Middlebury College Language Schools to begin summer session June 13

June 2, 2008

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. - Residents of the Middlebury community and visitors to the area can expect to overhear a diverse mix of languages again this summer: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. Friday, June 13, marks the beginning of the Middlebury College Language Schools' summer sessions, known internationally for a rigorous approach to the teaching of languages and cultures.

This summer, approximately 1,350 students will gather in Middlebury to participate in the 2008 Language Schools program. During the course of its 94-year history, more than 40,000 students from all walks of life - including more than 11,000 advanced degree holders - have attended one or more of the Language Schools. Corporate executives study side-by-side with writers, journalists, doctors, lawyers, missionaries, government officials and diplomats. Undergraduates and graduate students from Middlebury College and other institutions also attend the summer sessions to fulfill language requirements or complete degrees.

For the second year in a row, philanthropist Kathryn Wasserman Davis has funded the "100 Fellowships for Peace: Investing in the Study of Critical Languages," which grants 100 scholarships of $10,000 each for the intensive study of critical languages and related global issues during the summer of 2008. The initiative is intended to challenge Middlebury College and its affiliate, the Monterey Institute for International Studies, to use the institutions' combined expertise in language acquisition and policy studies to recruit and train future potential peacemakers.

Under the guidance of approximately 220 faculty members from colleges and universities throughout the world, students of all ages and nationalities live on campus, totally immersed in their target language. Students eat, sleep and drink the language they have come to study, and all agree to abide by the Language Pledge, a formal commitment to speak the language of study and no other for the entire summer session. In addition, the Language Schools host many cultural events that are often open to the public.

Each summer, the college offers three sets of summer sessions for foreign languages. The nine-week session for Arabic, Chinese, Japanese and Russian begins Friday, June 13; the seven-week session for intensive language studies in French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and the newly established Brandeis University-Middlebury School of Hebrew, which opens this summer, will begin on Friday, June 27; and the six-week session for graduate-level Chinese, French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish will begin on Monday, June 30. The Arabic, Japanese and Portuguese sessions will offer non-degree, graduate-level courses.