May 24, 2024  
2020-21 Catalog 
2020-21 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

World Languages and Cultures

Central 217
Anne Connor, Chair
Professor Associate Professor Senior Instructor 1 Instructor
Anne Connor Scott Rex Lady Vanderlip Maggie Gemmell
Marianne Golding   Yuko Yamanouchi Steve Wasserman
  Assistant Professor    
Emeritus Professor Enrique Chacón   Adjunct Faculty
Daniel Morris Bonnie Holmes   Rosemary Tutland
      Jesse Wise

The World Languages and Cultures Program offers language instruction in French, German, Japanese, Spanish and American Sign Language. Students from any discipline on campus can take language courses to enhance their major program, improve their language proficiency, and prepare them for a variety of professional and international careers and opportunities.

World language courses range from beginning language in all languages to the advanced study of culture, literature, and language in French and Spanish. Through special arrangements, students may pursue courses in Native American languages working directly with tribal linguists. In all languages, students may complement their language studies by participating in a wide array of study abroad and international internship opportunities.

Major Options

Students may major in Spanish Language and Culture.  The Spanish Language and Culture degree is an excellent complement to a second major in many fields, adding valuable linguistic and cultural competency and international or multicultural experience to knowledge in other disciplines  The Spanish Language and Culture degree combines the study of language, literature, and culture with practical experience through a community-based work experience or an international  internship. The Spanish Language and Culture degree is also available through the Accelerated Baccalaureate program.

Students studying a language can major in International Studies. For more information about the International Studies degree, click here .

After earning a bachelor’s degree, students may earn a basic teaching license in French, German, or Spanish at the secondary level through the School of Education’s Master of Arts in Teaching.

In French and Spanish, the SOU Summer Language Institute offers an intensive graduate program for middle school, high school, and community college teachers leading to a Master of Arts in French Language Teaching or Spanish Language Teaching.  The program allows teachers to complete the master’s degree over the course of three summers.  The French and Spanish Summer Language Institutes take place in Angers, France and Guanajuato, Mexico respectively. 

Students may be able to combine their language study with another discipline on campus to complete an Interdisciplinary Studies degree. For information about the Interdisciplinary Studies degree, click here.


Students with advanced language proficiency and cultural knowledge are prepared to work in a variety of fields. The understanding of other cultures, international experience, and language proficiency, particularly when combined with a major in another discipline (education, art, music, theatre, business, communication, computer science, economics, English, EMDA, history, international studies, political science, among others) opens doors to careers in media and film, international business, law, social services, government foreign service, non-governmental aid organizations, travel and tourism, and many other fields. 

Language Requirements

BA Language requirement

Students seeking a bachelor of arts (BA) degree, as opposed to a bachelor of science (BS) degree must complete 12 credits of a language at the second year level or above. The BA degree is the preferred degree for students in disciplines such as art and art history, communication, creative writing, elementary education, emerging media and digital art (EMDA), English, history, international studies, music, pre-med, and theatre. Students in other disciplines, such as business, pre-med, and political science prefer the BA as it adds language proficiency and cultural competency to their academic qualifications.

Deficiency in a foreign language

Students who do not complete two years of high school foreign language prior to being admitted to SOU are granted admissions with a Deficiency in Foreign Language. These students are required to complete at least two terms of a foreign language at SOU prior to graduating, no matter what major they choose. Students with a Deficiency in Foreign Language are strongly encouraged to study a foreign language at SOU their freshmen year.

Special Credit Options

 Advanced Placement/Credit by Examination

Students seeking credit for 100- and 200-level second language coursework are granted the following exception to the Credit by Exam policy: Students who place in a course beyond 101, enroll in the course within one year of taking the placement exam, and complete the higher-level course with a B- or better may purchase credit for the lower-level courses. Students must apply for credit within one term of completing the higher-level course. The placement exam itself will not meet BA language requirements. In addition, students who place in the 300-level of Spanish may take an additional written exam to place into SPAN 312 , SPAN 321 , SPAN 414 , or SPAN 441 . Students who place into one of those courses and successfully complete it with a B- or better may purchase credits for SPAN 310  and SPAN 311 .

Southern Oregon Foreign Language Proficiency Program

High school students may obtain SOU foreign language credit through the Southern Oregon Foreign Language Proficiency Program, sponsored by World Languages and Cultures and the Southern Oregon Foreign Language Association (SOFLA). Only approved schools and teachers participate in the program. To receive the credit, students must be high school seniors enrolled in an advanced (third, fourth, or fifth year) high school language program. These students must successfully pass an Oral Proficiency Interview administered by a certified tester of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) and demonstrate writing proficiency through the SOFLA writing proficiency exam based on the ACTFL scale. The following credits will be awarded:

  1. 101, 102 for scores equivalent to novice high on the ACTFL scale in both speaking and writing;
  2. 101, 102, 103 for scores equivalent to intermediate low on the ACTFL scale in both speaking and writing; or
  3. 101, 102, 103 and 201, 202 for scores equivalent to intermediate mid on the ACTFL scale in both speaking and writing.

Students planning to enroll at SOU who place at the intermediate mid level on both assessments may receive additional credit for 203 upon recommendation of their high school teacher and successful completion of a 300-level class at SOU.

Teacher Licensing

Students who would like to teach languages at the middle school or high school level in Oregon public schools must complete a bachelor’s degree before applying for admission to the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program at SOU. Interested students should consult the department chair for an appropriate advisor and the School of Education regarding admission requirements for the MAT program.

Students must prepare in advance to increase their chances of acceptance into this competitive program. Practica, internships, and volunteer experiences working with children in the public schools prior to application to the MAT program are required.

Study Away

The World Languages and Cultures program strongly recommends and encourages its students to participate in any of the study away opportunities available through SOU and affiliated programs. Programs are offered in a wide variety of countries around the world and for varying lengths of time, from summer intensives to yearlong experiences. Students may also participate in study away programs through the National Student Exchange program. This program allows students to participate in study away programs of other universities throughout the U.S. and in universities in Canada and Puerto Rico.

Credit earned for study away programs is transferred back to the home campus. Financial aid may be used for these programs. Students interested in these programs should consult the director of International Programs or World Languages and Cultures faculty.

Program Requirements



Bachelor of Arts

Master of Arts



American Sign Language

Foreign Languages





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