Multilingual mural on a wall


Why study Spanish at Lake Forest College?

Engaging faculty and student-centered classes  

Our full-time faculty in Spanish have personal and professsional ties to both Latin America and Spain,  with many connections to Latiné/x communities in the U.S. They have areas of expertise which range from theater to migration studies, cultural history to LGBTQ+ studies, translation studies to creative writing, film and filmmaking, and teach and publish in many areas including Latin American and Spanish prose, poetry, theater, song, graphic novels, and film. Our faculty consider excellence in teaching their primary focus, use an approach that centers on effective communication, and most classes have fewer than eighteen students, an ideal size for highly interactive learning. They tie their research to teaching, and work with students one-on-one on research over the summer and during the academic year, mentoring students for successful graduate study or professional work, and helping them obtain prestigious grants such as the Fulbright award.  

Diverse curriculum  

Lake Forest College provides a strong curriculum designed to address students’ interests, including culturally contextualized writing and speaking courses at beginner to advanced levels, a course in Spanish designed for heritage speakers, and a wide array of interactive culture, literature, song and film courses dealing with historical and contemporary Spain and Latin America as well as Latiné/x communities in the U.S. Pre-professional courses in translation, Medical Spanish, and Spanish for Business, Law and International Relations also link well to a second academic area of interest. Students may acquire additional competency in applied linguistics through departmental offerings in English, e.g. second language acquisition and teaching, or descriptive linguistics.  

Learning opportunities abound  

The  Department of Modern Languages and Literatures  employs bilingual and bicultural student tutors, for extra oral and written practice and assistance to students on campus, and hosts a weekly conversational Spanish Table, as well as cultural events organized on and off campus (global speakers, musicians, cultural sites, food, etc.). Events are organized with student-run groups such as Latinos Unidos, the UNIDAS empowerment group, and the international language honor society Phi Sigma Iota. Check our department’s News and Events page for more information. We highly encourage students to have a summer or semester immersion experience abroad, but our ideal small size classes and connections to Chicago for academic excursions and internships still allow students to maximize their competency even if they do not choose to go abroad.  

Study internationally and locally  

With our proximity to the global city of Chicago, and access to numerous study and work opportunities worldwide, Lake Forest College provides access to a wide range of study abroad programs and internship options for students to further develop their language and cultural competencies. Check the Internships and Study Abroad section on our website for more information.  

Combines well with other disciplines and career interests  

Students who complete the major or minor in Spanish often link their coursework to a second major or minor in another discipline, including Business, Finance, International Relations, Pre-Med and the Sciences, Cinema Studies, Latin American and Latinx Studies, Education, Music or Social Justice. Courses such as Medical Spanish in a Global Context, Spanish for Business, Law and International Relations, Translation Studies and literary and professional translation workshops, Song and Society, Creative Writing and Film can help students to combine their academic interests and facilitate new career pathways. Each year, our department organizes a Career Panel during which alumni share their post-graduate academic and work experiences; they note how studying Spanish at the College has helped them develop personally and professionally. Check the department’s website section on Careers and Success Stories for more information on combining Spanish with a variety of other interests.  

Studying Spanish is both useful and fun!  

The Cervantes Institute notes that over 572 million people speak Spanish worldwide, including 477 million native speakers; 52.6 million in the U.S. speak Spanish, second only to Mexico’s 121 million. Spanish is the official language of 21 countries; learning Spanish and understanding the cultures that use it will both enhance travel experiences and improve your employment potential. At Lake Forest College, we make learning Spanish fun, and connect to the College’s mission of preparing responsible global citizens, while also preparing students for global careers. You will be able to read an exciting variety of literary texts, including graphic novels, take courses that connect with medical, legal and business professions, and think critically about current global issues in Spanish.

students in spain

Related Programs

Contact Us

Gizella Meneses
Professor of Spanish and Latin American and Latinx Studies
Chair of Modern Languages and Literatures
Carnegie Hall 305

Connie Hollingsworth
Department Assistant
Carnegie Hall 105