2022-2023 Samford University Undergraduate Catalog 
    Feb 26, 2024  
2022-2023 Samford University Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

World Languages & Cultures (Undergraduate)

Go to Programs and Course Listings


Timothy J. Sutton, Interim Chair, Professor
Grant H. Henley, Professor
Kelly C. Jensen, Professor, Spanish
Mary E. McCullough, Professor; Language Section Administrator (French)
Heather A. West, Associate Professor, French; Director, Critical Languages Program
Joanna C. Bradley, Assistant Professor, Spanish; Language Section Administrator (Spanish)
Marigene Chamberlain, Assistant Professor, Spanish; Coordinator, Language Study Abroad
Angela D. Ferguson, Assistant Professor; Language Section Administrator (German)
Tiffany Robayna, Assistant Professor, Spanish
Dieter A. Waldvogel, Assistant Professor, Spanish
Charles E. Workman, Assistant Professor, Spanish
Norma K. Mullis, Instructor, Spanish
Jennifer T. Saville, Instructor, Spanish; Director, Language Technology Forum
Sara Ortega-Higgs, Postdoctoral Instructor, Spanish

Undergraduate Programs and Requirements

French Major (B.A.)  
German Major (B.A.)  
Spanish Major (B.A.)  
World Languages and Literature Major: French, German, &/or Spanish (Two Languages) (B.A.)  

Interdisciplinary Concentrations/Majors
Global and Cultural Studies Interdisciplinary Major (B.A.)  
Language and World Trade Interdisciplinary Concentration (B.A.)  
          with a specialty in French, German, Spanish or World Languages

French Minor 
German Minor  
Spanish Minor 
World Languages & Cultures Minor  

Interdisciplinary Minors
Global and Cultural Studies Interdisciplinary Minor  
Latin American Studies Interdisciplinary Minor  

Teacher Certification: Middle School, Secondary, P-12**
French, German, or Spanish
The Department of World Languages and Cultures (WLAC) offers single-language majors in French, German, or Spanish, and in two languages combined (French, German, and/or Spanish) through the world languages and literature major. The department also offers interdisciplinary concentrations in global and cultural studies and language and world trade. Students majoring in language and world trade may choose a concentration in French, German, Spanish, or another world language. All WLAC majors and interdisciplinary concentrations earn a bachelor of arts degree.

The department also offers minors in French, German, Spanish, and world languages and cultures (combination of languages), plus interdisciplinary minors in global and cultural studies and Latin American studies.

Completion of the major or minor is determined by the number of credits in the language. In order to fulfill the minimum credits required, additional credit hours must be completed for any courses taken or transferred in for fewer than 4 credits.

*See the Department of History  section for the global and cultural studies curriculum tables.
**See the Department of Teacher Education  section for details on middle school, secondary, and P-12 teacher certification in French, German, and Spanish.

Proficiency-Based Instruction

At all levels, language instruction at Samford is based on developing proficiency in the four skills of understanding, speaking, reading, and writing, studied within the geographical and cultural context of the target language. Instructional and assessment methodologies follow competency-based guidelines established by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). The campus experience is enhanced by language and computer laboratories and complemented by numerous opportunities to study in one of the department’s classrooms abroad.

Language Placement and Proficiency

Student language placement is determined using a combination of the placement test and the high school transcript evaluation. This combination will determine the level of entry into general education-level language courses, but does not provide proof of proficiency to fulfill the general education language requirement.* To satisfy the general education language requirement, students must pass the last course in the sequence required for their program or major (see below for information about students placing into 300-level language). Students can also prove proficiency by a test score in one of the tests Samford accepts for course credit (AP, IB, CLEP, etc.) that equates to the level of language required by a student’s program or major, or students may transfer in course credit, from accredited institutions, that is deemed equivalent to the required level of language proficiency proven by Samford coursework.

Once a sequence (101-102, or 103 or 107, 201-202, or 203 or 207) is completed, students may not receive credit for taking a lower-level class in the same language. Successful completion of the previous course in a sequence serves as prerequisite to the next. Students may enter language studies at the 101, 102, 103, 107, 201, 203, 207 or 300 levels (or at the 151-152, 251-252 and 351-352 levels if studying abroad). Students placing into the 300 level must take a minimum of one 4-credit language course at the 300 or 400 level to fulfill the general education world language requirement for most Arts and Sciences majors. Students whose primary language is a WLAC language must take 3-4 credits at the 300-400 level if they desire to use that language to fulfill their general education language requirement. Students whose primary language is not a WLAC language should consult with the WLAC chair about taking a Brigham Young University Foreign Language Achievement Test (FLAT) to prove proficiency in their primary language or other ways to prove proficiency.
*Exceptions apply for students in the Brock School of Business. See that section of the catalog and/or consult with an advisor in that school for more information.

ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) and Writing Proficiency Test (WPT) 

Students who are studying less commonly taught languages (LCTLs) may choose to prove a 202-level of proficiency in that language by taking the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Oral Proficiency Interview and Writing Proficiency Test, and receiving a rating of “Intermediate High” (or higher) on both tests. Students may choose to take these tests directly from ACTFL-certified examiners (The OPI and WPT are offered in twenty-three different languages. Students will pay ACTFL’s fee), or from Samford faculty who are qualified to administer the ACTFL tests.

Required Minor for Language Majors

WLAC’s single-language majors (French, German, or Spanish) are required to complete a minor, choosing one of the following options:

  1. An established minor in a second world language.
  2. An established minor (or second major) in another discipline.
  3. A specially designed world languages minor, consisting of six courses in a combination of other languages at any level, created in consultation with a WLAC faculty advisor.
WLAC Majors

For students planning careers with international firms, service agencies, missions, teaching, or for those who seek the advantage of being bilingual in the multicultural world of the 21st century, the world languages and cultures (WLAC) major courses of study provide the opportunity to develop advanced linguistic proficiency and increase cross-cultural understanding. All WLAC graduating seniors, who complete the senior assessment testing process, receive internationally recognized proficiency ratings from an ACTFL-certified testing agency.

Critical Languages

In association with the National Association of Self-Instructional Language Programs (NASILP), the WLAC department offers self-instructional/tutorial language study in Arabic, Chinese, Haitian Creole, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Swahili, Thai, and Vietnamese. Other languages not commonly taught may also be available if there is sufficient demand.

Mentored Courses

The department also offers a number of specialized, mentored courses and independent projects for 1, 2, 3, or 4 credits in French, German, Spanish, and critical languages (FREN, GER, SPAN 310, 311, 321, 331, 340, 345, 360, and 450; and 311, 321, 331, 345 and 360 in any critical language). Students may take up to 8 credits in these courses. A maximum of 4 mentored credits at the 300- and 400-level of instruction may be applied to a major or minor.

General Education: University Core Curriculum and Distribution Requirements

See General Education Overview  in the Howard College of Arts and Sciences introductory pages for a list of required and applicable courses.

Critical Languages Program

The Critical Languages Program (CLP) makes possible the offering of less-commonly taught, but highly relevant languages not available through traditional classroom offerings.  The curriculum is student-centered and oriented principally toward the initial acquisition of oral skills, proceeding ultimately into the written form of the language. Students in CLP courses work intensively with specially prepared texts and AV material, and meet in small group drill sessions twice a week with a native-speaking tutor. They continue their language practice in two additional sessions each week in WLAC’s Language Learning Technology Forum. Exams are given on an individual basis with external examiners. These examiners are professors of their respective languages at other institutions who come to campus to examine Samford CLP students at the end of each semester.

CLP courses follow the traditional semester calendar. They are available to undergraduate and graduate students, as well as high school students and members of the community. Courses are sequential, with successful completion of the previous course serving as prerequisite to the next. Courses numbered 101, 201, and 205 are offered during fall semesters; courses numbered 102, 202, and 206 are offered during spring semesters. A world languages and cultures minor  is offered in any of the CLP languages, but content-based coursework beyond the 200 level can only be completed in off-campus courses preapproved by the CLP director.

Critical languages offered at Samford: Arabic, Chinese, Haitian Creole, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Swahili, Thai, and Vietnamese, as well as American Sign Language (see WLAC courses).

Additional Languages


For a list of Greek and Latin courses, see the Department of Classics . For a list of Hebrew courses, see the Biblical Languages course listing in the Department of Biblical and Religious Studies .


    MajorInterdisciplinary Majors/ConcentrationMinor


      American Sign LanguageFrenchGermanLatin American StudiesSchool of the Arts - Core CoursesSpanishPage: 1 | 2 | 3