Foreign Languages & Literatures @ MIT

Foreign Languages & Literatures @ MIT


Chinese | English Language Studies | French | German | Italian (IAP) | Japanese | Portuguese | Russian | SILC | Spanish |


The study of foreign languages and literatures provides valuable experience and a potential edge for future career development. Scientists and engineers function in a global market: they rely on primary sources published in other languages, attend international consortia, and often find themselves interacting across national, cultural, and linguistic borders. Government and industry often give preference to job applicants who are proficient in a foreign language. MIT students are encouraged to work and study abroad in conjunction with university, private and public organizations.

The faculty of FL&L, the language coordinators, and the Undergraduate Academic Administrator can provide assistance in choosing an appropriate program and granting transfer credit from overseas or domestic programs. Over IAP (MIT's Independent Activities Period during winter break), FL&L offers intensive introductory language subjects in addition to intensive subjects designed to help students plan for living and working in France and Germany. In addition, students have the option to cross-register at Wellesley College or Harvard University throughout the academic year. Relevant subjects taken at qualified institutions here and abroad may fulfill MIT's science, engineering and humanities requirements.

MIT provides a unique perspective on foreign languages because of the opportunities available to integrate the study of natural languages with the latest technological advances in multimedia and interactive language learning. FL&L-affiliated faculty are exploring and implementing methods in which multimedia technology can be used to make learning a foreign language a more authentic experience. Using native speakers filmed on location to create documentaries and narratives in French, German, ELS, Japanese and Spanish, FL&L is developing teaching tools through which students can access hypertext linked supporting resources, such as encyclopedic information, transcription, and historical, grammatical, and cultural materials. Although MIT is known throughout the world for its programs in science and engineering, MIT is also a university where the humanities, arts, and social sciences play an integral role in its educational mission. Together they help to make MIT much more than just an institute of technology.

Students at MIT have the unique opportunity to combine an extraordinary professional training with a first-rate humanistic education. MIT's educational mission involves providing students with the tools for a sensitive and successful involvement in the global community. The Foreign Languages and Literatures Section contributes in significant ways to the internationalization of MIT's education.

The Foreign Languages Section offers a rich variety of subjects. Students can study Chinese, English Language Studies (ELS), French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish at a number of levels. We also teach Italian I during our IAP Period. All of our classes provide an authentic linguistic experience through the use of the most advanced technologies, including the Internet and interactive video. Students can explore literatures in the original languages or in translation. They can study culture and film; they can analyze the linguistic underpinnings of second language acquisition and bilingualism. The possibilities include intensive January courses, focus on regional studies, access to film festivals and guest speakers.

The faculty of FL&L are committed to promoting cross-cultural critical thinking and, further, to providing diverse opportunities to live and work in international contexts. For example, students can study abroad for short and longer periods, and can pursue internships abroad. The MISTI programs (China, Japan, India, Singapore, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico and Spain) offer such long-term opportunities while the January Scholars in France program offers an opportunity shorter in nature.

By integrating the cultural flexibility and breadth that FL&L provides with the professional training in technical domains, MIT students are unusually well-prepared for the challenges of the internationalized 21st century.

The Foreign Languages & Literatures section is a part of the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, USA. You can find FL&L at http://web.mit.edu/fll/www/, the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at http://shass.mit.edu/, and MIT at http://web.mit.edu/

For more information about studies in the humanities, arts, and social sciences, see the Student's Guide to the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences.

Please see the frequently asked questions for additional help. If the FAQ does not contain the answer to your question, feel free to email comments, questions or suggestions about this site to fll-www@mit.edu.



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