Tag Archives: Language Schools

Blog Posts from the Office of Digital Learning: School of Russian Pre-Immersion Site Launch, Amy Collier to Keynote at Camp Open, BOLD Community Hub, Sean Michael Morris at Domains 17, Spanish Teaching Community of Practice, and More!

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Summer Language School on Film in the College Archives

Drawn from our newly digitized historic 16mm films, a taste of what life in the Summer Language Schools was like in the middle of the 20th century.  Enjoy!

German School Dancing Considered the forerunner of all the Middlebury Language Schools in 1915, the German School established its home in Bristol, Vermont and flourished under the direction of the dynamic Ernst Feise throughout the 1930s and 1940s. The seven-week program strove for students to “live and work in an atmosphere as distinctly German as if they were traveling in Germany.” Integral to that goal was learning to perform dances native to German culture, wearing native German dress. (We love the people watching from the bushes!)

French School Outings In this clip from the early 1940s, students and faculty of the French Summer Language School take a break from classes and enjoy the program’s long-running tradition of weekend trips off-campus. With a beautiful view from the top of Chipman Hill, they roast bacon-wrapped sausage and sing songs. In another outing, they can be seen picnicking on the shores of Lake Dunmore at the Waterhouse Pavilion.

Honorary Degree  On August 8, 1946 French Ambassador to the United States Henri Bonnet was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by Middlebury College president Samuel S. Stratton. André Morize, a close friend of Bonnet’s and the retiring director of Middlebury’s French Summer Language School was also honored at the ceremony. This clip shows the reception held outside of Mead Chapel following the event. Attendees include the poet Robert Frost.

And finally, a documentary film crew spent time in the College Archives in the summer of 2014 gathering sound recordings, film clips, and photos for this short film marking the centennial of the Summer Language Schools. Thanks to the Language Schools for making this film widely available.

Summer Scene: Life in Two Languages

There’s never a dull moment for Middlebury Language Schools bilingual assistants — even if at times they might wish for a few. On any given day, they’re planning special events, coaching sports, setting up concerts, or solving myriad problems that help students stick to the famous language pledge: No English Spoken Here!  And through all of it, they transition seamlessly between the school’s language and English (where allowed, of course). Middlebury Magazine caught up with Joe Tamagni, a bilingual for the Italian School, to get a taste of his hectic pace and why he loves it so much!

Around the World in 10 Events!

top10[1]Every summer, a short but sweet burst of Language Schools events fills the campus with music, lectures, and art—all in language, of course.

Here are the annual “Top Ten” suggestions from Michael Geisler, vice president for the Language Schools, Schools Abroad, and graduate programs. Be sure to check the campus calendar for updates as well.

School of Hebrew
Sunday, June 11, 7:30 p.m.
Gitit Shoval and Ron Druyan concert
Mahaney Center for the Arts Concert Hall

Gitit Shoval, Ron Druyan, Tutti Druyan, and Shaqed Druyan perform renditions of Israeli and American music.  Shoval, one of Israel’s singing treasures, was discovered at the pre-Eurovision contest of 1979 when she was just 13 years old. Since then she has performed around the world, both solo and with various musical ensembles. In addition to her work for adult audiences, Gitit Shoval has provided the Hebrew voice of many children’s characters. She has six solo albums and four holiday and children’s albums to her credit. Her seventh solo album complements her current show, From Gershwin to Dylan: The Genius of Jewish Songwriters.

French School
Friday, July 5, 7:30 p.m.
“Chiche L’Afrique” performance, text and interpretation by Gustave Akakpo
Wright Theatre

“Chiche L’Afrique” is a one-man show performed by Togolese author and actor Gustave Akakpo, who invites political actors of Françafrique onstage. African leaders, Nicolas Sarkozy, Charles Pasqua, and others are the protagonists of this hilarious spectacle. With its ironic and cheeky tone, “Chiche L’Afrique” both entertains and provides insight into the situation in Africa, illuminating the consequences of bad governance on its local population. The show has received positive reviews since it was first produced in Paris, in 2011. It is directed by Thierry Blanc.

Spanish School
Friday, July 5, 9:30 p.m.
Chicha Libre concert
McCullough Social Space (standing room only)

Chicha Libre plays a mixture of Latin rhythms, surf, and psychedelic pop inspired by Peruvian music from Lima and the Amazon. This Brooklyn band includes French, American, Venezuelan, and Mexican musicians who combine covers of Peruvian Chicha with original compositions in French, Spanish, and English; re-interpretations of 1970s pop classics; and cumbia versions of pieces by Satie, Love, and Wagner. Chicha Libre has performed for audiences around the world.

Italian School
Saturday, July 6, 9 p.m.
“A Mediterranean Myth”
Wright Theatre

The Italian School’s opening performance, a one-act play, is a semi-serious tale for a feminine voice performed by Isabella Carloni, faculty member of the Italian School. Carloni is an actress, singer, and songwriter for theatre.

Chinese School
Saturday, July 20, 8 p.m.
Music from China Youth Orchestra
Mahaney Center for the Arts Concert Hall

The Music from China Youth Orchestra encourages and nurtures Chinese American youth, and invites all young people interested in Chinese culture to become active participants in Chinese music. Established by the New York-based professional ensemble Music from China and under the training of its artistic director, Wang Guowei, the group performs classical and folk arrangements played on traditional instruments consisting of bowed strings (erhu), winds (dizi, huslusi), plucked strings (yangqin, liuqin, zheng, ruan), and percussion.

Portuguese School
Saturday, July 27, 9 p.m.
Richard Miller, with guests Stacey Kent and Jim Tomlinson
Mahaney Center for the Arts Concert Hall

Miller and his acoustic guitar bring us music in several rhythmic styles, including Xote and Bossa Nova. Accompanied by Vanderlei Pereira on percussion and Gigi McLaughlin on the accordion, Miller’s “Rhythms of Brazil” brings together a combination of styles whose origins span from southeastern to northern Brazil. Stacey Kent (vocals) and Jim Tomlinson (saxophone) will be joining Richard on stage.

German School
Thursday, August 8, 8 p.m. (pre-performance talk in English at 7:30 p.m.)
Friday, August 9, 8 p.m. (pre-performance talk in English at 7:30 p.m.)
“Die Fledermaus”
Town Hall Theater

This beloved operetta by Johann Strauss will be performed by the carefully selected and talented students in the German for Singers Program as their culminating project of this summer. “Die Fledermaus” is a mischievous delight, a tale of friendly revenge and mistaken identities, with farcical elements and inspired silliness set to a luscious score by Strauss. No doubt, these elements will again be highlighted for maximum effect by the director and producer of the show, Bettina Matthias, who is the director of the German for Singers Program, and musical director Stefan Rütter.

Davis School of Russian
Sunday, August 11, 8 p.m.
School of Russian Choir
McCullough Social Space

Directed by Elena Sadina and Sergei Grachev, the School of Russian Choir, made up of students, will sing, dance, play folk instruments, and reenact various Russian folk rituals during this exciting performance.

Middlebury International Film Festival
June 22 – August 10, 7 p.m.
Dana Auditorium

Middlebury’s International Film Festival is like no other film series. Starting in June, the Language Schools will present a major foreign film on the big screen in Dana Auditorium each week. The schedule of this year’s film festival can be found here.

**Vice-President’s Pick**
Thursday, July 11, 8 p.m.
Le Vent du Nord
McCullough Social Space (standing room only)

Le Vent du Nord is the top traditional music group from Québec, performing melodies and stories and exploring multiple cultural music traditions. Since its beginning in 2002, Le Vent du Nord has exploded onto the folk music scene. The group’s first recording, Maudite moisson!, was awarded a prize for traditional album of the year in 2004. Their second album, Les amants du Saint-Laurent, was chosen album of the year at the Canadian Folk Music Awards. Le Vent du Nord won the 2011 Juno for best Roots & Traditional Album.

 

Area 51 notes – Apr. 25, 2013

Present:  Terry Simpkins, Mary Backus, and Doreen Bernier
Guests: Bryan Carson, Joe Antonioli, Carrie Macfarlane, Joy Pile

The Language School task force joined us to discuss their proposal for providing curricular technology support for this summer’s Language School programs. The team asked the ADs to review and approve various proposals, including:
Update curricular platforms documentation

  • Minor changes to current documentation will be made as needed;
  • Documentation that needs more extensive updating will be marked to alert users;
  • CTT will periodically review and revise documentation tagged as being in need of updating;
  • Joe A. will look into options for “tagging” [4/27 update - he has identified a couple of appropriate tags to use for this];
  • An annual documentation review should be planned; this may be something the Curr Tech Team can assume ongoing responsibility for.

Curricular technology questions, unscheduled

  • Joy has met with Mills coordinators and walked them through Moodle and the CourseHub.  Mills coordinators can now “masquerade” as other users to help troubleshoot issues themselves;
  • Joe A. has met with Joe D., Linda and Marty to introduce them to the CourseHub and Moodle platforms.
  • Vacations may need to be staggered to ensure continuous coverage, especially during the July 4 holiday;
  • ADs will ask their managers to balance vacations schedules within their groups.

Curricular technology questions, scheduled.

  • The ADs would like to discuss this in a small group setting with support providers;
  • Support for this, like most of the other LS tasks, will need to be revisited next year.

Onboarding Workshops for faculty/staff.

  • We are hoping support can come from the Ed and Training Team.  Mary will communicate with them about this;
  • Bryan will provide a list of skills has has covered in the past when doing this training.

Courseware Workshops for faculty/staff.

  • We would like LS bilinguals to shadow LIS staff this year as LIS staff conduct workshops.  We will discuss this idea with coordinators and directors.

Curricular resource site creation

  • Bilinguals and faculty who use curricular technology frequently will be asked to place request for site creation needs in advance to allow LIS to assess demands.  At this point, there is no guarantee LIS can fill every request.  Time spent performing this work may limit time available for other, equally important tasks;
  • Joe A. is meeting with LS coordinators next Wednesday.  He will set a deadline for LS departments to communicate needs/requests;
  • Joe A. noted that a temporary and fairly straightforward means for site creation would be to use our pilot implementation of SANSpace.  The down side to this would be if decided not to move SANSpace into production; we would then need to find another platform suitable for these sites;
  • Joe A. will also find out from the coordinators when the bilinguals will be arriving.

Conversations with the team will be continued through email to make sure the appropriate conversations are taking place.

Thanks for reading
Terry & Doreen

“Summer Games” at Middlebury Language Schools

Sports and activities have always been a big part of life at the Language Schools. They give students a language-specific cultural experience that truly augments the intensive immersive approach to mastering a language.

This summer, with the international flair of the London Olympics on our minds, MiddMag decided to see just what these language students were up to. From ardent competition on the fields and strategic moves at the table to athletic artistry in the dance studios, here’s a brief sampling of what we saw.


Summer Language Study Carrels

The library has once again designated several suites of carrels as specific Language Study Carrels. The carrels in the suites are available on a first come, first served basis and may not be reserved. A map of the suites can be found here, and more information regarding carrels in the library can be found here.