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Modern Languages and Literatures

We define culture broadly to include both the academic and the everyday. Guided by creative and enthusiastic faculty committed to language immersion, students explore topics ranging from literature and film to politics to cuisine. 

Language in Chicago

Because of our close ties to Chicago’s cultural institutions, students pursue internships with organizations like the Alliance Française and the Chicago Latino Film Festival. Academic excursions to immigrant neighborhoods like Chinatown and Pilsen, allow students to meet and learn from native speakers.

A Wide Range of Courses

We offer coursework in Arabic, Chinese, French, Japanese, and Spanish as well as occasional courses in Italian and Portuguese. Most language majors and minors enhance their linguistic and cultural knowledge by taking advantage of the College’s numerous options to study and complete internships abroad.

Department News

View All Majors & Minors
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/650-caroline-tibbetts-12"><img src="/live/image/gid/57/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,200,200/28857_unknown.rev.1445454689.jpeg" alt="Caroline Tibbetts ’12" title="Caroline Tibbetts ’12" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" data-max-w="200" data-max-h="200"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><p> “I think nearly every professor I encountered was strong, inspiring, and impactful upon my life.”</p></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/650-caroline-tibbetts-12">Caroline Tibbetts ’12 double majored in French and communication.</a>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/667-mahir-mameledzija-14"><img src="/live/image/gid/57/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/197,0,1446,1249/29252_image2.rev.1446742373.jpg" alt="Mahir Mameledzija ’14" title="Mahir Mameledzija ’14" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/57/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/197,0,1446,1249/29252_image2.rev.1446742373.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/57/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/197,0,1446,1249/29252_image2.rev.1446742373.jpg 3x" data-max-w="2048" data-max-h="1536"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><p> “<em>I had an extreme passion for languages</em>. The Spanish language stood out for me because of its worldwide understanding.”</p></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/667-mahir-mameledzija-14">Mahir now works at the Center for the Neurobiology of Language Recovery at Northwestern.</a>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/581-jonas-mikolich-11"><img src="/live/image/gid/57/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,335,335/27199_edited_jonas.rev.1436971926.jpg" alt="Jonas Mikolich ’11" title="Jonas Mikolich ’11" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" data-max-w="335" data-max-h="399"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><p> Jonas Mikolich uses his bachelor’s degree in Spanish and economics to work with the Mexico operations team at Coyote Logistics in Chicago.</p></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/581-jonas-mikolich-11">Read more about why he chose to double major in Spanish and economics.</a>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/2644-william-vaughan"><img src="/live/image/gid/57/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,210,243/40122_40110_WilliamVaughn.rev.1509120689.jpg" alt="William Vaughan" title="William Vaughan" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" data-max-w="210" data-max-h="243"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><p> “Language education is about more than acquiring language skills. Cultivate a cultural openness and curiosity; they will help you to succeed.”</p></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/2644-william-vaughan">Learn more about William. </a>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/605-patrick-nicholas-08"><img src="/live/image/gid/57/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,640,480/27523_photo_1.rev.1438889311.jpg" alt="Patrick Nicholas ’08" title="Patrick Nicholas ’08" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" data-max-w="640" data-max-h="480"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><p> “When discussing the importance of Spanish in my career, opportunities to speak and read the language have been prevalent since I entered the field of finance.”</p></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/605-patrick-nicholas-08">Today, in his job at a major corporation, Patrick is the “go-to” person for initiating calls to Latin America.</a>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/676-kevin-hsu-14"><img src="/live/image/gid/57/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,600,600/29357_kevin_hsu.rev.1447957856.jpg" alt="Kevin Hsu ’14" title="Kevin Hsu ’14" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/57/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,600,600/29357_kevin_hsu.rev.1447957856.jpg 2x" data-max-w="600" data-max-h="600"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><p> “As a future physician, I am certain that my time spent studying Chinese will prove valuable, allowing me to connect with a more diverse demographic.”</p></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/676-kevin-hsu-14">Kevin Hsu ’14 double majored in biology and Chinese.</a>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/604-camille-lemieux-17"><img src="/live/image/gid/57/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,163,163/37758_c_lemieux_graduation_photo-crop2.rev.1496674797.png" alt="Camille Lemieux ’17" title="Camille Lemieux ’17" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" data-max-w="163" data-max-h="163"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><p> Camille Lemieux ’17 is making big strides in her career goal of becoming a language education professor at a research university.</p></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/604-camille-lemieux-17">Read more about what Camille is doing now</a>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/599-victoria-johnson-12"><img src="/live/image/gid/57/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1080,720/27503_photo_on_4-6-15_at_459_pm.rev.1438461243.jpg" alt="Victoria Johnson ’12" title="Victoria Johnson ’12" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/57/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1080,720/27503_photo_on_4-6-15_at_459_pm.rev.1438461243.jpg 2x" data-max-w="1080" data-max-h="720"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><p> “I’m very grateful for my (theater) internship in Paris. I don’t know many people who had such a fulfilling experience in the field they love.”</p></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/599-victoria-johnson-12">Now Victoria Johnson ’12 produces theater in Chicago.</a>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/613-justin-lansing-07"><img src="/live/image/gid/57/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,640,474/27696_jl_with_banjo.rev.1440704062.jpg" alt="Justin Lansing ’07" title="Justin Lansing ’07" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" data-max-w="640" data-max-h="474"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><p> “My time in Costa Rica was essential to gaining fluency in the language, and helped to open my worldview.”</p></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/613-justin-lansing-07">Learn more about Spanish and sociology major Justin Lansing ’07</a>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/2105-"><img src="/live/image/gid/20/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/105,5,1172,1075/32706_bridgetkies.rev.1469475494.jpg" alt="Bridget Kies" title="Bridget Kies" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/20/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/105,5,1172,1075/32706_bridgetkies.rev.1469475494.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/20/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/105,5,1172,1075/32706_bridgetkies.rev.1469475494.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1210" data-max-h="1430"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><p> “Don’t be afraid to let the experience profoundly change you.”</p></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/2105-">Bridget Kies ’02 is pursuing her PhD in Media, Cinema and Digital Studies after majoring in French.</a>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/2399-tuyen-tran11"><img src="/live/image/gid/57/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,688,2048/36651_tuyentran.rev.1490806495.jpg" alt="Tuyen Tran’11" title="Tuyen Tran’11" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/57/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,688,2048/36651_tuyentran.rev.1490806495.jpg 2x" data-max-w="688" data-max-h="2048"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><p> “Not sure where I would be without my connections to the Forester community. Use the Career Advancement Center – I think I’ve actually contacted them more times after I graduated than while I was a student…”</p><p>  </p></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/2399-tuyen-tran11">Tuyen studied International Relations, French, and Business at Lake Forest College. </a>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/2302-"><img src="/live/image/gid/29/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,450,450/34980_emily_capettini.rev.1481574718.jpg" alt="Emily Capettini ’09" title="Emily Capettini ’09" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" data-max-w="450" data-max-h="450"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><p> “The <strong>Writing Track at Lake Forest College</strong> invites you to smash the barriers of genre and <em>find your own voice</em> among contemporary writers.” </p></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/2302-">Emily is an award-winning author, editor, and professor of English.</a>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/2100-"><img src="/live/image/gid/187/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,180,240/32682_lana_panitch.rev.1469125140.png" alt="Lana Panitch ’14" title="Lana Panitch ’14" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" data-max-w="180" data-max-h="240"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><p> “Employers are impressed that I can speak Spanish in addition to my other hard and soft skills.” </p></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/2100-">Lana Panitch ’14 became an energy efficiency expert after studying environmental studies and Spanish.</a>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/1510-benedetta-borri-15"><img src="/live/image/gid/57/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,897,1261/31844_sstory_rome.benedetta2.rev.1461699247.jpg" alt="Benedetta Borri ’15" title="Benedetta Borri ’15" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/57/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,897,1261/31844_sstory_rome.benedetta2.rev.1461699247.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/57/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,897,1261/31844_sstory_rome.benedetta2.rev.1461699247.jpg 3x" data-max-w="897" data-max-h="1261"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><p> “The College gave me not only a place to <em>cultivate my interests</em>, but the unique opportunity to <strong>travel abroad</strong>, to build n<strong>etworks of friendship overseas</strong>, and to <strong>develop a strong cultural sensitivity</strong>.”</p></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/1510-benedetta-borri-15">Benedetta works at the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs after studying Chinese. </a>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/2131-katelyn-mcauliffe-15"><img src="/live/image/gid/57/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,337,311/33102_katelyn_mccauliff2.rev.1472668482.jpg" alt="Katelyn McAuliffe ’15" title="Katelyn McAuliffe ’15" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" data-max-w="337" data-max-h="311"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><p> “Success is driven by collaboration and by sharing knowledge. I work on a team – and I rely on a team – Lake Forest College helped to develop me individually so that I could be successful collectively.”</p></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/2131-katelyn-mcauliffe-15">Katelyn McAuliffe ’15 is now a strategic analyst in Chicago.</a>

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