About the Center

The Five College Center for World Languages has been a national leader in teaching less-commonly taught languages since 1991.

The Five College Center for World Languages (FCCWL) offers courses in less-commonly taught languages to students from Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Over 30 years, we have helped more than 5,000 students study more than 60 languages from around the world.

The Center offers two programs: the Supervised Independent Language Program, launched in 1991, and the Mentored Language Program, launched in 2004. These programs promote communicative proficiency, intercultural competence, and self-directed learning skills.

With generous support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, and other funders, the Center also develops open educational resources to help make materials for studying and teaching LCTLs more widely available in the U.S.


Our Staff

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Janna White


Janna directs and manages the Five College Center for World Languages' programs and curricular development projects, supervises the Center's staff, and administers the Center’s initiatives. Janna contributes to the overall leadership of Five College academic programs and serves on the UMass Amherst International Studies Council and the board of the National Association of Self-Instructional Language Programs.

Kendra Allman headshot

Kendra Allman

Program Assistant

Kendra provides educational, logistical, and administrative support for the Center's Supervised Independent Language Program courses.

Karla Carruth

Hindi-Urdu Teaching Assistant

Karla conducts individual tutorials and small group conversation sessions with students in elementary, intermediate, and advanced levels of Hindi and Urdu.

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Anca Holden

Language Pedagogy Specialist

Anca trains and mentors the Center's foreign language teaching assistants (FLTAs) and conversation partners.

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Theo Hull

Program Assistant

Theo provides educational, logistical, and administrative support for the Center's Mentored language and Arabic dialect courses.

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Agnes Kimokoti

Swahili Language Mentor

Agnes conducts individual tutorials and small group conversation sessions with students in elementary, intermediate, and advanced levels of Swahili and mentors the Center's Swahili teaching assistant. She is a member of the Five College African Studies Council.

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Merve Polat

Turkish Teaching Assistant

Merve Polat is the Turkish language mentor and conducts individual tutorials and small group conversation sessions for Turkish students at all levels. Merve is also a doctoral student in the Language, Literacy and Culture program in the College of Education at UMass Amherst.

In Remembrance

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Dr. Elizabeth Mazzocco

Founding Director, 1990-2014

Professor Elizabeth H.D. Mazzocco was the founding director of the Five College Supervised Independent Language Program and the Mentored Language Program. After receiving her PhD, Elizabeth taught Italian at the University of Pennsylvania (1988-89), and at Mt. Holyoke College (1989-90); in 1990 she was appointed Five College Visiting Assistant Professor of Italian and Director of the then Five College Foreign Language Resource Center, a role in which she served until her death in 2014. Under her directorship, the Center gained worldwide recognition for research on the advancement of language pedagogy.

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Dr. Amy Wordelman

Various, 1997-2018

After earning a PhD in religion from Princeton University, Dr. Amy Wordelman became deeply involved in the operation and success of the language center beginning in 1997, first as a program assistant, then assistant, associate and interim director and, from 2016 until her death in 2018, director of the center. In more than two decades with Five Colleges, Dr. Wordelman was involved with admissions, advising, curriculum development, technology development, special project management—nearly every aspect of the center.


Center for World Languages offices

Contact Us

Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday 9AM-4:30PM 

Amherst College
79 South Pleasant St., Suite 100
Amherst, MA 01002
Phone: (413) 542-LANG (542-5264)
Fax: (413) 542-4063
Campus mail: AC Box 2264

Office access is currently by appointment only.

Join the Five College Languages Google group.