American University Catalog 2018-2019 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]
World Languages and Cultures
Chair Brenda Werth
Associate Chair Erez Naaman
Director of TESOL Program P. Vinogradova
Director of Center for Language Exploration, Acquisition, and Research G. Cruz
Professor Emeritus/a N.S. Baron, E.I. Burkart, G.S. Burkart, J. Schillinger, B.F. Steinbruckner
Professor C. Gerfen
Associate Professor Emeritus/a V.Z. Borkovec, J.W. Goldin, N. Harris, C. Hernandez, M.A.G. Hood, H. Pineda, J. Wisman
Associate Professor L. Cerezo Ceballos, A. Israeli, E. Naaman, A. Oliver, D. Rodamar, O. Rojer, A. Serra, B. Werth
Assistant Professor N. Hachad, J. Martinez, X.R. Zhang
Senior Professorial Lecturer L. Baeza-Mendoza, G. Berg, R. Cavaceppi, L. Grandas, E. Holtermann, E. Lang, C. Van Berten, S. Xu
Professorial Lecturer J. Belopolsky, C. Cacho, S. Garnier-Fox, C. Gotea, K. Jeronimides, R. Kateeb, K. Knight, S. Knowles, W. Quirk, C. Ruzza, H.Y. Shin, G. Sune-Minguella, T. Wind
Instructor J. Cai, C. Hernandez Gil de Lamadrid, J. Isaac, S. Marin, J. Nalabandian, X. Zhang
In an increasingly complex world that grows smaller every day, the study of languages, literatures, and cultures is of vital importance. Learning the ways other nations live and think furthers understanding among peoples and cultures. The Department of World Languages and Cultures (WLC) offers extensive undergraduate study in foreign language and culture (Arabic Studies (BA) , French Studies (BA) , German Studies (BA) , Russian Studies (BA) , and Spanish Studies (BA) ), interdisciplinary language and area studies programs (Language and Area Studies: French/Europe (BA) , Language and Area Studies: German/Europe (BA) , Language and Area Studies: Russian/Area Studies (BA) , and Language and Area Studies: Spanish/Latin America (BA) ), as well as the jointly-administered program of Foreign Language and Communication Media (BA) with the School of Communication . In addition, the department has joined with the Kogod School of Business to offer the Business, Language & Culture Studies (BS) .
Language minors available are Arabic Language (Minor) , Chinese Language (Minor) , French Language (Minor) , German Language (Minor) , Japanese Language (Minor) , Russian Language (Minor) , or Spanish Language (Minor) . Language and area studies minors offered are Language and Area Studies: French/Europe (Minor) , Language and Area Studies: German/Europe (Minor) , Language and Area Studies: Italian/Europe (Minor) , Language and Area Studies: Japanese/Asia (Minor) , Language and Area Studies: Russian/Area Studies (Minor) , or Language and Area Studies: Spanish/Latin America (Minor) .
Master’s programs include the Spanish: Latin American Studies (MA) and the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (MA) . (For additional information, see Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) .)
In addition to Arabic , French , German , Russian , and Spanish , language courses in Chinese , Hebrew , Italian , Japanese , Korean , Persian , Portuguese , and Swahili are offered.
Programs in world languages and cultures meet the needs of both departmental majors and other students in the university. Many undergraduates choose to minor in a language area or to complete a translation certificate. Internships are available both locally and internationally for foreign language programs and TESOL. Students can complete translation certificates as part of their degree requirements or earn credits towards the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (Undergraduate Certificate) . Students also enhance their language skills through study in the AU Abroad program.
Many areas of business, industry, and government service consider a language background a career must. Recent graduates of the department have been employed in a variety of organizations and fields including the Department of State, Library of Congress, National Security Agency, Voice of America, and National Academy of Sciences, as well as international import and export firms, public and private schools and colleges, and research and development firms.
Center for Language Exploration, Acquisition, and Research
The Center for Language Exploration, Acquisition, and Research (CLEAR) of the Department of World Languages and Cultures is a comprehensive, multi-media facility which supports students and faculty in the study and teaching of foreign languages and cultures through the use of advanced technologies in audio, video, film, computer, and satellite telecommunications.
CLEAR is located in the Asbury Building lower level and is reached via the street-level entrance to the north wing of Asbury. For more information call 202-885-2396.
Honors in Spanish
The Honors in Spanish program is designed to deepen students’ knowledge of the Spanish language and/or Latin American Studies. Honors in Spanish is a mark of distinction for undergraduates interested in applying their linguistic and cultural expertise professionally, as well as for those who intend to pursue graduate studies in Spanish, Latin American studies, or related fields. The goal of the program is to provide undergraduate students with additional preparation and tools for specialized research in Spanish and Latin American studies.
Undergraduate Language Program Courses
First Year 100-Level Elementary Courses Emphasis on developing basic language skills for oral and written communication with special attention to diverse cultural patterns. Three to five academic hours of class instruction per week supplemented by individual language laboratory work. A “native” speaker of a foreign language cannot enroll in or earn credit toward graduation in a 100-level course.
Second Year 200-Level Intermediate Courses Emphasis on cultural patterns and contrasts between cultures, refinement of basic language skills, study of more complex grammatical structures, and expansion of vocabulary in a cultural context. Three to five academic hours of class instruction per week supplemented by individual language laboratory work. A “native” speaker of a foreign language cannot enroll in or earn credit toward graduation in a 200-level course.
Third Year 300-Level Non-topics Courses Emphasis on advanced language use and refinement of complex grammatical structures, focusing on culturally-specific contexts. Three academic hours of class instruction per week. A “native” speaker of a foreign language cannot enroll in or earn credit toward graduation in a 300-level non-topics course unless it is a course designed specifically for “native” or heritage speakers.
300-, 400- and 500-Level Topics Courses Topics courses taught in the target language designed for both majors and nonmajors.
300- and 400-Level Civilization Courses Multi-faceted approach to the survey of a target civilization designed for both majors and nonmajors.
Note: A “native” speaker of a foreign language is defined as a person whose pre-college level instruction was conducted principally in that language. Students who have significant knowledge of a foreign language gained outside of pre-college instruction may also be considered by WLC to be “native” speakers, but may have valid reasons for studying the language at the 300 level or lower. Requests for such consideration will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and should be directed to the chair of the Department of World Languages and Cultures.
ProgramsMajor Program (UG)Minor (UG)Certificate (UG)Master’s Program (GR)Certificate (GR)