Hacking Harvard’s Language Requirement: Is Learning a Foreign Language Mandatory?

Yes, foreign language study is a requirement at Harvard University. Students are required to demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language by either passing an exam or completing coursework.

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Foreign language study is indeed a requirement for students at Harvard University. In order to fulfill this requirement, students are expected to demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language either by passing an exam or by completing coursework. This requirement reflects Harvard’s commitment to providing a well-rounded education that includes exposure to different cultures and languages.

“One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way.” – Frank Smith

Here are some interesting facts about foreign language study at Harvard:

  1. Language Requirement: The foreign language requirement applies to all students, regardless of their field of study. It is a part of the General Education Program, which aims to provide students with a broad liberal arts education.

  2. Language Options: Harvard offers an extensive range of languages for students to study. From more commonly taught languages such as Spanish, French, and German, to lesser-known languages like Swahili, Arabic, and Sanskrit, students have a wide variety of choices to explore.

  3. Proficiency Assessment: Students can demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language through various means. This includes passing a language exam administered by the appropriate department or completing a specific number of language courses at an acceptable level.

  4. Coursework: Harvard’s language courses are designed to develop students’ skills in reading, writing, speaking, and understanding a foreign language. These courses often incorporate cultural elements to provide a comprehensive learning experience.

  5. Advanced Language Study: For students who already possess advanced proficiency in a foreign language, Harvard offers higher-level language courses that delve deeper into linguistic nuances, literature, and culture.

  6. Study Abroad Opportunities: Harvard actively encourages students to supplement their language learning through study abroad programs. These programs allow students to immerse themselves in a foreign culture and further enhance their language skills.

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Here is a table highlighting a selection of foreign languages offered at Harvard:

Language Department
Spanish Romance Languages
French Romance Languages
German Germanic Languages
Italian Romance Languages
Russian Slavic Languages
Chinese East Asian Languages
Japanese East Asian Languages
Arabic Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations
Hebrew Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations

In conclusion, foreign language study is a vital component of the educational experience at Harvard University. By requiring students to engage with different languages and cultures, Harvard aims to prepare them for a globally connected world. As Frank Smith suggests in the quote, the ability to communicate in multiple languages opens doors and broadens horizons, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation of the world around us.

Video related “Do you have to take a foreign language at Harvard?”

At Harvard University, students and staff were asked how many languages they speak, revealing a range of responses. Some individuals mentioned speaking one language, while others spoke two, three, or even four languages. The mentioned languages included English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Croatian, Gujarati, Marathi, Korean, Mandarin, Bengali, Hindi, Japanese, and Arabic. Many expressed an interest in learning additional languages, including Chinese, French, and Japanese. Some individuals shared their motivations to improve language skills for career purposes, while others referenced upcoming travel plans as a reason for wanting to learn a specific language.

I found more answers on the Internet

Any student who has not met the language requirement upon entrance ordinarily is required to enroll in and complete with a passing letter grade an appropriate year-long language course (8 credits) or two semester-long language courses (4 credits each) in a single language.

All undergraduate students at Harvard are required to demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language before graduating. The foreign language requirement at Harvard can be fulfilled in one of three ways: by passing a language exam, by completing a language course at a certain level, or by demonstrating equivalent proficiency through other means.

In general, competitive colleges require at least two years of foreign language classes in high school. As you’ll see below, Stanford University would like to see three or more years, and Harvard University urges applicants to take four years.

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