Languages and Cultures

Languages and Cultures:
Essential for the Educated Individual

Our standards for General Education and Assessment are based on those established by the American Council of Teachers of Foreign Languages (ACTFL).

ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines

ACTFL National Standards

General Education Courses
in Languages and Cultures

Approved General Education Courses at BU

Approved General Education Courses in the Department of Languages and Cultures

These courses satisfy
  • 2 GEPs for Goal 8: Basic Communication in a Second Language and
  • 1 GEP for Goal 4: Culture and Diversity.

ARABIC 102 Arabic II - Develops further the four language skills: speaking, listening, reading, and writing to a proficiency level regarded as basic communication in Arabic. ARABIC 102 is for students who wish to continue studying Arabic at the second level. Students earn two General Education Points for Basic Communication in a Second Language and one General Education Point for Cultures and Diversity. General Education Goal 8 may also be satisfied through placement testing as approved by the Department of Languages and Cultures. Generally, students with two or more years of ARABIC in high school would be able to satisfy General Education Goal 8 by taking the placement test. Arabic language study is taught in its cultural context, including history, culture, diversity, and comparison with students’ native culture. Practice in language laboratory and / or use of electronic language-learning media is required. Students must have passed ARABIC 101 or the equivalent in order to enroll in ARABIC 102. ARABIC 102 is offered every semester. This course satisfies 2 GEPs for Goal 8: Basic Communication in a Second Language and 1 GEP for Goal 4: Culture and Diversity.

CHINESE 102 Chinese II - Develops further the four language skills: speaking, listening, reading, and writing to a proficiency level regarded as basic communication in Chinese. CHINESE 102 is for students who have completed CHINESE 101 or the equivalent. Students earn two General Education Points for Basic Communication in a Second Language and one General Education Point for Cultures and Diversity. Chinese language study is taught in its cultural context, including history, culture, diversity, and comparison with students’ native culture. Practice in language laboratory and / or use of electronic language-learning media is required. Students must have passed CHINESE 101 or the equivalent in order to enroll in CHINESE 102. CHINESE 102 is offered every semester. This course satisfies 2 GEPs for Goal 8: Basic Communication in a Second Language and 1 GEP for Goal 4: Culture and Diversity.

FRENCH 102 French II - Develops further the four language skills: speaking, listening, reading, and writing to a proficiency level regarded as basic communication in French. FRENCH 102 is for students who wish to continue studying French at the second level. Students earn two General Education Points for Basic Communication in a Second Language and one General Education Point for Cultures and Diversity. General Education Goal 8 may also be satisfied through placement testing as approved by the Department of Languages and Cultures. Generally, students with two or more years of French in high school would be able to satisfy General Education Goal 8 by taking the placement test. French language study is taught in its cultural context, including history, culture, diversity, and comparison with students’ native culture. Practice in language laboratory and / or use of electronic language-learning media is required. Students must have passed FRENCH 101 or the equivalent in order to enroll in FRENCH 102. FRENCH 102 is offered every semester. This course satisfies 2 GEPs for Goal 8: Basic Communication in a Second Language and 1 GEP for Goal 4: Culture and Diversity.

GERMAN 102 German II - Develops further the four language skills: speaking, listening, reading, and writing to a proficiency level regarded as basic communication in German. GERMAN 102 is for students who have completed GERMAN 101 or the equivalent. Students earn two General Education Points for Basic Communication in a Second Language and one General Education Point for Cultures and Diversity. German language study is taught in its cultural context, including history, culture, diversity, and comparison with students’ native culture. Practice in language laboratory and / or use of electronic language-learning media is required. Students must have passed GERMAN 101 or the equivalent in order to enroll in GERMAN 102. GERMAN 102 is offered every semester. This course satisfies 2 GEPs for Goal 8: Basic Communication in a Second Language and 1 GEP for Goal 4: Culture and Diversity.

ITALIAN 102 Italian II - Develops further the four language skills: speaking, listening, reading, and writing to a proficiency level regarded as basic communication in Italian. ITALIAN 102 is for students who have completed ITALIAN 101 or the equivalent. Students earn two General Education Points for Basic Communication in a Second Language and one General Education Point for Cultures and Diversity. Italian language study is taught in its cultural context, including history, culture, diversity, and comparison with students’ native culture. Practice in language laboratory and / or use of electronic language-learning media is required. Students must have passed ITALIAN 101 or the equivalent in order to enroll in ITALIAN 102. ITALIAN 102 is offered every semester. This course satisfies 2 GEPs for Goal 8: Basic Communication in a Second Language and 1 GEP for Goal 4: Culture and Diversity.

LATIN 102 Latin II - Develops further the four language skills: speaking, listening, reading, and writing to a proficiency level regarded as basic communication in Latin. LATIN 102 is for students who have completed LATIN 101 or the equivalent. Students earn two General Education Points for Basic Communication in a Second Language and one General Education Point for Cultures and Diversity. Latin language study is taught in its cultural context, including history, culture, diversity, and comparison with students’ native culture. Practice in language laboratory and / or use of electronic language-learning media is required. Students must have passed LATIN 101 or the equivalent in order to enroll in LATIN 102. LATIN 102 is not offered every semester. This course satisfies 2 GEPs for Goal 8: Basic Communication in a Second Language and 1 GEP for Goal 4: Culture and Diversity.

RUSSIAN 102 Russian II (Spring) - Develops further the four language skills: speaking, listening, reading, and writing to a proficiency level regarded as basic communication in Russian. RUSSIAN 102 is for students who have completed RUSSIAN 101 or the equivalent. Students earn two General Education Points for Basic Communication in a Second Language and one General Education Point for Cultures and Diversity. Russian language study is taught in its cultural context, including history, culture, diversity, and comparison with students’ native culture. Practice in language laboratory and / or use of electronic language-learning media is required. Students must have passed RUSSIAN 101 or the equivalent in order to enroll in RUSSIAN 102. RUSSIAN 102 is offered every semester. This course satisfies 2 GEPs for Goal 8: Basic Communication in a Second Language and 1 GEP for Goal 4: Culture and Diversity.

SPANISH 102: Spanish II - Develops further the four language skills: speaking, listening, reading, and writing to a proficiency level regarded as basic communication in Spanish. SPANISH 102 is for students who have completed SPANISH 101 or the equivalent. Students earn two General Education Points for Basic Communication in a Second Language and one General Education Point for Cultures and Diversity. Spanish language study is taught in its cultural context, including history, culture, diversity, and comparison with students’ native culture. Practice in language laboratory and / or use of electronic language-learning media is required. Students must have passed SPANISH 101 or the equivalent in order to enroll in SPANISH 102. SPANISH 102 is offered every semester. This course satisfies 2 GEPs for Goal 8: Basic Communication in a Second Language and 1 GEP for Goal 4: Culture and Diversity.

SPANISH 112: Intensive Elementary Spanish - Develops further the four language skills: speaking, listening, reading, and writing to a proficiency level regarded as basic communication in Spanish. SPANISH 102 is for students who have completed SPANISH 101 or the equivalent. Students earn two General Education Points for Basic Communication in a Second Language and one General Education Point for Cultures and Diversity. Spanish language study is taught in its cultural context, including history, culture, diversity, and comparison with students’ native culture. Practice in language laboratory and / or use of electronic language-learning media is required. Students must have passed SPANISH 101 or the equivalent in order to enroll in SPANISH 102. SPANISH 102 is offered every semester. This course satisfies 2 GEPs for Goal 8: Basic Communication in a Second Language and 1 GEP for Goal 4: Culture and Diversity.


This course satisfies
  • 3 GEPs for Goal 4: Culture and Diversity.

LANGCULT 200 Comparative Cultural Studies Examines the dynamic processes by which our direct interaction with foreign cultural products -- language, texts, performances and other representation systems -- influence how we, as language learners, see and understand the world and our place in it. LANGCULT 200 presents world culture in its historical contexts through lectures, projects and discussions. LANGCULT 200 is required for all students majoring in Languages and Cultures. There are no prerequisites for LANGCULT 200. Course is offered in alternating semesters. This course satisfies 3 GEPs for Goal 4: Cultures and Diversity.


These courses satisfy
  • 2 GEPs for Goal 4: Culture and Diversity and
  • 1 GEP for Goal 7: Arts and Humanities.

CHINESE 211 Foundations of Chinese Civilization (Fall) - Imparts knowledge about the history of Chinese culture and civilization. Students gain insights in the cultural history of China, including geography, society, politics, philosophy, art, literature, and the sciences in their historical contexts. CHINESE 211 is intended for students seeking an introductory course on Chinese culture. CHINESE 211 is taught in English and presents Chinese culture in its historical contexts through lectures, projects and discussions. CHINESE 211 satisfies General Educational requirements and partially fulfills requirements for the Chinese minor. There are no prerequisites for CHINESE 211. CHINESE 211 is offered in alternating semesters. This course satisfies 2 GEPs for Goal 4: Culture and Diversity and 1 GEP for Goal 7: Arts and Humanities.

CHINESE 212 China Today (Spring) - Presents contemporary Chinese culture and civilization with emphasis on art, literature, ideas, recent historical events, and cultural exchanges. Intended for students seeking an introductory course on Chinese culture. Students gain insights in contemporary Chinese culture, including its geography, society, politics, philosophy, art, literature, and the sciences. Course is taught in English through lectures, projects, discussions, readings, and audio-visual media. CHINESE 212 partially fulfills the requirements for the Chinese Minor. Course is offered in alternating semesters. This course satisfies 2 GEPs for Goal 4: Culture and Diversity and 1 GEP for Goal 7: Arts and Humanities.

FRENCH 211 Foundations of French Culture and Civilization (Fall) - Presents the history of French culture and civilization from its beginnings to the French Revolution, with emphasis on art, literature, ideas, historical events, and cultural exchanges. Intended for students seeking an introductory course on French culture. Students gain insights in the cultural history of France and Francophone cultures, including geography, society, politics, philosophy, art, literature, and the sciences. Course is taught in English through lectures, projects, discussions, readings, and audio-visual media. FRENCH 211 partially fulfills the requirements for the French Minor. Course is offered in alternating semesters. This course satisfies 2 GEPs for Goal 4: Culture and Diversity and 1 GEP for Goal 7: Arts and Humanities.

FRENCH 212 France Today - Presents contemporary French and Francophone cultures and civilizations with emphasis on art, literature, ideas, recent historical events, and cultural exchanges. Intended for students seeking an introductory course on French-speaking cultures. Students gain insights in contemporary French and Francophone cultures, including geography, society, politics, philosophy, art, literature, and the sciences. Course is taught in English through lectures, projects, discussions, readings, and audio-visual media. FRENCH 212 partially fulfills the requirements for the French Minor. Course is offered in alternating semesters. This course satisfies 2 GEPs for Goal 4: Culture and Diversity and 1 GEP for Goal 7: Arts and Humanities.

GERMAN 212 German Culture and Civilization II - Presents the history of German culture and civilization from 1800 to the present, with emphasis on art, literature, ideas, historical events, and cultural exchanges. Intended for students seeking an introductory course on German culture. Students gain insights in the cultural history of German culture, including geography, society, politics, philosophy, art, literature, and the sciences. Course is taught in English through lectures, projects, discussions, readings, and audio-visual media. GERMAN 212 partially fulfills the requirements for the German Minor. Course is offered in alternating semesters. This course satisfies 2 GEPs for Goal 4: Culture and Diversity and 1 GEP for Goal 7: Arts and Humanities.

SPANISH 211: Spanish Culture and Civilization (Fall) - Presents the history of Spanish culture and civilization from its beginnings to the present, with emphasis on art, literature, ideas, historical events, and cultural exchanges. Intended for students seeking an introductory course on Spanish culture. Students gain insights in the cultural history of Spain, including geography, society, politics, philosophy, art, literature, and the sciences. Course is taught in English through lectures, projects, discussions, readings, and audio-visual media. SPANISH 211 partially fulfills the requirements for the Spanish Minor. Course is offered in alternating semesters. This course satisfies 2 GEPs for Goal 4: Culture and Diversity and 1 GEP for Goal 7: Arts and Humanities.

SPANISH 212: Spanish-American Culture and Civilization (Spring) Presents the history of Spanish American culture and civilization from its beginnings to the present, with emphasis on art, literature, ideas, historical events, and cultural exchanges. Intended for students seeking an introductory course on Spanish American culture. Students gain insights in the cultural history of Spanish America, including geography, society, politics, philosophy, art, literature, and the sciences. Course is taught in English through lectures, projects, discussions, readings, and audio-visual media. SPANISH 212 partially fulfills the requirements for the Spanish Minor. Course is offered in alternating semesters. This course satisfies 2 GEPs for Goal 4: Culture and Diversity and 1 GEP for Goal 7: Arts and Humanities.


These courses satisfy
  • 1 GEP for Goal 4: Cultures and Diversity and
  • 2 GEPs for Goal 7 Arts and Humanities.

ARABIC 211: Cultures in the Arabic-Speaking World Introduces the cultural history of the Arab-speaking world and explores the differences that exist among Arab cultures. Students will be introduced to the cultural history of Arab-speaking societies through different media including, but not limited to, literary texts, newspapers, magazines, paintings, postcards and audiovisual materials. The course also focuses on current events taking place in the Arab-speaking world. It is taught in English and it is based on lectures, in-class discussions and students' contributions through oral and written assignments. Open to all students and counts for a minor or a major in Languages and Cultures: Arabic Studies Track. No prerequisite. Offered every other year. This course earns one GEP toward Goal 4 Cultures and Diversity and two GEPs toward Goal 7 Arts and Humanities in general education. Prerequisites: None (course taught in English).

ARABIC 212: Euro-Arab Cinema Introduces students to Euro-Arab cinema and culture through the analysis of films that portray both Arab and European characters. The course investigates the cultural, social and political issues that these films discuss as it also aims to introduce key concepts in transnational cinema. Students will study political, social, cultural and religious diversity as reflected in a number of movies. The course will also address the representation of women in films. The course is based on movie screenings, readings and students' contributions through oral and written assignments. Open to all students and counts for a minor or a major in Languages and Cultures: Arabic Studies Track. Prerequisites: None (course taught in English). Offered every other year. This course earns one GEP toward Goal 4 Cultures and Diversity and two GEPs toward Goal 7 Arts and Humanities in general education.


These courses satisfy
  • 1 GEP for Goal 1: Communication and
  • 2 GEPs for Goal 7: Arts and Humanities.

RUSSIAN 211: Russian Culture and Civilization This course satisfies 1 GEP for Goal 1: Communication and 2 GEPs for Goal 7: Arts and Humanities. Presents the history of Russian culture and civilization from its beginnings to the present, with emphasis on art, literature, ideas, historical events, and cultural exchanges. Students gain insights in the cultural history of Russia, including geography, society, politics, philosophy, art, literature, and the sciences. The course is designed for students seeking General Education Points in Arts and Humanities and Communication and is taught in English in combination of lecture and discussion, and formal and informal oral and written assignments. Open to all students and applicable toward a minor or a major in Languages and Cultures: Russian and East European Studies Track. Normally offered every other year. This course earns one GEP toward Goal 1 Communication and two GEPs toward Goal 7 Arts and Humanities in general education. May be offered in traditional and distance education formats. Prerequisites: None. Three hours lecture per week.

RUSSIAN 212: Russian Film, Literature and Culture Explores the role of cinema, literature, print and electronic media in shaping society in the Soviet Union and Russia. Along with learning about Soviet and Russian popular culture, students analyze the relationship between media and politics. Special attention will be paid to cinema, television, radio, newspapers, contemporary literary works, and the Internet. The course is designed for students seeking General Education Points in Arts and Humanities and communication and is taught in English in combination of lecture and discussion, and formal and informal oral and written assignments. This course satisfies 1 GEP for Goal 1: Communication and 2 GEPs for Goal 7: Arts and Humanities.

RUSSIAN 214: East European Film, Literature and Culture This course satisfies 1 GEP for Goal 1: Communication and 2 GEPs for Goal 7: Arts and Humanities. Explores the role of cinema, literature, print and electronic media in shaping society in East European countries. Along with learning about East European popular cultures, students analyze the relationship between media and politics. Special attention will be paid to cinema, television, radio, newspapers, contemporary literary works, and the Internet. The course is designed for students seeking General Education Points in Arts and Humanities and Communication and is taught in English in combination of lecture and discussion, and formal and informal oral and written assignments. Open to all students and applicable toward a minor or a major in Languages and Cultures: Russian and East European Studies Track. Normally offered every other year. This course earns one GEP toward Goal 1 Communication and two GEPs toward Goal 7 Arts and Humanities in general education. Prerequisites: None.


These courses satisfy
  • 2 GEPs for Goal 1: Communication and
  • 1 GEP for Goal 7: Arts and Humanities.

FRENCH 203: French 3 (not every semester) Develops the four language skills: speaking, reading, writing, and listening. Basic grammar is reviewed and new grammatical concepts are presented. French cultural history is given additional emphasis. Students studying French should begin to synthesize their acquired linguistic and cultural knowledge toward an understanding of their native language and culture. This course is also designed to help prepare those students who would like to visit or study abroad in a French-speaking country. The three hours lecture per week and assignments employ a variety of learning activities. FRENCH 203 is a required course for the major and minor in Languages and Cultures: French, but is open to all students. It satisfies General Education Requirements: 2 GEPs for Goal 1: Communication and 1 GEP for Goal 7: Arts and Humanities. This course is offered once per year. Prerequisites: FRENCH 102 (French 2), or placement through the French Language Placement Test, or permission of the instructor.

FRENCH 204: French 4 Develops the four language skills: speaking, reading, writing, and listening. Basic grammar is reviewed and new grammatical concepts are presented. Contemporary Culture in French-speaking countries is given additional emphasis. Students studying French should begin to synthesize their acquired linguistic and cultural knowledge toward an understanding of their native language and culture. This course is also designed to help prepare those students who would like to visit or study abroad in a French-speaking country. The three hours lecture per week and assignments employ a variety of learning activities. FRENCH 204 is a required course for the major and minor in Languages and Cultures: French, but is open to all students. It satisfies General Education Requirements: 2 GEPs for Goal I: Communication and 1 GEP for Goal 7: Arts and Humanities. This course is offered once per year. Prerequisites: FRENCH 102 (French 2), or placement through the French Language Placement Test, or permission of the instructor.

GERMAN 203: German 3 Develops the four language skills: speaking, reading, writing, and listening. Basic grammar is reviewed and new grammatical concepts are presented. German cultural history is given additional emphasis. Students studying German should begin to synthesize their acquired linguistic and cultural knowledge toward an understanding of their native language and culture. This course is also designed to help prepare those students who would like to visit or study abroad in a German-speaking country. The three hours lecture per week and assignments employ a variety of learning activities. GERMAN 203 differs from GERMAN 204 in the selection of topic areas. GERMAN 203 is a required course for the major Languages and Cultures: German, but is open to all students. It satisfies General Education Requirements: 2 GEPs for Goal 1: Communication and 1 GEP for Goal 7: Arts and Humanities. This course is offered once per year. Prerequisites: GERMAN 102 (German 2), or placement through the German Language Placement Test, or permission of the instructor.

GERMAN 204: German 4 Develops the four language skills: speaking, reading, writing, and listening. Basic grammar is reviewed and new grammatical concepts are presented. German cultural history is given additional emphasis. Students studying German should begin to synthesize their acquired linguistic and cultural knowledge toward an understanding of their native language and culture. This course is also designed to help prepare those students who would like to visit or study abroad in a German-speaking country. The three hours lecture per week and assignments employ a variety of learning activities. GERMAN 204 differs from GERMAN 203 in the selection of topic areas. GERMAN 204 is a required course for the major Languages and Cultures: German, but is open to all students. It satisfies General Education Requirements: 2 GEPs for Goal 1: Communication and 1 GEP for Goal 7: Arts and Humanities. This course is offered once per year. Prerequisites: GERMAN 102 (German 2), or placement through the German Language Placement Test, or permission of the instructor.


These courses satisfy
  • 1 GEP for Goal 1: Communication and
  • 1 GEP for Goal 4: Cultures and Diversity.

ARABIC 203: Arabic 3 This course satisfies 1 GEP for Goal 1: Communication, and 1 GEP for Goal 4: Cultures and Diversity. Continues the development of the four language skills in Arabic including speaking, listening, reading and writing, with a focus on Arabic cultures. The third course in the sequence of Arabic courses will strengthen communicative proficiency in Arabic as well as develop the ability to understand and appreciate Arabic cultures. The course includes a combination of lectures and activities, and students are required to produce formal and informal oral and written assignments. Open to all students and counts for a minor or a major in Languages and Cultures: Arabic Studies Track. This course earns one GEP toward Goal 1 Communication in general education and one GEP toward Goal 4 Cultures and Diversity in general education. Prerequisites: ARABIC.102 or the equivalent proficiency level. Offered once a year.

RUSSIAN 203: Intermediate Russian I Develops further four language skills through extensive and intensive practice in speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Russian language is taught in its cultural contexts, including history, culture, diversity, and comparison with students' native communication cultures. The course is designed for students seeking General Education Points in Cultures and Diversity and Communication and is conducted in combination of lecture and discussion, and formal and informal oral and written assignments. Applicable toward a minor or a major in Languages and Cultures: Russian and East European Studies Track. This course earns one GEP toward Goal 1 Communication and one GEP toward Goal 4 Cultures and Diversity in general education. Prerequisites: RUSSIAN.102 or equivalent, or permission of the Department. Normally offered once a year. Three hours lecture per week.


These courses satisfy
  • 1 GEP for Goal 1: Communication,
  • 1 GEP for Goal 4: Cultures and Diversity and
  • 1 GEP for Goal 7: Arts and Humanities.

ARABIC 204: Arabic 4 Emphasizes the four language skills in Arabic including speaking, listening, reading and writing, with a focus on Arabic cultures. The fourth course in the sequence of Arabic courses continues to strengthen communicative proficiency in the Arabic language as well as develop the ability to understand and appreciate Arabic cultures. The course includes a combination of lectures and activities, and students are required to produce formal and informal oral and written assignments. Open to all students and counts for a minor or a major in Languages and Cultures: Arabic Studies Track. Offered once a year. This course earns one GEP toward Goal 1 Communication in general education, one GEP toward Goal 4 Cultures and Diversity in general education and one GEP toward Goal 7 Arts and Humanities in general education. Prerequisite: ARABIC 203 or equivalent, or permission of the instructor.

RUSSIAN 204: Intermediate Russian II Reinforces and expand the material covered in Russian 203 (Intermediate Russian I) by utilizing a multi-skill approach: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. A key objective in this course is to encourage students to speak as much Russian in the classroom as possible. Russian language is taught in its cultural contexts, including history, diversity, literature, visual arts and comparison with students' native communication strategies and literary and artistic traditions. The course is designed for students seeking General Education Points in Cultures and Diversity, Communication, and Arts and Humanities, and is conducted in combination of lecture and discussion, and formal and informal oral and written assignments. Applicable toward a minor or a major in Languages and Cultures: Russian and East European Studies Track. Prerequisites: RUSSIAN.102 or equivalent (e.g. Placement Test) or permission of the Department. Normally offered once a year. This course earns one GEP toward Goal 1 Communication and one GEP toward Goal 4 Cultures and Diversity and one GEP toward Goal 7 Arts and Humanities in general education.


This course satisfies
  • 1 GEP for Goal 10: Citizenship.

LANGCULT 397: Service Learning in Foreign Languages Applies knowledge of a second language to promoting world languages in the community. Under the guidance of a faculty member in the Department of Languages and Cultures, students prepare and carry out interactive lessons in after-school groups of students in grades K-8 and keep a record of their learning experiences as active advocates for world languages. This course may be repeated. Prerequisites: ARABIC 204, CHINESE 204, FRENCH 204, GERMAN 204, RUSSIAN 204, SPANISH 204. This course satisfies 1 GEP for Goal 10: Citizenship.


This course satisfies
  • 1 GEP for Goal 1: Communication and
  • 1 GEP for Goal 4: Cultures and Diversity.

SPANISH 402: Advanced Conversation and Composition Develops spoken and written communication in Spanish at the advanced level according to the standards of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. Emphasizes speaking and writing on topics of current cultural and social significance in order to develop and to stimulate sophisticated oral and written communication in Spanish and to promote heightened awareness and appreciation of the cultural contexts in which the Spanish language is spoken. All resources are culled from authentic language sources intended for native or near-native speakers of the Spanish language. Delivered in Spanish. Intended for students of intermediate to advanced levels of language ability. Required for Languages and Cultures I Spanish majors. Three hours lecture per week. This course earns one GEP toward Goal 1 Communication and one GEP toward Goal 4 Cultures and Diversity in general education. Prerequisite: SPANISH 306 or SPANISH 350 or permission of the instructor. Offered at least once each academic year.