El Camino de Santiago (The Way of Saint James)

Comillas happens to be one of the stops on the northern route of the famous Way of Saint James or commonly known as El Camino de Santiago.  Comillas Academy students watched the film called “The Way” starring Martin Sheen as an introduction to the many reasons why hundreds of people annually make this pilgrimage.  

Henna حناء Tattoo Crazy!

In cultural exploration class, students had a chance to learn about a wonderful plant we call henna (حناء). It is a plant whose leaves are ground down and mixed with either lemon, oil, tea or other liquid to make its paste form. After letting it rest, it then can be used for dying hair, skin or fabric. In the Arabic culture, henna is used as a celebratory tradition prior to a bride’s wedding day. Women gather for the Henna where the bride wears traditional clothing like a thoub, ثوب. The henna is unique in color and design to each part of the Arabic world.

Arabic Academy Shenanigans

Let’s take a step into Lyon Hall: the Arabic Academy’s dorm. On any given day, you’ll find water balloons, sidewalk chalk and birthday celebrations!

Arabesque Ensemble Visits Arabic Academy

Who can keep a beat? The greatest benefit MMLA brings to learning a language is the total immersion component. Today the Arabic Academy got a visit from the Arabesque music ensemble. A major part of any culture is music and to be able to hear the rhythmic distinction here in Pomona was a treat. Arabesque taught students about different patterns specific to Arabic music. Students learned about the oud, tabla drum, violin and kanoon.

Chinese Cultural Exploration!

Every day, each academy participates in a cultural exploration class. Culture and language go hand in hand, so this class is integral to understanding. This week, students could choose between San Guo Sha (a Chinese card game), puppet shows and pop music in Chinese.

Chinese Acdemy

Today we had our annual field day.  This included soccer, frisbee, tug-of-war, synchronized swimming, various races, and lots of dancing.  The day started with all three academies meeting for an opening ceremony.  Here, all three academies were given time to show off chants and dances they have learned over the past two weeks.  The Chinese academy without question had the most energy and the best dances.  After the opening ceremony, we transitioned to soccer, frisbee, and many other field activities.  The field activities included many races and events that ene

Groovin’ to the Music: Francés Wins Field Day!

It was such a great experience to be a part of the Field Day that one post just didn’t cut it. As I watched from the sidelines, I could feel the energy and enthusiasm as each academy stepped up to show off their dance routines that they have been practicing in anticipation for these events.


The French Academy emerged victorious from this years Field Day Games!!!! ALLEZ LES FRANÇAIS!!! Although we are only 45 people strong (the smallest academy of the three) we kept the lead in the Olympics the entire day!!! We started in the morning by making posters and painting our faces with French flags and blue face paint (our team spirit was incredible) as our fanatiques led cheers for everyone to practice. In the activities, our team dominated the pool, field events, talent show and cheering competitions.

A Recommitment to Language and to Excellence

Tonight, the students were asked once more to reflect on their purpose here at MMLA and to recommit to the Language Pledge®. Dressed in their best, each of the Green Mountain College academies gathered to sign the Language Pledge® once more to renew their resolve, vowing to speak nothing but the target language until the end of the program. The trick to the Language Pledge® is that it turns even tongue-tied moments of doubt into more chances to build linguistic muscle, since students have to come up with creative alternatives to find the words they don’t know.


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