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 + 132** (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 their 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, and 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. 

**Platform 1 Courses Information

SP 132 & FR 132 are intended for students completing Platform 1 and not intending to major or minor in Spanish or French. If a student is intending to major or minor in Spanish or French, s/he should take SP 130 or FR 130 instead of 132. 132 courses may be repeated for credit if topic is different. 

Less commonly taught languages such as GER, IT, ARB and JS will open their 132 sections to any student that has completed 120 (freshmen and non-freshmen).

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.

Learning Outcomes

The Foreign language and culture requirement will be satisfied by earning a passing grade in the terminal course of Platform 1, 2, 3, or 4. 

Culture-Specific Outcomes

At the conclusion of their FLCR, all Goucher students will meet the following culture learning outcomes:

  • Demonstrate awareness that geographic, historical, economic, religious, and political factors have an impact on cultural perspectives, products and practices, including language use and styles of communication.
  • Demonstrate awareness that situational variables shape communicative interaction (verbal, non-verbal, and paralinguistic) and behavior in important ways. These variables include:

- Context and role expectations, including power differentials
- Age, gender, social class, religion, ethnicity, and place of residence

  • Demonstrate an awareness of some types of causes (linguistic and non-linguistic) for cultural misunderstanding between members of different cultures.

Langauge-Specific Outcomes

Given the differences in difficulty of the languages offered at Goucher (including the need to master a new alphabet in Arabic, Hebrew, and Russian), and the different starting points of students depending on their placement, the language-specific learning outcomes will vary. Below is a description of the language-specific learning outcomes for students enrolled in French, German, Spanish, and Italian. Differences in the learning outcomes for the three languages with a different alphabet (AHR) are indicated with an asterisk. At the conclusion of these platforms, students should be able to:

Platform 1:

  • Write and speak using the infinitive and the indicative (present and past tenses). Recognize the subjunctive moods of regular and irregular verbs.
    * AHR students will perform with all but subjunctive mood and have fewer irregular  verbs.

  • Understand information from sentence-length speech. Ask and respond to simple questions.

  • Create and connect simple paragraphs to write short, grammatically-correct compositions with an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.
    * AHR students will be able to write a comprehensible, grammatically correct paragraph.

  • Find, and interpret multiple texts in varying modalities, including digital formats.

Platform 2:

  • Write and speak using the infinitive, indicative, and subjunctive moods of regular and irregular verbs to narrate and express opinions, emotions, influence, and doubt.

    * AHR students will write and speak with all the above except the subjunctive mood.

  • Understand, with ease and confidence, sentence-length speech in basic personal and social contexts.

  • Create and connect grammatically-correct paragraphs to write compositions with a clear thesis, an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.
    * AHR students will be able to create and connect simple paragraphs to write short, compositions with an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.

  • Find, analyze, interpret, and evaluate multiple texts in digital and other formats.

Platform 3:

  • Write and speak using the subjunctive moods of regular and irregular verbs, and all the major time frames of past, present, and future to narrate and express opinions, emotions, influence, and doubt.

  • Understand short conventional spoken narrative and descriptive accounts.

  • Plan, produce and revise grammatically-correct narrative, descriptive and argumentative texts.
    * AHR students will be able to create and connect paragraphs to write compositions with an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.

  • Draw on texts in multiple formats to defend an argument and support it with primary sources.

Platform 4:

  • Write and speak using the appropriate moods and time frames of past, present, and future to express personal meaning, ask questions appropriately, and interact spontaneously in conversation.

  • Understand conventional spoken narrative and descriptive accounts, including narrations about past, present, and future events.

  • Write to narrate and describe in the major time frames of past, present, and future integrating relevant and supporting facts in connected, grammatically-correct, paragraph-length discourse.

    * AHR students will do the same but will be slightly limited in their control of tense use in writing.

  • Compare and contrast the differences between kinds of texts in multiple formats (written and oral) to defend an argument and support it with primary sources.