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East Asian Languages & Literatures

China, Japan and Korea have vast histories spanning thousands of years. In the 21st century these countries have emerged as major players in our global economy. Knowledge of Asian languages and cultures is becoming increasingly important for working in many fields in the humanities, social sciences, technology, business and international relations.

Through studying East Asian languages, linguistics and literatures at Smith, you get the exciting opportunity to grasp the culture and impact of one of our world's largest populations. Whether you major or minor in Chinese or Japanese, minor in Korean, or take classes to complement another major, you have the chance to study abroad; participate in events and engage in research projects that expand your cultural knowledge; and, most importantly, broaden your view to better understand and explore this rapidly changing region that is influencing the world in new and important ways.

The Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures offers four years of Chinese and Japanese, and three years of Korean. Our language courses are designed to introduce students to the spoken and written languages in China, Japan and Korea. Students progress to greater proficiency in speaking, reading and writing as they continue on to advanced levels. In addition to our language programs, we also offer a variety of classes to explore the unique literary and cultural histories of these countries.

This knowledge of language, literature, and culture will give you the verbal and conceptual tools to communicate with others and impact our shared world in new ways, here at Smith and wherever your future leads you.

Learning Goals: Developing Linguistic and Cultural Fluency

News & Events

EAS merging with EALL in Fall 2020

In Fall 2020, the Program in East Asian Studies (EAS) and the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures (EALL) will merge into a new department, East Asian Languages and Cultures (EALC). Students will be able to pursue both majors (EAL and EAS) within the new department, and there are no changes to major requirements. We are excited to move forward together!

Upcoming Events

Please check out our News & Events page for upcoming and past events.

Have a question? Ask our liaisons!

New report on foreign language learning in the U.S.

The Commission on Language Learning of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS), has released its data report on the state of language learning: AAAS report on the state of language learning in the U.S.

Rosemary Feal, executive director of the MLA and one of the contributing authors of the report, discusses in this article in Inside Higher Ed: Inside Higher Ed article on this report

The world's languages, in seven maps and charts


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EALL Department

Five College Korean class