Foreign Language & Culture Goucher Commons Requirement (FLC GCR)

The study of foreign language and culture provides a foundational competency in a language and culture other than the student's. Foreign language study strengthens the development of cross-cultural awareness and intercultural communication, and provides opportunities for students to be initiated into another way of understanding the world, 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 FLC GCR 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

200-level courses = ARB 234, FR 233, FR 250, SP 229, 230 or SP 235.

300-level courses = FR 353, FR 357, FR 358, SP 322, or SP 350.

In order to ensure timely completion of the FLC GCR, students should 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 FLC GCR should not be attempted in their senior year.

Students may not fulfill the FLC GCR by auditing a course. Students may not take any of the 100-level language courses as an independent study. Students need to pass with a C- or above 110 and 120 in the language. Students may fulfill the FLC GCR earning a D on the last course of the language sequence.

Students wishing to fulfill the FLC GCR through the study of a language and culture not offered at Goucher need to enroll in the BSEP program or another accredited institution of higher education approved by the chair of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures (MMLC), and follow the same platform system as above. To have courses approved, students must fill out the Foreign Language Agreement Form (PDF) and send it to the Chair of the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures prior to their foreign language study. Students may enroll in a course through BSEP only during the fall and spring terms. During the winter and summer, student may enroll in a course at another college as a non-candidate student. To make sure the course will transfer into Goucher, please complete the Transfer Course Approval form (PDF).

Definition of Native Speaker

A native speaker is a student who has completed 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. A heritage language refers to the language of one´s ancestry or culture. Heritage speakers are not native speakers and students should be directed to the chairs of MLLC or Hispanic and Latinx Studies (HLx) 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 FLC GCR 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/or 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.  Please contact the MLLC chair for more information.

Platform 1 Courses Information

SP 132 FR 133 are intended for students completing Platform 1 and not intending to major or minor in Spanish or French. If students intend to major or minor in Spanish or French, they should take SP 130 or FR 130, FR 133 (4 credits) or ARB 133 instead of 132/133 (2 credits). 132/133 courses may be repeated for credit if topic is different.

Placement Tests

Students must complete a placement test before enrolling in a language class or taking language courses abroad. Based on the  placement test results, students may be required to interview with our faculty, and will be placed in one of four platforms (see above). 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 department chair in order to be placed in the appropriate Spanish or French course.

Transfer Credits

Credits taken before enrolling at Goucher may transfer as graduation credits. All students must take a placement test to be placed in the appropriate platform. Current Goucher students taking a transfer course should follow the Transfer of Credits Policy (PDF).

Students must successfully complete (pass) the terminal course in their platform in a course at Goucher or a regionally accredited, non-profit, public, or private college or university.

For permission to complete the FLC GCR with languages not offered locally, students need to contact the chair of MLLC. The chair will need to approve the syllabus prior to a student enrolling in the FLC course. Informal online sessions with native speakers or self-guided instruction are not the equivalent of a college FLC course.


For more information about outcomes, please view the following information:

Learning Outcomes

The FLC GCR 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 FLC GCR, 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.

Language Specific Outcomes

Given the differences in difficulty of the languages offered at Goucher (including the need to master a new alphabet in Arabic and Chinese), 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 and Spanish. Differences in the learning outcomes for languages with a different alphabet 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.
    *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.
    *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.
    *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.
    *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.
    *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.

    *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.


ASL can satisfy the FLC GCR.  Since we do not offer ASL at Goucher, however, students will need to complete 4-12 credits at another accredited institution, according to the level of ASL at which they initially place. Interested students need to provide the director of the MLLC Center a detailed plan and corresponding syllabi from the higher ed institution dispensing the courses.

The sequence of ASL courses must include language and culture. Part of that cultural training would most likely include exposure to the world’s diverse sign languages and the fact that American Sign Language is not the same as British Sign Language, nor is French Sign Language the same as Canadian, etc. Please note that you may need to take 4 semesters of ASL (3 language classes + 1 culture class) in order to fulfill the language and culture requirement.