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Bulletin Archive

This archived information is dated to the 2011-12 academic year only and may no longer be current.

For currently applicable policies and information, see the current Stanford Bulletin.

Special Language Program

The Special Language Program (SLP) offers foreign languages not otherwise taught at Stanford. Based on current funding and student requests, the courses planned for 2011-12 are listed in the "Explore Courses" section of this Bulletin under the Special Languages (SPECLANG) Program; however, not every course listed is taught. Additional languages may still be offered upon request, provided funding is available. Requests for the 2012-13 academic year should be made by Spring Quarter of this year at the Special Language Program office (

Beginning-level courses are offered for 3, 4 or 5 units, as listed.  The 3-unit beginning courses are offered on a satisfactory/no credit basis only. The 4 and 5-unit beginning level courses are offered with a letter grade option. Intermediate-level as well as advanced-level courses are offered with a grade option. Beginning, intermediate and advanced each refer to an academic year's sequence of language study. Most 3-unit language courses are offered for a two-year, three quarter sequence:

'A' suffix courses are typically taught Autumn.

'B' suffix courses are typically taught Winter.

'C' suffix courses are typically taught Spring.

In some circumstances, a beginning or intermediate course may be offered in alternate years. For more information, see  Language courses may not be repeated for credit, and must be taken in sequence.


Students can fulfilll the language requirement by taking courses offered by the Special Language Program. At least 12 units are needed to complete the requirement. Students who have already taken courses in the relevant language at another institution, or who have previous knowledge of the language, can request to be tested. Tests are comprised of written and oral parts. A student must display first-year level proficiency in the requested language in order to fulfill the requirement. Testing is guaranteed only for these languages currently offered. Students planning to take a test must contact the Special Language Program no later than the Spring Quarter of sophomore year. To submit a request for language testing, or to request a language, apply via the web at


Beginning-level, first-year language courses require no previous knowledge of the language. The beginning-level sequence emphasizes development of the full range of language skills—reading, listening comprehension, the use of grammatical structures, and oral and written communication—through a variety of learning themes. Individual, small group, interactive work and multimedia-based activities reinforce language skills and provide the platform for adapting the curriculum to specific student learning goals. Cultural awareness is a strong component of the curriculum.


Intermediate-level, second-year language courses require completion of the beginning sequence, or consent of instructor. The intermediate-level sequence focuses on continuous mastery and development of learning skills that help students to converse accurately and more fluently, incorporate more advanced grammatical structures in their oral and written work, use idiomatic expressions in the right context, and write simple compositions. Curricular objectives and enhanced understanding of the culture are built into the courses through a multimodal approach.


Advanced-level, third-year language courses require completion of the intermediate-year sequence and consent of the program coordinator. The advanced-level sequence focuses on accurate understanding and use of structures through authentic texts and multimedia materials, and readings from various genres. Individual learning goals and student proficiency are taken into account to provide a learning environment that helps students become more autonomous learners.

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