A major in world languages prepares the conscientious student for graduate school, teaching, international business, the travel industry, social work, foreign missions, and work in volunteer agencies such as the Peace Corps and Doctors without Borders. Language majors are encouraged to take advantage of the many study abroad opportunities offered by Georgetown College. A language major or minor is also a valuable complement to other majors such as political science, business, computer science, music, art, English, history, and theatre. Majors and minors are offered in French, German, and Spanish. We also offer a German Studies major. Additionally, the Modern and Classical Languages Department participates in interdisciplinary minors in the following areas: Asian Studies and Classics. Finally, it offers an interdisciplinary B.A. degree in Commerce, Language, and Culture. Majors, minors, and general education students reach different levels of proficiency; however, in accordance with guidelines from the Common European Framework (CEF), and more specifically with the national guidelines (5Cs) from the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), all world language students at Georgetown College will:

  • Communicate in languages other than English;
  • Gain knowledge and understanding of other cultures, including their art, film, literature, history, music, etc.;
  • Connect with other disciplines;
  • Make comparisons to other languages and develop insights into the nature of language and culture;
  • Participate in multilingual communities at home and around the world.

Students with two years or more of Japanese at the high school level desiring to continue in the same language must take the departmental placement exam.


101-102. Elementary Japanese I and II. (3 hours each) Immediate introduction of  hiragana, katakana and kanji immerses students in an authentic linguistic environment,  and use of communicative strategies in class and with the text encourages rapid acquisition of skill in reading, writing, speaking and listening. Lab required. Elementary  Japanese I Fall; Elementary Japanese II Spring, Fall as needed

201. Intermediate Japanese. (3 hours) Emphasis on development of basic skills acquired in Elementary Japanese and role playing activities to develop student ability to travel and study in Japan. Students will also have the opportunity to give presentations in Japanese on topics of their own choosing. Lab required. Fall

202. Intermediate Japanese II. (3 hours) Readings from Japanese newspapers and magazines and other authentic sources will be introduced, and classroom activities will focus on using Japanese in a variety of “real life” situations. Lab required. Spring as needed

320 Traditional Japanese Literature. (3 hours) An introduction to the canonical works of traditional Japanese poetry and prose written from the 7th to 19th centuries A.D. Discussions and lectures orient students to the literary norms and cultural milieux of the periods contemporaneous with the works in question. All texts in English translation. Odd Falls

322. Modern Japanese Literature. (3 hours) An introduction to the history and trajectory of modern Japanese literature from the 1880’s to today. Discussions and lectures focus on Japanese modernization, the effect of imperialism and colonialism in Asia and the two world wars, and Japan’s cultural presence in Asia today. All texts in English translation. Even Springs

335. Traditional Japanese Theatre. (3 hours) Students will experience Noh, Kabuki and Bunraku theatre by reading texts and practicing actual modes of performance including singing and dancing. Lectures will include video presentation of performances while discussions will focus the relationship between dramatic theory and practice and the role texts play in these dramatic forms. All texts in English translation. Odd Springs

355. Doing Business in Asia. (3 hours) This course will introduce students to business practices and strategies in Asia with case studies of actual businesses in Japan, South Korea, China and Taiwan. Students will acquire familiarity with the languages, cultures and histories of East Asia to prepare them for smooth interaction with businesspeople from Asian cultures and to minimize potential misunderstanding and conflict. Even Falls

370. Topics in Japanese Culture/Language/Literature. (3 hours) Study of a special topic announced at advance registration. No Prerequisite. As needed