Language Study Course Guidelines

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Language Study (LS) courses are intended to provide an introduction to the systematic university-level study of a language other than English. In addition to developing proficiency in understanding, reading, speaking, and/or writing another language, exposure to LS course content aids in a student's development of learning skills and cognitive associations.

The Bachelor of Arts Language Study requirement reflects an understanding that the learning and analytic thinking skills that result from the academic study of language necessitate a minimum of six credit hours in university-level courses in the same language. The requirement is designed to also heighten students' awareness of the structure of their own language, and refine students' grasp on grammatical and linguistic concepts. Further, language learning provides a unique form of insight into other cultures and other ways of thinking and perceiving the world. It is an integral aspect of building an awareness of global and international perspectives. Language Study courses broaden students' minds, encourage them to be aware of the wider world, and are a gateway to other areas of study.

Language Study Course Principles

The following principles must be observed in all Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences courses used to fulfill the Language Study requirement of the Bachelor of Arts degree:

  1. In the university calendar, the description of a designated LS course in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences must contain the following statement: "All sections of this course follow LS guidelines available at" Alternatively, a language program that offers exclusively LS courses may choose to include a statement in the program's calendar entry that all sections of its courses follow the Language Study guidelines available at, or that all program courses do so unless otherwise noted.
  2. Language Study courses are offered at any level, in recognition that students have diverse background preparation and entry points for the university-level study of a language other than English. Normally, students are encouraged to complete Language Study courses at the 1000-level.

Guidelines for LS Courses

As far as possible, the courses used to satisfy the core requirements for the B.A. degree should be in the Humanities and/or Social Sciences, offered by the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. The calendar entry of a Language Study course must clearly demonstrate that the primary objective of the course is the university-level study of another language. This is necessary because the list of courses in the Core Requirements section of the calendar identifies languages and participating departments, but does not specify which courses are eligible and which courses are ineligible. Some language departments offer courses that are not eligible for designation as a LS course, regardless of the language of instruction, because the focus is not necessarily the study of the language but the study of literature, culture, and/or film.

Administrative Matters

  1. The Chair of the Committee on Undergraduate Studies (CUGS), in consultation with the relevant department Head or designate, is responsible for coordinating a periodic review of designated LS courses. On the recommendation of CUGS, the Language Study guidelines shall be updated by the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. Academic unit Heads are responsible for ensuring that designated LS courses observe the principles within those guidelines.
  2. Courses that are eligible to satisfy the Language Study requirement are designated by an appropriate indication in the University Calendar. Such a notation must be approved by Senate, after which the Office of the Registrar will apply the appropriate attribute on the course catalogue in Banner. The application of this attribute on Banner will allow easy identification of courses which satisfy this requirement when that Office advises faculty, staff, and students. In the event that a course substitution is deemed necessary by the Committee on Undergraduate Studies, such a decision will not set a precedent, and a record of the Committee's decision will be maintained by the Office of the Registrar in student files. If CUGS approves a substitution, it shall ask the Head of the corresponding academic unit if that unit wishes to initiate a calendar change proposal to formally assign the LS designation to the course.
  3. Information in the University Calendar and approved by Senate prevails over information in these guidelines.

Approved by the Faculty of Arts Council
December 2014