2013-2014 Samford University Catalog 
    Jul 20, 2024  
2013-2014 Samford University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

World Languages and Cultures

Mikle D. Ledgerwood, Chair, Professor, French and Linguistics
Lynda J. Jentsch, Professor and Program Director, Spanish and Portuguese
Millicent A. Bolden, Associate Professor, Spanish
Kelly C. Jensen, Associate Professor, Spanish
Mary E. McCullough, Associate Professor and Program Director, French
Charlotte L. Coleman, Assistant Professor, Spanish
Angela D. Ferguson, Assistant Professor, Program Director, German
Andy M. Milstead, Assistant Professor, Spanish, and Administrative Director of Laboratories
Heather A. West, Assistant Professor, French, Director of Laboratories, and Director, Critical Languages Program
Charles E. Workman, Assistant Professor, Spanish, Assistant Director of Laboratories
Brad Burckel, Instructor, German
Marigene Chamberlain, Instructor, Spanish, Coordinator of Language Study Abroad
Carolyn R. Crocker, Instructor, Spanish
Thomas Thibeault, Director, Grace Márquez Language Technology Forum


Undergraduate Programs and Requirements


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


French, German, Portuguese, or Spanish Minor 
Latin American Studies Interdisciplinary Minor 
World Languages and Cultures Minor 

Interdisciplinary Concentrations/Majors

Global Studies Interdisciplinary Major, B.A. 
Language and World Trade Interdisciplinary Concentration, B.A.  
          with a specialty in French, German, Spanish or World Languages
Latin American Studies Interdisciplinary Concentration, B.A. 

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 language and literature major. The department also offers interdisciplinary concentrations in global studies, Latin American 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, Portuguese, Spanish, and world languages and cultures (combination of languages), plus an interdisciplinary minor in 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 Curriculum and Instruction  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 for 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 scores on the department’s placement test determine the level of entry into general education-level language courses, but do 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, however, for 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 are deemed equivalent to the required level of language proficiency proven by Samford coursework.

Once a sequence (101-102, 201-202, or 203) 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, 201, 203, or 300 levels. Students placing at 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.

Students may take one year of Greek, plus one year of Hebrew, in lieu of two years of the same language.


*Exceptions apply for students in the Brock School of Business and in selected programs in the Orlean Bullard Beeson School of Education only. See those sections of the catalog and/or consult with an advisor in those schools for more information.

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 twenty-first 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, upon completion of exit interviews and writing sample analyses, receive internationally recognized oral and writing proficiency ratings from the department’s ACTFL-trained examiners.

Critical Languages

In association with the National Association of Self-Instructional Language Programs, the WLAC department offers self-instructional/tutorial language study in Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Swahili, and Thai. 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 310 GER 310 SPAN 310 , FREN 311 GER 311 , SPAN 311 , FREN 321 , GER 321 , SPAN 321 ,FREN 331 , GER 331 , SPAN 331 , FREN 340 , GER 340 , SPAN 340 , FREN 360 , GER 360 , SPAN 360 , and FREN 450 , GER 450 , SPAN 450 ; and ARAB 311 , CHIN 311 , HIND 311 , ITAL 311 , JAPN 311 , PORT 311 , RUSS 311 , SWAH 311 , THAI 311 , ARAB 321 , CHIN 321 , HIND 321 , ITAL 321 , JAPN 321 , PORT 321 , RUSS 321 , SWAH 321  THAI 321 , ARAB 331 , CHIN 331 , HIND 331 , ITAL 331 , JAPN 331 , PORT 331 , RUSS 331 , SWAH 331 , THAI 331 , and ARAB 360 , CHIN 360 , HIND 360 , ITAL 360 , JAPN 360 , PORT 360 , RUSS 360 , SWAH 360 , THAI 360 ). 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.

University Core Curriculum and General Education Requirements

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

Required Minor for Language and Literature Majors

WLAC’s language and literature majors 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 Minors - French, German, Portuguese, Spanish, Latin American Studies, and World Languages

For students in any discipline who wish to advance their linguistic proficiency and cross-cultural communication skills beyond the required intermediate level, minors are offered in French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish, consisting of 20 credits beyond the 202* or 203* language course.

Students in other disciplines may also choose to pursue a specially designed world languages minor consisting of six courses in a combination of other world languages at any level, excluding courses taken to satisfy the general education requirement, and created in consultation with a WLAC faculty advisor.

Critical Languages Program

The Critical Languages Program (CLP) is a language instructional method that makes possible the offering of less-commonly taught, but highly relevant languages. 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 audiovisual and computer laboratories. 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 and meet Tuesdays and Thursdays. They are available to both daytime and evening (Evening College) students. Courses are sequential, with successful completion of the previous course serving as prerequisite to the next. Courses numbered 101 and 201 are offered during fall semesters only; courses numbered 102 and 202 are offered during spring semesters only. 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 abroad in courses preapproved by the CLP director.

Critical languages offered at Samford are: Arabic, Chinese, Haitian Creole, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Swahili, and Thai.

Other Languages

Greek, Hebrew, and Latin

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 Religion .



    MajorMinorInterdisciplinary Concentrations/Majors


      Critical Languages - ArabicCritical Languages - ChineseCritical Languages - Haitian CreoleCritical Languages - HindiCritical Languages - ItalianCritical Languages - JapaneseCritical Languages - KoreanCritical Languages - Portuguese

      See also “Portuguese” for additional courses.

      Critical Languages - RussianCritical Languages - SwahiliPage: 1 | 2 | 3