Foreign Language Department

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Learn a language, share a culture, change the world! Is taking a language class worth it? Absolutely! Studying a language can open doors to many careers and opportunities. Give yourself a wide perspective of our diverse world. And have fun!

If you are bilingual, you may already be eligible for a salary bonus. And it’s not just language skills an employer values. The cultural and social skills that come with knowing another language also enhance your job prospects. Here are just a few: medical field (nursing, care takers), technology (web designer, cyber security), education (counselors, teachers), law (attorneys, paralegals), art (animators, graphic designer), government (translator, interpreter, civil servant, foreign service officer), Film, aviation & travel (tour guide, flight attendant), food service, and more — any job that utilizes intercultural skills and effective communication. You can help others connect and thrive!

Can I really learn to speak another language?

Yes. At Cypress College we focus on communication. That means you begin to speak from day one in addition to gaining all the other skills you need to acquire a language like listening, reading, and writing. Don’t worry; it’s like learning to swim. In the 101 courses we start at the shallow end with lots of support and encouragement. If you’re a Spanish speaker, you already have a head start; in Spanish 201 we’ll focus on enhancing your language skills and practicing academic Spanish.

What about transfer credits?

All the Foreign Language 101, 102, 203, and 204 classes, as well as Spanish 201, are transfer-level credit courses (UC/CSU, AA, GE). We offer an associate in arts degree in Spanish for transfer (AA-T) which completes the first- and second-year requirements for transfer to a four-year public California institution.


Our departments offers two certificates of achievement and a degree for transfer. The following courses can fulfill Spanish major and minor lower-division requirements. They are also transferable to other colleges and universities.

For non-heritage learners, we have the following courses:

  • Elementary Spanish
    • SPAN 101 C
    • SPAN 102 C
  • Intermediate Spanish
    • SPAN 203 C
    • SPAN 204 C

For heritage learners, we offer:

  • SPAN 201 C
  • SPAN 202 C

With such a large Spanish-speaking population in the U.S. and booming economies outside the U.S., there is a huge demand for Spanish-speakers in nursing, construction management, and media, among many other positions.


Our departments offers two certificates of achievement. The following courses fulfill French major and minor lower-division requirements. They are also transferable to other colleges and universities.

Language & Conversation Courses

  • Elementary French
    • FREN 101 C
    • FREN 102 C
  • Intermediate French
    • FREN 200C (Conversation)
    • FREN 203 C
    • FREN 204 C

Courses are offered in hybrid and online asynchronous formats.

French language skills also complement careers in education, law, medicine, international relations, international business, political science, non-profit, etc.


We offer transferable language courses (UC/CSU, AA, GE) at all levels. They all fulfill Chinese major and minor lower-division requirements.

  • Elementary Chinese
    • CHIN 101C
    • CHIN 102C
  • Intermediate Chinese
    • CHIN 203 C
    • CHIN 204 C
  • Dual Enrollment Program at Oxford Academy High School

A student Chinese Cultural Club is starting in fall 2023. Join to study and experience fun cultural topics like Chinese history, costumes, food, pop culture, etc. We will be holding Chinese calligraphy workshop as well!

With a large Chinese population in Orange County, Chinese-speaking professionals are demanded in nursing, education, business management, international relations, and so many other areas.


We offer JAPN 101, 102, 203, 204 (Business Japanese), 201 (Kanji), 100 & 200 (Conversation), Japanese Culture through Film course coming in fall 2024— ALL with FREE Textbooks!

JAPN 101, 102, 203, & 204 classes are transfer-level credit courses (UC/CSU, AA, GE). They all fulfil Japanese major and minor lower-division requirements.

We have hybrid, Zoom, in-person, and HyFlex (Zoom + Room) options.

Study informative and exciting cultural topics like: Japanese food, manga, anime, J- Pop, fashion, travel, history, IT business, etc.

Over 100 jobs opening in Orange County require Japanese language skills or knowledge about Japan.

PLUS… we offer a fun Japanese Culture Club and free tutoring.

ALSO… We have free “Monthly Friday Japanese Movie Night” at the SEM planetarium. You can bring your family there!


Contact the Department

Department Chairs

Karen Le Cornet, B.A., M.A.:

Mihoko Terada Luther, B.A., M.A.: