Skip to main content

Are you ready for Carleton’s Language Requirement?

Lettu shares some general information about what to expect from Carleton College's language courses.

Lettu shares some general information about what to expect from Carleton College's language courses.

An incredible aspect of Carleton’s language requirement is that it’s created to give you a holistic understanding of the foreign language of your choice. In other words, Carleton’s language courses will teach you how to read, listen, write, and how to understand cultural traditions.

This year, I decided to be venture out and try a language I have never taken before: French 101. Whether you also are considering immersing yourself in a new language or continuing one you have previously learned, I wanted to share with you what you can expect from a language course at Carleton.

General Information

Language classes at Carleton are five days a week, Monday through Friday. This means you should expect homework every weeknight. Although this makes the language courses fast-paced, you will be surprised at how quickly you will adjust.

Another thing to be aware of is, your professor will speak in the language of the given course during class time. If are you start at a beginner’s level, there is a chance that you will not understand most of the spoken dialogue. However, with time, your ears quickly start adapting to the sound of the language.

 How you can excel in your language course

An important thing to possess when taking classes out of your comfort zone is a positive mindset. Author Zig Ziglar said it best: “Your attitude determines your attitude.”

It will be normal to be overwhelmed in your language course. The first week of my French class was challenging for me. I had trouble comprehending, reading, and pronouncing French words. Now being hitting the midterm of my fall year, I can recognize, read, and sustain a basic conversation in greetings, physical descriptions, family relationships, a personal schedule, and more. Although I have much more to learn, I want to let you know that, with some effort, it not impossible!

Resource number 1: The Language Help Center 

Although the language courses will be challenging, you will have infinite recourse to turn to for help. All languages at Carleton have a help center. This is a place where you can get assistance on anything language-related. The language center was the resource I used to overcome my pronunciation barrier. During my time there, I read out loud pages from my textbook with a student helper while I made notes of common word sounds. After constantly doing this for several weeks, it helped me to memorize basic French sounds. Attending the Language Help Center is completely free, and it is created as a resource to help you, so you remember to make use of it!

Resource number 2: You

Another significant recourse to mastering your language classes is learning what works well for you. Although you can listen to countless pieces of advice, the only way you will figure this part out is through personal trial and error. Be patient and believe in yourself. Remember that it will take time to learn a new skill, but with the effort, you will reach far!


This is Lettu Konshie and she is an incoming freshman at Carleton College. Lettu hopes to spend her freshman year getting to know her peers and exploring the town of Northfield! During her free time, she love to read and watch movies that explore new ideas, concepts, or lifestyles. Meet the other bloggers!