Languages and Culture Department

The Department of Languages and Socio-Cultural Studies of Universidad de los Andes offers students an education in languages and socio-cultural studies. By languages we understand the verbal and non-verbal textual expressions. Such expressions are articulated in the mother tongue and other languages. Therefore, we promote the study of these languages. We believe it is fundamental to understand contemporary societies and face their different cultural, sociological and political differences.

Socio-cultural studies are part of the critical question of the construction of historical meaning in societies. Therefore, we work around questions and methods incorporated by discourse and text analysis into the social sciences since the mid-20th century. We work on the project of cultural studies, understood as the effort made by scholars of different areas and from different countries to dismantle the naturalization of social and cultural orders, of political identities and discourses of truth. Therefore, we define ourselves as trans-disciplinary regarding reflection on methods and problems.

Undergraduate Study Plan

The Undergraduate curriculum in Languages and Socio-Cultural Studies integrates language learning with education in social science, apart from the basic education offered by the University in different areas.

Students can choose between focus on Cultural Studies and focus on Pedagogy of a second language. The focus on Pedagogy introduces students to teaching problems and methodologies of a second language. The inclusion of this focus in the Department is based on the communicational/contextual perspective of our pedagogical reflection. We also discuss the problems of cultural differences in issues such as bilingualism, translation, contexts, mental models and challenges to its implementation. Students with this focus perform pedagogical practices in different institutions.

Professors of the Department boast a high-level academic and research experience. Students interested in research can participate in projects directed by their professors. The main areas of research are:

  • Policies of representation: It dwells on the relations and distribution of power around dominant and counter-hegemonic social identities.
  • Sexuality and Gender: It reviews and criticizes processes, the construction of gender and sexuality and its necessary interaction with orders and regulations of race, class, religion and cultural diversity.
  • Language, Culture and Power: It studies the dynamics among social relations, uses of language and structure of cultures.
  • Analysis of contemporary socio-political discourses: It studies how these discourses produce meaning and are offered in social narratives.

The Language Learning Study Plan (PAL)

In order to promote the study of foreign languages in Universidad de los Andes, the Language Learning Study Plan offers courses on foreign languages at all levels.


The first three English courses offered in the PAL allow students of all schools to develop reading skills of academic texts in English, a fundamental skill for their degrees. These three courses allow students of the University to fulfill the Reading in English requirement. The next three courses will complement the reading skills and improve skills associated with oral and written expression in the context of academic activities. If students choose English for the Foreign Language Requirement (graduation requirement in the University), the three upper levels of PAL will suffice to fulfill the requirement.

Additionally, the PAL offers English courses where all skills are developed simultaneously. These courses, designed for undergraduate students in Languages and Socio-Cultural Studies, are open to other students of the University.

French, German, Japanese

The courses on these languages —designed for the Undergraduate program of Languages and Socio-Cultural Studies— are offered to all students of the University, and cover all levels, from elementary to advanced level, in a sequence of six courses. The first four courses constitute the basic level, and the last two courses are the advanced level. While the French and German courses have not been designed to fulfill the Foreign Language requirement, they do offer students tools to complement their preparation for international French or German exams required by the University.

Italian, Portuguese, Arabic and Chinese

The department offers basic courses of these languages in four levels: elementary 1, elementary 2, intermediate and advanced.

The academic options offered by the Department allow Uniandes students to complement their professional education with the knowledge of foreign languages and cultures. These options promote a greater openness to foreign cultures and a greater understanding of cultural differences, contributing thus to the academic and personal education of students, while providing them with elements for their professional careers in international contexts. The options are: Option in English Language and Culture, French Language and Culture, German Language and Culture, Japanese Language and Culture, and Italian Language and Culture. The option of Asian studies and the option of Gender and Sexuality Critical Studies are also part of the available options of the Department.