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.