Middlebury Interactive Languages

News about the College’s just-announced initiative to provide on-line language courses for pre-college students has generated great interest.  Much of the information I provided to the campus community in an email this morning can be found at http://www.middlebury.edu/mil

The New York Times covered the initiative today (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/14/education/14middlebury.html).

Needless to say, this is a big, yet logical step, for the College.  It will not only expand access to language learning to so many pre-College students whose schools provide limited opportunities, but it will also allow the College to retain its hard-earned leadership position in foreign languages and culture by offering the best courses available online.

We could not have done this alone.  With broad and deep talent in our Language Schools, our academic departments, and at Monterey, we can develop great content, but we haven’t the capacity to develop the required technological platform, marketing, and virtually all of the business aspects of such an undertaking.  And that is why we have partnered with K12, the country’s leading provider of pre-college courses.

Michael Geisler, Patrick Norton, and I will be holding open meetings to discuss the project in greater detail and answer any questions.  We will announce the schedule of those meetings soon.

UPDATE: two more articles with a range of opinions:

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/04/15/languages

http://educationnext.org/hurrah-for-middleburys-venture-into-virtual-language-instruction/

3 comments

Awesome, President Liebowitz!

languages at midd tend to be very eurocentric and asia-centric. especially with increased student interest in working in africa (globe-med, jterm class in swahili, etc.), teaching african languages such as swahili seems like a logical step to take. today, with so many mission and relief efforts focused in africa, it seems as if there would be a demand for this (at the undergrad college and language schools).

Sites DOT Middlebury: the Middlebury site network.