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    American University
   
    Dec 08, 2022  
American University Catalog 2022-2023 
    
American University Catalog 2022-2023

World Languages and Cultures


Administration

Chair  Erez Naaman
Associate Chair  Tabitha Kidwell
Director of TESOL Program  Polina Vinogradova
Director of Center for Language Exploration, Acquisition, and Research  Gorky Cruz

Full-Time Faculty

Professor  C. Gerfen, A. Israeli
Associate Professor  L. Cerezo Ceballos, N. Hachad, J. Martínez, E. Naaman, A. Oliver, N. Vilanova, B. Werth
Assistant Professor  A. Tseng
Hurst Senior Professorial Lecturer  G. Berg, R. Cavaceppi, E. Holtermann, E. Lang, S. Xu
Senior Professorial Lecturer  L. Baeza-Mendoza, C. Cacho, L. Grandas, C. Helena Ruzza, K. Jeronimides, K. Knight, S. Knowles, W. Quirk, I. Rivero-Vila, G. Suñé Minguella, C. Van Berten, X.R. Zhang
Professorial Lecturer  J. Cai, O. Chernishenko, S. Garnier-Fox, C. Gotea, C. Hernandez Gil de Lamadrid, J. Isaac, R. Kateeb, T. Kidwell, J. Nalabandian, H.Y. Shin, X. Zhang
Instructor  M. Aldawood, P. Montilla Keeling

Emeriti Faculty

Professor Emeritus/a  N.S. Baron, E.I. Burkart, G.S. Burkart, J. Schillinger, B.F. Steinbruckner
Associate Professor Emeritus/a  V.Z. Borkovec, J.W. Goldin, N. Harris, C. Hernandez, M.A.G. Hood, H. Pineda, D. Rodamar, O. Rojer, A. Serra, J. Wisman

Department Overview

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 world language and culture (Arabic Studies (BA) , Chinese Studies (BA) French Studies (BA) , German Studies (BA) Japanese 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 Communication, Language, and Culture (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) .

In addition to Arabic , Chinese French , German , Japanese , Russian , and Spanish , language courses in Hebrew , Italian , Korean Persian , 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 world 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.

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

The demand for teachers of English to speakers of other languages has markedly increased as changing national systems and global concerns have created an interdependent world. American University’s TESOL program is distinctive due to its unique balance of theoretical and practical exploration. Students read and conduct research in the field of TESOL to inform their teaching practices, including planning lessons and designing assessments for English language classes. Concurrently, students are present in English language learning environments from the beginning of their TESOL course of study in such capacities as observer, tutor, etc. Faculty draw on their extensive teaching experience, research, and interaction with other cultures to provide pragmatic lessons and advice to TESOL students.

AU offers a variety of opportunities in TESOL including a combined Bachelor’s/MA program, a Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (MA) , and certificates for both undergraduate (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (Undergraduate Certificate) ) and graduate (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (Graduate Certificate) ) students. 

For more information, please contact the TESOL program office at 202-885-2582 or tesol@american.edu.

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 facility supporting students and faculty in the study and teaching of world languages and cultures. CLEAR promotes and facilitates AU students’ acquisition and enrichment of language skills and cultural competency.

CLEAR is located in Anderson Hall B-10. 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 world 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 world 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 world 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 non-majors.

300- and 400-Level Civilization Courses

Multi-faceted approach to the survey of a target civilization designed for both majors and non-majors.

Note: A “native” speaker of a world language is defined as a person whose pre-college level instruction was conducted principally in that language. Students who have significant knowledge of a world 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.

Programs

    Major Program (UG)Minor (UG)Certificate (UG)Master’s Program (GR)Certificate (GR)