scholars interested only in reading research in their field have little use for learning how to order meals at restaurants, book a room at a hotel, or catch a train to the next attractive tourist site.

The problem is particularly serious for graduate students. In many graduate programs (religious studies may certainly be ranked among them), students must fulfil language requirements by demonstrating the ability to read scholarly literature in one, two, three or even four languages other than English. However, language courses available to these students often focus on developing speaking and
oral comprehension skills that are of little use for their purposes, and the time that any graduate student can give to the meeting of requirements is not endless.

With this in mind, the Department of Religious Studies is launching a summer language program this year. The program will be geared to meeting the needs of graduate students in any department who wish to work intensively on their foreign language requirements during the summer. It will also be open to undergraduates who are considering graduate school and wish to get a head start on their language
training, and to any others who wish to advance their reading skills.

The languages offered (subject to minimum enrolment figures being reached) include French, German, biblical and post-biblical Hebrew, classical and koine Greek, Sanskrit, Chinese, and Hindi. The courses will be intensive, involving four hours of classes each day, four days a week, for three to six weeks, beginning on July 10. The deadline for applications is March 30.

Anyone interested in learning more about these language courses may check out our Web site, listed below, or call Adele Reinhartz, ext.