Skip Navigation LinksHome / Academics / Academic Divisions / Arts and Humanities / Languages and Global Cultures / Areas of Study and Courses

Areas of Study and Course Listings

Areas of study include Arabic, Chinese, French, Japanese, and Spanish.

Related Concentrations

Proficiency in another language is a valuable skill that will contribute to your competitiveness in many fields and industries. While the ability to communicate in another language will enhance your marketability no matter what field you pursue, there are some areas of study where studying a language is especially relevant. Here you will find links to concentrations in global areas of study:

Cross-Registration

Students who want to take a foreign language that is not currently offered at Babson (ie Italian, Greek, Russian, Hebrew) may cross-register at Wellesley College or Brandeis University. Only those courses not offered at Babson may be accepted for credit.

Course Listings

ARB1200 Introduction to Arabic 
4.00 ​credits

ARB1200 Introduction to Arabic (General Credit) 
An introduction to the essentials of standard Arabic, the language us​ed in public communications throughout the Arab world. This course introduces students to Arabic sounds, how to read and write in the Arabic alphabet, and the basics of everyday conversation. Through the use of a variety of written, video, and audio materials, this course emphasizes authentic materials and stresses the active participation of students in the learning process. Students are also exposed to cultural topics, discussions, and co-curricular opportunities with the goal of exposure to the diverse cultural contexts in which the language is used.  Students are strongly encouraged to consider taking Beyond Revolution: Radical Thought in the Middle East (LVA2476) as a complement to this course. 

ARB1600 Elementary Arabic II 
4.00 credits​

ARB1600 Elementary Arabic II (Advanced Liberal Arts)  This course is a continuation of Introduction to Arabic 1200. It is intended for students who have successfully completed ARB1200 or its equivalent, or native or heritage speakers who can understand Arabic minimally and produce simple sentences.

ARB 1600 is a further study of the Arabic language and Arabic-speaking cultures. It will continue to build Arabic vocabulary, grammar and general communicative competence. It will also stress training in reading and writing short essays, and in enhancing spoken skills necessary for a variety of daily activities. Students will explore the differences between standard Arabic and the dialects used in different regions of the Arab speaking world. As the course progresses, more emphasis will fall on teaching Arabic in business contexts in an interactive and communicative way. This last part of the course will focus on developing students’ abilities in using Arabic in business environments, including commercial, media and financial purposes. Prerequisite: ARB1200 

ARB4600 Arab Cinema and Culture 
4.00 credits​​

ARB4600 Arab Cinema and Culture (Advanced Liberal Arts)  This course is designed as an advanced-level conversation class, with a strong cultural component. It explores Arab cinema from the colonial period to the present, and provides an in-depth exploration of “cultural identity” and “politics” in the Arab World. Although Egypt is considered the biggest film producer in the Arab world, the course aspires to represent various cinemas across the region, from Morocco and Algeria to Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Palestine, introducing students to notable moments and phenomena in the history of these cinemas. The course will be taught in Arabic and all films will be in Arabic with English subtitle. In addition to film viewings, students will be required to read critical and theoretical articles that pertain to class discussion. These films and readings serve as the basis for debate, discussion and written analysis of issues relevant to the history, culture and politics of the Arab world and the Middle East. Films will be on reserve at Horn Library, and screenings will be scheduled. Prerequisites: Students need to be at least at a high intermediate level. This course is open to Advanced and heritage speakers of Arabic. ​​

CHN 1210 ELEMENTARY CHINESE LANGUAGE I 
4.00 credits

CHN 1210 Elementary Chinese Language I (General Credit)
An introduction to practical and functional knowledge of modern Mandarin Chinese. Emphasis on developing proficiency in fundamental language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing, using basic expressions and sentence patterns. Computer programs for pronunciation, listening comprehension, grammar and writing Chinese characters will be used extensively. Prerequisite: None This course is typically offered Fall semester.

CHN 1211 ELEMENTARY CHINESE II 
4.00 credits

CHN 1211 Elementary Chinese Language II (General Credit)
A continuation of the fall semester, an introduction to practical and functional knowledge of modern Mandarin Chinese. Emphasis on developing proficiency in fundamental language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing, using basic expressions and sentence patterns. Computer programs for pronunciation, listening comprehension, grammar and writing Chinese characters will be used extensively. Prerequisite: CHN1210 This course is typically offered Spring semester.

FRN 1200 ACCELERATED ELEMENTARY FRENCH 
4.00 credits​

FRN 1200 Accelerated Elementary French (General Credit)
This course is based on the belief that effective use of a language requires cultural understanding as well as a command of linguistic structures and vocabulary. It is designed to develop basic skills in understanding, communicating, reading and writing authentic French. Utilizing the innovative, web-based multimedia course, Parallèles: communication et culture,assignments will include extensive video experiences, listening exercises, and exercises requiring a creative use of spoken French. Web-based activities such as audio programs, self-tests, on-line flashcards, and games accompany the text. This course is ideal for students with some previous exposure to French and/or the motivated Beginner. Prerequisite: NONE This course is typically offered in the Spring.

FRN 2600 INTERMEDIATE FRENCH I
4.00 credits​

FRN 2600 Intermediate French Language and Culture I (Advanced Liberal Arts)
Active use of contemporary spoken and written French through dialog practice, oral presentations, class discussions, and written exercises. By becoming more aware of the French speaking world and the relationship between culture and language, students increase their ability to communicate in international environments. The program features web-based audio and video interaction with native speakers. Prerequisite: FRN1200 (Equivalent of one year of college French as demonstrated through a required placement test) This course is typically offered in the Fall.

FRN 2601 INTERMEDIATE FRENCH II
4.00 credits​

FRN 2601 Intermediate French II (Advanced Liberal Arts)
A continuation of the fall semester, this course integrates the feature-length film "Le Chemin du retour" with a high level intermediate textbook. The film provides students with an immersion in French language and Francophone culture as they follow the story of a young television journalist in her search to find out more about her grandfather's hidden past during the German occupation of France in World War II, one of the most important historical events in 20th century France. It provides students with opportunities for linguistic and cultural growth, as well as a context for critical thinking. Prerequisite: FRN2600 (Intermediate French I at Babson, or equivalent program demonstrated through a required placement test, or permission of the instructor. Not open to native speakers of French.) This course is typically offered in the Spring.

FRN 3600 ADV FRENCH: CINEMA, CULTURE CONVERSATION 
4.00 credits​

FRN 3600 Advanced French: Cinema, Culture, Conversation
This course is designed as an advanced-level conversation class, with a strong cultural component. The major course materials are French films and supplementary readings. These films and readings serve as the basis for debate, discussion and written analysis of issues relevant to the history, culture and politics of France and the francophone world of North Africa and the Caribbean, with a focus on global issues of social concern. This course is designed for students who have mastered the grammatical structures of French, although there will be review of grammar as needed. Films will be on reserve at Horn Library, and screenings will be scheduled. Prerequisites: FRN 2601 Intermediate French II at Babson, or equivalent proficiency as demonstrated through a required placement test. This course is not open to native speakers.

JPN 1200 ELEMENTARY JAPANESE LANG & CULT I 
4.00 credits

JPN 1200 Elementary Japanese Language and Culture I (General Credit) An introduction to a practical, and functional knowledge of Japanese as it is used in contemporary society. Students will learn the fundamental use of the Japanese language by exercising all four language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Two basic writing systems, hiragana and katakana, are taught to promote literacy in Japanese environments. An introduction to Japanese culture, which is inseparable from learning the language, is provided through demonstrations, videos and films. Prerequisite: None This course is typically offered in the following semester: Fall.

JPN 1600 ELEMENTARY JAPANESE LANG & CULTURE II 
4.00 credits

JPN 1601 Elementary Japanese Language and Culture II (General Credit) A continuation of the fall semester, this course develops students’ language skills in practical, functional Japanese as it is used in contemporary Japanese society. Exposure to Japanese culture is provided through various media, activities, and participation in off-campus cultural events. Students learn approximately 150 Kanji writing symbols and use hiragana and katakana extensively in the classroom and with computer word processing. 4 Liberal Arts elective credits Prerequisite: JPN1200 (Elementary Japanese I at Babson, or equivalent proficiency as demonstrated through a required placement test.) This course is typically offered in the following semester: Spring

JPN 2600 INTERMEDIATE JAPANESE I 
4.00 credits

JPN 2600 Intermediate Japanese Language and Culture I (Advanced Liberal Arts) The course teaches effective communication with the Japanese as well as cultural awareness. Using an interactive approach, students learn to converse on non-technical topics, write and read 100 Kanji symbols, recognize additional symbols, and become fluent in using approximately 200 hiragana and katakana symbols. Prerequisite: JPN1201 (Elementary Japanese II at Babson, or equivalent proficiency as demonstrated through a required placement test.) This course is typically offered in the Fall.

JPN 2601 INTERMEDIATE JAPANESE II
4.00 credits​

JPN 2601 Intermediate Japanese Language and Culture II (Advanced Liberal Arts)  A continuation of the fall semester, this course develops students' language skills in practical, functional Japanese as it is used in contemporary Japanese society. Exposure to Japanese culture is provided through various media, activities, and participation in off-campus cultural events. Students learn approximately 150 Kanji writing symbols and use hiragana and katakana extensively in the classroom and with computer word processing. 4 Liberal Arts elective credits Prerequisite: JPN2600 (Intermediate Japanese I at Babson, or equivalent proficiency as demonstrated through a required placement test.) This course is typically offered in the Spring.

JPN 3600 ADVANCED JAPANESE LANGUAGE AND CULTURES  
4.00 credits

JPN 3600 Advanced Japanese Language and Culture (Advanced Liberal Arts) Students of this advanced class will be prepared to use their Japanese language skills intelligently in the workplace and abroad with greater confidence.  The main objective of this course is to foster more advanced proficiency in listening, speaking, reading and writing through a variety of interactive approaches, including student presentations. Students will acquire approximately 150 more kanji.

SPN 1200 ACCELERATED ELEMENTARY SPANISH 
4.00 credits

SPN 1200 Conversations and Culture: Accelerated Elementary Spanish (General Credit) Accelerated Elementary Spanish is a fast-paced, introductory course which prepares students for Intermediate Spanish in the subsequent semester. Through engaging, meaningful activities that develop real-world skills and abilities, the course integrates a wide variety of interactive materials to put language into practice. Accelerated Elementary Spanish is the first course in the Proficiency Sequence, a program of study designed to bring students to proficiency in 3 semesters. As the course adopts an intensive approach, it is recommended for students with some previous exposure to language learning and/or the highly motivated rank beginner. Prerequisite: None This course is typically offered in the Fall.

SPN1600 Elementary Spanish II 
4.00 credits​

SPN1601 Elementary Spanish II (General Credit) This is a fast-paced course which prepares students for Intermediate-level study in the subsequent semester. Through engaging, meaningful activities that develop real-world skills and abilities, the course integrates a wide variety of interactive materials to put language into practice. Students will work on expanding basic vocabulary and developing a linguistic foundation for more advanced study. Emphasis is on building oral and written communication skills and acquiring a greater awareness of the Hispanic world. Prerequisite: SPN1200 (Elementary Spanish I) or equivalent proficiency as demonstrated through a required placement test ​​

SPN 2600 INTERMEDIATE SPANISH I 
4.00 credits

SPN 2600 Intermediate Spanish Language and Culture I (Advanced Liberal Arts) Grammar review and an in-depth cultural exploration of the Hispanic world supports active use of spoken and written Spanish. Selected readings and films provide a point of departure for conversation, discussion, group work, skits, and class presentations based upon research. Prerequisite: SPN1200 (Accelerated Elementary Spanish II at Babson, or equivalent proficiency as demonstrated through a required placement test. Not open to fluent speakers of Spanish.) This course is typically offered in the Fall and Spring.

SPN 2601 INTERMEDIATE SPANISH II
4.00 credits​

SPN 2601 Intermediate Spanish II (Advanced Liberal Arts) This course focuses on conversation and communication in Spanish at the advanced intermediate level. Through grammar review, films, and readings, we will explore issues involving the culture, literature, history, and contemporary culture of the nations that form the Hispanic world. Except on rare occasions when a complex explanation requires the use of English, this course is conducted entirely in Spanish. Discussions focus on the exploration of socio-cultural issues and business language and contexts in the Spanish speaking world. Prerequisite: SPN 2600 (Intermediate Spanish at Babson, or equivalency proficiency as demonstrated through a required placement test. Not open to fluent speakers of Spanish.) This course is typically offered in the Spring and may be offered in the Fall.

SPN 4600 ADV SPANISH: CINEMA,CULTR,CONVERSATION 
4.00 credits

SPN 4600 Advanced Spanish: Cinema, Culture, Conversation (Advanced Liberal Arts) This course is designed as an advanced-level conversation class, with a strong cultural component. The major course materials are contemporary Latin American and Spanish films and supplementary readings. Through the contents of the films, students study issues relevant to the history, culture, and politics of contemporary Latin America and Spain. Films and readings serve as the basis for debate, discussion, and written analysis. This course aims to ease the path towards greater fluency through improvements in accuracy and more spontaneous communication. Films will be on reserve at Horn Library, and screenings will be scheduled. This course can be applied to satisfy one of the four required courses for the Global Business Management Concentration. Prerequisites: SPN2601 (Intermediate Spanish II at Babson, or equivalent proficiency as demonstrated through a required placement test. Not open to fluent speakers of Spanish.) This course is typically offered in the Fall and maybe be offered in the Spring. ​

​​SPN4610 Spanish for the Global Markets 
4.00 credits​

SPN4610 Spanish for the Global Markets (Advanced Liberal Arts)  
This course offers a targeted study of key issues facing Latin American political economies through articles and news reports in Spanish. In addition, students will simulate investment in the Latin American market. They will research companies, markets, and financial markets. In small groups, they will start the term with virtual cash. Their task will be to select a publicly traded Hispanic company and to create the case to persuade the other groups to invest in their chosen enterprise. Students can invest in more than one company; the success of the team will be determined not only by the final value of the portfolio, but also other factors such as social impact. Students will make presentations on the political economies and business climates of specific countries (advantages, pitfalls); they will present their cases to the class; and they will evaluate the environmental footprint of their companies, along with other analyses. ​​Prerequisite: Spanish at the 4600-level or equivalent.

​​​​
Argentina

“Babson is culturally diverse, and studying Spanish here helped me connect with many other students whose primary language is Spanish. I found myself constantly applying my developing conversation skills when talking with my suitemate from Madrid, a classmate from Chile, and several staff members on campus. I’m now confident enough to study abroad in a Spanish-speaking country and I know I will apply so much of what I learned this semester in Cinema, Conversation, and Culture when I am immersed in this new culture.”

—Allie Lamb ’13