June 5, 1998

World-Renowned Middlebury College Language Schools Gear Up for Summer Session

"Where else would I be able to talk to a government agent, a high school teacher, a graduate student, a professional missionary, and a cow all in the same day in Japanese?"-- Leila Wice, 1996 Middlebury College Language Schools Graduate

Visitors and residents of Middlebury can expect to overhear a diverse mix of languages this summer: Arabic; Chinese; French; German; Italian; Japanese; Russian; and Spanish.

Friday, June 12, 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 year, approximately 1,100 students will come to Middlebury to participate in the Language Schools during the course of the summer. Over an 83-year history, more than 35,000 students from all walks of life-including more than 11,000 advance degree holders-have attended one or more of the 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.

Under the guidance of approximately 200 faculty members from colleges and universities throughout the world, students of all ages and numerous nationalities live on campus, totally immersed in their target language. Students eat, sleep, drink and shop 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.

Long-time Middlebury resident, Dr. Stephen Freeman, has been a trailblazer in the field of foreign-language teaching, and his efforts have been critical in the growth of the Language Schools since they were founded in 1915. Freeman served as the Language Schools' director, dean of the second of the Language Schools, the French School, and he established the first of Middlebury College's Language Schools Abroad in Paris. Dr. Freeman celebrated his 100th birthday this past May.

Each summer, the College offers three sets of summer sessions for foreign languages. The nine-week session for Arabic, Chinese, Japanese and Russian will begin Friday, June 12; the seven-week session for French, German, Italian and Spanish will begin on Friday, June 26; and the six-week session for graduate level French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish will begin on Monday, June 29.

Programs offered by the Language Schools reflect Middlebury College's overall commitment to excellence in language education and international studies.