Modern Languages Sub-Department

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head.  If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” 
Nelson Mandela

The Modern Languages (ML) sub-department offers classes in Bulgarian, German, French, and Spanish at Introductory and Intermediate Level. In addition to that, the ML Faculty teach three Upper-Intermediate classes: Modern Germany, Modern France, and Modern Spain: Society, Politics and Culture. The latter are required courses for the European Politics major. They also count as GenEd (Social and Cultural Analysis), as well as POS 481 Internship for the major in Political Science and International Relations. The Modern Languages (ML) sub-department is home to the minor in Modern Languages and Cultures.

The ML classes give students not only an opportunity to learn a foreign language other than English, but also significantly boost their understanding of foreign countries, traditions, customs, political and cultural environments, and everyday lifestyles. Moreover, the ML courses engage students in delivering presentations, conducting interviews and research, and thus contribute to the improvement of their academic skills. Furthermore, the ML classes substantially prepare students for their future endeavors: Erasmus exchanges, summer schools, Master’s or PhD programs.

The ML sub-department is also engaged in organizing co-curricular events at AUBG related to the Bulgarian, German, French, and Spanish languages, and to the respective countries and cultures, such as the annual Languages and Cultures Week. Movie Nights are also part of the co-curricular side of learning a foreign language at AUBG. The ML Faculty organize workshops, competitions, academic projects, trainings and conferences, invite guest lecturers from all around the world, and go on field trips with their students.

ML Faculty

Bozhinova, Krastanka (Discipline Coordinator) - French

Stantcheva, Diana - German

Lucia Lopez-Vazquez - Spanish

Wien, Sabina - Bulgarian

Senem Konedareva - Bulgarian

Modern Languages Courses

MLL 115 Introduction to French Language and Culture I

The course offers a contemporary, interactive, and effective introduction at the beginner level to the French language and various aspects of the French culture. It aims to foster the acquisition of the fundamentals of the French language; vocabulary is chosen on the principle of everyday practicality, and grammar is limited to major structures for basic real-life oral and written communication. Equal emphasis is placed on developing understanding, speaking, and writing skills. In addition, the course aims to enable students to understand and appreciate French and Francophone cultural practices, products, and perspectives and to recognize principles of intercultural communication. The course is open to students with no previous study or less than one year of study of French. The instructor reserves the right to place students who demonstrate more than one year of study into the higher-level French classes. Cr. 3 (6 ECTS Cr.). Offered every fall.

MLL 116 Introduction to French Language and Culture II

The course offers a contemporary, interactive, intensive, and effective introduction at the elementary level to the French language and various aspects of the French culture. It aims to foster the acquisition of the French language through increased immersion; it helps students master vocabulary needed to accomplish simple and routine tasks, and build more comprehensive grammatical structures necessary to communicate issues of immediate relevance. It encourages students to further improve their understanding, speaking, and writing skills. In addition, the course enhances the understanding, appreciation, and interpretation of French and Francophone cultural practices, products, and perspectives and encourages students to apply principles of intercultural communication in their interaction in the French language. Prerequisite: MLL 115 or a placement test prior to registration (with signed permission from the instructor). Cr. 3 (6 ECTS Cr.). Offered every spring.

MLL 125 Introduction to German Language and Culture I

The course offers a contemporary, interactive, and effective introduction at the beginner level to the German language and various aspects of the German culture. It aims to foster the acquisition of the fundamentals of the German language; vocabulary is chosen on the principle of everyday practicality, and grammar is limited to major structures for basic real-life oral and written communication. Equal emphasis is placed on developing understanding, speaking, and writing skills. In addition, the course aims to enable students to understand and appreciate German cultural practices, artifacts, and perspectives and to recognize principles of intercultural communication. The course is open to students with no previous study or less than one year of study of German. The instructor reserves the right to place students who demonstrate more than one year of study into the higher-level German classes. Cr. 3 (6 ECTS Cr.). Offered every fall.

MLL 126 Introduction to German Language and Culture II

 The course offers a contemporary, interactive, intensive, and effective introduction at the elementary level to the German language and various aspects of the German culture. It aims to foster the acquisition of the German language through increased immersion; it helps students master vocabulary needed to accomplish simple and routine tasks and build more comprehensive grammatical structures necessary to communicate issues of immediate relevance. It encourages students to further improve their understanding, speaking, and writing skills. In addition, the course enhances the understanding, appreciation, and interpretation of German cultural practices, artifacts, and perspectives and encourages students to apply principles of intercultural communication in their interaction in the German language. Prerequisite: MLL 125 or a placement test prior to registration (with signed permission from the instructor). Cr. 3 (6 ECTS Cr.). Offered every spring.

MLL 135 Introduction to Bulgarian Language and Culture I

The course offers a contemporary, interactive, and effective introduction at the beginner level to the Bulgarian language and various aspects of the Bulgarian culture. It aims to foster the acquisition of the fundamentals of the Bulgarian language; vocabulary is chosen on the principle of everyday practicality, and grammar is limited to major structures for basic real-life oral and written communication, while simultaneously introducing the Bulgarian Cyrillic alphabet. Equal emphasis is placed on developing understanding, speaking, and writing skills. In addition, the course aims to enable students to understand and appreciate Bulgarian cultural practices, products, and perspectives and to recognize principles of intercultural communication. The course is open to students with no previous study or less than one year of study of Bulgarian. It is not open to students who speak Belarusian, Macedonian, Montenegrin, Russian, Serbian, or Ukrainian. The instructor reserves the right to place students who demonstrate more than one year of study into the higher-level Bulgarian classes. Cr. 3 (6 ECTS Cr.). Offered every semester.

MLL 136 Introduction to Bulgarian Language and Culture II

The course offers a contemporary, interactive, intensive, and effective introduction at the elementary level to the Bulgarian language and various aspects of the Bulgarian culture. It aims to foster the acquisition of the Bulgarian language through increased immersion; it helps students master vocabulary needed to accomplish simple and routine tasks, and build more comprehensive grammatical structures necessary to communicate issues of immediate relevance. It encourages students to further improve their understanding, speaking, and writing skills. In addition, the course enhances the understanding, appreciation, and interpretation of Bulgarian cultural practices, products, and perspectives and encourages students to apply principles of intercultural communication in their interaction in Bulgarian. MLL 136 is the entry-level course for speakers of Russian, Belarusian, or Ukrainian; these students will need a signed permission slip from the instructor to register. The course is not open to students who speak Macedonian, Montenegrin, or Serbian. Prerequisite: MLL 135 or a placement test prior to registration and a signed permission slip from the instructor. Cr. 3 (6 ECTS Cr.). Offered every semester.

MLL 155 Introduction to Spanish Language and Culture I

 The course offers a contemporary, interactive, and effective introduction at the beginner level to the Spanish language and various aspects of the Hispanic culture. It aims to foster the acquisition of the fundamentals of the Spanish language; vocabulary is chosen on the principle of everyday practicality, and grammar is limited to major structures for basic real-life oral and written communication. Equal emphasis is placed on developing understanding, speaking, and writing skills. In addition, the course aims to enable students to understand and appreciate Spanish-speaking cultures, their practices, products, and perspectives and to recognize principles of intercultural communication. This course is open to students with no previous study or less than one year of study of Spanish. The instructor reserves the right to place students who demonstrate more than one year of study into the higher-level Spanish classes. Cr. 3 (6 ECTS Cr.). Offered every fall.

MLL 156 Introduction to Spanish Language and Culture II

The course offers a contemporary, interactive, intensive, and effective introduction at the elementary level to the Spanish language and various aspects of the Hispanic culture. It aims to foster the acquisition of the Spanish language through increased immersion; it helps students master vocabulary needed to accomplish simple and routine tasks and build more comprehensive grammatical structures necessary to communicate issues of immediate relevance. It encourages students to further improve their understanding, speaking, and writing skills. In addition to that, the course enhances the understanding, appreciation, and interpretation of Spanish speaking cultures, their practices, products, and perspectives and encourages students to apply principles of intercultural communication in their interactions in Spanish. Prerequisite: MLL 155 or a placement test prior to registration (with signed permission from the instructor). Cr. 3 (6 ECTS Cr.). Offered every spring.

MLL 175 Introduction to Language and Culture Studies

The course starts from the premise that all language acts are culturally based. Introducing the fundamental concepts and principles of modern languages, this course will stimulate curiosity about the study of human language and what it reveals about the human cultures it reflects. The main topics of the course will focus on the definition of a language, language and cultural diversity, the structural and functional features of language, and the relevance of cultural changes to the development of specific language features, such as lexical borrowing in languages in contact. Gen. Ed.: Social and Cultural Analysis. Cr. 3 (6 ECTS Cr.). Offered every fall.

MLL 215 Intermediate French: Perspectives on French and Francophone Cultures

 The course offers a contemporary, interactive, and interdisciplinary approach at the intermediate level to the study of the French language and French and Francophone cultures. It introduces students to the analysis of topics such as education, family values, traditions, work ethic, urban life, multicultural society, migration, consumption of resources, politics, identity, stereotypes, and cultural heritage, as well as notions relevant for intercultural communication, such as politeness and formality of interactions. Aiming to promote an in-depth cross-cultural understanding, the course exposes students to a large variety of print and electronic media, film, music, literature, and other forms of French and Francophone cultural expression. Students perform individual reflection tasks and work in small teams and other collaborative formats that allow them to consolidate and expand their understanding and their writing and speaking skills, as well as to refine their grammatical and lexical competence in a culturally rich context. Gen. Ed.: Social and Cultural Analysis. Prerequisite: MLL 116 or permission from instructor. Cr. 3 (6 ECTS Cr.). Offered every fall.

MLL 216 Intermediate French Composition and Conversation

This course emphasizes oral and written expression in the French language, grammar skills, and expansion of vocabulary to increase communicative fluency and accuracy at the intermediate level. It provides students with the opportunity to improve their speaking proficiency in a variety of contexts through class discussions, group conversations, and individual oral presentations. Students also develop their written expression based on authentic French texts, selected to illustrate styles and levels of contemporary written French. The language practice is reinforced through publications and communication on French social media and/or with partner classes from French-speaking countries, the USA, etc. The course also provides continued reading and listening practice, reflection on other cultures, as well as development of effective language learning strategies. Prerequisite: MLL 215 or permission from instructor. Cr. 3 (6 ECTS Cr.) Offered once every two years.

MLL 217 Intermediate French Reading

This course introduces students to a broad range of texts in French (short stories, poetry, drama, comics, letters, travel journals, literary critiques, etc.) and familiarizes them with various reading strategies, and the methods of textual analysis and interpretation. Discussion of other sources, such as film and media will complement the readings. Students will examine the historical and cultural contexts of each literary work. In addition, they will refine their French language skills at the Intermediate level through active writing, listening, and discussing. Prerequisite: MLL 215 or permission from instructor. Gen. Ed.: Principles of Textual Analysis. Cr. 3 (6 ECTS Cr.) Offered once every two years.

MLL 225 Intermediate German: Perspectives on German-Speaking Cultures

The course offers a contemporary, interactive, and interdisciplinary approach at the intermediate level to the study of the German language and German-speaking cultures. It introduces students to the analysis of topics such as education, family values, traditions, work ethic, urban life, multicultural society, migration, consumption of resources, politics, identity, stereotypes, and cultural heritage, as well as notions relevant for intercultural communication, such as politeness and formality of interactions. Aiming to promote an in-depth cross-cultural understanding, the course exposes students to a large variety of print and electronic media, film, music, literature, and other forms of cultural expression. Students perform individual reflection tasks and work in small teams and other collaborative formats that allow them to consolidate and expand their understanding and their writing and speaking skills, as well as to refine their grammatical and lexical competence in a culturally rich context. Gen. Ed.: Social and Cultural Analysis. Prerequisite: MLL 126 or permission from instructor. Cr. 3 (6 ECTS Cr.). Offered every fall.

MLL 226 Intermediate German Composition and Conversation

This course emphasizes oral and written expression in the German language, grammar skills, and expansion of vocabulary to increase communicative fluency and accuracy at the intermediate level. It provides students with the opportunity to improve their speaking proficiency in a variety of contexts through class discussions, group conversations, and individual oral presentations. Students also develop their written expression based on authentic German texts, selected to illustrate styles and levels of contemporary written German. The language practice is reinforced through publications and communication on German social media and/or with partner classes from German-speaking countries, the USA, etc. The course also provides continued reading and listening practice, reflection on other cultures, as well as development of effective language learning strategies. Prerequisite: MLL 225 or permission from instructor. Cr. 3 (6 ECTS Cr.) Offered once every two years.

MLL 227 Intermediate German Reading

This course introduces students to a broad range of texts in German (short stories, poetry, drama, comics, letters, travel journals, literary critiques, etc.) and familiarizes them with various reading strategies, and the methods of textual analysis and interpretation. Discussion of other sources, such as film and media will complement the readings. Students will examine the historical and cultural contexts of each literary work. In addition, they will refine their German language skills at the Intermediate level through active writing, listening, and discussing. Prerequisite: MLL 225 or permission from instructor. Gen. Ed.: Principles of Textual Analysis. Cr. 3 (6 ECTS Cr.) Offered once every two years.

MLL 235 Intermediate Bulgarian I

The course is a continuation of the Bulgarian-language sequence for international students. It emphasizes, on the one hand, developing listening and reading comprehension skills and, on the other, speaking and writing skills. By using interactive teaching methods, the course aims at acquainting students with basics of Bulgarian grammar and vocabulary that are of value beyond everyday usage. In addition to “pure” language issues, topics related to Bulgarian culture, traditions, and current social developments will be discussed. Prerequisite: MLL 136 or a placement test prior to registration and permission slip from the instructor. Cr. 3 (6 ECTS Cr.). Offered every spring.

MLL 255 Intermediate Spanish: Perspectives on Spanish-Speaking Cultures

The course offers a contemporary, interactive, and interdisciplinary approach at the intermediate level to the study of the Spanish language and Hispanic cultures. It introduces students to the analysis of topics such as education, family values, traditions, work ethic, urban life, multicultural society, migration, consumption of resources, politics, identity, stereotypes, and cultural heritage, as well as notions relevant for intercultural communication, such as politeness and formality of interactions. Aiming to promote an in-depth cross-cultural understanding, the course exposes students to a large variety of print and electronic media, film, music, literature, and other forms of Hispanic cultural expression. Students perform individual reflection tasks and work in small teams and other collaborative formats that allow them to consolidate and expand their understanding and their writing and speaking skills, as well as to refine their grammatical and lexical competence in a culturally rich context. Gen. Ed.: Social and Cultural Analysis. Prerequisite: MLL 156 or permission from instructor. Cr. 3 (6 ECTS Cr.). Offered every fall.

MLL 256 Intermediate Spanish Composition and Conversation

This course emphasizes oral and written expression in the Spanish language, grammar skills, and expansion of vocabulary to increase communicative fluency and accuracy at the intermediate level. It provides students with the opportunity to improve their speaking proficiency in a variety of contexts through class discussions, group conversations, and individual oral presentations. Students also develop their written expression based on authentic Spanish texts, selected to illustrate styles and levels of contemporary written Spanish. The language practice is reinforced through publications and communication on Spanish social media and/or with partner classes from Spanish-speaking countries, the USA, etc. The course also provides continued reading and listening practice, reflection on other cultures, as well as development of effective language learning strategies. Prerequisite: MLL 255 or permission from instructor. Cr. 3 (6 ECTS Cr.) Offered once every two years.

MLL 257 Intermediate Spanish Reading

This course introduces students to a broad range of texts in Spanish (short stories, poetry, drama, comics, letters, travel journals, literary critiques, etc.) and familiarizes them with various reading strategies, and the methods of textual analysis and interpretation. Discussion of other sources, such as film and media will complement the readings. Students will examine the historical and cultural contexts of each literary work. In addition, they will refine their Spanish language skills at the intermediate level through active writing, listening, and discussing. Prerequisite: Prerequisite: MLL 255 or permission from instructor. Gen. Ed.: Principles of Textual Analysis. Cr. 3 (6 ECTS Cr.) Offered once every two years.

MLL 275 Language, Culture, and Communication

Language and culture are the frameworks through which humans experience, communicate, and understand reality. The course investigates interrelations between language and cultures and the role of language in communication across cultural boundaries. How does language participate in the formation of our conception of reality? How can language used in its cultural and social context produce similarities and differences in multicultural societies? How does language create identity? How is language used by people of different genders, ethnicities, and social classes? In this course, students will explore these and other questions and unpack the ways in which language shapes and is shaped by culture. Using real world data students will be introduced to a range of different theoretical concepts and methodological approaches to help them understand describe and interpret language use in cultures and society. Case studies on variety of cultures and languages concerning the main topics will be discussed during the class meetings. Main topics are: language and language behavior as a reflection of cultures and subcultures; language as bridge or barrier in the global environment; issues in multilingual societies and different language use in discourse. Students will be exposed to a variety of media texts critically investigating language, discourse and communication. Gen. Ed.: Social and Cultural Analysis. Cr. 3 (6 ECTS Cr.). Offered in the Spring.

MLL 301 Modern France – Society, Politics, and Culture

This course introduces students to contemporary concepts in French society, politics, and culture. The course brings together students' evolving linguistic skills and their understanding of today's France through exposure to various types of discourses and contexts. The course also considers the role of French as an official and working language in the framework of European and international organizations and introduces students to specific terminology and sources that enhance their research, communication, and language skills. Gen. Ed.: Social and Cultural Analysis. Prerequisite: MLL 216 or MLL 217, or permission of instructor. Cr. 3 (6 ECTS Cr.). Offered once every two years.

MLL 302 Modern Germany – Society, Politics, and Culture

This course introduces students to contemporary concepts in German society, politics, and culture. This course brings together students' evolving linguistic skills and their understanding of today's Germany through exposure to various types of discourses and contexts. The course also considers the role of German as an official and working language in the framework of European and international organizations and introduces students to specific terminology and sources that enhance their research, communication, and language skills. Gen. Ed.: Social and Cultural Analysis. Prerequisite: MLL 226 or MLL 227, or permission of instructor. Cr. 3 (6 ECTS Cr.). Offered once every two years.

MLL 303 Modern Spain – Society, Politics, and Culture

This course introduces students to contemporary concepts in Spanish society, politics, and culture. This course brings together students' evolving linguistic skills and their understanding of today's Spain through exposure to various types of discourses and contexts. The course also considers the role of Spanish as an official and working language in the framework of European and international organizations and introduces students to specific terminology and sources that enhance their research, communication, and language skills. Gen. Ed.: Social and Cultural Analysis. Prerequisite: MLL 256 or MLL 257, or permission of instructor. Cr. 3 (6 ECTS Cr.). Offered once every two years.

MLL 317 Topics in French Language, Literature, and Film

This course centers on advanced study of particular aspects of the French language, literature, and film. It may focus on a literary movement or period; a specific genre (such as nouvelle, detective novel, autofiction, chanson, or fantasy); a theme represented in literature and film (e.g. travel, the city, or the quest for identity); or a famous French author (such as Victor Hugo, Marguerite Duras, or Jean-Marie Le Clézio). The course is taught in French. It may be repeated for credit on different topics. Gen.Ed.: Case Studies in Textual Analysis. Prerequisites: ENG 102, a Principles of Textual Analysis course, and proficiency in French at the upper-intermediate level (which may be satisfied with MLL 216, MLL 217, or a placement test). MLL 217 is recommended for the Principles of Textual Analysis course. Cr. 3 (6 ECTS Cr.). Offered once every two years.

MLL 327 Topics in German Language, Literature, and Film

This course centers on advanced study of particular aspects of the German language, literature, and film. It may focus on a German literary or film movement or period; a specific literary genre (such as a short story, detective story, fairy tale, or graphic novel); a particular theme (such as language in commercials, language and gender, homeland, migration, or the city); a famous German author (for example Hermann Hesse, Heinrich Böll, or Cornelia Funke); or a film director (such as Werner Herzog, Margarethe von Trotta, or Fatih Akin). The course is taught in German. It may be repeated for credit on different topics. Gen. Ed.: Case Studies in Textual Analysis. Prerequisites: ENG 102, a Principles of Textual Analysis course, and proficiency in German at the upper-intermediate level (which may be satisfied with MLL 226, MLL 227, or a placement test). MLL 227 is recommended for the Principles of Textual Analysis course. Cr. 3 (6 ECTS Cr.) Offered once every two years.

MLL 357 Topics in Spanish Language and Hispanic Literature and Film

This course centers on advanced study of particular aspects of the Spanish language, Hispanic literature, and film. It may focus on a study of a literary movement or period (such as magic realism or avant-garde), a specific genre (such as short stories, greguerías, tales or graphic novels); a theme (such as identity, travel, migrations, social changes, or representations of the city), a famous author (such as Federico Garcia Lorca, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, or Juan Jose Millas), or a famous film director (Pedro Almodovar, Benicio del Toro, or Juan Jose Campanella). The course is taught in Spanish. It may be repeated for credit on different topics. Gen. Ed.: Case Studies in Textual Analysis. Prerequisites: ENG 102, a Principles of Textual Analysis course, and proficiency in Spanish at the upper-intermediate level (which may be satisfied with MLL 256, MLL 257, or a placement test). MLL 257 is recommended for the Principles of Textual Analysis course. Cr. 3 (6 ECTS Cr.). Offered once every two years.

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