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[6]) 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.