The Residence Life office supports six language houses that represent six academic departments at Reed: French, German, Russian, Spanish, Chinese, and Arabic. While Arabic House is open to incoming students, only returning students may apply to live in the other language houses during the application process held each spring.
Each house is staffed with a Language Scholar, a native speaker hired to support language development, and a student house adviser whose responsibility it is to work with the resident director, the appropriate academic department, and language house 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.
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 places of origin.
Expectations of Language House Residents
As members of the Language Houses, those students who live in each house are expected to participate in weekly programming opportunities by attending or collaborating on events with their House Advisers and Language Scholars. Residents are not required to be fluent in the language or enrolled in current coursework related to the language, but a demonstrated interest in and desire to learn about the culture and language is a prerequisite. The houses form small, tight-knit communities that depend on good communication and active participation. Enrolled students can view the floor plans for each house (French, Spanish, German, Russian, Chinese, and Arabic) online.