Modern Languages

Contact Information

(716) 839-8340


Kevin Telford
(716) 839-8340

Degrees Offered


Our students are able to combine their love of language and culture with the coursework and internships that lead to professional success.  The Modern Languages Department offers three innovative tracks for majors:

  • An Education Track for those who seek adolescent education certification in languages other than English.  Education Track students working toward provisional secondary certification have coursework, observation, and practice in classroom methodology and technology.
  • A Professional Track for those with interest in applying their language and cultural fluency to their career.  Professional Track students participate in an internship Junior and/or Senior year – locally, during their study abroad experience, or during a semester with the Washington Internship Institute.
  • Dual-Degree BS/Double-Major BA Track in language and another discipline.  Studies show an increasing desire among students and employers for preparation in a specific field of study coupled with proficiency in one or more languages other than English.

Daemen College Core

All degree programs require completion of the Core Curriculum. A complete description of the core and its requirements is available in the Core Curriculum section of the Daemen catalog. Courses which satisfy a core requirement will have such designation indicated after the course title.

Specific requirements also include:
IND 101 Sustainable & Critical Relationships (3)
CMP 101 English Composition (3)
3-credits taken in a 200, 300, or 400 level Composition course.

Note: Courses which carry a competency may be credited under the core, thereby resulting in an additional 3-credits to be taken in Free Electives. Courses used to fulfill the Free Electives may have, but are not required to have, a competency

Nearly all of the courses offered through the Modern Languages Department are Core Courses. Students looking for interesting ways to examine the core competencies may accomplish this through the content we offer.  We invite all students to explore our course offerings delivered in Spanish, French and English.

Further information about +Plus programs is available from the Modern Languages Department on the +Plus program Catalog page.

Language Content Courses

Major: 37 credits

15 credits in courses designated as Language & Linguistics
15 credits in courses designated as Literature & Culture

3 Credits Colloquium

4 Credits Senior Project Sequence

Colloquium Sequence – 288, 388, 488 Majors’ Colloquium

This sequence is designed to help Dual Degree/Double Majors, Professional Track Majors, and student-teacher candidates with Linguistic Development and Professional Development. Students enroll in 288 sophomore year, 388 junior year, and 488 senior year, for 1-credit each.


288: Successful completion of 106 –OR– enrollment in or completion of a 200-level language course.   

388: Successful completion of 288 and accepted into upper division

488: Successful completion of 388 and accepted into upper division


All Majors are required to complete one 3-credit internship; two are recommended.  Internships may be local, regional, national, or international. Placement is based upon career-specific interests and objectives of the individual major. Opportunities through the Washington Internship Institute and study abroad internships approved by the department satisfy this requirement.

Service Learning

Daemen College graduates complete a service learning experience.  The Department of Modern Languages offers FRE/SPA service learning opportunities locally and regionally. Interested students may pursue service learning internationally: FRE/SPA 299, 399, 499.

Secondary Language

All majors are required to demonstrate a minimum level of intermediate proficiency in a language other than the major language of study.  Our majors are strongly encouraged to pursue advanced level courses in their second foreign language in order to increase each student’s marketability. The requirement may be satisfied through the completion of college level coursework or the successful completion of a proficiency examination. A complete description of the requirement is available in the Modern Languages section of the Daemen catalog.

International Experience

All majors are required to complete an international experience in a country where the student’s major language is an official language. Majors should complete one long term experience (minimum of one semester but preferably one year).  Dual degree/double majors may choose 2 short-term experiences (intersemester and/or summer terms), the combination of which must total a minimum of 7 weeks of experience.

Most study abroad programs require a minimum GPA of 3.0 in language courses.

Courses taken abroad must be approved by the Modern Languages Department because the student program for subsequent semesters is subject to those courses. Official transcripts from the universities abroad must be sent directly to the Registrar’s Office at Daemen College. All students must visit the Global Programs Office for information, advice, clearance.
Note: depending upon how the study abroad experience is structured it might be applied as progress in Language & Linguistics courses, Literature & Culture courses, Service Learning, or Internship.

Senior Project

All majors complete a senior project as one of the requirements for graduation. In the first part of the sequence FRE/SPA 442 (1-credit) is taken in the junior year. Students select the topic for research and make substantial progress under the direction of the Modern Language faculty members. Students submit a polished research proposal, an annotated bibliography, and defend the research proposal to the class and faculty in a formal oral presentation. Students may not enroll in the second part of the sequence, FRE/SPA 443(3-credits), until they have successfully passed 442.  In 443, students complete their project, demonstrating mastery of the language in the context of literary, cultural studies, or professional applications. Students present their work in a public defense and at Academic Festival.
Note: ALL 443 projects must reflect work completed in 442; substantial changes in topic or content may require a student to repeat 442 before enrolling in 443.

Note:  In order to be fully prepared to enter the  teaching profession, student-teacher candidates must showcase their preparedness in the 442-443 sequence prior to approval/recommendation for student teaching.

Admission Requirements

Enrollment at the appropriate course level will be determined by previous foreign language instruction and/or interview with the Modern Languages Department. In general, students will be placed in courses in language studies as follows:

  • Placement in course 101: No previous language experience or  1-2 years of middle or high school language study.
  • Placement in course 102: Credit for college level Elementary  Language I study with an average of 80% or above.
  • Placement in course 105: Credit for college level Elementary Language I & II or 3-4 years of high school language study with an average of 80% or above.
  • Placement in 200-level courses or above: 4+ years of high school language study with an average of 80% or above.

Any student with questions concerning placement is urged to consult with the Department Chair.

If a student is interested in majoring in French or Spanish but needs to complete courses at the 100 level, up to 6 credits of course work may be credited as Free Electives taken in the major; any additional credits completed will be over and above the minimum program requirements.  Please note that course work in the major language at the 100 level does not count toward completion of the major.

Admission to Upper Division

By April 1st of the second semester of the sophomore year, the student is required to make an application in writing to the Modern Languages Chair for admission to upper division. Normally the student should have accrued at least 6 hours of credit at the 200 level or above before applying to upper division.

  • Overall grade point average (GPA) of 2.0.
  • A grade point average (GPA) of 2.80 in major language courses.
  • Twelve hours or demonstrated proficiency through the intermediate level of a second foreign language.
  • FRE/SPA 288, 388, 488 Colloquium credits must be in progress.
  • Study Abroad plan for junior or senior year must be approved by the Modern Languages Department and the Global Programs Office.
  • Most Study Abroad programs require a 3.0 GPA for admission.

Admission to Upper Division – Adolescence Education majors

  1. An overall grade point average of 2.75 or better for all completed college courses.
  2. A grade point average of 2.75 or better in all education courses (ECSE, EDU & SED prefix).Please go to to calculate.
  3. A Dispositional Interview
  4. Compile and submit, for Education Department faculty review, a comprehensive emerging e-portfolio, the contents of which include the following exhibits: artifacts, facsimiles, projects, grades. Projects must be the scanned originals submitted to the professors and, therefore, include the professors’ comments/ corrections/annotations.
  • A researched, scholarship-based paper submitted for EDU 203.
  • An outline of an instructional unit, including a fully designed 3-lesson learning segment, prepared for EDU 237.
  • A researched, scholarship-based paper submitted for SED 270.
  • A written emerging professional resume.
  • A written emerging philosophy of education.
  • A written emerging, comprehensive, reflective narrative detailing perception of current status, skills gained during coursework, targets or goals for continuing professional development, and expectations for the future (i.e., intended career choice).
  • A completed Disposition Self-Assessment (DSA) containing narrative reflection showing examples to support the ranking of each of the criteria.

Absence of any of these items or an overall GPA lower than 2.75 will constitute an incomplete submission, and the portfolio will not be accepted for review. If you are missing assignments, please see your advisor before the submission date to seek advice about your options.

  1. Traditionally admitted students (non-transfer students) who are seeking admission to upper division status must apply by March 19th of the second year of study.
  2. Transfer students must apply by March 19 during the semester in which they are completing EDU 267 or ECSE 280. Transfer students who enter Daemen College with an associate degree must submit a portfolio which includes an emerging professional resume, a written emerging philosophy of education, a comprehensive reflective narrative, and, if available, artifacts from comparable courses taken at other institutions, indicating where they were taken and the grade earned.
  3. In the event of a resubmission due to extenuating circumstances approved by the department chair, the GPA will be considered as closed as of the end of the spring semester. The review process will be complete by August 31  before the start of the new fall semester.

Requirements For Admission To Student Teaching (Adolescence Education Majors)

  1. An overall grade point average (GPA) of 2.75.
  2. A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.75 in one’s major language.
  3. Application for Student Teaching, usually at the end of the third year.
  4. Recommendation for student teaching from the Chairs of both the Education and Modern Languages Departments.
  5. Study Abroad must be fulfilled.
  6. FRE/SPA288, 388, 488 Colloquium credits must be completed.
  7. FRE/SPA443 Senior Project must be completed before the student teaching semester.   443 Projects must reflect work completed in 442. Substantial changes might require a student to repeat 442 before enrolling in 443.
  8. It is strongly recommended that the student teacher candidate take and pass the required Teacher Certification Exams and the Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) before student teaching begins.

Graduation Requirements

An overall grade point average (GPA) of 2.00.

Teacher Certification Majors: Minimum GPA of 2.75.

Specific Requirements Based on Track Chosen:

All majors are admitted into Upper Division through the application process described above.

Dual Degree/Double Majors – Students on this track automatically have a content area specialization through declaration of the dual degree/double major.  Typically the dual/double area specialization fulfills their free elective courses.

Professional Track Majors – Students choose at least one disciplinary minor or one interdisciplinary +Plus pathway.  This choice should be made based on clearly established career-goals. While only one minor is required, many students choose multiple minors. Note: some courses required of a +Plus or a discipline based minor may have prerequisites. Courses which carry a competency may be credited under core electives or free electives.

Adolescence Education Track – FRE/SPA BA

All Adolescence Education majors must be admitted into the Education Department through the Upper Division application process described above. No student may pursue this major without meeting the Education Department’s requirements. Students must specify BA-French or BA-Spanish.

Note: A student who has earned a B- or less in EDU 237/L in the first two attempts will not be allowed to pursue the teacher certification program. Students must have a minimum of a 2.8 in their major language for Modern Language approval for student-teacher candidacy.  In addition, grades in their major language courses must demonstrate improvement as the student progresses through the program. 

Pertinent Additional Information

  • Official transcripts from a foreign institution must be sent directly to the Daemen College Registrar to ensure credit approval.
  • Additional courses to satisfy certification requirements to prepare those who wish to teach modern languages at the secondary level are offered through the Education Department.
  • Bilingual or multilingual students may meet the foreign language requirement for some Daemen degrees.  Access the following link for details or contact the Modern Languages Department: Languages Other Than English.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Department of Modern Language is to prepare students to integrate fully their language skills for professional and personal fulfillment in both their local and global communities.  The curriculum for French and Spanish majors integrates language skills with Daemen’s liberal arts core and a solid professional formation based on language proficiency.

The curriculum emphasizes oral fluency, written proficiency, cultural awareness and literary appreciation, skills which allow students to solve problems creatively and think critically.  Our graduates will be comfortable with diversity and recognize the vital importance of a global perspective.  The curriculum recognizes the significant historical, moral, artistic, economic, literary and scientific contributions of French and Spanish speakers throughout the world: in North and South America, the Caribbean and Africa, as well as in Europe.

Our graduates will be ready to take their place as leaders in the fields of education, public policy, business, social service, health care, media and the arts.

Student Learning Objectives for French and Spanish Majors:

1) oral fluency                                     2) written proficiency
3) cultural understanding            4) literary and linguistic appreciation

It is no accident that oral fluency is listed as the first goal of the French or Spanish major.  This most difficult skill to master is emphasized in all courses. The skills learned in acquiring a foreign language are precisely the skills that make for good communication in any language: the ability to pause, to reflect on what you want to convey before you start to speak; the ability to choose the correct word from several possibilities, to convey your message exactly as you want; a consciousness that grammar rules do affect communication.  The goal of oral fluency addresses the importance of understanding and responding in French or Spanish in authentic situations.  As students progress through their major their oral proficiency will be monitored as indicated below.

There is a big difference in the ease or difficulty of writing a foreign language as opposed to speaking one. Writing is easier because there is the opportunity to reflect on the writing and to review it. The goal of written proficiency allows students to bring this awareness to bear on their communicative abilities in any language.  As the major progresses, students’ writing will become increasingly more accurate, well-organized, and articulate.

The mission of Daemen College is to prepare students for life and leadership in an increasingly complex world; this is the heart of the French & Spanish majors.  In a world which is coming together economically and culturally every day, the importance of being aware of other cultures is paramount. Learning not to be shocked at the way others do things is part of being a culturally sensitive and professional person who is comfortable with diversity and who recognizes the importance of a global perspective. This is the goal of cultural understanding.

The study of Literature and Linguistics in French or Spanish promotes proficiency in the language through class discussions and written expression. Moreover, as literature and linguistics reflect the history, culture, ethics and aesthetics of a people, the goal of literary and linguistic appreciation integrates communication, culture, creativity and critical thinking.