The Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures was recently recognized by the Modern Language Association as one of the top 100 language departments nationwide. The department enables students to study a variety of languages and cultures with exceptional faculty. Students gain an understanding of French, German, Latin American and Spanish cultures that provide a new perspective on the English language and American culture. Within the department, the following programs are available:
- Majors in French, German, French-German, Latin American Studies, Middle Eastern Studies and Spanish
- Minors in French, German, French-German, Middle Eastern Studies and Spanish
- Courses in Arabic, Greek, Russian and Latin, and English courses in literature and mythology
Coursework is supported by the Juana Amelia Hernández Language Technology Center, which opened in 1997. This state-of-the-art laboratory offers digital technology, computers and audio tape recorders to help in the mastery of languages.
The majors prepare students for graduate studies or for careers in teaching, government, business and international organizations. All courses in the French, German, German-French and Spanish majors are taught exclusively in the target languages.
Unique Aspects of the Program
Our students meet leading writers and critics from Europe and Latin America on campus, as part of our annual lecture series. Recent visitors have included:
- Carme Riera, award-winning Spanish novelist
- Patrizia Lombardo, film and literary critic from the University of Geneva, Switzerland
- Members of the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, an Argentinean human rights organization that received the UNESCO Prize for Peace Education in 1999
Students can participate in the ongoing scholarly activities of our faculty as part of the Summer Research Institute (SRI). The SRI awards grants to teams of faculty and students for research and travel. One student recently traveled to Paris to research representations of power in 17th century France at the Bibliothèque Nationale, under the guidance of a faculty member. Another presented her translation of a Spanish work of fiction at a national conference in Chicago.
Our faculty believes strongly that excellent teaching and scholarly research complement one another, bringing new perspectives and fresh ideas to the classroom.
Language Placement Exams
Students take an online placement test in one or several languages before registration. Students who place in the 103 level take the course in their first semester at Hood, and anyone who receives a grade of C or higher will receive 6 credits upon completion of the class. Students who place into 203 or 204 or into a civilization class, will receive 9 credits. Students placing into 207, 208 or a higher course, will receive 12 credits.
French, German and Spanish Residences
Students may choose to live in a residence dedicated to the study of French, German or Spanish. Each residence is under the leadership of a graduate student who is a native speaker of the language and who serves as a language assistant in the department.
Living in a language residence will enable residents to practice the language daily, as students are expected to speak French, German or Spanish while in the residence. The residences also participate in the House Fellows program, where faculty conducts certain courses in the residential buildings.
Internships and Study Abroad
Many Hood French majors spend their junior year abroad. French majors study in Toulouse or Paris, France. Spanish majors study at the University of Seville in Seville, Spain, or at the Universidad Catolica Madre y maestra in the Dominican Republic. German majors may study abroad in Germany at the Alabert-Ludwigs University in Freiburg, the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich or the Ruprecht-Karls University in Heidelberg. Latin American studies majors may study at Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru in Lima, Peru, and Universidad Catolica Madre y maestra in the Dominican Republic. .
In the United States, internship sites include the French Embassy, the U.S. Information Agency, the Organization of American States and the CIEE Student Center in New York City, the Mexican Embassy and the National Association of Cuban American Women. German students may intern with a German, Austrian or Swiss government agency, international corporations or organizations.
French-German majors are required to spend one semester in France as well as one semester in a German-speaking country.
Alumnae and Alumni Success Stories
Graduates of Hood's language program have pursued graduate study at:
- Bryn Mawr College
- Columbia University
- Georgetown University
- Harvard University
- Middlebury College
- Rutgers University
- The American University
- University of Colorado
- University of Maryland
- University of Michigan
- University of Virginia
- University of Wisconsin
Our majors and double-majors are also employed as:
- Interpreters and translators
- Business owners and managers
- Government and media employees
- Health professionals
- High school teachers
- University professors
For complete departmental information in our online catalog, click here.