The eight-week Summer Intensive Language Program (SILP) at the Middlebury Institute offers the instructional equivalent of studying a language for a full academic year. The program has been offered for over 60 years and has earned a reputation for the substantial gains students make in language proficiency and cultural knowledge over the summer. An added bonus for the students is the opportunity to make new friends and join a community of engaged language users that often extends well beyond the program.
Five languages are being offered this year: Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish, with the program’s 103 students hailing from 32 different states in the United States and five countries. Classes are led by an elite group of language professors and enjoy the support of numerous teaching assistants and program coordinators. The orientation component happening this week includes placement tests, learner and career training sessions, and a photo scavenger hunt in downtown Monterey.
Over the summer the students participate in events designed to enhance their cultural understanding in relation to their language of study, such as participating in French wine tasting in Carmel Valley, attending a Russian Orthodox mass in Seaside, learning about bubble tea in Chinese at a factory in San Francisco’s Chinatown, and learning about regional variations in Middle Eastern barbecue at a beach cook-out in Arabic.
The Summer Intensive Language Program offers motivated foreign language students an intensive and supportive environment to gain a solid foundation or improve overall proficiency in a language. Students apply for the program independent of the Institute’s other non-degree and degree programs, and all are welcome to apply.