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Areas of Study

Our department offers a range of languages for study.


French is an official language in 29 countries found on all five continents, and 200 million people speak it worldwide. As part of the French language program at Furman, you will start with grammatical structure and sound system and build upon essential speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills. You will confront the literary masterpieces of canonical figures such as Molière, Hugo, and Camus, as well as contemporary Francophone authors, and you will cultivate an appreciation for the French-speaking world by taking advantage of unique opportunities such as the French language house. Our study away program based in Versailles, France includes home stay with a French family and frequent visits to cultural sites in Paris and all around France.


Beginning courses in German acquaint you with grammar and sound structure. As you progress, you will strengthen skills in speaking, listening, reading, writing, and building vocabulary. Culture is an integral part of this process. You can gain a deeper understanding of German culture as you rediscover fairy tales, probe the propaganda of Nazi cinema, explore poetry, or grasp the issues of contemporary Germany. You may find yourself organizing a mini Oktoberfest with fellow participants in a language house, or you may travel to Berlin with the spring semester homestay program for a rich academic and cultural experience at Freie Universität Berlin.


Italian at Furman is a popular option for students preparing for study abroad or independent travel in Italy. Our beginning Italian course offers a foundation in grammar, vocabulary, and basic conversational skills, while sharing the richness of Italian culture.


  • 101 Beginning Italian

Students usually have their first introduction to the scientific study of language at Furman and are often surprised to discover that learning about the structure and functions of language becomes a vital part of their Furman education. Our General Linguistics course is a popular option for the Human Behaviors general education requirement. Linguistics courses count toward the Anthropology major, and our linguists provide some of the best opportunities in MLL for students who want to collaborate in research alongside faculty members.


  • 210 General Linguistics
  • 220 Linguistic Analysis
  • 230 Language as Social Phenomenon
  • 240 The Origin of Language
  • 250 Second Language Learning and Acquisition
  • 405 Introduction to Romance Linguistics
  • 504 Directed Independent Study
Modern Languages & Literatures and Methods

Including everything from community-based learning to African literature, this set of courses taught in English allows you to delve into culture, theory, and teaching techniques.


  • 050 Community Based Learning
  • 120 Reading Literature in Translation
  • 235 French Cinema
  • 236 Nazi Cinema and Culture
  • 245 African Literature
  • 350 Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages: Methods
  • 450 Teaching Foreign Languages K-12: Methods
  • 501 Independent Study

Spanish is the most recognized language in the Western Hemisphere, and it is the native tongue of some 406 million people. Spanish courses at Furman invariably lead to a greater appreciation of Hispanic cultures. You will acquire excellence in listening, speaking, reading, writing, and vocabulary. Study away experiences and an on-campus language house multiply the opportunities to explore Hispanic civilizations, history, and customs, immersing you in everything from arts to current issues. Several options in service learning bring students into dynamic interaction with local Hispanic populations.