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OT: US university course numbering (was Re: "to be" and not to be in the world's languages)

From:Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>
Date:Friday, March 31, 2006, 8:28
On 3/31/06, Peter Bleackley <Peter.Bleackley@...> wrote:
> staving Amamnda Babcock Furrow: > > >Having had Russian in college (including a special 300-level course on > >pronouncing it correctly - yes, we did indeed wait for an "advanced" course > >to learn little details like pronunciation), the way I would pronounce it > >is pretty much > > A 300-level course? Russian must be really difficult to pronounce! > > "The palatalised vowels are coming on really well. Soon you'll be able to > move on to level 256..."
I'm not sure whether you're kidding or whether you're not acquainted with US university course numbering schemes.
>From what little I've gathered, courses are often labelled with a name
or abbreviation and a number; the name or abbreviation designates the course (e.g. French) or a vague area of studies (e.g. Linguistics) while the course number designates the specific course (say, "History of French Ballet, 1071-1862" or whatever). The number is often three digits, with the first digit indicating in what year of study you would be likely to take the course; so during your first year at university, you'll probably take mostly course with numbers of the form 1xx; in the second year, 2xx; in the third year, 3xx; and in the fourth year, 4xx. I think 6xx is sometimes used for graduate-level courses. (Depending on your interests, time, and previous knowledge, you may also take, say, a course labelled 2xx in your first year of university -- or perhaps in the third year, if you have to catch up on a requirement.) So a "300-level course", to me, is one that you'd be likely to encounter in the third year of university studies, after having completed two years of study on a particular topic. This doesn't mean that the course has 300 levels, but that the level of the course is similar to other courses with numbers in the three-hundreds. Along with this comes the prototypical course number "101" for the basic introductory course in any subject. This use is often found outside a university context as a metaphor for material suitable for beginners; for example, the Language Construction Kit might have been labelled "Language Construction 101" to indicate that it requires few prerequisites. (See also , which also notes that "usage of the "101" label is likely to be met with baffled bemusement in many places such as in the United Kingdom," as well as or ) Hope this helps, -- Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>


Peter Bleackley <peter.bleackley@...>
David J. Peterson <dedalvs@...>