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World Languages


Communicate effectively across languages and cultures.

The World Languages program at TCC invites you to explore the cultures of Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, German, and Spanish speaking countries of the world and to learn their languages. TCC’s World Languages courses provide you an understanding of these cultures' historical and contemporary significance, and facilitate development of proficiency in their languages.

Whether you choose to major in a world language at a 4-year institution or pursue any other professional or academic pathway, acquiring communication skills in Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, German, or Spanish can make a tremendous difference in your professional career. 

Language skills and cultural sensitivity are considered vital assets all across the professional spectrum as the need for multilingual skill sets and global experience is becoming ever more relevant in today’s society. This reality is also reflected in that most bachelor and master programs across the nation require world language study as part of their degrees.

If your educational goal includes a bachelor degree, you will likely need to meet a foreign language requirement either for admission (i.e. can’t transfer without it) to your transfer school of choice, or for graduation (i.e. can’t graduate without it) with a bachelor’s degree.  If your educational goal includes a master degree, additional language study tends to be required.

Graduates with a competitive edge

Globally, nationwide, statewide, and locally, the ability to communicate in more than one language is providing college graduates an increasingly stronger competitive edge in the job market. With more than 1/5 of the US population speaking languages other than English and millions of tourists visiting the country each year, there is a huge demand for workers who can communicate in more than one language in all areas of employment. As interdependence comes to dominate our economic, social, and cultural relations in the world today, the need for multilingual communication skills and comprehension of world cultures becomes more and more critical. The decision to become multilingual opens your door to an infinite array of possibilities.

For example, you may want to major in a particular foreign language and become certified to teach. This would enable you to take a job either teaching that foreign language, teaching English as a foreign language, or teaching in a bilingual setting. Combining languages with the study of business can help prepare the student for jobs in foreign commerce, including banking, marketing, import-export, purchasing, finance, advertising, consulting, etc. Combining language with law studies could lead to a career in international law.

Need more reasons?  Consider these: 25 Reasons to Study a World Language



TCC offers an Associate Degree in Arts and Sciences that is designed to help you transition effectively from Tacoma Community College to a four year university of your choice. The Associates Degree in Arts and Sciences is a transferable degree that enables you to continue your studies and complete a bachelor’s degree at a transfer institution. 

Associate Degree in Arts and Sciences (transferable)

o   Option A or Option B

Students who wish to transfer should check the specific requirements of the four-year institution of their choice, as admission and degree requirements vary across colleges and universities.  Also see World Language Requirements in Nearby Colleges.

As described in the TCC catalog, Option B may be more appropriate for the student who intends to major in a World Language, since it is an agreement between the student and the transfer institution (university, four-year college) to complete lower division requirements at TCC before transferring. 



Please seek advice from a professional in this career field.  Our faculty are available to meet with you for general and detailed advising and career counseling.  Reach out to us the moment you sense a career associated with World Languages may be of interest to you.

Our faculty advisors will help you establish an educational pathway that meets your goals from start to finish and will meet with you throughout your studies at TCC.  Make your first appointment today!

World Languages Program Advisor Team: Bruno Arzola-Padilla and Sonia Llacer

TCC Languages and Instructor Contact:


The first year of the beginning language sequence consists of courses numbered 121, 122, and 123.

ARAB 121 / CHIN& 121 / GERM& 121 / JAPN& 121 / SPAN& 121 (5 cr.)

The 121 level is for students who have no or minimal knowledge of the language AND are secure in their understanding of English grammar.  The 121 courses constitute the first quarter of instruction and learning in each of the language sequences offered.  

At the 121 level, the basic tenets of communications including reading, writing, speaking, and listening are developed in a dynamic second language acquisition environment enhanced by technology. Grammar is used as a communication tool to express meaning as students take part in small group discussions, cultural investigation, and presentation. Authentic materials will be focused on in the class as well as assessment. Students should expect to be immersed in the language. English will be used at a minimum. (Multicultural Content) Prerequisite: ENGL/ 095 with a minimum grade of C or Instructor Permission

ARAB 122 / CHIN& 122 / GERM& 122 / JAPN& 122 / SPAN& 122 (5 cr.)

The 122 course is the second quarter course of the first-year language sequence and continues to build on the skills acquired in the 121 course. (Multicultural Content) Prerequisite: 121 in same language or Instructor Permission

The 122 level is not available for direct placement. Students wishing to be placed on these classes must take the placement exam. To do so, please contact the department chair, who will direct you to the appropriate faculty member, usually the professor teaching the course in question.

ARAB 123 / CHIN& 123 / GERM& 123 / JAPN& 123 / SPAN& 123 (5 cr.)

The 123 course is the third quarter of the first-year language sequence and continues to build on the skills acquired in SPAN&-122. Prerequisite: SPAN& 122 or Instructor Permission

The 123 level is not available for direct placement. Students wishing to be placed on these classes must take the placement exam. To do so, please contact the department chair, who will direct you to the appropriate faculty member, usually the professor teaching the course in question.



Students should plan to complete the 121, 122, 123 course sequence in the target language in one academic year without taking a term off. Hence it is important that students enroll in 121 in the fall term as the123 course level is typically only offered in Spring terms.

Arabic I – ARAB 121 X X  
Arabic II – ARAB 122  X X 
Arabic III – ARAB 123   X 
Chinese I – CHIN& 121 X X  
Chinese II – CHIN& 122  X X 
Chinese III – CHIN& 123   X 
German I – GERM& 121 X X  
German II – GERM& 122  X X 
German III – GERM& 123   X 
Japanese I – JAPN& 121 X X  
Japanese II – JAPN& 122  X X 
Japanese III – JAPN& 123   X 
Spanish I – SPAN& 121 X X X X
Spanish II – SPAN& 122 X X X X
Spanish III – SPAN& 123 X X X 

X = scheduled to be offered


Alternatives to World Language Courses

Which courses are available to challenge? World Language courses cannot be challenged. If you have fluency in a given language, you are encouraged to take a different foreign language to meet your language requirement so that your course choice may serve to meet graduation requirements for a bachelor’s degree.

Non-Credit Classes: Online language classes are offered through TCC's Continuing Education program. See what's offered or call 253.460.2424.



At TCC we are committed to helping you reach your educational and career goals.  In World Languages this typically requires a bachelor degree or higher.  Here are some of the local options available: 

University of Puget Sound

·                     German Studies, Bachelor of Arts in German Language and Literature

·                     Global Development Studies

·                     Asian Languages & Cultures, Bachelor of Arts in Chinese, Bachelor of Arts in Japanese

·                     International Political Economy

·                     Latina/o Studies

·                     Latin American Studies

University of Washington, Seattle


University of Washington Tacoma

·                     Global Studies concentration (TGBLS)

·                     Hispanic Studies (THISP)

Western Washington University

·                     Chinese Language and Culture, BA

·                     Language, Literacy, and Cultural Studies, BAE

·                     Linguistics, BA

·                     Spanish with a Teaching Endorsement, BA

·                     Spanish, BA

·                     Spanish—Elementary, BAE

·                     German with a Teaching Endorsement, BA

·                     German, BA

·                     German/Spanish, BA

·                     German—Elementary, BAE

·                     Humanities—History of Culture, BA

·                     Japanese with a Teaching Endorsement, BA

·                     Japanese, BA



Tacoma Community College and the World Languages Program are well connected with our community; become connected with us!

Student Clubs: Start networking at TCC!  TCC students organize many student clubs.  Every year there are new opportunities available to get involved:



Effective communication skills in Arabic, Chinese, German, Japanese and Spanish is an important and valued skillset in society.  Organizations and private donors invest in making your college career more affordable.  Here are some of the scholarships available to students of world languages:

The TCC Foundation

The TCC Foundation offers dozens of scholarships each year in Art, Humanities, and other General Scholarships. Scholarships for the 2016-2017 academic year are open from January 1 - April 17, 2016. To learn more, click here.

University of Washington Transfer Scholarship: Martin Family Foundation Scholarship Programs

The Martin Family Foundation supports two community college transfer scholarship programs to enable community college students of exceptional ability and outstanding achievement to complete their bachelor’s degrees at the UW Seattle campus. These include the Martin Achievement Scholarship and the Martin Family Foundation Honors Scholarship Program, both of which support community college transfers who will earn their bachelor degree at the UW Seattle campus. Each program funds students at different points in their community college careers. The award may be renewable each year for up to a total of three years of undergraduate support.

Additional Scholarships, in particular also for Study Abroad

Below please find a listing of potential funding sources.  We recommend you consider study abroad and review these resources as soon as possible so that you will know what opportunities you can strive to make part of your educational plan. 

AIFS Study Abroad Scholarships, Grants and Financial Support Each year, more than $800,000 in scholarships, grants and financial support is awarded to deserving students & institutions. Funds are available for both summer and semester programs.

American Association of University Women - the largest source of funding exclusively for graduate women in the world, supports aspiring scholars around the globe, teachers and activists in local communities, women at critical stages of their careers, and those pursuing professions where women are underrepresented.

American Austrian Foundation: Offers numerous awards to support exchanges to Austria in the fields of medicine, science, communications and the arts.
Level: varies by award / Award amount: varies

Association of Commonwealth Universities - Provides lists of scholarships and fellowships to and from over 480 universities drawn from the Commonwealth countries of Africa and Asia, Australasia and the South Pacific, Canada and the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, Cyprus and Malta.

DAAD - German Academic Exchange Service - The Undergraduate Scholarship is a flexible scholarship program which offers SHORT-TERM scholarships for participation in summer study abroad, internships, senior thesis research or summer courses at German universities and LONG-TERM scholarships for semester or year study abroad. Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) - German Academic Exchange Service - association of the institutions of higher education in the Federal Republic of Germany, whose goal is to promote closer international relations among universities and other institutions of higher education, especially through the exchange of individual students and scholars.

Delta Phi Alpha Scholarship Awards: The national honor society for German awards scholarships to undergraduate student members wishing to further their German studies with research and study abroad in a German-speaking country. Level: undergraduate / Award amount: $1000-$2000

Fulbright Scholarships - For both Americans going abroad and incoming foreign students. Grants are made to citizens of participating countries, primarily for: university teaching, advanced research, graduate study and teaching in elementary and secondary schools.

Child Family Health International - Child Family Health International is pleased to offer partial scholarships for select program dates. Since 2007, we have provided CFHI Global Health Scholars with more than $100,000 in scholarship funding. CFHI is committed to working globally and addressing inequities. In line with this global lens, it is our policy to actively seek a diverse pool of candidates from a variety of backgrounds who are committed to the mission and vision of CFHI.

The Christianson Grant - The Christianson Grant is awarded to individuals who have arranged their own work abroad programs. Proposed programs must be at least six months in length and emphasize a work component. The grant program does not support independent research projects or academic study abroad programs.

Congress - Bundestag Youth Exchange Program: The U.S. State Department funded Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Program (CBYX) is for motivated high school students who want to fully immerse themselves in German culture by living with a host family and attending a local high school. No previous language experience is required.

Cross-Cultural Solutions (CCS) the organization’s Mission is to operate volunteer programs around the world in partnership with sustainable community initiatives, bringing people together to work side-by-side while sharing perspectives and fostering cultural understanding. They are an international nonprofit organization with no political or religious affiliations.

CCIE: “Every student should reap the benefits of study abroad – to get a leg up on future employment and a fresh perspective that comes from encountering another culture. That’s why CIEE does more than any other international educational organization to make study abroad affordable. Every year, we award up to $5 million in scholarships and grants for study abroad. Our comprehensive approach addresses three distinct areas to ensure we reach students of diverse academic, ethnic, and economic backgrounds:

Academic Excellence Scholarships for students who excel in academic pursuits and are devoted to specialized areas of study

Access Grants and Scholarships for students who have historically been unable to study abroad because of financial circumstances

Ambassador Grants for motivated, high-achieving, students who are committed to capturing and sharing the many transformative benefits of international education after they return to campus.

Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships (ETAs): Selected participants work for one academic year in a school or university in a foreign country in Europe, Asia, or South America, assisting in the teaching of English language and American culture. Participants are integrated into the life of the host country. Program details differ from country to country, but participants receive a stipend, paid round-trip airfare, and other benefits. Applicants must have B.A. at time the award year begins. Level: B.A. in hand / Award amount: varies

German Academic Exchange Service This is the official German Academic Exchange Service.  They provide funding for a number of initiatives and opportunities for undergraduate and also graduate students.

Opportunities for Undergraduates 
Explore the fellowships that we offer for anything from a three-week summer course to the entire year after you graduate. And while you're here, why not check out what you may want to apply for later? Many fellows first heard about their programs years before they actually applied. Scholarships
Scholarships for 4 to 10 months of study, thesis research or an internship for students in any academic field. Scholarship
Participation in a postgraduate programme after a first undergraduate course of study for the purpose of technical or scientific specialization. Specifically, the following is supported: a postgraduate or Master's degree programme completed at a state or state-recognised university in Germany or the first or second year of study at a state or state-recognised German university as part of a postgraduate or Master's degree programme completed in the home country or in another foreign country; recognition of the academic achievements rendered in Germany must be guaranteed. The standard period of study of the postgraduate or Master's degree programme should not be exceeded as a result of the study year in Germany. Grants
Research Grants for Doctoral Candidates and Young Academics and Scientists are awarded to highly qualified candidates who have completed a Master's degree or Diplom, or in exceptional cases a Bachelor's degree at the latest by the time they begin their grant-supported research, or those who have already completed a PhD (postdocs), or to individuals wishing to earn a doctoral degree in Germany - Research Internships in Science and Engineering
Summertime internships with German doctoral students at universities and research institutions--no German required! professional
Undergrads who are DAAD alumni can apply for these summer internships with German companies. Summer Course Grant
Summer courses at German universities to help build your language skills while studying anything from film to politics to engineering. Language Course Grant
8-week intensive language courses at leading institutes in Germany and Internship Program (SIP)
A full academic semester of study abroad at one of the UAS7 universities in Germany followed by a one-semester professional internship experience in a company or research institute in Germany. Studies Research Grant
Funding for research in the US or Germany in all areas of contemporary German Studies. - Bundestag Internship
Two months at the German parliament for students who are fluent in German.

Gilman International Scholarship Program - The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship program is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State and administered by the Institute of International Education. This program seeks to lower barriers to undergraduate study abroad by offering scholarships to students with financial need, and we encourage those underrepresented in study abroad to apply. The Gilman Scholarship Program is open to U.S. citizen undergraduate students who are receiving Federal Pell Grant funding at a two-year or four-year college or university to participate in study and intern abroad programs worldwide. Award amounts will vary depending on the length of study and student need with the average award being approximately $4,000 for fall and spring programs, and $3,000 for summer programs.

Applicants who are studying a critical need language while abroad in a country in which the language is predominantly spoken will automatically be considered for the Critical Need Language Award, for a total award of $8,000. Please note that this award is competitive and offered to a limited number of students each year. During the 2013-2014 academic year, 60 Critical Need Language Awards were offered.

Global Learning Semesters - There are many financing options available for semester and summer abroad programs at Global Learning Semesters students. Learn more about how you can use our scholarship and loan programs to finance an extraordinary study abroad experience.

Golden Key Study Abroad Scholarships: Ten scholarships awarded annually for members of the Golden Key Honor Society for undergraduate study abroad. Awards will be made based on academic merit and relevance of study abroad program to major field of study. Level: undergraduate / Award amount: $1000

GrantNet - Funding Opportunities for Training in the Biological and Medical Sciences.

The Interexchange Foundation Working Abroad Grant - The Working Abroad Grant through The Interexchange Foundation is open to applicants who have already been accepted to an Interexchange Aupair, Internship, Teaching English, Volunteer, or Work & Travel program. Award amounts will cover the Interexchange program fee plus $2000 towards airfare and other expenses while traveling abroad.

International Education Financial Aid IEFA is the premier Internet resource for financial aid information for students wishing to study in a foreign country. At this site, you will find the most comprehensive listing of grants, scholarships, loan programs, and other information to assist students in their pursuit to study abroad.

Walter Jensen Scholarship for Study Abroad: Awarded to a future teacher of French to help pay for a semester or a year studying French abroad in an accredited program in any Francophone country. Student must be currently enrolled in an established teacher education program in French and must be sponsored by a member of the American Association of Teachers of French. Awards are based on financial need and can be used to cover tuition, fees, travel, or housing costs. Level: undergraduate or graduate / Award amount: $1500

National Security Education Program (NSEP) & Boren Awards - Boren Scholarships and Fellowships provide unique funding opportunities for U.S. undergraduate and graduate students to study less commonly taught languages in world regions critical to U.S. interests, and underrepresented in study abroad, including Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East.

The Project Go Initiative is sponsored by the U.S. Army ROTC, and provides funding for undergraduatestudents pursuing degrees in one of the Army’s designated critical need languages. To be eligible for the program, students must be enrolled in the ROTC, with the intention of completing a term of service as an enlisted officer in the U.S. Army.

Phi Kappa Phi Study Abroad Scholarships: The national honor society for foreign language students awards scholarships for undergraduate study in programs abroad to its members.
Level: undergraduate / Award amount: $1000

Qalam wa Lawh Center for Arabic Studies - Merit based scholarships. Selected students will be immersed in intensive Arabic language classes as well as other cultural programs such as cooking, calligraphy, and trips to venues of cultural interest and significance throughout Morocco. The scholarship covers all costs of tuition and housing for the duration of the semester dates indicated on the attached flyer. Students will study at our state of the art facility with full amenities. Details of the scholarship and application requirements are attached and can be found on the Qalam Center website.

Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarships: The Rotary Club offers 3 different types of scholarship: Academic Year Ambassadorial Scholarships for 1 year of study abroad, Multi-Year Ambassadorial Scholarships for 2 years of degree-oriented study abroad, and Cultural Ambassadorial Scholarships for 3 or 6 months of language study and cultural immersion abroad. Applicants must be a citizen of a country that has Rotary Clubs and must have completed at least 2 years of college-level coursework or equivalent professional experience before commencing their scholarship studies. Level: undergraduate or graduate / Award amount: $13,000 - $25,000

U.S. Department of State - Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) fosters mutual understanding between the United States and other countries through international educational and training programs.

US Department of Education, Financial Aid Information




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