Modern Languages and Literatures
Sarah Lawrence College offers six modern languages and their literatures. Students can take French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish from beginning to advanced levels that equally stress the development of communicative skills such as speaking, listening comprehension, reading, and writing as well as the study of literature written in these languages in Europe, Africa, and the Americas.
In addition to the regular seminar work with the language faculty, students will work closely with language assistants in individual or small-group meetings to practice their language skills and make further progress; language teaching is also supported by fully equipped computer labs where students can use the Web, do computer exercises, and enjoy audio facilities. Students of Spanish may also have the opportunity to make use of Community Partnerships.
Some departments also offer literature courses in translation in which students are introduced to the various cultural and historical contexts of the modern languages at the College.
In an attempt to encourage students to study more than one foreign language at the same time, Sarah Lawrence College offers sophomores, juniors, and seniors the option of taking a Language Third. This allows students to continue a language on a more advanced level while at the same time enrolling in a beginner’s class in a different language. Students taking a Language Third will earn ten credits for the combined study of two languages of their choice at no extra cost.
An excellent option offered by the Modern Languages departments is the Lecture Language Third. This interdisciplinary link affords students the great opportunity of meeting the lecture requirement while fully benefiting from studying the foreign language of their preference at any level of proficiency, also at no extra cost. Students taking this option are not required to do conference work in their language courses.
Sarah Lawrence also offers the possibility of total language immersion through a variety of international programs. In addition to our long-established programs in Florence and Paris, the College has recently initiated a study-abroad program in Cuba. Students of Russian can transfer credits from programs in various sites in Russia including Moscow, Yaroslavl, and Irkutsk, while German students can choose from a number of programs or enroll directly in German universities in Berlin, Munich, and Tübingen, for example. Other programs in other locations are also possible, and we encourage students to visit the International Programs site and also to come and talk to us about their options.