World Languages and Cultures
Indiana University has a long tradition of excellence and leadership in international and global studies. Most notably, that tradition is seen in the support that Herman B Wells gave to the establishment of world-class departments and programs in that area, as well as the current emphasis across the entire university in giving students the tools to better understand, appreciate, and work in our ever-shrinking world. Specifically, the 6-credit-hour World Languages and Cultures requirement has the following goals: (1) to understand elements that distinguish cultures from one another and to be able to compare cultural perspectives; (2) to gain the linguistic tools to communicate in another language at the intermediate level; (3) to develop analytical skills appropriate to the study of international and intercultural relations; and (4) to apply such understanding and skills by means of active participation and reflection in programs of study outside the United States.
This requirement strives to increase student knowledge of the variety of international societies and may deal to some extent with U.S. culture in its international connections. It need not focus on the present but may, instead, be a historical subject. The requirement seeks to expand student knowledge of world affairs, cultures, societies, and values; explore traditions grounded in different cultural paradigms; and provide a framework for understanding and appreciating the ideas and values of different cultures. These goals are intended to provide a foundation for basic understanding and knowledge, which will be further developed in more advanced studies; internationalization and globalization should infuse a student's experience at Indiana University.
The following foundational knowledge, skills, and attitudes represent the learning objectives for students satisfying the World Languages and Cultures Common Ground requirement:
- Understands culture within a global and comparative context (that is, the student recognizes that his/her culture is one of many diverse cultures and that alternate perceptions and behaviors may be based in cultural differences).
- Demonstrates knowledge of global issues, processes, trends, and systems (that is, economic and political interdependency among nations, environmental-cultural interaction, global governance bodies, and nongovernmental organizations).
- Demonstrates knowledge of other cultures (including beliefs, values, perspectives, practices, and products).
- Uses knowledge, diverse cultural frames of reference, and alternate perspectives to think critically and solve problems.
- Communicates and connects with people in other language communities in a range of settings for a variety of purposes, developing skills in each of the four modalities: speaking (productive), listening (receptive), reading (receptive), and writing (productive).
- Uses foreign language skills and/or knowledge of other cultures to extend access to information, experiences, and understanding.
- Appreciates the language, art, religion, philosophy, and material culture of different cultures.
- Accepts cultural differences and tolerates cultural ambiguity.
- Demonstrates an ongoing willingness to seek out international or intercultural opportunities
The World Languages and Cultures requirement may be completed through one of three options: language study, world culture courses, or international experiences (for details, see IU Bloomington General Education requirements).