Foreign Languages and Literatures
- Chinese Department
- French Department
- German Department
- Japanese Department
- Spanish Department
- Language Learning Center
- Off-Campus Studies
French, German, and Spanish each have major as well as minor programs, all of which require courses in both language and literature. You may also minor in Chinese or Japanese which are part of the Asian Studies major. In French, Spanish, German, and Japanese there are resident native speakers to help students improve conversational skills and introduce their own cultures. The curriculum of the Foreign Languages and Literatures Department is designed to develop proficiency in speaking, writing, and reading, and to acquaint students with the literature and culture associated with each target language.
In the Language Learning Center (LLC) students use technology to continue language learning outside the classroom. The LLC features work stations where students may make use of a range of technologies, including audio- and videotapes, DVD players, networked multilingual computers, and a development station for making tapes and scanning and editing photos, slides and digital videos. In addition to desktop machines, students can check out wireless laptops and audio/video equipment for use in and out of the LLC. Satellite equipment provides television programming in all modern languages taught at Whitman.
The department highly recommends study abroad (48% of Whitman students study abroad). Our comprehensive foreign study program offers more than 120 options for you to do more than converse with the natives - – rather you may become one, at least for a while. Barter at farmers’ markets in Ecuador, volunteer at a shelter in Germany, or visit the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Our most frequent non-english-speaking study abroad destinations are France, Italy, India, Mexico, Chile, and Japan.