The Modern Languages and Literatures Department offers four languages:

  •  Chinese
  •  French
  •  German
  •  Spanish

Our department offers three major programs and four minor programs. In addition, Chinese students have the option to complete an Asian Studies minor that is housed in the History Department. Our major and minor programs help students develop linguistic skills and cultural enrichment through an emphasis on language proficiency and intercultural communication and understanding.

If you’re interested in majoring or minoring in a language, you can take a variety of language and culture courses that will spark your interest. The course sequence even offers ample time to double major.

As an Anselmian majoring or minoring in a modern language, you will be greatly encouraged to immerse yourself in another culture.  Our students take advantage of many different study abroad and internship abroad programs around the world.  Some of the most popular destinations are Beijing, China; Berlin, Germany; Aix-en-Provence, France; and Granada, Spain.

With a background in a foreign language and a strong foundation in the liberal arts, our alumni are sought-after job candidates at a great variety of companies and organizations:   government agencies, banks and financial institutions, national and international companies, hospitals and health care organizations, schools and universities, publishers, non-profit organizations, travel and tourism agencies, as well as media and entertainment industries.

The Language Requirement and Placement

Developing into an ethical leader for a global society requires linguistic skill and cultural knowledge. It is for this reason, in part, that you are required to study a foreign language in order to graduate from Saint Anselm College. Majoring or minoring in a modern foreign language can facilitate graduate studies, and make you more competitive in a wide range of fields and careers:


Fields & Careers

  • Industry and Commerce 
  • Business (national or international companies)
  • Government (Civil Service; Diplomatic Service; Translation/Interpretation; Intelligence; Law Enforcement; Immigration/Naturalization).
  • Non-profit/Non-governmental organizations
  • Teaching (NH state certification to teach French or Spanish)
  • Journalism/Broadcasting
  • Tourism Industry
  • Translation/Interpretation
  • Social Work/Mission Work
  • Educational Administration: International Student Services / Study Abroad Programs
  • Graduate School (Literature; Linguistics; Education/teacher preparation; International Relations; Business)

All students planning to enroll in a modern language must complete either a Survey or both a Survey and Placement Exam for the language you plan to study (directions below). 

You can fulfill the requirement by studying any of the following modern languages: 


China is one of the fastest-growing economic powers in the world; it has one of the oldest civilizations, boasting a rich culture and a unique writing system.


French is spoken on all five continents and is the official language of 29 countries around the world and an important second language in many more. French is one of the working languages of NATO, the UN, the World Trade Organization, the European Commission, and the International Red Cross.


The German-speaking countries of central Europe (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) play a key role in Europe and the world. In the countries of the European Union, more people (about 85 million) are native speakers of German than of any other language.


Spanish is the most frequently used foreign language in the United States. Although there are 21 countries in which Spanish is the primary language, the United States has the fifth-highest total of Spanish speakers in the world!

You may also take a classical language to fulfill the requirement. The Classics Department offers Latin and ancient Greek.  Please contact Professor Gentilcore if you have any questions.

Step-by-step instructions for Language Placement:

Prior to registering for a modern language, you must complete a placement test and a survey (#1 and #2 below). If you have never studied the language you plan to take and have no life experience with it, you only need to take the survey (#2 below).

1) If you have studied the language in school OR have life experience with it (it was spoken at home, you lived abroad, etc.), proceed to the Placement Test by clicking on the link below. It takes about 10-15 minutes to complete.

Here are detailed instructions:  

  • Make sure you use either Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.
  • After clicking on the link, create an account. Make sure you use your Saint Anselm College email and student ID number.
  • Sign in to your new account.
  • Choose the language you want to study. Click: Take Test.
  • Answer the questions to the best of your knowledge. Keep in mind that this is a placement exam—the best outcome is an accurate placement, not a specific score.
  • When you are done, a preliminary placement result will be displayed. Be aware: The Saint Anselm placement team will review your answers from the placement exam and the survey (see below). We will contact you via email with your final placement results. 

2) Everyone – whether you have ever studied the language you want to take or not – needs to complete an online survey. It only takes 2-3 minutes. Please click here for the online survey.

All done! We look forward to meeting you! If you have questions, please contact:

Professor Orrego for Spanish

Professor Rossbach for Chinese, French, and German