Swarthmore to Host Language
Immersion Programs for Pre-College Students
by Nancy Nicely
Swarthmore College has been selected as a new site for the Middlebury-Monterey Language Academy (MMLA) for the summer of 2011. MMLA, a language immersion summer program for pre-college students in its fourth year of programming, currently offers four-week residential sessions in Arabic, Chinese, French, German and Spanish on campuses in Vermont, California, Illinois, Ohio, Rhode Island and South Carolina. At the Swarthmore location, sessions in Chinese, French and Spanish will be available.
MMLA began as a collaboration between the Language Schools of Middlebury College and the Monterey Institute of International Studies in Monterey, Calif., a graduate school of Middlebury College. The program at Swarthmore will bring together over 70 educators and staff from around the country and 250 middle and high school students.
"We are excited to be partnering with an institution that understands and values the importance of foreign language skills," said Kevin Conroy, director of MMLA. "MMLA's immersion approach to teaching language and culture - like that of the internationally recognized Middlebury Language Schools - is an ideal way to provide today's young people with the skills and resources to become tomorrow's citizens."
"We think that MMLA is a good match for Swarthmore, both for the richness and rigor of its curriculum and for its tradition of successfully preparing students to further their academic goals," says Swarthmore College Provost Constance Hungerford. "We are especially glad to realize this partnership at a time when language immersion is increasingly critical to so many different career paths. We hope to enjoy a relationship with MMLA for many years to come."
In 2010, more than 800 students participated in the program under the guidance of almost 300 faculty and staff members, including experienced language teachers from public, private and international schools throughout America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Students participating in the academy at all four sites will completely immerse themselves in their language of study and commit to speaking only the target language, both inside and outside the classroom, throughout the program's duration.
MMLA is designed to meet the learning styles of middle and high school students in a fun and challenging environment. Students live in language-specific residence halls, participate in language instruction, and speak their target language in every activity - cooking classes, group hikes, soccer competitions and social events. Through a carefully planned progression of language learning and culture studies designed for beginning to advanced levels, MMLA students are challenged to make language breakthroughs while cultivating new friendships.
MMLA will offer Swarthmore faculty, staff and alumni a five percent discount on tuition to any of MMLA's summer programs. If tuition is paid in full before Jan. 15, another 10 percent discount can be received. Tuition at all locations is $5,750 and includes instruction, shared college-dormitory accommodation, meals, all on-campus events, field trips, textbooks, and curriculum materials.
In April 2010, MMLA become part of Middlebury Interactive Languages, a new company formed by Middlebury College and K12, a technology-based education company and national leader in online learning. Building on Middlebury's long history of leadership in language teaching and K12's expertise in online education, the new company will create and distribute online language learning courses and oversee the development of MMLA.