Jul 18, 2024  
2019-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
2019-2021 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

World Languages and Cultures

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General Information

The Department of World Languages and Cultures offers a B.A. in Spanish, and minors in Chinese, French, Portuguese, Spanish, and Swahili. Additional courses are offered under the Foreign Language Studies (FLS) inventory, and through the University of North Carolina Online Language Exchange. World Languages courses offered in the department fulfil general education requirements and provide opportunities for students to develop communicative competencies in the target languages. The advanced courses in culture, history, and literature prepare students to engage in a diverse and multicultural society, find employment in areas where foreign language skills are required, and pursue graduate studies. Students enrolled in the department enjoy a convivial atmosphere of learning supported by a dedicated faculty, and participate in extracurricular activities that promote community engagement and volunteerism. World Languages and Cultures’ majors and minors are currently working in various professions including teaching, banking, business, counseling, health professions, law, and travel.

Departmental Goal

The goal of the department is to prepare world language students to succeed in professional or postgraduate careers by designing a program of study that provides the requisite skills in language learning, cross-cultural and intercultural understanding.

Departmental Objectives

Language courses in the department are designed to fundamentally develop functional, grammatical, lexical, and sociolinguistic competencies in students wishing to earn the undergraduate degree in Spanish, or minor in a world language. In addition to providing opportunities for improved communicative skills, students also study the historical, political, social, cultural, and literary aspects of the target languages. The departmental objectives comprise:

  1. Offering world languages courses that lead to the development of standard-based competencies in listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
  2. Providing in-depth studies of the cultures of the target languages.
  3. Introducing students to the literary expressions of the target language-speaking world.
  4. Preparing students for graduate studies.
  5. Preparing students for careers that require training in a foreign language.


World Languages and Cultures: Where to Begin

Generally, students without prior knowledge of the target or foreign language which they intend to learn will begin the language learning sequence at the elementary level by taking xxx1311.  However, the department recommends that students with existing knowledge of their target language of interest begin their language study by enrolling in xxx1312 or xxx2311. Students wishing to enroll in xxx1312 or xxx2311 must contact the department, or speak with an advisor to be enrolled in these courses.

Retroactive Credit Policy for Students with Existing Knowledge of a Foreign Language

The Retroactive Credit Policy is designed to grant credit to students with existing knowledge of a foreign language who begin their language study at WSSU by enrolling in xxx1312 or xxx2311. Students who enroll in xxx1312 or xxx2311 and successfully complete the course with a grade of C- or better will receive credit for courses they bypassed, or up to 6 credit hours. Students will receive credit towards graduation, but no grade will be noted in their transcripts for the bypassed course(s). The Retroactive Credit Policy is not applicable if a student has already taken xxx1311. Retroactive credit is not available if a student has received Advanced Placement or transfer credits in the foreign language.  Students must request the retroactive credits after they successfully complete the course.

Proficiency Assessment for Students with World Language Experience

Students with advanced or superior skills in a target language may request a proficiency assessment, or take a placement examination to qualify for courses above the intermediate level. World language majors and minors may also receive credit toward their undergraduate degree by taking and passing appropriate department proficiency examinations.

Students should contact the Department of World Languages and Cultures for guidelines and further information concerning proficiency assessment and placement.

Study Abroad

The department supports study abroad and internship programs which provide students with opportunities to earn semester hours toward the major and minors, and to develop intercultural and cross-cultural sensibilities.  The department encourages students to participate in study abroad programs as part of their undergraduate experience.

Earning the Minor in a World Language

The department strongly encourages WSSU students to minor in a world language to complement their major area of study. Studying a foreign language at WSSU is an opportunity for second language acquisition that adds marketability to a student’s major area of study. It will prepare students for study abroad, and develop their cross-cultural understanding.

Student Learning Outcomes for Minor Programs in World Languages

Students who complete the program of study for the minor in a world language will:

  1. Demonstrate oral fluency, grammar, vocabulary, and listening comprehension at the intermediate-low level proficiency through the completion of an interview protocol.
  2. Demonstrate comprehension of the spoken target language in real-life settings.
  3. Demonstrate effective writing skills through the completion of brief term papers.
  4. Demonstrate cultural competence based on the completion of tasks that assess their understanding of the diversity in cultural beliefs and values among speakers of the target languages.
  5. Demonstrate the ability to use knowledge of the target language to participate in diverse, multicultural settings, and to live in a global society.


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