MIDDLEBURY, Vt. - This month marks the beginning of the Middlebury Language Schools’ summer sessions, known internationally for their intensive immersion approach to the teaching of language and culture.

Each summer, the Language Schools offer three sets of summer sessions for foreign languages at the Middlebury College campus location. This year marks the opening of a second site at Mills College in Oakland, Calif., that will serve as home base for the entire Arabic School and offer additional sessions in French and Spanish. Middlebury at Mills was established in response to the increasing demand for admission to the Middlebury Language Schools.

At the Middlebury campus, the nine-week session for Chinese, Japanese and Russian will begin on Friday, June 12; the seven-week session for intensive language studies in French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish will begin on Friday, June 26; and the six-week session for graduate-level Chinese, French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish will begin on Tuesday, June 30. At the Mills College campus, the nine-week session for Arabic will begin Friday, June 5; the seven-week session for intensive language studies in French and Spanish will begin Friday, June 19; and the six-week session for non-degree graduate Arabic will begin Friday, June 26.

On Sunday, June 21, Pierre-François Mourier, consul general of France in San Francisco will speak at the Middlebury at Mills convocation ceremony to mark the opening of the French and Spanish Schools there. In 1991, Mourier became cultural attaché in New York, where he was in charge of the promotion of French books in the United States. In 2002 he was appointed to the Conseil d’État of France to oversee secondary and higher education and research. In 2005, he became consul general of France in San Francisco and senior adviser for education and culture. He taught at the summer Language Schools in Vermont in 2007. “It is a great and fitting honor to welcome Consul Pierre-François Mourier to celebrate the opening of the Middlebury at Mills French and Spanish Schools,” said Vice President of Language Schools, Schools Abroad and Graduate Programs Michael Geisler.

Since 1915, 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 third year, philanthropist Kathryn Wasserman Davis has funded the 100 Fellowships for Peace: Investing in the Study of Critical Languages, which grants 100 scholarships to cover tuition, room, board and a small stipend for a summer of study in any of six critical languages and related global issues during the summer of 2009. The initiative is intended to challenge Middlebury College and its affiliate, the Monterey Institute of 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 280 faculty members at both locations from colleges and universities throughout the world, students of all ages and nationalities live on campus, totally immersed in their target language. Students live, learn and interact in 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.

For more information about the Middlebury Language Schools, contact Director of Institutional Collaboration and Marketing Jamie Northrup at 802-443-5856 or jnorthru@middlebury.edu.