An illustration of a silhouetted girl speaking, with wavy lines of characters extending from her mouth.

Language Learning

East Asian Studies at UMass Amherst offers language instructions based on the latest research findings and decades of combined teaching experience. We foster integrated contextual learning among students. Authentic materials are used whenever possible in elementary and intermediate courses and exclusively in advanced courses. Instructors are well-versed in pedagogy, thoroughly experienced in teaching, and passionate about helping students.

Intensive courses are offered for the first two years of the curriculum to boost language ability. Those who have taken prior classes in the language can ease their way into the curriculum by taking the non-intensive course for the first semester. Those with more extensive experience can take a placement test to be placed into an appropriate level. Upper-level courses are non-intensive and more varied in focus. At the end of the four years of language courses, most students with no previous language experience can communicate comfortably in a socially appropriate manner.

A professor sits at a table full of snacks and tea with five students.

Korean Tea Time

Practice Korean & Learn Korean Culture!

Japanese Conversation Table - spring 2024

Japanese Conversation Table

Open to everyone interested in Japan and the Japanese language!

An open-minded and heartful approach to Japanese culture

David Stanley Hewett's journey took him from studying Japanese at UMass Amherst to a career as a prominent artist in Japan. His story showcases his deep passion for Japanese arts and culture.

David Stanley Hewett
1987
David Stanley Hewitt

Recent News

All News
Half a Century of Shedding Light on the Other Side of the Globe: East Asian Languages and Cultures Celebrates 50 Years at UMass Amherst
This academic year marks the 50th anniversary of the East Asian Languages and Cultures program in the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures.
February 25, 2020
UMass Alumnus Sam Bett wins the "U.S. - Japan Friendship Prize for the Translation of Literature"
Join us in congratulating Sam Bett on winning the U.S. – Japan Friendship Prize for the Translation of Literature , for his translation of a Mishima Yukio novel, Star .
March 2, 2020
Zhongwei Shen’s ‘A Phonological History of Chinese’ Introduces Scholarship of Chinese Researchers to the West
A new book by Zhongwei Shen, professor of East Asian languages and cultures, was recently published by the Cambridge University Press. “Phonological History of Chinese” provides an account of the standard phonological system of the major Chinese historical periods: Old Chinese, Middle Chinese and
August 12, 2020

Support East Asian Languages and Literatures

The program of East Asian Languages and Literatures depends on the generosity and support of our alumni and interested friends. To further improve the resources for our students, your contributions allow us to offer small fellowships, host outside speakers, run career development fora, and fund student-led initiatives.