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Languages

Languages Offered by the School of Languages, Cultures, and World Affairs

We offer courses in twelve distinct languages providing a culturally and linguistically diverse environment for students. Each language is its own unique program, defined by its faculty and the departmental or program goals. 

Arabic, part of the Asian Studies Program, is among the most widely spoken languages in the world and continues to be designated as a critical need and strategic language. National security and a sharp increase in both public and private sector employment opportunities for Arabic speakers have made Arabic one of the most popular offerings in foreign language studies. Students of a variety of educational backgrounds and programs of study will benefit from the study of Arabic at the College of Charleston.

Chinese, part of the Asian Studies Program, offers students the opportunity to study the language, history, and culture of the world’s most populous nation. Core courses include first- through third-year Chinese language, along with courses on Chinese literature and culture in English translation. Interdisciplinary courses are offered every year to supplement language learning and to give students with little to no background in the language the opportunity to learn more about China’s past and its place in the world today. Special topics offerings include courses in comparative literature, cinema, religion, politics, and business. The program also offers independent studies courses based on students’ needs, along with numerous opportunities for funded study abroad. An interdisciplinary Chinese Studies minor is planned for 2019.

Classical Greek, part of the Classics Department, offers students a chance to not only to discover the worlds of Greece and Italy, but the social-cultural contexts for the Mediterranean world, including much of Europe and the Middle East, which dominates so much of our interest today. So, if you want to build a foundation for global outreach, learn Latin or Greek. Classics courses teach skills in critical thinking, research, and communication, the acquisition of which prepares students not only to enter top-tier graduate programs but also to pursue careers in education, the law, medicine, divinity, information science, politics/civil service, consulting, publishing, and administration.

French, part of the French, Francophone and Italian Studies Department, provide student-centered undergraduate language education that emphasizes proficiency in oral and written communications. Offers a broad, dynamic curriculum that encompasses the cultural worlds of France, the Francophone regions, and Italy. Stresses the importance of using the target language in the teaching and learning of language, culture, civilization, and literature. Strongly recommends semester-long participation in study abroad programs of students majoring in French Text Version, and participation in shorter programs of those minoring in French Text Version (and Provence*) and in Italian. They make available high-impact individual projects like Bachelor’s Essay, Independent Study, and the Capstone Seminar. Encourage student participation in organizations like the French House, French Club, Italian Club, and in cultural events such as the International Poetry Evening, film showings, and guest lectures. Ensure interdisciplinary collaboration through the involvement in programs such as the First Year Experience, the International Business program, International Studies, the Teacher Education program, and the Comparative Literature and Linguistics minor programs.

German, part of the German and Russian Studies Department, seeks to provide students with a broad range of courses, degree programs, study abroad opportunities and internships to develop proficiency and cultural literacy in German. The department’s mission is to prepare all students for success as professionals and for life-long critical engagement as global citizens through the study of language, literature and media as an integral part of the liberal arts education.

Hebrew, part of the Jewish Studies Program, sets you apart from the crowd when you enter the job market. You will learn about the history and culture of Hebrew-speaking people, and have the chance to study abroad in Israel or Jordan. Immerse yourself in the culture by immersing yourself in the language. 

Italian, part of the French, Franchophone and Italian Studies Department, provides value for students planning careers in art history, music, linguistics, education, international relations, and film studies (http://italianfilmfest.cofc.edu/). The College of Charleston offers one of the most comprehensive Italian programs in South Carolina.  The Italian program’s elementary and intermediate course offerings satisfy the College’s language requirement.  In addition, through its third and fourth year courses, the program provides extensive opportunities for students who wish to further their study of the language. 

Japanese, part of the Asian Studies Program, provides our students with one of the most comprehensive Japanese programs in the state of South Carolina. In addition to satisfying the two-year language requirement, we offer third and fourth year courses for students who wish to study the language further. Along with the language courses, literature courses in English translation are offered for students who do not speak Japanese but are interested in Japanese culture. The College has an exchange program with Kansai Gaidai University of Foreign Studies in Osaka, Japan, through which students can study for a semester or a year.

Latin, part of the Classics Department, provides students with a competence in the Latin language and gain primary insight into the literature and culture of Ancient Rome. Latin is foundational for all Romance languages and the cultures of the Mediterranean. To learn Latin and Greek is not only to discover the worlds of Greece and Italy, but the social-cultural contexts for the Mediterranean world, including much of Europe and the Middle East, which dominates so much of our interest today. So, if you want to build a foundation for global outreach, learn Latin or Greek. Some may call them “ancient,” but they are not out-of-date.

Portuguese, part of the Hispanic Studies Department, prepares students to function effectively in the global community. Our Portuguese classes are small, allowing for special attention to each student. In Portuguese 101 and 102, you will acquire the four basic skills for communication: reading, writing, speaking and listening. Portuguese 201 expands these skills, and introduces students to brief cultural readings. Portuguese 202 emphasizes language, culture, and human and physical geography. For students who wish to continue their study of Portuguese past 202, we also offer an occasional 300-level course on advanced conversation. Students wishing to study abroad may participate in our own summer study abroad program in Brazil. Portuguese fulfills the language requirement at the College of Charleston.

Russian, part of the German and Russian Studies Department, offers a multidisciplinary course of study, which combines the Russian language with courses related to Russian civilization, culture, history, politics and economy. A primary goal is to provide an understanding of the relationship between the United States and Russia in the aftermath of the Cold War. The Department seeks to provide students with a broad range of courses, degree programs, study abroad opportunities and internships to develop proficiency and cultural literacy in Russian.  The department’s mission is to prepare all students for success as professionals and for life-long critical engagement as global citizens through the study of language, literature and media as an integral part of the liberal arts education.

Spanish, part of the Hispanic Studies Department, provides opportunities that enhance the knowledge of language, literature, culture and history gained in our diverse course offerings. Some of these forums include: study abroad programs (semester and summer) in Argentina, Chile, Cuba, Spain and others (See Center for International Education), the Franco-Hispano House, Hispanic Studies Distinguished Lecture Series, service learning through local and international internships, membership in our national-award-winning chapter of Sigma Delta Pi, the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society, for qualifying majors and minors.