World Languages & Cultures

Students in Chile

Welcome to the Department of World Languages and Cultures

Founded in 1947 as Modern Languages, the Department of World Languages and Cultures (WLC) is a community of scholars dedicated to excellence in teaching, research, and service to local and global communities. Through innovative and substantive pedagogies, the Department seeks to promote student understanding of the linguistic and cultural subject matters it teaches. We prepare students to acquire proficiency in world languages at all levels and enhance the students' effective communication, creativity, critical thinking, greater awareness of the world's peoples, and interpersonal skills, as well as their understanding of their own language. We are dedicated to creating an atmosphere of intellectual exploration and exchange in order to develop students' research interests and abilities. Through teaching, applied learning, service, and research, we serve as a bridge connecting local, regional, and international concerns.

We offer B.A. degrees in French, French with Teacher Licensure, German Studies, Spanish, and Spanish with Teacher Licensure, as well as academic minors in Classical Studies, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese and Brazilian Studies, Russian Studies and Spanish. Courses also include the study of American Sign Language, Arabic, Chinese, and Italian. At the graduate level we provide opportunities for a Certificate Program in Spanish, a Master of Arts in Spanish, and a 3+2 Bachelor/Master combination. Beyond campus, the Department continues its collaboration with the NC World Language Exchange, providing language courses across the UNC system.

University Studies Requirement Fulfillments 

These degree programs are the core of our mission, and yet we contribute a wide array of courses for students to fulfill the University Studies Requirements in the following components:

  • Foreign Language
  • Aesthetic, Interpretive & Literary
  • Living in a Global Society
  • Living in our Diverse Nation
  • Writing Intensive
  • Explorations Beyond the Classroom
  • Transdisciplinary Clusters
  • Capstone Courses

World Languages Offered

Students can fulfill their foreign language requirement in our department with courses in:

  • American Sign Language
  • Arabic
  • Chinese
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Latin
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Spanish

Recently, in cooperation with NCSU, we have offered Hindi-Urdu and Ancient Greek. 

Many of our language programs have active student language clubs, and our faculty members develop and accompany students abroad in Chile, France, Germany, and Spain. We are proud that we successfully meet UNCW's goal of preparing students to become global citizens.

Degree Audit Language Requirements

Undergraduate students have many questions concerning their foreign language requirement statement on their degree audit. Learn more in-depth details about the FL Requirements.

Language Placement Exam

Undergraduate students wanting to continue the study of a language previously studied must take the FL Placement Exam to be placed into the correct level.

Spanish for the Online Accelerated Program (OAP)

Past Achievements

  • Walter Kearnan's Honors Thesis in French, "La Dualité de l’Etat et de l’Eglise: Les Missions socioreligieuses, économiques et politiques des Jésuites français en Nouvelle France dans les années 1630" (Spring 2016), has been accepted for publication in Explorations: The Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities for the State of North Carolina. Read more (PDF)
  • Mentored by Ms. Roza Starodubtseva, students Laura Hart and Shyanna Kiekenapp presented in the Slavic Studies section of the Undergraduate Research Forum at the South Atlantic Modern Language Association (SAMLA) in Jacksonville, FL. Read more
  • Students Sara Burkinshaw and Bethany Showers have been accepted to attend the TOMODACHI Dawa House Student Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C. in October. Read more
  • Spanish major Morgan Clark spent more than two months in Guatemala completing a Spanish internship (SPN 498) in a maternity clinic this summer. Read moreDr. Francisco Brignole publishes co-edited edition. Working with Dr. Corinne Pubill (Salisbury University), Dr. Brignole has recently published Miradas desobedientes: María Teresa Andruetto ante la critica (2016), a co-edited volume on the literature of contemporary Argentinean writer María Teresa Andruetto. Read more
  • Dr. Amrita Das is featured in the Cameron Art Museum's "She tells a story" exhibit. Read more
  • Dr. L.J. Randolph was awarded a College of Arts and Sciences Summer Curriculum Development Initiative Award.
  • Dr. Amrita Das was awarded a College of Arts and Sciences Summer Curriculum Development Initiative award.
  • Dr. Greta Bliss was awarded a College of Arts and Sciences Summer Research Initiative award for her research project “Democracy and Disillusion: Revolution and New Definitions of Human Rights in Tunisian Cinema.” 
  • Derrick Miller was awarded a Summer Pedagogy Development Stipend from the Center for Teaching Excellence for his project, "Study of Core Courses and Requirements for World Languages Umbrella Degrees."
  • Dr. Emmanuel Harris was awarded a College of Arts and Sciences Pilot Grant for his summer research.
  • Dr. Michelle Scatton-Tessier, chair, was honored with the Inconvenient Woman Award from the Women's Studies and Resource Center.
  • Drs. Boomershine and Randolph hosted a group of Spanish teachers, graduate students, and advanced undergraduates to Santiago, Dominican Republic in July 2016.
    Read More 
  • Dr. Regina Félix was awarded a Global Citizenship Award from the Office of International Programs.
  • Staff member Olivia Causby was awarded an OIP Global Staff Travel Grant. Read more
  • Dr. Scott Jualll has been awarded funding from the International Programs Advisory Committee towards his expenses to France. 
  • Dr. Emmanuel Harris and student Jasmine Beck have been awarded $3,500 in funding by ETEAL for their SURCA project to take place in Spring 2016. 
  • Dr. Amanda Boomershine's SPN 490: Service learning and research class (Fall 2015) conducted oral history interviews that can be viewed on the UNCW Randall Library as a digital collection entitled: Somos NC: Voices from the North Carolina's Latino Community
  • Dr. Ashlee Balena was awarded the Excellence in e-Learning Award by the Office of e-Learning in 2015.
  • Dr. Pascale Barthe was awarded a Charles L. Cahill Award for her research proposal "Tales of Empires: Seventeenth-Century French Travelers in Persia and India" in 2015-16.


  • Trevor Baker, a Japanese Studies minor, has been accepted by Interac to teach English as a TA in Japan in 2018 following his graduation this December. Read more
  • Dr. Michael Gordon received a Faculty Travel Award from the Office of International Programs for his upcoming presentation at the Congreso internacional "Cervantes y los mares, en los 400 años del Persiles" November 16-18, 2017.
  • Positions Available: A non-profit in Oaxaca, Mexico has two job openings. The organization provides microloans to women so they can start or further their own businesses, teaches them English, and helps them learn how to run a business.
    English Program Coordinator
    Impact Assessment Volunteer
  • Conversation partners are needed for the ESL (English as a Second Language) program at UNCW. For details, contact Ms. Maike Walbrecht at
  • Dr. Pascale Barthe and Dr. Scott Juall have been promoted to to the rank of full professor. Best wishes to both on their continued success!
  • French major Mackenzie Torcasio was awarded an Ann Sherman-Skiba Undergraduate Fellowship for the 2017-18 academic year. She will present her research at either the Fall or Spring UNCW Student Research Showcase.
  • 17 Seahawks are studying abroad in Oaxaca, Mexico this summer. Follow their adventures through their blogs and group Facebook page!
  • Spanish graduate MC Skinner '16 has been accepted into Law School at Campbell University. She plans to fight for the rights of oppressed individuals. 
  • M.A. Spanish graduate student Edurne Alonso has been awarded a highly competitive UNCW Graduate Teaching Assistant Award for her outstanding teaching, mentoring, and service to undergraduate students and the Wilmington community. Edurne is one of four recipients from all colleges and programs combined and will be recognized at the CAS Spring Convocation.
  • German major Samantha Patrick will be the first recipient of the new German scholarship from the Edward and Esther Bloedorn Endowment Fund based on meritorious academic achievement.
  • German and International Studies major Nicholas Sweet is the recipient of a Fulbright U.S. Student Award to Germany. Sweet will represent the country as a cultural ambassador while overseas, helping to enhance mutual understanding between Americans and the people in Germany. Read more
  • Students Bethany Showers and Holly Tucker both placed third in the Duke University Japanese Speech Contest on April 1, 2017. Read more
  • The Golden Gates dance troupe brought Russian folklore influences through dance at the Warwick Center in February. 
  • Dr. Pascale Barthe recently published her book French Encounters with the Ottomans, 1510-1560 as part of the Routledge "Transculturalisms, 1400-1700" series. Read more
  • Dr. Amrita Das will speak about her research in a public forum in a colloquium on March 10, 2017 at Florida State University on Latinx Studies in the Southeast. The colloquium builds community among Latinx Studies scholars in the region, an initiative she is currently working on at UNCW as well. She will also participate in a private meeting with colleagues in the Southeast and Florida State University to discuss a Southeastern Latinx Studies consortium. 
  • Dr. Scott Juall is featured in the Jan-Feb 2017 issue of Salt magazine in "Along the Little Amazon" by Taylor Brown, p. 56-57.
  • Students in SPN 490 completed Oral Narratives of Hispanics in NC with Dr. Amanda Boomershine. Browse them in Randall Library's Somos NC digital collection.
  • Dr. Pascale Barthe delivered a talk on "Convivialité et connivence à Ispahan? Jean-Baptiste Tavernier à la cour de Shah Abbas II" at the Université de Genève on November 25, 2016 in Geneva, Switzerland. Read more
  • Dr. Ariana Mrak received a CAS Summer Curriculum Development Initiative award for 2016-17. Read more
  • Dr. Olga Trokhimenko received a CAS Summer Research Initiative award for 2016-17. Read more
  • Ms. Vivian Ferreyra received the 2016 Discere Aude Award for outstanding mentoring of students. Read more
  • Dr. Emmanuel Harris II and Dr. Scott Juall have been awarded 2016-17 CAS Faculty Travel Initiative Awards.
  • Dr. Olga Trokhimenko and German major Madeline Martin have been awarded $3,700 in funding by ETEAL for their SURCA project, "The Proverbial World of Harry Potter," to take place in Spring 2017.
  • Dr. Michael Gordon received a grant from the "Programma di Internazionalizzazione di Ateneo" for his research on the Italian influence on Cervantes, particularly in female characters in the 17th-century Spanish novela. Read more