East Asian Languages and Literatures

Degree Type Bachelor of Arts
Department East Asian Languages and Literatures
Academic Division The College
Offerings Major
The Department of East Asian Languages and Literature offers a full four-year program of language courses in both Chinese and Japanese, as well as literature and culture courses in English. The department's curricula provide solid disciplinary training, preparing students to meet the challenges in further graduate studies or in career development.

East Asian Languages and Literatures

Language courses in the EALL Department develop advanced communication skills in Japanese and Chinese through intensive language training and provide a foundation for understanding cultural traditions of China and Japan. The literature in translation courses foster an awareness and understanding of East Asian cultures through an interdisciplinary approach, introducing historical background, social, philosophical, political issues and other cultural concerns relevant and necessary to the understanding of the literary and other cultural texts. 


The department encourages close interactions between students and the faculty. Diverse East Asian cultural activities such as A Taste of Asia and the Lunar New Year Celebration give students opportunities to practice their language skills outside the classroom in a relaxed, social setting. The department also sponsors Spring Term study abroad programs to China and Japan, where students are not only engaged in immersion language learning, but also in studying East Asian cultures through close contacts with their peoples.

EALL majors are encouraged to spend a summer, a semester or a year studying abroad in China and Japan to enhance their proficiency in language and to broaden their knowledge of East Asian cultures.

Each year the department awards The Andrew M. Hemm Prize of Excellence to two students with the highest average grades during their first two years of Chinese and Japanese studies respectively. In addition, the department offers The James Boardman Study Abroad Scholarship to two students preparing to study abroad.

World Language FDR

One of the Foundation and Distribution Requirements at Washington and Lee is proficiency in a world language. The EALL Department offers coursework towards language proficiency in Chinese and Japanese.

Yanhong Zhu

Department Head

Jacque Bruce


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Meet the Faculty

At W&L, students enjoy small classes and close relationships with professors who educate and nurture.