Languages and Cultures

The study of another language is an adventure, an exploration into the workings of minds both like and unlike our own. When we learn a new language, we learn to see differently -- we acquire a new perspective from which to view both ourselves and the world.

Department News & Events

November 2015   Student Excursion to the MIA/Delacroix Exhibit

Sixteen CSB students and French faculty, Ana Conboy and Maureen McCarter, made a trip to the Minneapolis Institute of Art on Saturday, November 5, to tour the exhibition on the works of 19th century French artist, Eugène Delacroix. The trip was sponsored by the Department of Languages and Cultures and arranged by French Cultural Events Assistant, Meg Anderson '16.

Delacroix revolutionized painting by creating images that seethed with movement and eye-grabbing color. He influenced other great artists such as Monet, Renoir, Degas, and even Van Gogh whose works are also featured in the exhibit. This show is unique to the United States and travels only to London's National Gallery after it ends at the MIA on January 10.

Pictured L-R (front): Anna Nordin, My Tran, Laura Precourt, Caroline Desert, unidentified student, Shannon Elstad, Rachel Munter, Kanisha Howard; (back): Rachel Perri, unidentified student, Katelyn Nelson and Ariel Lusty.

October 2015   Third Annual "Stage Fright" Open Mic Night

The third annual "Stage Fright" multi-lingual open mic event was held on the eve of Halloween in the BAC Gorecki Gallery Lounge at CSB. MC for the event, sponsored by the Department of Languages and Cultures, was Prof. Scott Richardson (Classics). Well over 50 students, faculty and community members attended, most of them dressed in costume, and enjoyed treats, music and various forms of poetry, readings and song. Many languages were represented throughout the evening including French, German, Hmong, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese and even a popular song translated into American Sign Language.  

The event included a best costume contest. Congratulations to winners: Jordyn Potter as a character from Harry Potter (first prize and a $20 gift card to the CSB/SJU Bookstore), Mary Catherine Steenberge as "Starbucks" (second prize and a $15 gift card to The Local Blend), and Rita Gangl as Rosie the Riveter (third prize and a $10 gift card to Sliced Pizza). Costume judges were Ana Fonseca Conboy (French), Emily Kuffner (Hispanic Studies) and Dean Karen Erickson. Many thanks to everyone who performed and who helped with the event, with special thanks to co-planners, Meg Anderson '16 and Lucy Dornbach '19!

Video performances:

Ana Conboy (French) and Emily Kuffner (Hispanic Studies) (on accordion) perform "Tourdion," a 16th century French song.

    Click here to view more photos from the event!

    Scott Richardson and Karen Erickson perform

    French Cultural Events Assistant,
    Meg Anderson, and friend at Stage Fright

    October 2015    Languages & Cultures at Homecoming 2015

    Sarah Pruett, Languages & Cultures Department chair and ESL director, and Ana Fonseca Conboy both represented the department at this year's Homecoming on Saturday, October 17 on the SJU Tundra. Sarah and Ana spoke with several alumni who were on campus for the game and other Homecoming activities.

    September 2015    French faculty attend a conference on all things Quebec

    Members of the French Studies Program attended a one-day conference on various topics relating to the Canadian province of Quebec. The conference took place at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN on Saturday, Sept. 26. Topics ranged from film to poetry to comics and Québécois culture from colleagues at Georgetown University, the University of Minnesota, Carleton College, Macalaster College and the University of North Dakota. A Canadian consulate and the Attachée aux affaires publiques et gouvernementales from the Quebec Delegation in Chicago also took part. The seminar concluded with dinner on the terrasse of French Meadow on Grand Avenue. Beaucoup de fun!

    Pictured front center: Maureen McCarter (in blue), Ana Conboy, Camilla Krone (far right in peach)

     News and Events Archive

    Overview of Program

    Courses in the Languages and Cultures Department:

    • Include instruction in French, German, Greek, Latin, Chinese, Japanese, and English as a Second Language.
    • Fulfill one of the requirements for a liberal arts degree
    • Are easily combined with other majors and minors
    Meet one of our alums

    Stage Fright 2015Stage Fright 2015Elizabeth Baden '12 (French and Peace Studies) was in Indonesia during the 2014-2015 academic year for the Fulbright. Lizzy's experience was featured in the latest issue of the College of Saint Benedict Magazine. Check it out here.



    Which language is most in demand by global development recruiters? FRENCH!


    The following CSB students have received the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship for Fall 2015, the purpose of which is to assist with the cost of study abroad:
    Kablia Lee '17 (Japanese minor) will be traveling to Japan; Myder Yang '17 (Chinese minor) will be traveling to China.

    Omrit Archeological Field School in Israel

    Follow our students' blog!

    Placement Exams

    Instructions for taking the French and German placement exams are found here.

    For information on placement exams for Latin, Greek, Japanese and Chinese, contact Mary at

    Read our department blog!

    Contact Us

    Sarah Pruett
    Department Chair
    Quad 471, SJU
    (320) 363-3815

    Mary Niedenfuer
    Department Coordinator
    CSB Richarda P15
    (320) 363-5067
    SJU Quad 253A
    (320) 363-3093