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Best Colleges for Foreign Languages and Literature 2022 

Choosing a college to study a foreign language is a big decision. It’s important to choose an institution that interests you, offers the language you want to learn, and provides you with strong academic preparation. Will you study a foreign language at a tiny public university or at a large, world-renowned university? Maybe a medium-sized private college or a longtime institution with lots of career preparation courses to prepare you for the workforce? 

The key to finding the right college for you is looking at all the features that will come along with your degree. When ordering a research paper or buying a dissertation online at studybay.com, you should be aware of important factors to consider. Choosing a foreign language faculty should begin with a simple question: what languages do they teach? To study a foreign language, you want to make sure that your preferred language is on the menu.

How to Choose a Foreign Language College

Some important factors include: 

  • Curriculum: What courses do they offer? What classes teach speaking, listening, and reading? 
  • Placement: What opportunities exist for internships and immersion programs? 
  • Career preparation: Are there career prep courses or clubs? How will this college set you up for your future? 
  • Cost: Are their out-of-state tuition fees too high?

You will be able to find a list of languages on their school website, as well as which languages are taught constantly, and which are only available occasionally. The languages at the core of their program will be the ones they have full-time staff for.

It’s important to also pay attention to how the languages are actually taught. For example, if you can’t commit full-time to learning a language, you might want to consider immersion programs. It’s also a good idea to look at the requirements (such as classes, tests, general knowledge, etc.) to see what it’s all actually about.

Does the school you are considering have any additional perks or resources? Do they have a language center or study abroad opportunities? You may also want to consider the additional costs of studying abroad, as they can add to the cost of your degree.

Top universities for studying languages, literature, and linguistics

Middlebury College

Middlebury language schools are well known and highly regarded by many language learners of all ages. They are known for developing a curriculum that uses immersion to learn by hearing and speaking only.

Based on the fact that Middlebury College offers proficiency in 11 languages, you shouldn’t be surprised that their language program is one of the best—especially if you don’t qualify for their Language Schools study abroad programs.

This language program offers core competencies in 5 languages, including Mandarin Chinese, French, Japanese, Spanish, and German. 

Harvard University

Harvard isn’t Middlebury, but it’s not bad either. It offers more language classes than any other college in the United States.

The Language Resource Center at the school features a room for watching international, screening rooms, and a computer center. If these on-campus tools aren’t enough, the school can additionally provide you with a cheap Rosetta Stone subscription.

Yale University

In comparison to Harvard, Yale offers only 53 languages. Foreign language students at Yale, on the other hand, are not left out in the cold. The Center for Language Study has a successful tutoring program as well as courses in medical Chinese and medical Spanish.

Furthermore, if your desired language is not one of the 53, you can apply for up to four semesters of funding and support for outside study through the Directed Independent Language Study program.

University of California, Los Angeles

UCLA is more than just a large university in a prominent American metropolis. It also serves as a language learning center.

They provide a vast range of languages that would make most language departments envious. You thought you couldn’t study Armenian, Quechua, Uzbek, or Yoruba in college? Think again. It turns out you were incorrect!

Their Center for World Languages offers a diverse range of language study facilities, including an online database of learning materials for more than 150 “less typically taught languages,” an Italian library, and foreign language teaching courses.

Because second language acquisition is a research priority of the Center for World Languages, innovative language learning strategies are constantly finding their way into UCLA classrooms.

Stanford University

Stanford emphasizes “doing rather than knowing” because their program is primarily about getting proficient. Much of this is accomplished with the assistance of the Digital Language Lab, which administers spoken and written assessments, including the Simulated Oral Proficiency Interviews required for graduation.

Stanford students also have easy access to a diverse range of study abroad choices, and by the time they graduate, half of Stanford students have studied abroad.

Cornell University

Language classes at Cornell range from Akkadian to Zulu. There are 52 languages available in total, with 31 of them lasting at least two years.

The Language Resource Center at the school houses a media library as well as a language lab. It also hosts seminars on language learning, many of which are interdisciplinary in nature.

Cornell has long been known for its immersion programs in Asian languages, most recently its summer Mandarin intensive. Although the future of these offers is unknown, Cornell’s language program remains strong in general.

University of Wisconsin–Madison

According to the figures, UW-Madison generates more language majors per year than any other university in the United States. These students have access to an extensive assortment of language learning tools while at school, including classes in over 40 languages and study abroad programs with linkages to over 60 countries.

UW-Madison has an abundance of conversation tables available to students for casual study sessions. Students can join in existing conversations, or simply use the table as a place to meet and talk with others, both alone and in groups.

Indiana University

Indiana offers a diverse range of foreign languages and is home to the Center for Language Technology, which hosts frequent workshops, conversation hours, and festivals for language learners.

The university also has the most Language Flagship Programs of any university in the United States, with programs that mix one-on-one tutoring, group instruction, immersive environments, and multidisciplinary work to assist students achieve ACTFL Superior proficiency in four years.

University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania’s language offerings are comparable to those of other leading language institutions.

The Penn Language Center is one of the program’s most distinctive features. Language tutors can be requested through the facility, and competency examinations can be taken.

It’s also possible to take specialist courses in the business or medical fields if that’s your area of interest.

University of California, Berkeley

A minor in Applied Languages at UC-Berkeley can help students get a better grasp of how people learn languages and how they interact with the wider cultural contexts in which languages are spoken.

Berkeley Language Center, on the other hand, is a vibrant center for education and research. Student film clips are curated and published in a journal by the center’s staff. Workshops are also held at the center.

All of the schools on our list provide excellent environments for language learning, and they have different things to offer. Make sure that whatever their primary focus, the courses they offer are still relevant to your level and what interests you.

Now, you may be thinking this all sounds pretty straightforward, right? Well, yes and no. Yes, choosing and applying to a school can be fairly straightforward, and it’s just a matter of choosing the right school, right application, right everything since everyone is more or less doing the same thing.

Considering both their core curriculum and extra resources can help you to fully grasp what that school stands for. And if you want to really get a clear picture, there’s nothing better than an in-person visit!