World Language students are immersed in other cultures and taught new reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. The beginning levels emphasize the language’s alphabet, vocabulary, and grammar with the help of basic written and spoken sentence and paragraph structures as well as short listening and reading cultural activities. In the intermediate level, students will continue to develop their reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills at a more complex level, which will help them progressively develop their communication skills by producing longer and more expressive sentences and paragraphs. Both levels of language learning incorporate small-group discussions, written and oral partner activities, individual work, compositions, and readings.

We offer a rich selection of seven world languages including Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Russian and Spanish. Taking a language class immerses you in another culture and opens your eyes, ears and mind to new sounds and words, as well as new ways of thinking. You will learn new skills and acquire knowledge that will last a lifetime.

We invite you to explore one of the seven languages we offer and delve into a new and interesting culture. Learning a new language and appreciating other cultures is advantageous to your career whether your interests are in global affairs, business, technology, science or the arts. We offer face-to-face, hybrid and online classes in multiple week sessions to meet a variety of work and life schedules.

Transfer Opportunities

World Languages are part of the Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts degree. In addition, some of NOVA's courses can be used as General Education Electives (see below in the Programs and Degrees question).

Credit for Prior Learning

Northern Virginia Community College accepts industry-standard certifications, credentials and/or professional courses for credit. Broadly, licenses, credentials and/or certifications must be current and valid for consideration. For more information regarding the status of the certification and its eligibility for credit, please see an advisor or faculty members in the discipline area that awards CPL credit.

The most current information can be found here for CPL: Certifications and Credentials.

Where to Begin?

Associate in Arts degree. Students seeking the Associate in Arts degree in Liberal Arts are required to show proficiency in a world language at the intermediate level (201 and 202). Because language classes are sequenced, some students may need to start at the 101 level according to their proficiency while others might be placed at a higher level. We highly recommend not waiting until your last year to start your language and culture learning.

Professional Development and/or Personal Interest. Students working to complete other degrees and/or interested in taking language and culture classes for professional development or personal interest can also benefit from the wide variety of languages we offer.

Our language courses are designed to develop the skills required for communication and cultural understanding in our vast global society. Whether you are interacting with others face-to-face or having conversations through social media with people from another country, you have an advantage if you can use and understand their language.

We look forward to seeing you in one of our many language classes!