World Languages and Cultures Trail Marker


Two successive courses taught in a World Language and one Culture course are required for all Bethany students to provide World Readiness Skills and Global Competence.  These skills are fundamental for success in an increasingly internationalized world.   

Learning Objectives for the Language Courses:  

Students will develop  

  • an understanding that languages are key to the expression of cultures, and that a deep understanding of another culture is only possible through its language.   

  • the ability to communicate effectively at the novice-high[1] (for Arabic, Mandarin-Chinese, Hebrew, Japanese) or intermediate-low proficiency level[2] (French, German, Spanish) or above (depending on the language difficulty[3]) on the ACTFL proficiency scale. These levels can typically be reached by completing a Level II language course at Bethany. 

  • skills and strategies to continue learning world languages more easily as life-long activity in multilingual societies and an internationalized world. 

Eligible World Language Courses:   
  • Any two courses offered by the WLAC section and taught in the world language and succeeding each other qualify to fulfill for the requirement.  

There are five ways to fulfill the requirement: 

  • Students successfully complete at Bethany two courses of a language sequence in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, or Spanish into which they have been placed based on the results of an internal or external placement procedure.  Acceptable external instruments are the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview, or a certified Common European Framework (CEFR) ranking.  The validity of other external tests will be decided on a case-by-case basis.  

  • Students who test above the 110 level in a language available at Bethany College are encouraged, but not required, to continue their study in that language at a higher level (For example, a student testing into FREN 120 can take that class and continue into FREN 130, or start over with FREN 110 and complete the requirement with FREN 120) Alternatively, they have the option to begin the study of an additional world language and culture and take levels 110 and 120.  

  • Students who transfer two semesters of college language credit, and students who have achieved a 3 or better on the College Board AP exam, have completed the requirement.   

  • Native speakers of languages other than English have the option to continue their study of English as a Second Language. Eligible courses[3] need to be dedicated to skill building (speaking, reading, or writing skills).  

  • Students with documented disabilities are offered accommodations and modifications on a case-by-case basis in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Common course substitutions for persons with language learning disabilities are civilization and culture courses taught in English and offered by the World Languages and Cultures program (ARBC, CHIN, GRMN, FREN, JAPN, SPAN 180 or 181). Please contact the Director of the Learning Center to complete the process.  

Upon their request, and based on test results, students may earn up to six credits for prior language study. 


1. ACTFL (2012). The ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines 2012. 

2. ACTFL (2012). The ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines 2012. 

3. U.S. Department of State. “Foreign Language Training.” 


Learning Objectives for the Culture Course  

Bethany students further develop their global competence and world readiness by taking a course through which they either become familiar with the contemporary world by exploring the interrelationships of several countries or by comparing two or more countries outside of the United States, or through which they become aware of the nature and significance of one existing culture, ethnic subculture, or cluster of ethnic subcultures.  

Means of achieving these objectives 

  •  Students will develop the skills to interact with cultural competence and understanding   

  • by investigating, explaining, and reflecting on the concept of culture through comparisons of the cultures studied with their own culture, and   

  • by investigating, explaining, and reflecting on the relationship between the practices and products, and the perspectives of the cultures studied.  

Eligible Culture Courses 
  • Classes eligible to fulfill the Culture requirement include more advanced language and culture courses offered by World Languages and Cultures, or courses in other departments, which allow for a deeper, more theoretical treatment of cultures than is possible in beginning World Language courses. The course can be selected from one of these categories. The list of courses approved for satisfying the requirement in each area changes every year.

  • Cultural Awareness Courses (GAC): Arabic 130 Arabic Language and Cultures III, 180 Civilization of the Arabic Speaking World; Business 345 Intercultural Communications; Chinese 130 Chinese Language and Cultures III, 180 Chinese Civilization; Communications 345 Intercultural Communication; English 267 Masterpieces of World Literature, 383 African American Novel; Fine Arts 104 Out of the Blues and Into Rock; French 130 French III, 181 Contemporary France, 220 Conversation and Composition: France; German 130 German III, 160 German Culture through Film, 180 Civilization of Germany, 220 Conversation and Composition: Germany; History 329 Islamic Civilization, 330 Modern China, 331 Modern Japan; Japanese 130 Japanese III, 180 Japanese Culture, 181 Modern Japan; Music 104 Out of the Blues and Into Rock; Psychology 250 Multi-Cultural Psychology; Religious Studies 210 Yoga and Meditation, 220 Introduction to World Religions, 352 Islamic Civilization; Social Work 210 Human Diversity; Sociology 210 Human Diversity; Spanish 130 Spanish III, 180 Civilization of Spain, 220 Conversation and Composition: Spain; Theatre 270 Women Playwrights.
  • International Understanding (GAI): Business 308 International Business, 371 International Finance; Communications 403 Global and International Communication; English 268 Modern World Literature; Economics 113 Comparative Economic Systems; French 221 Conversation and Composition: Francophone World; General Science 202 Physical and Cultural Geography; German 181 Civilization of the German-Speaking World; 221 Conversation and Composition: The German- Speaking World; History 210 The Age of Extremes: The Twentieth-Century World, 230 Dilemmas of Diversity, Democracy, and Nationhood in the Twentieth-Century World; Interdisciplinary Studies 202 World Energy Resources, 203 International Terrorism; 211 Women in the World; Political Science 111 Comparative Politics, 112 International Politics, 211 Women in the World; 253 Nature and International Society; Religious Studies 244 Hinduism and Buddism, 260 Religion and Food; Spanish 181 Civilization of Latin America; 221 Conversation and Composition: Latin America