The Language Schools Mission Statement
In a global society, the summer residential programs provided by the Middlebury Language Schools are an important part of the nation's strategic language reserve. We educate undergraduate and graduate students from many disciplines and institutions all over the United States (and the world) who seek to improve their world languages and intercultural skills. We provide these students with consistent and dependable access to languages in an interactive, intensive-immersion environment. We also serve government employees and individuals from professional backgrounds. The Language Schools integrate excellent and innovative instruction in language with a curriculum that incorporates linguistics, literature, culture, and area studies, offering students opportunities to use the target language with native and near-native language professionals and with each other. The curriculum is supported by an extensive co-curricular program designed to reinforce classroom learning through a task-based approach. We are dedicated to the premise that without real competency in language there can be no true cultural understanding, and, that to be truly effective, language speaking must provide meaningful access to other cultures.
The Middlebury College Language Schools
Middlebury College enjoys a reputation for excellence in language teaching at its undergraduate college, intensive summer programs, and schools abroad. The baccalaureate curriculum offers particularly intense and varied programs in all of the languages taught at the Language Schools: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.
Middlebury’s first summer language school—the German School—was founded in 1915, followed by the French and Spanish schools in 1916 and 1917, respectively. The Italian School was added in 1932, Russian in 1945, Chinese in 1966, and Japanese in 1970. The Arabic School opened in 1982, the Portuguese School in 2003, and the Brandeis University-Middlebury School of Hebrew was launched in 2008.
The Middlebury Schools Abroad opened in 1949, with the first session of the French School in Paris in cooperation with the University of Paris. This was followed in 1951 with a similar program in Madrid, after which schools in Mainz, Florence, and Moscow were established in 1959, 1960, and 1977. Programs in Voronezh and Yaroslavl began in 1996; and the programs in Getafe, and Logroño, Spain were initiated in 1998, as well as a program in Irkutsk, Russia.
In 2001, programs in Ferrara, Italy, and Poitiers, France began. The School in Latin America (Buenos Aires and Montevideo) and the program in Berlin opened in 2002, and in 2004, programs in Latin America expanded to include Guadalajara, Mexico, and Belo Horizonte and Niterói, Brazil. The School in China also opened in 2004 in Hangzhou. Sites in Tucumán, Argentina, and Xalapa, Mexico, were added in 2005. In fall 2006, the former Southern Cone (SUNY) Programs in Chile (Concepción, La Serena, Santiago, Temuco, Valdivia, Valparaíso) were incorporated into the School in Latin America. Also in 2006, new sites were developed in Spain (Córdoba), and France (Bordeaux). And in 2007, the School in the Middle East (Alexandria, Egypt) opened, as did a new site in Brazil (Florianópolis).
A third site in Italy (Rome) began in fall of 2009, and the School in China complemented its site in Hangzhou with sites in Beijing (fall 2009) and Kunming (spring 2010). The School in Japan (Tokyo) opened in fall, 2010. Also in the fall of 2011, a new site was added in Córdoba, Argentina, and the newest sites in the Middle East opened in Amman, Jordan. These will be followed by a third site in Beer Sheva, Israel, in spring 2011.
During the summer, courses are offered from beginning to graduate level in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Russian, and Spanish; study is also offered in Hebrew, Japanese, and Portuguese. In 2009, a second Language Schools site opened at Mills College in California.
Language Schools students come from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and more than 50 foreign countries. Nearly 40,000 students have attended the Language Schools, including well over 11,000 advanced degree recipients (Master of Arts, Master of Modern Languages, and Doctor of Modern Languages). Middlebury is a global liberal arts college and an international graduate school, with faculty and directors from prestigious universities here and abroad. At Middlebury, we believe that the study of language in its cultural context belongs in the mainstream of any curriculum as one of the most enlightening and humanizing activities in which one can engage.