Spring 2020 Update 
    Aug 19, 2022  
Spring 2020 Update [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Languages, Literatures and Cultures

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Alumnae Hall, Room 109
Priya Wadhera, Chair
Raysa E. Amador, Chair

p – (516) 877-4050
f – (516) 877-4047
e – amador@adelphi.edu
w – languages.adelphi.edu



Raysa E. Amador
Richard Garner

Associate Professors

Susan Briziarelli
Nicholas A. Carbo
Nicole Rudolph
Priya Wadhera


Assistant Professors

Jonathan Hiller
Ana Simone-Alegre


Sara Aponte-Olivieri

Language is a cultural currency. A language is used by people to express themselves—their needs, feelings, and thoughts. Culture is woven into language; thus, when we learn another language, we are better able to understand how and why people of other cultures view the world differently. We also gain insight into their distinctive solutions to universal problems. The department offers majors and minors in French and Spanish, and a minor in Italian. The department also offers courses in Chinese, Greek, Japanese, English as a Second Language, and Linguistics. For courses in American Sign Language, please consult the College of Education and Health Sciences.

The French and Spanish majors offer an opportunity for students to study the language, the culture, civilization, and literature of the different countries and regions where the language is used.

By so doing, students acquire the foundation of a genuinely multicultural education and access to other cultures. The benefits of acquiring competency in foreign language as part of a liberal arts education are intellectual, philosophical, and practical. The French and Spanish majors make it possible for the student to complete a five-year combined bachelor’s/master’s in the Scholars Teacher Education Program (STEP) in collaboration with the College of Education and Health Sciences. The STEP program for undergraduate students is tailored to prepare candidates to teach at the childhood and adolescent levels.

Each curriculum enables students to acquire and expand their fluency (in listening, speaking, reading, and writing) in one or more of these languages, while studying the contributions and institutions of Europe, the Caribbean region and Latin America, and French-speaking Africa and Québec. The language laboratory, which features interactive audio and video equipment, enables students to become immersed in the language and culture they are studying.

A Minor in Languages

A minor allows students to complement their studies, enrich their personal life, and acquire practical skills that can be applied to professional objectives.

Students who wish to minor in French, Italian, or Spanish must complete 18–24 credits in that language, depending on the student’s entry level. Students beginning with Level I or II must complete 24 credits. Students beginning with Level III must complete 21 credits. Students beginning with Level IV or beyond must complete 18 credits. It is recommended that the student contact language faculty early for individual guidance in the development of an appropriate minor.

Scholar Teacher Education Program (STEP)

The Spanish program in association with the College of Education and Health Sciences offers a unique combined baccalaureate/master’s five year program (B.A. or B.S./MA) which allows a student to major in Spanish and also fulfill courses in education that will lead to New York State teaching certification.College of Education and Health Sciences .

Departmental Awards

Departmental honors are conferred on students who have a GPA of 3.5 or better in the major and have completed a seminar with a “B” or higher. Please contact the department for further information. Awards include:

  • Lucienne Petit Prize for Excellence in French
  • Paul Langellier Award in French
  • Ruth Richardson Award for Excellence in Spanish
  • Delores Roethal Award in Spanish Literature
  • Melvin and Marian Prottas Foreign Language Writing Award

Honor Societies

Membership is usually by application, but limited to students who have demonstrated leadership, high general academic scholarship, and excellence in the study of Spanish, French, or Italian.
For specific requirements visit the honor society pages at the links below or contact the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures:

  • French Honor Society: Pi Delta Phi
  • Spanish Honor Society: Sigma Delta Pi
  • International Honor Society: Sigma Iota Rho
  • Italian Honor Society: Gamma Kappa Alpha

Robert G. Hartmann Scholarship for Excellence in Spanish

The criteria: a Spanish major, who has completed 30 credits, and who demonstrates significant financial need and who has at least a 2.7 GPA.

Marie Louise Vazquez Scholarship in French

The Marie-Louise Pesselier Vazquez Scholarships for French majors were generously created by a devoted professor in honor of her time teaching French at Adelphi University. All sophomore, junior, and senior French majors will be considered for the awards. Scholarships are awarded based upon a student’s overall grade point average and major grade point average.

Ted & Erika Spyropoulos Foundation Scholarship in Modern Greek Studies

Two scholarships are given each year; one to a student who has completed Level 1 of Modern Greek and is continuing to Level 2, and the other to a student who has completed Level 3 of Modern Greek and plans to continue with Level 4.

The recipients are selected by the Department. Each recipient must have a GPA of at least 3.25 in Modern Greek and overall GPA of at least 3.0.

Learn more about the Ted & Erika Spyropoulos Foundation.

Smalley Family Endowment for Italian Languages Studies

The Smalley Family Endowment for Italian Language Studies was established at Adelphi University, in 2013, by Patrick S. Smalley ‘86, Trustee, to honor the memory of his great-grandparents, his grandparents, and his parents. 

The fund will benefit students minoring in Italian, who demonstrate financial need and who have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.  The fund can be used as a scholarship for tuition, or if the student is studying abroad in Italy, it can be applied to fees related to their study abroad experience.


For more information on these scholarships, please contact the department.

Asian Studies, European Studies and Latin American Studies

Interdisciplinary programs of study are available in Asian Studies (minor), European Studies (minor), and Latin American Studies (Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and Minor).

Interdisciplinary Major

Students who are interested in pursuing language studies may elect an interdisciplinary major where language is an integral part of that major. See Interdisciplinary Program section  for a description of the major.

Study Abroad Opportunities

Students may study abroad for a summer, one semester or for the whole academic year. Adelphi offers opportunities for immersion in a foreign language as well as concentration in International Studies in many locations around the world. Please contact Adelphi’s Center for International Education for further information.


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