General Education

Interview: Middlebury-Monterey Language Academy

Interview: Middlebury-Monterey Language Academy
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Noodle Staff April 23, 2013

On the hunt for an awesome summer program for your child this summer? If you're looking for summer camps that are both educational _and_ fun, then we highly recommend the Middlebury-Monterey Language Academy (MMLA)!

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On the hunt for an awesome summer program for your child this summer?

If you're looking for summer camps that are both educational and fun, then we highly recommend the Middlebury-Monterey Language Academy (MMLA)!

The program first began at Middlebury College and currently attracts students from 8th to 12th grade who come from all over the U.S. and from across the globe to immerse themselves in a foreign language.

Check out the below video testimonial from a parent who sent her 13-year-old son to MMLA to study Chinese, and how he's now well on his way to becoming a "global citizen!"

We recently had a chance to chat with Vice President of Academic Programs for Middlebury Interactive Languages, to get more information about the programs and the direct benefits they can offer to students. Check out the full interview below!

1. Why is it important for children to start learning a foreign language?

Learning a language is a window to the world and the key to thriving in a global society. Research also demonstrates that learning another language improves students' critical thinking skills and deepens their understanding of the richness of other cultures and traditions. Through language learning, students become more globally connected which is more important than ever in modern society.

2. Does it make a difference if a child starts learning a foreign language earlier on in life versus when they're adults?

Yes. Children possess a capacity for imagination and risk -taking that enhances their ability to learn a second language. We also know that bilingualism, particularly if it started at an early age, results in improved problem solving skills as well as improving scores in math and language arts, verbal skills in the foreign language and in English. Overall, learning a language at a young age helps prepare students for college and beyond.

3. What are the main benefits that your students get from participating in these programs?

From what our students say, the greatest benefit of participating in Middlebury- Monterey Language Academy is the self-confidence they acquire in their language skills and in their ability to think, act, and communicate in their target language. Students also love the opportunity they have in the Academy to live and learn within a diverse, international community. Since the curriculum was created (and is continually enhanced) by Middlebury College language professors, the academies have rigorous academic underpinnings combined with a fun and enriching atmosphere. In fact, many students acquire the equivalent of one year of language learning in just a 4-week summer session.

This summer we are also offering our first program abroad in collaboration with CET Academic Programs in Beijing, China.

4. You have great 4-week programs for high schoolers - but do you offer any similar programs for younger students?

Yes, we do. We offer a 2-week Day Academies for rising 5th-to rising 8th grades at four of our partner schools: National Cathedral School in Washington DC, Belmont Hill School, Belmont MA, Greenwich Academy, CT, and the Pacific Ridge School in Carlsbad CA.

5. These programs sound fantastic, but they are still an investment. Do you all offer any financial aid or scholarship opportunities?

Yes, we have financial aid available to students with demonstrated need. In addition, due to the generous support of the Qatar Foundation International, we have 15 full scholarships available to high-need students in the Arabic Academy.

6. What are the top three most important languages you think students should be learning now to compete in our increasingly globalized world?

While certainly Chinese, Spanish and Arabic have obvious significance in the current political and economic environments, it is less important to pursue a specific language than it is to become fluent in another language. The world is full of vibrant cultures and global opportunities, and learning a new language can bring those experiences in focus for students.

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