The Residence Life office supports six language houses that represent six academic departments at Reed: French, German, Russian, Spanish, Chinese, and Arabic. Each house is staffed with a native speaker (see language scholars below) and a student house advisor whose responsibility it is to work with a resident director, the appropriate academic department, and student residents to make each house a center for language and culture for the entire campus. Each house sponsors a variety of programs during the year that enhance the opportunity to learn about the various languages and cultures each house represents. The language houses are only available to upperclass students through an application process (Arabic House is open to incoming students depending on available spaces).
Reed College brings to campus each year eight language scholars. Each language house is supported by a language scholar who is a native speaker of one of the six languages (French, Spanish, German, Russian, Chinese, and Arabic).
These scholars live in Reed's language houses to support the learning of language and understanding of other cultures both in the halls and classrooms. In addition to initiating new cultural programs, the scholars are often involved in sponsoring conversation sessions, tutoring students to assist regular coursework, and giving presentations to the community on contemporary life in their homelands.