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MMLA partners with Roger Williams U. for new site, new language

November 10, 2010

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. — Roger Williams University in Bristol, R.I., has been selected as an additional 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, Ohio, California, South Carolina and now Rhode Island.  Roger Williams will be the first MMLA location to offer Italian. Sessions in French and Spanish will also 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 Roger Williams will bring together more than 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 necessary to become citizens in a global society.  It’s also a great way to have fun while learning a language.”

“Our commitment to educating students in a global context — not to mention our extraordinary seaside campus — makes Roger Williams an ideal setting for young people to engross themselves in a new language and culture over the summer,” said University President Ronald O. Champagne. “MMLA’s innovative approach to language immersion offers a wonderful complement to the engaging academic environment that RWU provides.”

In 2010, more than 800 students — 23 percent of whom received financial assistance — 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 and enjoying themselves.

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.

For more information about MMLA, visit or call 802-443-2900.