Modern Languages & Literatures

Student reading on a bench outside

What is modern Languages and Literatures?

LMU's Modern Languages and Literatures program helps students hone their verbal and linguistic skills in English and one of several target languages. At the same time, students broaden their intellectual horizons by becoming acquainted with another culture's literature, history, and arts.

While delving deeper into their own languages and cultures and exploring those of another people or part of the world, students gain a more profound understanding of their own belief system and learn to respect the belief systems of others. Ultimately, students leave with an appreciation for intercultural understanding as the basis for social harmony and social justice. 

What do modern Languages and Literatures majors do?

Modern Languages and Literatures students may major in French or Spanish, or minor in French, Spanish, German, or Italian. Students may also take courses in Chinese, Japanese, and Filipino.

Students learn grammar and vocabulary through the communicative method. Courses are also offered in composition and translation. Students study contemporary and historical literature in its original language, and have the opportunity to take courses in cinema. 

Is this major right for you?

You might be a Modern Languages and Literatures major if you:

  • Are interested in Spanish, French, German, Italian, Chinese, Japanese or Filipino
  • Plan on working or traveling abroad
  • Enjoy international culture 

About our faculty

Our faculty members are multilingual experts at teaching languages. They are experts in fields such as Spanish literature and poetry of the 19th and 20th centuries, colonial and contemporary Latin American literature, the contemporary French novel, French and Francophone film, German Romanticism, 20th century Italian literature, gender and cultural theory, second language reading skill acquisition, and Chinese language teacher education.

Faculty members are active researchers and writers who contribute, in various languages, to many works, among them Encyclopedia Latina: History, Culture, and Society in the United States and A History of Women’s Writing in Italy

About our students and graduates 

Our students utilize LMU's Language Center, which is dedicated to language acquisition and intercultural awareness. The Center features a screening room and multimedia laboratories. Students also take part in LMU study abroad programs.

LMU students majoring or minoring in Modern Languages and Literatures prepare for active participation in a world marked by increased political, economic, and cultural interdependence. Graduates go into a wide variety of careers including banking, medicine, social work, education, court interpretation, media, public policy, government, law, and urban planning. 

Representative courses

Our offered courses have included: 

  • Elementary Chinese
  • Elementary Filipino
  • Intermediate French
  • Intermediate German
  • Intermediate Japanese
  • Advanced Italian
  • Advanced Conversational Spanish
  • World Literature
  • Introduction to Modern Greek Literature (In Translation)
  • French Literature and Society
  • Stylistics and Translation
  • German Culture and Civilization
  • German Drama
  • Latin American Poetry
  • Independent Studies 

More resources (links)