Language Requirement

From the Earlham College Curriculum Guide

Language is at the heart of the human experience. Studying languages in their cultural contexts helps us to develop greater awareness of ourselves, of other cultures and of our relationships to those cultures. A knowledge of other languages and other cultures is also a powerful key to successful communication: knowing how, when and why to say what to whom. Furthermore, studying languages opens connections to additional bodies of knowledge in the arts, social sciences, natural sciences and domains outside our present frames of reference. Through comparing and contrasting languages and cultures, we develop greater insight into our own languages and cultures and realize that there are multiple ways of viewing the world. Participation in multilingual communities in a variety of contexts and in culturally appropriate ways leads to fuller engagement in the global community.

To fulfill the Language Component of the Perspectives on Diversity Requirement, students must:

  • complete one year of one language while at Earlham
  • demonstrate language proficiency as judged by the Department of Languages and Literatures.

Students who take a language placement examination and/or who are recommended by the Department for a second semester of a language course will satisfy the Language Requirement by taking that course.

Students who place beyond the point at which the College requires work in a second language do not receive a reduction in the number of credits needed for graduation nor do they earn any credits on their transcript.

Notes about the Requirement

  • Courses that address both United States and international issues may count for either the Domestic or the International part of the Diversity Requirement, depending on the focus of the course, or, when focus is equally weighted, on the preference of the faculty member. A single course may not fulfill both the Domestic and International parts of the requirement.
  • Although Domestic or International courses must ordinarily provide a minimum of three semester hours, course credit through off-campus programs may be more flexible. For example, two courses meeting appropriate criteria and together providing a minimum of three semester hours may satisfy one part of the Diversity Requirement.
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