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The International Development (INDEV) program requires that students develop or demonstrate conversational ability in a second language. This includes, but is not limited to, official languages spoken in the field placement countries.

To meet the language requirement, students are normally required to take INDEV 304 – Language Conversation for Development, which is a course designed to advance verbal fluency in one of several languages spoken in field placement countries. Depending on student demand, the course may be offered in French, Spanish and Vietnamese. The course is normally offered in Spring “pre-departure” Term.

Spanish (SPAN)

Students pursuing field placement in developing countries where Spanish is one of the official languages are required to demonstrate conversational proficiency to an intermediate level or higher at the time of application for field placement in 3A Fall Term. Students will be required to submit their applications in Spanish and will be interviewed in Spanish as part of the application process. 

First year students interested in pursuing field placement in a Spanish-speaking country but with little or no background in Spanish are advised to take a minimum of four courses in Spanish prior to taking INDEV 304 Spanish or equivalent. 

Recommended Spanish language electives

Prerequisite level Recommended University of Waterloo course Remarks
No background SPAN 101, 102 - Introduction to Spanish Beginner level, emphasis on oral practice.
Grade 12 Spanish or SPAN 102 SPAN 201A - Intermediate Spanish 1 3-hour lecture, one hour tutorial - emphasis on improving written, comprehension and speaking skills.
SPAN 201A SPAN 201B - Intermediate Spanish 2

3-hour lecture, one hour tutorial - emphasis on improving written, comprehension and speaking skills.

At this point, an International Development student will have the minimum tools needed to communicate in a Spanish-speaking environment. See the undergraduate calendar for more Spanish language course offerings.

For native or near-native speakers that have not had formal language training SPAN 210 - Intermediate Spanish for native speakers Emphasis on improving writing and oral skills.
Other important courses SPAN 227, 228, 217, 218 Literature and Latin American Culture.

French (FR)

 

Students pursuing field placement in countries where French is one of the official languages are required to develop conversational proficiency to an intermediate level or higher at the time of application for field placement in 3A Fall Term.

First year students interested in pursuing field placement in a French-speaking country but with little or no background in French are advised to take a minimum of four French courses prior to taking INDEV 304 French or equivalent.

Recommended French language electives

Prerequisite level Recommended course Terms offered
Grade 9/10 French FR 151 "Basic French 1" F/W/S & Dist Ed
Grade 11 French FR 152 "Basic French 2" F/W/S & Dist Ed
Grade 12 French FR 192A "French Lanugage 1:  Module 1" F/W/S & Dist Ed
French Immersion FR192B "French Lanuage 1:  Module 2" F/W & Dist Ed

Vietnamese

Students pursuing field placement in Vietnam are required to take INDEV 304 Vietnamese in Spring “predeparture” Term. No background in Vietnamese is required. Further language training will be required in-country at the students’ expense.  

Language requirements in-country

All INDEV students are expected to develop or demonstrate their proficiency in a local language during the field placement, in partial fulfillment of the field placement course requirements (INDEV 401 and INDEV 402). Complementary language training may be provided in some countries as part of the in-country orientation. Where this is not available, WUSC will assist students with arranging a local tutor or class at the students’ expense.