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Modern Languages & Literatures

At Swarthmore, students learn to understand, speak, think, and dream in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish. The study of literatures, languages and cultures broadens and intensifies the perspectives from which we view our own culture and gives us a greater understanding of our increasingly interconnected world.

With faculty encompassing almost twenty countries and speaking at least a dozen languages, the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures creates a tangible plurilingual and multicultural environment that prepares students to become genuine global citizens.

The curriculum and pedagogical approaches of the Department are based on the principle that the creation of a global citizen depends intrinsically on the development of culturally nuanced communicative competencies.

For these reasons and many others, the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures is your gateway to the world!

How to Study Languages

Studying Foreign Languages at Swarthmore

Don't miss this valuable workshop! 

Learn key strategies and skills to help you in your study of foreign languages.  Especially recommended for introductory language students.

This interactive panel and workshop will feature successful tips and techniques to help you thrive in your language study at Swarthmore.  Hear from your peers and your faculty members about the kinds of methods that are most effective (and efficient) for learning a new language while also balancing your other Swarthmore activities.   Led by faculty members from the Department of Modern Language and Literatures and advanced language students.


Sponsored by the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures

And the Office of Learning Resources.


 Thursday, September 13

4:15-5:15 pm, Kohlberg 228

Choose a Language Program

Language Study in the Age of Globalization

This brochure by the Modern Language Association is directed primarily to college students. It​ explains how knowing other languages enriches students’ personal lives, expands their range of professional opportunities, and increases their power to act as citizens of the world.


Language Center

The Language Center provides resources to enhance the study of foreign language, literature, and culture at Swarthmore College. Students have access to audio/video materials required for foreign language classes. The lab's resources include 12 Macbook Pros, 8 iMacs, an extensive library of foreign films, video cameras, and audio recorders. The space is a unique, adaptable, multimedia-friendly place to study, practice and develop language skills. 

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