Institute to Teach Foreign Language in 4 Weeks

Posted 01/15/08
Parlez-vous français? By attending the Wesleyan Summer Language Institute, students will learn to speak, write and comprehend basic French in only four weeks.

The new Summer Language Institute, developed by the Division of Continuing Studies, will offer programs in Arabic, Russian and Spanish as well as French. Participants will be grouped together by language, and will live, study, eat and mingle together constantly in the target language.

“In four weeks of immersion, students will gain the equivalent of a full year of language study at Wesleyan,” says Jennifer Curran, assistant director for admissions and outreach. “This is a great way to participate in a vibrant learning atmosphere and learn a language quickly.”

The intensive immersion session is held June 2-27 on campus. Students will live in Clark Hall dormitory and dine together at tables set up for their target language at the Usdan University Center. Wesleyan faculty and visiting faculty will teach all sessions.

Weekdays will be filled with classes, conversation sessions, co-curricular activities and guided study sessions. Weekends will feature activities emphasizing the target language and its cultural contexts such as cooking classes, dance lessons, singing, movie and discussion nights, short video productions, crafts, sports and field trips.

Most activities will relate directly to the culture of the target language. For instance, students enrolled in the Russian Institute will learn to make borscht and pel’meni, dance ‘kazachok’ and sing ‘Katiusha.’ And students in the Arabic Institute will travel to Brooklyn’s Atlantic Avenue, the heart of New York’s Arab-American community.

The institute offers programs in the four languages at a variety of levels. Elementary courses will help students develop the basic skills of language: listening, speaking, reading and writing in their chosen language. Coursework is organized to maximize rapid proficiency with effective retention. Intermediate courses refine and strengthen skills. Cultural education is an integral part of all the courses at the Institute.

The Summer Language Institute is open to Wesleyan undergraduates and graduate students, students from other institutions and professionals in international fields, government employees, non-profit organizations, medical workers and others.

The Institute has rolling admission and has started accepting applications. Applicants are expected to have completed at least one year of college and provide two academic recommendations. Admission is competitive and based on a person’s application.

“We’re looking for students who demonstrate success in previous language study, in a challenging program of college courses, or whose academic or professional work demonstrates the motivation and aptitude to thrive under the rigors of this hyper-intensive form of study,” Curran explains.

Upon completion, undergraduates will receive two Wesleyan language credits, or eight credit hours, toward their degree. Tuition is $4,600 and housing and dining is $1372. Student loans may be available.

For more information on the Summer Language Institute, or to apply, go to:

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor