Guidelines & Policies

The Critical Languages Program is designed for highly motivated students who are dedicated to learning a language and have the discipline, time, and self-direction required. Students unwilling to make a commitment to rigorous and disciplined daily study and practice are not encouraged to register for the Program.
It is very important that students understand their responsibilities in the Program. Please read the following carefully.
  1. You are your own teacher. Successful language mastery depends on you. Your commitment, participation, and especially your self-discipline and study habits will determine your success.
  2. The textbooks, multimedia materials, and native speaker are your resources. Each plays an important and precise role, and it is your responsibility to utilize each properly.
  3. The tutor is not a teacher. The tutorials should not in any way be equated with a typical class. Do not assume, as you might in a normal course, that you are coming to class to be taught. The tutorials are for the reinforcement and correction of material that you have already practiced in order to participate fully.
  4. Language learning in the Critical Languages Program is focused on communicative competence and regular practice is essential to be properly prepared to participate in class. The text, the tutorial and the tutor are important components, but your success is determined by the hours of practice required to perfect the material.
  5. You are expected to attend all tutorials and be properly prepared. A thorough command of the material is required in order to participate in class activities. You should expect to spend at least 10-12 hours per week in language study and practice.
  6. You are permitted three excused absences. Use them judiciously. Each absence beyond that will result in a one third grade reduction. Neglect of assigned work, or lack of participation and preparation jeopardize class activities and will result in a lower final course grade. 
  7. Your native speaker (tutor) will send me bi-monthly reports of your attendance and progress. If you must miss a class, you are to contact your tutor in advance.
  8. The use of English and linguistic discussions are inappropriate in the tutorial session and you should be prepared to accept this. Only the target language is spoken and, unless essential for a particular exercise, the sessions are conducted with textbooks closed.
  9. You will have a mid-term exam and a final exam with an external examiner who is accredited in the target language.
  10. Your final course grade will be based on a midterm exam 1/3, and a final exam 2/3. Absences or lack of preparation and participation will affect the final course grade.
  11. The practice materials are an integral part of the instructional materials and should not be regarded as optional or supplementary. While the textbook provides a language structural framework, it does not provide the audio required to improve listening comprehension and fluency.
  12. Individual conferences will be scheduled a few weeks into the semester. You, of course, need not wait until conference time to see me. Whenever you have any questions or problems concerning the course, you should see me right away.

Contact Information

Mary Beth Helderle

Christian A. Johnson Hall 302
315-859-4776 mhelderl@hamilton.edu
Back to Top