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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. Today, students may study francophone or Latino/a literature; tomorrow, they may learn French or Spanish “business-speak”. Cultural immersion and potential internship experience complement the student’s program of study.

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.

We offer coursework in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, 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.

Check out the Living Learning Community (LLC) associated with the MLL Department

Department News

  • Maria José Navia (center left) with the class
    On October 4th, and with the support of the Living-Learning Community, Chilean writer María José Navia visited Prof. Kripper’s SPAN 335 Survey of Latin American Literature class. She gave students an overview of Chilean literature and talked about her own writing and influences. Her book Instrucciones para ser feliz is now available at the Lake Forest College Library too.
  • Professor Kripper reads from her translation.
    The Third Coast Translators Collective celebrated National Translation Month at Pilsen Community Books on Friday Sept. 29th. Prof. Kripper read from her translation of Argentinian author Vera Fogwill’s Buenos, limpios y lindos, which she is translating from the Spanish in collaboration with Sergio Waisman. Other readers delighted the audience too with translations from Hindi, Basque, and Bulgarian.

Read more stories »

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  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/612-ashley-gora-13"><img src="/live/image/gid/57/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,356,355/27643_simultaneous_interpretation_for_the_international_conference_mabi.rev.1440515072.jpg" alt="Ashley Gora ’13" title="Ashley Gora ’13" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" data-max-w="356" data-max-h="355"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><p> “Faculty in the Modern Languages and Literatures department are professional and talented, yet also personable and truly care for their students.”</p></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/612-ashley-gora-13">Read more about Ashley Gora ’13</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/641-edward-yonkers-16"><img src="/live/image/gid/57/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2048,1536/27957_edward_yonkers.rev.1442508159.jpg" alt="Edward Yonkers ’16" title="Edward Yonkers ’16" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/57/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2048,1536/27957_edward_yonkers.rev.1442508159.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/57/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2048,1536/27957_edward_yonkers.rev.1442508159.jpg 3x" data-max-w="2048" data-max-h="1536"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><p> After studying French in high school, Edward Yonkers ’16 really wanted to learn Chinese, so he studied in China for a year!</p></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/641-edward-yonkers-16">In addition to Chinese, Edward also studies economics and environmental studies.</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/2604-evelyn-s-bello-17"><img src="/live/image/gid/57/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,265,400/39868_evelyn-bello.rev.1507820821.jpg" alt="Evelyn S. Bello ’17" title="Evelyn S. Bello ’17" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" data-max-w="265" data-max-h="400"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"/><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/2604-evelyn-s-bello-17"/>
  • <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/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>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/2444-erin-kummer-11"><img src="/live/image/gid/57/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1278,1495/37845_erinkummer.rev.1497469117.jpg" alt="Erin Kummer ’11" title="Erin Kummer ’11" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/57/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1278,1495/37845_erinkummer.rev.1497469117.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/57/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1278,1495/37845_erinkummer.rev.1497469117.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1278" data-max-h="1495"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><p> “Having studied and interned in Paris was a boon to my application for graduate school in Germany. Also, it furthered my interests in history and, though I didn’t realize it at the time, was helpful in my studies of the ‘history of the book.’”</p></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/2444-erin-kummer-11">Learn more about Erin’s work and study around the globe</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/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/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/1508-matthew-spehlmann-16"><img src="/live/image/gid/57/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1200,1203/31831_spanishstudent.rev.1461595258.jpg" alt="Matthew Spehlmann ’16" title="Matthew Spehlmann ’16" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/57/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1200,1203/31831_spanishstudent.rev.1461595258.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/57/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1200,1203/31831_spanishstudent.rev.1461595258.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1200" data-max-h="1600"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><p> “The Spanish professors imparted the friendliness and encouraging spirit that is so characteristic of Spanish-speaking people.” </p></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/1508-matthew-spehlmann-16">Matthew Spehlmann ’16 studied economics, Spanish, and computer science.</a>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/609-sandra-de-la-riva-15"><img src="/live/image/gid/57/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,124,1080,1204/27565_unknown.rev.1439929412.jpeg" alt="Sandra de la Riva ’15" title="Sandra de la Riva ’15" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/57/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,124,1080,1204/27565_unknown.rev.1439929412.jpeg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/57/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,124,1080,1204/27565_unknown.rev.1439929412.jpeg 3x" data-max-w="1080" data-max-h="1920"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><p> Sandra de la Riva ’15 studied abroad in France and participated in the Border Studies Program.</p></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/609-sandra-de-la-riva-15">Read more about this French and International Relations major.</a>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/616-abby-brand-10"><img src="/live/image/gid/57/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,15,173,188/27746_unknown.rev.1441133368.jpeg" alt="Abby Brand ’10" title="Abby Brand ’10" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" data-max-w="173" data-max-h="260"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><p> “I believe any time spent abroad is incredibly important because it gives you a new frame of reference, which makes you more creative and gives you the ability to think outside of the box - skills valuable for any profession.”</p></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/616-abby-brand-10">Abby Brand ’10, an economics and French major, became an attorney.</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>