Language Pledge Ceremony

June 24, 2014

As I entered the building where the Language Pledge ceremonies were taking place, I could immediately feel the excitement bursting through each room. Before even entering the rooms I could hear the cheering and laugher knocking down the doors. Whether it was the French academy singing traditional songs, the Spanish Academy dancing to different Spanish music, or the Chinese Academy running up and down the aisles throwing high fives, the excitement from each of these academies was uncontainable. Each student signed the Language Pledge, which is a promise to speak their respected language and their language only. From what I saw from each of the academies, the students were eager and excited for what was to come next!

Read below as our wonderful Residential Advisors recount their stories on yesterday’s activities:

The students in the Spanish Academy had a busy and exciting first full day at MMLA. After meeting in hall living groups Sunday evening and going over the daily schedule for the summer, students attended breakfast and our first morning assembly where the Language Director and Assistant Language Director welcomed us all to the program. Next, students began class and each finished taking the oral portion of their language placement with one of our fantastic Spanish teachers. After lunch, students attended the first session of the cultural electives offered this week, which include topics like Latin dance, improvisation and music. In the afternoon, students got the choice of relaxing by playing soccer, doing arts and crafts, playing with sidewalk chalk, or listening to music. 

After dinner, the Spanish Academy all dressed up for the formal Language Pledge Ceremony where our wonderful Language Director David led the group through techniques for staying in language this summer. We finished the assembly by signing the official Middlebury Language Pledge and returned to our residencia to hang out, unwind, and get some sleep. 

-Caila Driscoll, Spanish Residential Advisor

Today we kicked things off right away, marking are first day at MMLA and the beginning of the Chinese academy’s 2014-summer season. It was a day filled with emotions – both excitement and nervousness – as we all begin to get to know each other and learn how to live and communicate in target language. In the morning, we had our first morning assembly, where the RA’s put on a lively performance for the students. After that, students were able to go to their classrooms, meet their teachers, and finish their placement exams. In the afternoon, it was time for the beginning of cultural activities. Aside from cultural classes conducted by the teachers, the RA’s also introduced students to Chinese music and games. We also organized a lively game of dodge ball (which is not Chinese in its origins, but fun nonetheless!). In the evening, an event anticipated with both dread an excitement – the official signing of the language pledge. After a discussion of communication strategies and ways to stay in language, the students all signed the pledge. 再見英文!Zaijian Yingwen! Goodbye English! 中文加油!Zhongwen Jia You! Let’s go Chinese!

-Tim Quinn, Chinese Residential Advisor

Bonjour tout le monde!

Monday marked the official first day of academy classes activities, after an energizing convocation on Sunday night. The French academy might be the smallest of the three here at Swarthmore, but it’s clear already that we’re full of energy and fully capable of matching the larger academies in a cheering match. On est petit, mais on est fort! (We’re small, but we’re strong!) As everyone (from students, to animateurs, to teachers) begins getting acclimated to the campus and life in the dorms, it’s wonderful to hear so many voices speaking (and sometimes singing!) in French together. In one of our Monday afternoon activities, students listened to and learned the lyrics to a number of French and francophone songs, including even some songs from Disney’s Frozen, translated into French.  This is a wonderful start to what’s shaping up to be a full and fantastic week. 

Allez les bleus!

-Hannah Kosman, French Residential Advisor

Until next time,

-Max Brazo, Program Assistant