The summer language Academy doesn't feature your traditional classroom setting.

Language classes start at 9:30 every morning and run for three hours, followed by lunch and then two hours of cultural exploration classes in the afternoon.

There are no textbooks, no vocabulary lists, no grammar tables written on a board or rules to be memorized. Instead, classes are taught in the context of authentic cultural materials, using project-based, experiential learning to incorporate grammar with lessons in history, art, cooking and contemporary issues. The curriculum emphasizes all four language skills: reading, writing, listening and speaking by using weekly can-do statements to structuralize themes.

The cultural exploration classes are week-long, project-based lessons that examine a part of the target culture in depth. Previous themes have included cooking, dancing and sports. These activities mix class levels and, as a result, are crucial for the facilitation of peer-to-peer learning, which we believe is just as valuable as formal classroom instruction.

Grammatical principles are explained in the classroom with reference books and authentic materials. These rules are then placed in context through real-life communications and 24/7 immersion.

In fact, much of the language acquisition takes place outside of the classroom: at meal times, during field trips and in the dorms. Throughout the program, students will demonstrate their grasp of the language through performances and public speaking opportunities.