Summer Language Workshop marks 68th year of intensive study
This year, the Summer Language Workshop, a program of the School of Global and International Studies at IU Bloomington, marks its 68th anniversary. Every summer, some 200 students gather to pack a year’s worth of language training into 8 or 9 weeks. The students immerse themselves in languages from Arabic and Russian to Estonian and Kurdish (plus 16 more). They come away with 6 to 10 graduate or undergraduate credit hours.
“One of the best experiences I’ve had at SGIS was the Summer Language Workshop, where I studied Arabic,” says Grace Miller, Class of 2020, an International Studies and French major, who’s minoring in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures and political science.
The summer is not all about vocabulary flashcards, though. For example, students in each language put on a talent show. Grace discovered unknown depths in herself when she was named Most Likely to Succeed as a Rapper. She admits that she has not yet dropped her first mixtape, however.
About half of the students are undergrads like Grace; others are graduate, community college and high-school students, university faculty members, and retirees. And about half of the participants come from outside Indiana. All students, no matter where they are from, pay Indiana in-state tuition rates, making the program cost competitive. In addition, more than half of workshop participants receive scholarships.
The Workshop collaborates with IU’s three Flagship Language programs (in Chinese, Turkish, and Arabic). The flagship programs, a U.S. government initiative, seek to develop a pool of speakers proficient in languages that are critical to American security and competitiveness. This year, the Workshop is stepping up its partnership with the Chinese flagship program by offering advanced courses.
And as if the Workshop program isn’t already challenging enough, this year, students of Russian, Chinese, and Arabic can accept another challenge by promising to speak only their new language for the duration of the program. A full calendar of language tables, field trips, movies, and other cultural events will make the promise easy to keep.
This year, too, the Workshop will emphasize weekly career seminars. Representatives from the State Department, the CIA, and the Peace Corps, as well as career advisors from IU and SGIS, will talk to students about how they can build a profession based on their new language proficiency.
On Monday, June 4, at 5:00 p.m., in the lobby of the SGIS Building, the Workshop will welcome students attending the 8-week session. For details about this event and the Workshop, contact: Andrew Findley, 812-855-2889; firstname.lastname@example.org