Bok Certificate in Teaching Language and Culture

In collaboration with the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning offers the Bok Certificate in Teaching Language and Culture, through which GSAS PhD students may demonstrate their commitment to excellence in the teaching of language(s) and culture(s).

The certificate is open to GSAS PhD students who teach courses in language, culture, and literature in Harvard College and who want to deepen their knowledge of language pedagogy. GSAS PhD students teaching in other disciplines should explore the Bok Teaching Certificate.

Bok Certificate in Teaching Language and Culture participants must fulfill requirements in three areas:

Please plan ahead to make the most of each component of the Certificate; they are meant to be completed over time, especially the departmental pedagogy courses, which are offered on different schedules. If you have questions about any of the requirements, please contact us at

Apply for the Certificate


Teach a minimum of two semesters of foreign language/culture/literature courses at Harvard.

At least one of these courses must be a language course.

Research and Practice

Take two (2) departmental courses from the list below and two (2) Bok Seminars.

Departmental Courses:
  1. One foundational language pedagogy course:
    • ROM-LANG 210: Language Pedagogy: Theories, Practices, and Approaches
    • CELTIC 350: Teaching Colloquium
    • CLASSICS 360: Teaching Colloquium
    • CHINESE 280: Teaching Chinese as a Foreign/Second Language (J. Liu)
    • GERMPHIL 280: Approaches to Foreign Language Teaching (Parkes)
    • LINGUISTICS 173: Structure of Japanese (W. Jacobsen)
    • SLAVIC 126: Structure of Modern Russian (S. Clancy)
  2. ROM-LANG 230: Teaching Languages, Cultures, and Literatures
    • A foundational language pedagogy course is a prerequisite to this course.
    • Additional equivalents may be approved from Linguistics or the Graduate School of Education.

Bok Seminars: Take two Bok Seminars on topics of your choosing. 

Bok Seminars are organized into categories based on target audience and topic: FoundationsMethods & Classroom PracticeEquity & InclusionCommunication & Language, and Professional Development (for experienced TFs). Candidates should be intentional in assembling meaningful electives that will allow them to tell a coherent story about their progress through the Certificate.


Submit a teaching portfolio. You should design a portfolio that will be useful for your individual goals. For the purposes of the Certificate, your portfolio should include at minimum:

  1. teaching statement,
  2. prospective syllabus, and
  3. sample assignment prompt, lesson plan, or class activity.

For more detail on these items, see the Teaching Portfolio page in our Online Resources. Several of our Bok Seminars also provide a workshop environment in which you may create and refine these materials.