Goucher Common Requirement

FLCR: Foreign Language and Culture Requirement

The study of foreign language and culture provides a foundational undergraduate competency. Foreign language study will strengthen the development of cross-cultural awareness and intercultural communication, and provide opportunities for students to explore links between foreign language and other disciplines, and to prepare for and reflect on their study abroad experience.

All students (except native speakers*) will satisfy the FLCR by taking 10, 8 or 4 credits following one of the following platforms:  

Platform Placement Required Credits Required Courses in a Foreign Language
 1 110 10 cr. 110 + 120 + 2 (Platform 1 can also be completed by taking 110 + 120 + 130)
 2 120  8 cr.  120 + 130 
 3 130 8 cr.  130 + one 200-level course
4 Beyond 130 4 cr.  One 200-level or one 300-level course

In order to ensure timely completion of the GCR of Foreign Language, students need to begin to study a language during their first year. Transfer students who enter as sophomores or higher should begin to study a foreign language immediately. For all students, unless there are extenuating circumstances, the final course to satisfy the GCR of Foreign Language should not be attempted in the fall semester of the senior year.

A student may not fulfill the foreign language requirement by auditing a course. A student may not take any of the 100-level language courses as an independent study.

Definition of Native Speaker

A native speaker is a student who has completed his or her high school education in another language and culture. It is important to distinguish between native and heritage speakers. Native speakers are typically international students and citizens of another nation, were born abroad, and their family often still resides abroad. Students should be directed to the MLLC or the HLx center directors if they believe they fall in this category.  

 Students who are foreign nationals and/or native speakers and writers of a language other than English may be exempted from the foreign language requirement if they provide evidence of their proficiency. Documents serving as evidence include a high school diploma from a school where English is not the primary language, a note from a high school teacher or college faculty member from the student’s home country attesting to the student’s native-level proficiency in the language. 

** 2- credit courses will be designed in a variety of formats: as studio courses, community-based learning, V-courses, CLAC (Culture and language across the curriculum), among others (such as, 3-week ICAs or 7-week programs).  

Placement Tests

Students must complete a placement test before enrolling in a language class or taking language courses abroad. On the basis of a placement test, students may be required to interview with our faculty, and will be place in one of four platforms (see above). Transfer credits are awarded pending placement test results. Placement results have an expiration date of one year-i.e., students need to retake their placement test after two or more semesters if they have not taken the language course in which they were placed, unless they have opted to satisfy their language requirement with the study of another language altogether. Regardless of an AP score, students cannot receive credit for Spanish without taking the Spanish placement exam and consulting the center director in order to be placed in the appropriate Spanish course.

Foreign Language and Culture Learning Outcomes

Speaking: Students will be able to narrate and describe in present, past, and future on a variety of familiar topics (i.e. celebrations, health, technology, housing, and environment).

Assessment of Speaking Skills

  • Students are evaluated by the instructor daily when participating in small groups and pairs.
  • Students are evaluated on formal presentations to their peers.
  • Students' oral skills are evaluated at the end of the semester in an oral exam given in pairs on topics that have been studied in class.

Listening: Students will be able to understand discourse (i.e., explanations, questions, and directions) on a variety of topics dealing with present, past, and future situations. 

Assessment of Listening Skills

  • Students are evaluated by the instructor daily when participating in small groups and pairs.
  • Students are able to answer questions orally and in written form.
  • Students' aural skills are evaluated on each assessment and at the end of the semester in an oral exam given in pairs on topics that have been studied in class.

Writing: Students will be able to write one to four paragraphs using present, past, and future on a variety of familiar topics (i.e. student life, celebrations, environmental issues in the Hispanic and Latinx world, etc.).

Assessment of Writing Skills

  • Students' writing skills are evaluated on exams.
  • Students write compositions on topics discussed in class that are evaluated by the instructor.

Reading: Students will be able to read and understand a variety of texts that include description and narration. Types of texts include newspaper and Internet articles, and cultural and literary texts of varying lengths.

Assessment of Reading Skills

  • Students' reading skills are assessed through classroom discussion and written exams.

Cultural Competency: Students will demonstrate an understanding of Hispanic and Latinx cultures by presenting perspectives and practices of these cultures with appropriate analysis and reflection.

Assessment for the Culture Component

  • Students will be able to cite key cultural perspectives and discuss their relationship to specific practices.
  • Students will be able to compare perspectives from Hispanic and Latinx cultures with their own heritage perspectives.
  • In guided conversation and in writing, students will demonstrate the ability to perceive any given event from more than one cultural viewpoint and learn how to create cultural bridges.