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About the Department
Study in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures (MLL) aims to deepen the understanding of languages and cultures in their uniqueness and diversity, to develop the communication and analytical skills that provide access to those cultures, and to invite reflection on the literary traditions and societies represented by the eight disciplines taught in the department.
MLL offers language, literature, culture, and cinema courses in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish, as well as courses in linguistics and Community Engaged Learning. Though literature and culture courses are typically taught in the original languages, MLL also offers a range of courses taught in translation, along with select courses focused on the practice of translation.
In terms of its mission, Kenyon College considers competency in at least on foreign language to be a foundational component of a liberal arts education and essential for many reasons. Among these, language study:
Allows for the study of cultural production in the original across many disciplines.
Increases understanding of one’s own first language and of language in general.
Provides insight into other cultures and cultural differences in a global context.
Fosters a skill set and experiences for professional programs and positions.
Requires learning strategies that build awareness of structured learning more broadly.