The Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures oversees instruction in five languages – Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Tibetan, and Vietnamese. Our dedicated language faculty and instructors serve the needs of both our undergraduate and graduate student communities. Hundreds of undergraduates—major, concentrators, and those simply interested in learning—enroll in EALAC language courses each semester. These classes prepare the student body for professional contexts, address the needs of heritage speakers, and spark conversation through exposure to the cultures and ideas animating East Asian societies, past and present.
The department also supports language acquisition and immersion outside the classroom. Study abroad opportunities abound, for both the academic year and during the summer, in destinations across East Asia.
The language program similarly serves the community of graduate students, strengthening research capacities in their primary language, and building skills in their second (and often third) language as needed. A majority of graduate student also receive instruction in the classical East Asian languages, an area of increasing interest to our engaged undergraduate populace as well.
Pedagogical innovation and instruction supplements the department’s commitment to language acquisition, as many language programs also serve as centers of linguistic study and research into pedagogy. Individual programs have published materials that see use well beyond Columbia, and some offer advanced degrees in language instruction.
Long at the forefront of education into the languages of East Asia in the United States, the department continues to expand the breadth and depth of its offerings. Our growing commitment to the study of the Tibetan and Vietnamese languages is just one example of this commitment.
More in-depth information can be found in the menus to the left, while some summary information follows below. Please take a moment to explore our programs here, and get in touch in-person or via email with any questions about your language (or languages!) of choice.
Note: All language course must be taken for a letter grade, without exception. Students may not take language courses for either R-Credit or Pass/Fail.
Chinese Language Program
Japanese Language Program
Korean Language Program
Tibetan Language Program
- Director: Sonam Tsering
- Program information
- To schedule a placement test or for general questions, please contact Sonam Tsering (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Vietnamese Language Program
Other East Asian Languages
- For information regarding Indonesian, Cantonese, Khmer, or Filipino, please contact the Language Resource Center.