Chair Naïma Hachad
Associate Chair Esther Holtermann
Director of TESOL Program Polina Vinogradova
Director of Center for Language Exploration, Acquisition, and Research Gorky Cruz
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, C. Verstraet
Hurst Senior Professorial Lecturer L. Baeza-Mendoza, G. Berg, R. Cavaceppi, E. Holtermann, K. Knight, E. Lang, P. Vinogradova, S. Xu
Senior Professorial Lecturer C. Cacho, S. Garnier-Fox, C. Gotea, L. Grandas, C. Helena Ruzza, K. Jeronimides, S. Knowles, W. Quirk, I. Rivero-Vila, H.Y. Shin, G. Suñé Minguella, C. Van Berten, X.R. Zhang
Professorial Lecturer H. Bokhari, J. Cai, C. Hernandez Gil de Lamadrid, R. Kateeb, T. Kidwell, R. Morandi, J. Nalabandian, X. Zhang
Instructor P. Montilla Keeling
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
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), Korean 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). WLC also offers minors in Linguistics (Minor) and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (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 undergraduate (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (Undergraduate Certificate)) and graduate (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (Graduate Certificate)) students, as well as those minoring in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (Minor).
For more information, please contact the TESOL program office at 202-885-2582 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Language is fundamental to our societies and our humanity. Linguistics is key to the world we live in, how we see ourselves and others, and the human and ethical challenges that we face. There is a growing demand for linguists in many industries - a trend that is growing with technology and globalization. The Linguistics (Minor) integrates a critical perspective that considers language to be a fundamental part of social thought and social action with the World Languages and Cultures departments’ unique strengths and diversity. Students learn about language as a coherent yet dynamic system that affects - and is affected by - society and conduct research. The minor incorporates general linguistics, specialized topics, and research methods, with opportunities for language-specific linguistics study. For more information please contact the Linguistics Coordinator (email@example.com) or WLC Academic Advisor Tara Pylate (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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.
ProgramsMajor Program (UG)Minor (UG)Certificate (UG)Master’s Program (GR)Certificate (GR)