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World Languages and Cultures

College of Arts and Humanities
Give to World Language

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World Languages and Cultures Office
Language & Literature Building room 102
(509) 963-1218

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World Languages and Cultures Program Information


The Department offers Bachelor of Arts degrees in French, Japanese, Russian and Spanish. Minors are available in American Sign Language, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Russian and Spanish

Are you on the wait list for a World Languages and Cultures Class? Fill out the brief form and let us know.  We want to discuss some options with you.

Click on the language names above for specific program information!

Course offerings provide (1) an introduction to the nature of the language as a facet of culture; (2) an acquaintance with the literature of the aforementioned language; and (3) proficiency in speaking, comprehension, and writing.

For non-majors or minors, the first and second year sequences of any of our world languages are designed to provide basic proficiency in that language and reinforce the value of a liberal arts education. Such proficiency, combined with other special knowledge or skills, can lead to many exciting vocational opportunities!

The Department recommends that all majors include some organized study in a foreign country where the major language is spoken. Interested students are reminded that there are various study-abroad programs administered by the Office of International Studies. Credit earned in programs abroad will normally count toward satisfaction of the major or minor requirements, but the student should see an advisor before enrolling in a study abroad program.

Study Abroad ProgramsImage of little Japanese Girl

As part of its emphasis on intercultural diversity and exchange, the Department of World Languages, in conjunction with CWU's Office of International Studies and Programs, supports study abroad programs at over 100 sites throughout the world. Students may transfer international credit into Central's degree programs by taking approved courses at universities located in 43 countries, including China, Chile, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Russia and Spain.

For more information on these programs, contact the Office of International Studies and Programs 400 E. University Way Ellensburg, WA 98926-7408. Phone Number: (509) 963-3612.

Credit by Examination

Students may challenge any 100 or 200-level course in the catalog listings for World Languages provided certain extenuating circumstances apply, such as living abroad, previous study of the language when credit was not obtained, etc. Students wishing to obtain credit by course challenge will be subject to the following conditions:

  • The circumstances should be discussed with the Major Advisor.
  • A request for course challenge should be obtained from the Registrar's Office.
  • The Department Chair's approval and signature must be obtained.
  • The form is returned to the Registrar's office where a fee of $15.00 per credit with a minimum of $30.00 must be paid. The Registrar's office then returns the form to the World Language Department.
  • The advisor will inform the student as to the way the credit can be granted. For one or more lower division courses, the student will be required to receive a grade of A or B in a class at a higher level than the one(s) being challenged. A challenge examination may also be required.
  • When the requirements for acquiring the credit have been completed, the Advisor (or the Faculty member administering the exam) and the Department Chair will sign the form, thereby approving the granting of the credit, and send it to the Registrar's Office.
  • Requests for challenge at the upper division level in literature classes and requests from native speakers educated abroad for credit at the first and second year levels will normally not be approved. Such requests are handled on an individual basis through consultation between the student, the Department Chair, the Major Advisor and/or other faculty members.

Intended Student Outcomes for World Language Majors

Each of the following statements relates to the target language or to the country or countries in which it is spoken.

Oral/Aural fluency.

The student should be able to:

  • comprehend the language in a variety of settings
  • communicate in a variety of situations
  • discuss a variety of topics
  • interpret and translate in a variety of situations
  • acquire a theoretical and practical knowledge of phonetics

Writing abilities.

The student should be able to:

  • write directions and basic instructions on non-technical areas
  • write and edit compositions on diverse topics
  • translate non-technical documents or letters
  • write a basic research paper

Study abroad.

The student is encouraged to:

  • earn a minimum of 10 credits in residence in a country where the target language is the primary language

Knowledge of literature and culture.

The student should have:

  • general knowledge of the history and major literary trends
  • critical reading experience with the literature
  • familiarity with techniques of literary analysis and basic principles of scholarly research in literature
  • general knowledge of civilization and culture including history, arts, popular culture, customs, and lifestyle

Placement Testing:

For ASL, Chinese, French, German, Japanese and Russian placement testing please send us an email at

Tutoring Assistance:

The PALs program offers free tutoring

Graduating Students & Alumni Information

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