Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian at The University of Chicago
The University of Chicago regularly offers three years of Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian language study.
BCSN 10103 First-Year Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian I
This three-quarter sequence course in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian languages introduces students to the basics of four basic skills: reading, listening, speaking and writing. It maintains a good balance of the three languages, their respective grammatical and lexical differences, and the Cyrillic and Latin alphabets. Students are encouraged to concentrate on the language and culture of their interest and choice. The course objective is to build a solid foundation in the grammatical patterns of the spoken and written languages, while simultaneously working on basic interpretive, interpersonal, presentational and intercultural communication. This is achieved through a communicative situation-based approach, dialogues and texts and, reinforced by the students and instructor, screenings of short announcements, commercials, documentaries, interviews, and the like. Once a week, one-on-one 15-minute conversation sessions with the instructor offer students the opportunity to review and practice the materials presented in class. The course is supplemented with cultural events, guest speakers and selected media. Together with the conversation sessions, these supplements improve the students’ ability to interact effectively and appropriately with people from other linguistic and cultural backgrounds— essential for establishing successful, positive relationships across cultural boundaries.
BCSN 20103 Second-Year Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian I
The Second-Year Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian languages and cultures course is designed for both students who have completed the first- year sequence and heritage learners. Its main objective is to develop further communicative skills—interpretive, interpersonal, presentational and intercultural—using authentic materials representing the contemporary spoken and written language in authentic cultural contexts. Students are presented with a series of texts, such as newspaper articles, interviews with writers, actors, athletes, short biographies, book and film reviews, university websites, travel blogs, etc. Audiovisual materials, representing both high and popular culture, constitute an integral part of every unit. Grammar and vocabulary are reinforced and developed throughout the quarter. Textual and audiovisual materials are selected to best exemplify the outlined themes while maintaining a good balance of the three languages and their respective grammatical and lexical differences in order to assess students’ progress in all four skills. Each of the 12 units is accompanied with a unit test, all of which, including the final exam at the end of the term, mirror the tasks in the practical proficiency assessment test that students can take at the end of the spring quarter. The course is complemented with cultural and historical media from the Balkans, guest speakers and cultural events. The prerequisite is BCSN 10303 or the equivalent.
BCSN 10303 or consent of instructor.
BCSN 21104/31104 Advanced BCS: Language Through Fiction
This one quarter course is designed to help students over one of the most difficult hurdles in language training—the transition from working through lessons in a textbook to reading unedited literary texts. The selected pieces of fiction and the exercises drawn from them engage the language’s structure on every page. Immersed in a complete language experience, students learn how to engage the natural, organic language of literary texts across a variety of styles and themes enabling them to work with ever more challenging material. The course objective is to hone students’ abilities to analyze increasingly complex unrevised texts, identify various styles and registers of the language, and handle linguistically unfamiliar situations in both spoken and written format. Attention is given to improving students’ abilities to paraphrase, narrate, describe, support opinions, hypothesize and discuss abstract topics. Building vocabulary is stressed as a key to making progress, while issues of language structure and grammar are reinforced throughout the course. Classes are conducted in the target language and may be taken for pass/fail.
The prerequisite is two years of formal study of the target language or the equivalent.
BCSN 29910/39910 Special Topics in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian I
The course is designed to meet the specific needs of advanced learners of Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, including heritage and native speakers, and to foster cross-cultural experiences through interdisciplinary content. The curriculum covers a wide range of topics relative to the students' field of study, research and personal interests. Although grounded in the field of philology, it expands students' knowledge in other disciplines of social and behavioral sciences such as history, anthropology, global studies, economics, political science, sociology, and the like. Attention is given to the ability to paraphrase scholarly arguments, formulate research hypotheses, and present research in the target language. The course delves into advanced grammatical topics with the goal of increasing proficiency in both aural and reading comprehension, in addition to honing writing and speaking styles. Classes are conducted in BCS. The prerequisite is three years of formal study of the target language or the equivalent.
Classes are conducted in B/C/S; the prerequisite is three years of formal study of the target language or the equivalent.