Watch our students explain the benefits of learning a foreign language.
The Modern Languages and Literatures Department offers five languages:
Our department offers three major programs and five 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; Saint Petersburg, Russia; 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)
- Tourism Industry
- 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.
The Russian Federation is the largest country in the world, with an immensely rich culture, natural and human resources. The Russian economy has greatly benefited in recent years from exports of crude oil and natural gas to the rest of the world.
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.
Prior to registering for a modern language, you must complete either a Survey or both a Survey and Placement Exam for the language you plan to study, as appropriate.
If you have never studied (and have no life experience with) the language you would like to take, please complete an online survey.
If you have ever studied (or have experience with the language you would like to take—it was spoken at home, you lived abroad, etc.), please complete an online survey (it takes 2-3 minutes). When you are done with the survey, you will be given a link to an online Placement Exam (which takes 15-20 minutes). Be sure to click it and complete the exam
Step-by-step instructions for the Placement Exam:
1. Only do the EXAM once you’ve completed the SURVEY
2. Navigate to: http://bit.ly/354HHAd
Make sure you use either Mozilla Firefox or
3. Create an account
Make sure you use Saint Anselm College’s email, and student id number.
4. Sign in to your new account
5. Choose the language you want to study. Click Take Test.
7. 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.
8. When you are done, the results are displayed (and they go to Modern Languages). Please save your results. You’ll need them when you register (take a photo with your phone, e-mail them to yourself, print them out—just make a note of them).
9. To check your placement score later, log back in.
All done! We look forward to meeting you! If you have questions please contact:
Professor Orrego for Spanish
Professor Rossbach for Chinese, French, German, Russian
Although Saint Anselm does not offer its own semester-long study abroad programs, each semester a number of students travel to various parts of the world and receive academic credit for studying at an accredited academic institution. In recent years, students have studied language in Spain and France, marine biology on the Great Barrier Reef, art history in the museums of Florence, finance in London, and the “Troubles” of Ireland.
If you are planning to study abroad or are interested in what opportunities are available to you, then you should talk with your professors and academic advisor as well as make an appointment with the study abroad office. Their office has a library of reference materials and catalogs related to study abroad.
Language Resource Center - LRC
Resources and Services for Students, Faculty and Native Speakers
- PC lab
- Ceiling projector, retractable movie screen, Apple TV, Blu-Ray, DVD, laptop connectivity
- Flatscreen Smart TV connected to PC, Apple TV, DVD and VCR players
- iPads for use during Native Speaker sessions and language classes
- Movies, DVD and VHS in international format
- Magazines, dictionaries, games in foreign languages
- Study space, conversation area, large presentation area
Work Study / Payroll Students
The LRC employs work study and payroll students as LRC Technicians. Please complete a student employment job application, available on the student employment website and send to Karen Harrington at the beginning of the fall and spring semester.
LIVE: Learning Languages
Links to current online articles about learning languages.
- The New York Times: The Superior Social Skills of Bilinguals »
- Channel NewsAsia: Mandarin gains popularity among Russian students »
- The Telegraph: Cave DNA unravels riddle of the Basque people »
- The Boston Globe: How 'ums' and 'ers' are changing Bostonian Spanish »
- The Hill: Is fluency the goal of language learning? »
- The Atlantic: America's Lacking Language Skills »
Fall 2021 Newsletter
Explore our newsletter for department news, course offerings and other helpful tips from the department.