FIRST YEAR INFOIn the Department of Foreign Languages you can learn Arabic, French, German and/or Classical Culture, which is the study of ancient Greek and Roman Civilisations.
For more information see the Question and Answer (FAQ) section below and also have a look at our short video on YouTube here.
You may also contact your respective lecturers directly via e-mail:
Why choose to learn Arabic? Arabic remains one of the most beautiful languages around the world, renowned for its eloquence and is the 5th most spoken language in the world. It is a Semitic language with its origins in the 1st and 4th centuries AD and is today the lingua franca of the Arab world and around 400 million people speak it. Modern Arabic is the primary language in four major distinct regional dialects, including the Arabic of the Maghreb (North Africa), Egyptian Arabic (Egypt and Sudan), Levantine Arabic (Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Palestine) and Iraqi/Gulf -Yemen Arabic. Furthermore, Arabic is a fascinating language with a rich history, literature, culture and beautiful script. Learning Arabic can open doors and take you down twisting and turning paths you might never have expected to take before. With this module you will learn to understand, speak, read and write in basic Arabic script. It will also help you to develop communication skills to use in the real world and when pursuing your career, such as teaching, journalism, tourism, commerce, religion, translation/interpretation, diplomatic relations and foreign services to name a few. You also have two native Arabic speaking Lecturers waiting to impart their expertise to assist you in the acquisition of this beautiful language. Perhaps Nelson Mandela said it best: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.” Arabic is truly one of the most coveted language skills, so open the door that’s been waiting for you … Welcome, Ahlan wa Sahlan أهلا و سهلا
(Lecturer: Dr. Mustapha Saidi, email@example.com)
Learning French is an exciting journey and at the end of your first year you will be able to speak, read, write and understand it at a basic level.
This voyage asks of you to embrace different sounds, words, expressions and worlds.
Whilst learning French you will be encouraged to be brave and tenacious.
Your learning experience will open up new ways of looking at the world around you.
An exciting new world awaits you, filled with Bonjour! Comment ça va? and Je t’aime!
(Lecturer: Mrs. Sandra van Reenen, firstname.lastname@example.org)
In your first year of German you will learn the skills to speak, read, write and understand basic German. At the same time, you will travel between German speaking countries and South Africa in every class, learning new words and having interesting discussions about language, culture and history. You do not need any prior knowledge of the language.
Gaining knowledge of German could improve your employability, enhance your knowledge of people around the world, and enrich your personality. We like to have fun doing this! Hoffentlich bis bald!
For a detailed video explanation on our German Undergraduate Curriculum and why you should consider learning German, please go to the Undergraduate section of the Departmental website: Undergraduate Programme
(Lecturer: Ms. Karin Groenewald, email@example.com)
If you have an interest in Greek and Roman mythology, this is the module for you. We start with Homeric heroes such as Achilles, Agamemnon and Menelaus; and then move on to the mythographer Hesiod, who detailed the birth and origin of nearly all the Greek gods, including Zeus, Aphrodite, Chronos, Gaia, Hephaestus, and so many more.
The purpose of this module is to examine the role of myths in the ancient world of the Greeks and Romans, how myths were an inextricable aspect of their lived experience and reality. But, we also examine why these ancient myths have not died away, but are still part of our lived experience right here and now in South Africa.
(Lecturer: Dr. Mark Hermans, firstname.lastname@example.org)
FAQQ: Do I need to have prior knowledge of the language I want to learn?
A: No. In your first year we start teaching the language from scratch.
Q: What if I have prior knowledge of the language?
A: In that case contact the departmental administrator (Mrs de Louw: email@example.com). She will get you in contact with the lecturer who will explain to you how to proceed. The rule is called Advanced Standing (C 4.5. Arts Academic Calendar):
A student with prior learning in any of the languages offered in the Department of Foreign Languages (Arabic, French, German, and Latin) may apply for advanced standing.
Advanced standing will be granted if a student has:
• passed the relevant language in Grade 12 with a score of at least 4 or has a certificate from a recognized educational service provider that is deemed the equivalent of such a pass in Grade 12; or
• to the satisfaction of the Department, demonstrated the required competence in the relevant language in a competency test set by the Department. Advanced standing will be granted solely at the discretion of the Department. A student shall not be able to appeal the Department’s decision.
If advanced standing is granted, a student will be exempted from Level 1 modules in the relevant language and will be allowed to do Level 2 modules in that language after promotion to Level 2. A student may register for replacement modules at Level 1 from any of the modules offered in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities.
Q: Is it difficult to learn a Foreign Language?
A: To learn a foreign language is not more or less difficult than learning any other subject in the faculty. You should know though, that learning a language is about practising it regularly, that means you should spend rather 15 minutes every day of learning the language then trying to memorise vocabulary once a week for 3 hours.
Q: Why should I learn a foreign language?
A: Learning a new language is always an asset as languages improve your understanding of how communication works. With a learning a new language you not only learn new words. Languages come with new perspectives, ideas, and opinions. Learning one of the languages in our departments opens new worlds and will make you become a global citizen.
Q: Which foreign language should I learn?
A: This depends solely on you – your emotional connection to a language and your goals. For example, what global regions are you interested in and what languages are spoken there? What industries are you interested in? Are you planning to study overseas? Do you have foreign friends you want to be able to speak to in their mother language? Very important is your emotional connection to a language: What language sounds attractive to you, so you want to learn it?
Q: What other subjects are suited to be combined with a foreign language?
A: Generally, you can combine all subjects with a foreign language. Some combinations are more obvious, like combining a foreign language with Language & Communication Studies. At the same time, it can be helpful to combine a foreign language with a subject that is not so obvious as this will give you a unique study profile. For example, it is a good idea to combine one of our foreign languages with an African language. But learning a new language is always an asset as languages improve your understanding of how communication works. With a learning a new language you not only learn new words. Languages come with new perspectives, ideas, and opinions.
OUR STUDENTS’ VOICESARABIC
"My name is Achmad Adams, an Honours Graduate of the Department of Foreign Language, Arabic Section at UWC. I enjoyed my first year doing Arabic because I found the syllabus to be immersive and immensely educational. The educators who assisted us along the learning journey were always energetic and exciting, staying our focus by keeping us amused throughout the class making the study seem less tedious. Due to my first year being so informative and invigorating I decided to pursue Arabic as a Major." – Achmad Adams (BA Hons)
"My name is Mustapha Alexander, a third year Bachelor of Arts student, majoring in Arabic at UWC. I found my first year studying Arabic to be both a jump into the unknown and at the same time a truly enjoyable endeavour. With the well-planned and immersive syllabus, intimate learning environment and welcoming atmosphere for lessons, I found myself seemingly in contact with a new world, that is, the Arab world. Learning the language and Arabian culture under the tutelage of the dedicatated Arabic professors has proven to be a wonderful experience and led me to pursue Arabic further." – Mustapha Alexander (BA student)
"I enjoyed learning French because it is an interesting language with lots of tongue twisters and it presents a good challenge. I also enjoyed my experience due to the amazing lecturers. They always found ways to make the lessons fun and their attention to detail made the whole experience much more enjoyable." – Daine Ellie (3rd year student of 2020)
"Coming from a country that was previously largely Francophone, learning French helped me reconnect with language practices from home." – Firdou Butoni (2016 graduate)
"I enjoyed/enjoy learning French because it challenges me, in the sense that it takes me out of my comfort zone and forces me to seek various sources for guidance, which is an integral part of the learning process to be successful." – Jade Engel (currently a 3rd year student)
"I enjoy learning French because it is a sophisticated medium of communication. I enjoy learning French because of its international opportunities and it ultimately broadens your horizons." – Jason-Lee Thomas (currently a 2nd student)
"For me learning French is an amazing opportunity to help support my goal in life. It opens up more opportunities for me regarding the job market abroad, giving me an advantage in big companies." – Brunhilda Pyler (currently a 2nd year student)
"German is a very interesting and unique language. I absolutely love learning German at UWC, because not only are the lecturers immensely friendly, but their teaching styles make it easy to understand. Learning a new language is always challenging, but at UWC they really cater to the needs of their students, getting an A for this module felt really good." – Deslynn, (currently a 2nd year student)
"I had a background in German when I started studying at UWC. I did not think that I can learn anything new about the language - but I was so wrong! Having German as a subject at UWC has been a lot of fun. You are not only taught the language but also history and fun facts. You learn more about German literature, film and of course the language and its grammar. The lecturers are really helpful and always friendly, and they have a passion for the language and helping you learn and understand it.If you are looking for a challenging yet fun module, German at UWC is definitely for you." – Carla (MA student)
"I have always found Germany interesting since I was a little girl. I wanted to learn more about the language and its culture and UWC has helped a lot in that aspect. For me as an Afrikaans speaking student, I found German more fun to learn than any other language that I have tried to learn. German literature has inspired me to write again and I am thankful for that. The lecturers and tutors are the absolute best, they will help you till the very end and will always cheer you on, because they want you to succeed and do the best that you can. What I love most about learning German at UWC is that you become more like a family in your German group, you guys do everything together and the little competitions you have only motivate you to do better." – Demi (currently a 3rd year student)