Languages & Linguistics Department

Learning another language opens doors to a world of opportunities. Discover new career paths and global cultures. Build connections and cultural understanding. Through our immersive teaching model, you’ll learn the skills to communicate and thrive in today’s multicultural environment.

Languages open doors 

Speaking multiple languages is becoming vitally important in our increasingly globalized world. CapU's courses gives you the communications skills you need to excel no matter your career path.

We offer a large variety of university transferable language courses including Chinese, French, Japanese, Spanish and general linguistics. Or you can learn about the languages and cultures of BC’s Indigenous peoples.

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” – Nelson Mandela

Why study languages at CapU?

Our unique model includes lectures, conversations and assignments in the multimedia lab.  As part of a small class, you’ll learn in a way that mimics how we learned our mother tongue – in an intimate setting, using culturally relevant material.

Through weekly conversation classes, you’ll practice newly learned material with a native speaker. You’ll find additional help and camaraderie at the Language Resource Centre, where you can hone your skills and practice at your own pace.

Whether you’re interested in studying a language or wish to expand your horizons by learning a second or third language, Capilano University offers an exceptional program, first-class instruction, and a top-notch computer lab to make language learning an enjoyable experience.

Career paths in languages   

Languages are a gateway to teaching opportunities and a variety of careers ranging from government to health care, law enforcement and business or even communications and tourism. Linguistics students typically major or minor in language teaching, ESL, the speech sciences, anthropology and advanced linguistic study.

Languages & linguistics programs 

CapU offers a number of certificate programs in First Nations languages and culture.

We also offer a broad selection of courses in multiple languages, as well as linguistics courses. 

First Nations language & culture certificate programs

Our identity is deeply rooted in the language we speak. It’s how we connect, communicate and interact with others.

Our First Nations certificate programs will help you gain an understanding of the importance of linguistic diversity and the factors that have led to the endangerment of First Nations languages across Canada.

The programs are designed to encourage fluency within BC communities and give current and future teachers training to become language experts, be knowledge keepers and protect the heritage.

Courses are offered within First Nations communities, allowing you to continue your jobs, raise your children and stay connected to your culture while studying at night. For many, it’s about reclaiming your identity and language.

Related programs

Language and linguistics courses can be applied to many CapU programs, including:  

Languages and linguistics courses

Whether you’re curious about a new language or would like to enhance your skills, our broad range of courses cater to all levels. Many of our courses transfer widely to other BC universities and colleges.  Please check the BC Transfer Guide for further information.

      Chinese - Mandarin

      Mandarin is the world’s largest linguistic community, totalling one billion speakers. Our beginner courses are an excellent bridge into using the Pinyin system of pronunciation in Mainland China. They start with basic tones and pronunciation to prepare students to speak the language. They also teach basic grammar and the writing of about 150 Chinese characters.

      Content focuses on language acquisition and conversation practice, with an aligned introduction to Chinese culture and social etiquette. Communication skills are also introduced with presentations and group projects during the learning process.

      Which course to select?

      We offer a range of courses, beginning from absolute beginner up to university level. Use our Chinese Registration Flow Chart to determine which course best suits your abilities.   

      First Nation languages

      French

      French is one of two official languages in Canada, is the principal language of 29 other countries and is spoken by more than 220 million people over five continents.  French is also a working and official language of the United Nations, the European Union, UNESCO, NATO, the International Olympic Committee, the International Red Cross and international courts. 

      As such, proficiency in French is essential for anyone considering a career in Canadian governments, international organizations, business and law. French is also a central language of Western culture and useful for those with a career or personal interest in fashion, music, architecture, literature, film and the culinary arts.

      For beginners who have no knowledge of French, courses include an intensive introduction to the language, enhanced by computer practice and an introduction to francophone culture.

      If you’re interested in advancing your high school-level knowledge of the language, courses will build on your skills through written and oral exercises, compositions and appreciation of francophone culture and literature.

      Which course to select?

      To determine which level of French to register in, please consult either the French Registration Flow Chart (for general students) or the French IMMERSION Registration Flow Chart (for former French Immersion students). 

      • If you are an absolute beginner or have never completed any French course beyond Grade 9, register in FREN 100
      • If you have completed grade 11 French, register in FREN 150
      • If you have completed grade 12 core French (and were not in secondary immersion), register in FREN 204 or FREN 205
      • If you were an immersion student at the secondary level, register in FREN 270 or FREN 271
      • If you have completed FREN 204/205 (formerly known as 170/171) or FREN 270/271 and would like to work specifically on your speaking ability, register in FREN 215

      Japanese

      Japan boasts one of the largest economies in the world. Learning to speak Japanese can help improve your job prospects and open the door to a fascinating world.

      Japan has a lively popular culture that has influenced everything from fashion, music and movies to video games. It’s a country of innovation, whether it’s computers, robotics, cars or appliances. While studying the language, you’ll also gain insight into the Japanese lifestyle.

      Beginner courses offer an introduction to modern Japanese through the study of vocabulary, grammar and culture. You’ll learn the Japanese writing systems (hiragana and katakana) as well as kanji (Chinese characters).

      Other courses focus on practical Japanese to develop real-world skills for professional and business contexts.

      Which course to select?

      Students with Japanese 9, 10 or Beginners 11 credit should register in JAPN 100. Students with Japanese 11 credit should register in JAPN 101, not JAPN 100. Students with Japanese 12 credit with a minimum grade of C should register in JAPN 200.

      Please consult the Japanese Registration Flow Chart for clarification or contact us for further information.

      Linguistics

      Would you like to know six ways to say “we” in Fijian, the myth of the hundred words for snow in Inuktitut, or how to make Zulu clicks? 

      We offer a range of first-year courses including an introduction to grammatical description and analysis (LING100) and practical phonetics (LING102). Learn about the language and culture of BC’s First Nations (LING206) and the diversity and endangerment of indigenous languages of the world (LING208).

      We also offer a course on English etymology (LING202), where we look at the origin of English in the Proto-Indo-European language family and the Latin, Greek and French words that we have borrowed. Truly, “The Wonder of Words!”

      Spanish

      Spanish is the second most common language in the world, used by more than 420 million people and listed as an official language in 21 countries. In today’s global economy, an ability to speak Spanish helps your employment prospects.

      It’s also beneficial when travelling. From Spain to Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean, you will better understand and enjoy local cultures.

      Which course to select?

      If you have little or no knowledge of the Spanish language, register for SPAN 100. Students with Spanish 11 credit should register in SPAN 101, and students with Spanish 12 credit should register in SPAN 200. For assistance in determining which level of Spanish to register in, please check out the Spanish Registration Flow Chart.  

      For beginning students, the sequence of courses is:

      • Spanish 100
      • Spanish 101
      • Spanish 200
      • Spanish 201

      Native speakers of Spanish are not eligible for registration in first-year Spanish courses. If they wish to take second-year courses in Spanish, they must consult with the Spanish instructor prior to enrolment.

      Students with a competence in the language beyond the level of the course in which they are registered will be required to withdraw. Students who are not sure of their language level should contact an instructor.

      Student opportunities

      How would you like to hone your language skills and enrich your education while teaching English overseas? There are many opportunities available to CapU’s language students, from exchange programs to awards you might be eligible for.

      Further down the page you’ll also find some excellent student resources, with a multitude of links to help you make the most of your language education.

      Work abroad or across Canada

      Live and work in Spain assisting English teachers and honing your Spanish speaking skills.

      French language learning and exchange programs in Canada:

      Live and work in France:

      Volunteer opportunities for students learning Japanese are available from time to time. Contact the Japanese department if you're interested.

      Awards 

      The following awards are available to CapU language students. Visit our Scholarships, Bursaries & Awards page to apply.

       This fund support students within Capilano University’s French language studies.

      In memory of former faculty member Conchita Furstenwald, this fund provides support to Spanish language students.

      Provides support to students within Capilano University’s Japanese language studies.                                

       In honour of former student Monique Ishikawa, this annual award is provided to students enrolled in Japanese language courses at Capilano University.

      This award, for students who are enrolled in Japanese language courses at CapU, is to encourage students to pursue related studies in Japan.

      This award was created to encourage students in their study of multiple foreign languages and/or to reach the intermediate level in one language at Capilano University.

      The purpose of this fund is to recognize students’ effort, progress and achievement in their language studies with the goal of encouraging further study.

      Student resources

      The Language Resource Centre is a space where students can work independently on assignments, meet with others to complete group assignments or practice conversation skills with a native speaker.

      Here’s a selection of articles that address this topic.

      • Learning a second (and third) language has been shown to make you smarter. Bilingualism increases a host of brain functions including attention and concentration and might even help ward off dementia (New York Times).
      • With each additional language, the next becomes easier (Science Daily).
      • Once you have another language, you are able to understand the world from multiple perspectives helping you navigate intercultural environments (Science Mag).
      • Tips on learning another language (The Guardian).

      DELE exam: DELE Spanish Diplomas are official titles certifying degree of competence and mastery of the Spanish language, granted by Spain's Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport.

      Online dictionaries:

      Grammar resources:

       

      Catherine Gloor
      French Coordinator/Instr./Supervisor LRC
      Faculty of Arts and Sciences
      School of Humanities
      School of Humanities - French

      604 986 1911 ext. 2405
      Fir Building, room FR422
      cgloor@capilanou.ca
      Dwight Gardiner
      Instructor, Linguistics
      Faculty of Arts and Sciences
      School of Humanities
      School of Humanities - Linguistics

      604 986 1911 ext. 7312
      Fir Building, room FR404
      dgardine@capilanou.ca
      Elizabeth Pereira
      Instructor, Spanish
      Faculty of Arts and Sciences
      School of Humanities
      School of Humanities - Spanish

      604 986 1911 ext. 2417
      Fir Building, room FR404
      epereira@capilanou.ca
      Joan Li
      Instructional Associate, Chinese, Language Resource Centre
      Faculty of Arts and Sciences
      School of Humanities
      School of Humanities - Chinese

      604 986 1911 ext. 7439
      Arbutus Building, room AR117
      jli@capilanou.ca
      Josema Zamorano Meza
      Instructional Associate, Spanish
      Faculty of Arts and Sciences
      School of Humanities
      School of Humanities - Spanish

      604 986 1911 ext. 7316
      Fir Building, room FR404
      jzamorano@capilanou.ca
      Kazuko Mito
      Instructor, Japanese
      Faculty of Arts and Sciences
      School of Humanities
      School of Humanities - Japanese

      604 983 7508 ext. 7508
      Fir Building, room FR466
      kmito@capilanou.ca
      Laurence Gauvreau
      Instructor, French
      Faculty of Arts and Sciences
      School of Humanities
      School of Humanities - French

      604 986 1911 ext. 2464
      Fir Building, room FR404
      laurencegauvreau@capilanou.ca
      Lydie Jannon
      Instructional Associate - French
      Faculty of Arts and Sciences
      School of Humanities
      School of Humanities - French

      604 986 1911 ext. 7439
      Birch Building, room BR289
      lydiejannon@capilanou.ca
      Norie Ishida
      Instructional Associate, Japanese
      Faculty of Arts and Sciences
      School of Humanities
      School of Humanities - Japanese

      604 986 1911 ext. 3649
      Fir Building, room FR404
      norieishida@capilanou.ca
      Patricia Tatum
      Divisional Supervisor, Humanities
      Faculty of Arts and Sciences
      History
      School of Humanities
      School of Humanities - Art History
      School of Humanities - Chinese
      School of Humanities - English
      School of Humanities - French
      School of Humanities - Japanese
      School of Humanities - Language Resource Centre
      School of Humanities - Linguistics
      School of Humanities - Philosophy
      School of Humanities - Spanish
      School of Humanities - Writing Centre

      604 984 1713 ext. 1713
      Fir Building, room FR404
      ptatum@capilanou.ca
      Sandra Bishop
      DDA 1, Humanities
      History
      School of Humanities
      School of Humanities - Art History
      School of Humanities - Chinese
      School of Humanities - English
      School of Humanities - French
      School of Humanities - Japanese
      School of Humanities - Language Resource Centre
      School of Humanities - Linguistics
      School of Humanities - Philosophy
      School of Humanities - Spanish
      School of Humanities - Writing Centre

      604 986 1911 ext. 7151
      Fir Building, room FR404
      sbishop@capilanou.ca
      Tong Chow
      Instructor (Chinese)
      Faculty of Arts and Sciences
      School of Humanities
      School of Humanities - Chinese

      604 986 1911 ext. 2423
      Fir Building, room FR404
      tchow@capilanou.ca
      Yoriko Gillard
      Instructor, Japanese
      Faculty of Arts and Sciences
      School of Humanities
      School of Humanities - Japanese

      604 986 1911 ext. 3526
      Fir Building, room FR404
      yorikogillard@capilanou.ca

      Contact

      Have questions about this department?

      Languages & Linguistics department


      604 984 4957 , ext. 4957
      Fir Building, room FR404
      humanities@capilanou.ca

      Student Information Services


      604 984 4900
      604 984 1798 (fax)
      Birch Building, room BR230
      registration@capilanou.ca