World Languages and Literature
Nine Spelman students studied in Oaxaca
(pronounced "wa-HA-ka"), Mexico this summer.
The Department of World Languages and Literature at Spelman
College, housed on the fourth floor of
the Cosby Academic Building, offers a variety
of courses and programs in Spanish, French,
Japanese and Latin. There are fifteen full
time faculty members in the department,
a director of the Language Resource Center, and part time faculty
as enrollment demands.
Why Study Foreign Languages?
A language major or minor opens doors
to teaching, foreign service, human rights
agencies, social work and community service
organizations, international corporations,
international business and sales, consulting,
interpreting, journalism, and the medical
and legal fields, just to mention a few
Major / Minor
The foreign languages department offers
specialized programs in French. Chinese and Spanish
leading to either a major or minor. Major
and minor students are strongly encouraged
to participate in a foreign study program.
Students who wish to major in either
French. Chinese or Spanish must complete at least
12 courses (45 credits) above the 200-level.
Those wishing to minor in French, Chinese or Spanish
must complete 6 courses (24 hours) above
the 200-level. For either a major or
minor, specific courses are required.
For further information on the courses
required, consult the college bulletin
or the departmental chair.
The department of foreign languages sponsors
four summer programs. Students of French
may spend a month in Martinique where
they live with host families and study
the French language and French-Caribbean
culture. Students of Spanish may participate
in our programs in Oaxaca, Mexico, Santiago,
Malaga, Spain, Dominican Republic, and San José,
Costa Rica. In these programs, students
live with host families for a month and
study Spanish in a university setting.
The Oaxaca Program is intended for students
who wish to also study historical and
economic concerns of Mexico and see its
diverse indigenous heritage. The program
in the Dominican Republic is for students
who are also interested in current social,
political and economic issues in the
Caribbean that affect Dominican life.
The program in Costa Rica is for students
who wish to study Spanish and are also
interested in social and environmental
issues, and community service. Eight hours of credit are awarded upon
successful completion of these programs.
Year / Semester
Spelman language students study in a wide
variety of locations during their junior
year, either for a semester or for the
entire year. Some students choose to spend
the first semester in one country and the
second semester in another. Students planning
to major in French or Spanish are strongly
encouraged to participate in a Study-Abroad
Program. The department sponsors a one-semester
program at the Catholic University in Valparaiso,
Chile, and works closely with the Director
of the Office of Study Abroad to help students
select appropriate programs.
Semester or academic-year programs are
available in: Belgium; France: (Paris,
Dijon, Nantes, Strasbourg); Senegal: (Dakar).
Academic programs are available for a semester
or a year abroad in Argentina: (Buenos
Aires); Chile: (Santiago); Dominican Republic:
(Santiago or Santo Domingo); Mexico: (Guadalajara);
Spain: (Alicante, Madrid, Salamanca, Seville).
The Institute for Asian Studies offers
programs at Tokyo International University
for students of Japanese. These university-hosted
programs are designed for English speakers
since, in addition to Japanese language
courses, students can earn university credit
in academic courses taught in English.
General Education Requirements
Spelman works with organizations such as CIEE or Global Alliances to offer junior-year study abroad experiences in Shanghai, Beijing and Xi'an.
Language Resource Center
The new language lab is equipped with
a 23 station state-of-the-art multimedia
Sony Language Learning system. Additionally,
five P.C. stations are outfitted with
CD-ROM and Internet access. The technological
flexibility of the system gives faculty
and students a variety of options (from
pronunciation drills to research), increasing
understanding of other cultures and improving
language performance. Contact: Paulina Canales
Students are required to complete a 202-level foreign course (for which they
may substitute 222 in French or Spanish) in their chosen language. New students
are offered a placement exam and subsequently placed in a language class between
101 – 202 / 222. Exceptional students may take an additional oral interview
for possible exemption from the general education requirement. A student may
fulfill the language requirement with two years of a language that is not offered
at Spelman by taking, with prior permission of the department chair, off-campus