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Language and Culture Program

Proficiency and victories for humanity

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Antioch believes that the victories for humanity we seek require all of us to reach out beyond our own selves and local communities to understand global implications and engage with others for global solutions. Our program requires that students communicate and cooperate with others across differences. Studying languages and cultures in our program enables you to show native speakers of another language that you can build upon common ground with them and care about what’s important to them. This is a necessary step to working with them for a better world, and this improves valuable skills of cultural awareness, communication and engagement that work across differences within one’s own home country. 

The Language Requirement

Minimum Requirement

All Antioch students are required to demonstrate proficiency on the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) scale through an Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) in a language other than English. For most languages, students must earn a rating of Novice-High or higher on the OPI; those wishing to take their OPI in a language on the Foreign Service Institute’s list of Category V languages (which are the most difficult for native speakers of English, including Japanese), must earn a Novice-Mid Rating or higher. Usually, students take an OPI in one of the three in which we offer instruction: French, Japanese, and Spanish.

Incoming students are put through a placement protocol that determines the appropriate starting course, and students who are placed into the beginning courses typically require 12 credit hours (3 courses) to achieve Novice-High proficiency.

The Language Focus

Self-designed degrees at Antioch are already unique, but future employers benefit from knowing what areas of focus students have skills and specialization in. Antioch offers a Language Focus with the following required elements:

  • An OPI in which French or Spanish students achieve the Intermediate-High rating or better, and Japanese students achieve Intermediate-Low
  • Any 2 non-capstone face-to-face courses at the 300 level
  • The capstone course taken during an immersion Co-op
  • A capstone presentation for the broader campus community delivered in the term after an immersion Co-op experience

Students with limited prior experience in the language they choose to study typically require 27 credits (7 courses over 3 years) to achieve the Language Focus.

Language Learning Off Campus

Language Learning Off Campus Students with significant skills in a language Antioch College does not offer may qualify to take courses through affiliation programs in the Southwestern Ohio Consortium of Higher Education or Great lakes Colleges Association. Students seeking to study languages other than French, Japanese or Spanish must work closely with their language advisor to arrange for these exceptional courses, but as a general guideline most of them require the Antioch student to have second year standing and be able to place into the second-year or higher of the program hosting the course according to the host institution’s placement criteria. Logistics of attending courses outside Antioch’s offerings are sometimes tricky, and so Antioch students should not expect to automatically be able to pursue all of their language study interests, but language advisors will facilitate what they realistically can.

Shared Language Program

The Great Lakes Colleges Association (GLCA) Crossroads Shared Languages Program (SLP) offers a broad selection of language courses not offered at Antioch College. The SLP allows students from partner schools to take advantage of course offerings not available on their own campuses, such as lesser-taught languages or cancelled courses due to under-enrollment, while the program aims to offer shared resources (guest speakers, faculty development, faculty diversity, globally connected courses for a broader student body, and more). Visit the GLCA SLP website at for more information.

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