Language House > About 

History

The Language House at Cornell University was first founded in 1984 with German, Spanish, and French as the original three language sections. Throughout the years, the Language House has been housed in Campus buildings such as Comstock, Sage Hall, and Low Rise 9 before coming to West Campus to Boldt Hall. Since 2004, the Language House has been part of the Alice Cook House community. Beginning in the Fall semester of 2017, the Language House comprised both Boldt Hall and Boldt Tower.

Arabic, Farsi, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Russian, and Spanish have all been part of the Language House over the years, whether housed in the residence hall or serving as an associate section (virtual section). The Language House has had 10 Directors and has over 500 alumni. 

Today, the Language House has 72 members, including the five Resident Language Fellows. Each section averages about 15 residents. 

Mission

The Language House at Cornell University promotes a supportive and congenial environment of language immersion for select Cornell students by providing access to live-in native speakers, faculty, and staff who facilitate programs and activities that enhance students’ linguistic and cultural competence in their target language and cultures in order for them to be prepared to flourish in a global society.

Goals

The Language House Program has four central goals:

1) Help students gain speaking fluency and listening comprehension more quickly, thoroughly, and idiomatically than is normally possible in the classroom setting.

2) Increase intellectual understanding and psychological connectedness to the cultures in which the languages are spoken.

3) Foster a sense of group identity while at Cornell as well as create enduring friendships that will continue long after students leave the university.

4) Create citizens who by virtue of their linguistic and cultural expertise and their robust interest in a larger world, will be prepared to flourish in a global community.

These goals are realized by offering a residential setting in which residents, the peer Resident Language Fellows staff, faculty, staff from Campus Life as well as many others from Cornell and elsewhere participate in daily activities and special events designed to promote language and cultural learning in a supportive and congenial setting.