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Skidmore College
World Languages and Literatures

Our Mission

The study of languages has become essential to the education of global citizens as the world becomes more and more internationally connected, and as individual nations become increasingly diverse. Our department offers comprehensive introductory through advanced level classes in Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish as well as courses in the Self-instructional Language Program in Arabic, Hebrew, Hindi, Korean, Portuguese, and Russian.

To be able to communicate effectively with people from different parts of the world is not only a lifelong skill that enhances the individual’s ability to think outside the boundaries of his or her native culture; it is also a practical skill that can be applied to any line of work. Global citizenship does not end at language proficiency; that is why our upper-level classes are designed to deepen the student’s familiarity with the culture in which the target language is embedded. By discussing written and visual texts in that language, students will both enhance their linguistic skills and develop a more refined consciousness of the culture’s traditions and behaviors.

Our goal is to develop in our students a cultural competency that will allow them to enter the world aware of how they relate to and approach other cultures, so that they are prepared to use their knowledge and abilities in whatever field interests them.