Skip to Content

Spanish Summer Language Program

Spanish SLI opens the door to the Spanish-speaking world, whether at home or abroad.  The third most spoken language in the world, Spanish is spoken by an estimated 470 and 500 million people worldwide.  The U.S. has the world's second-largest Spanish-speaking population, where Spanish ranks as the second most spoken language behind English. 

The goal of the Spanish SLI is translingual and transcultural competence, defined by the 2007 Modern Language Association Report as “the ability to operate between languages.”  In other words, SLI will prepare you to function as an informed and capable Spanish speaker, to reflect on the world and yourself through the lens of another language and culture, and to relate to members of your own society who speak languages other than English.

You’ll leave the Spanish SLI with an intermediate-level competence in the language and will be able handle everyday communicative tasks in the target culture, such as the exchange of basic information related to work, school, recreation, and personal information covering self, family, home, daily activities, interests and personal preferences, as well as physical and social needs, such as food, shopping, travel and lodging.

Pedagogy and Philosophy

The Spanish SLI is a near-immersion accelerated language program intended for students with little or no prior experience in the language.  The Spanish SLI is unique in that all students sign a pledge to speak Spanish only throughout the entire 8-week program.  All contact and communication in and outside the classroom is in Spanish only from the first day of the program.  This near-immersion format will help you learn Spanish more effectively while developing cultural and linguistic fluency.

At SLI we believe that language learning occurs most effectively in a student-centered classroom that offers practice of linguistic and cultural knowledge and fosters development of the four language skills – speaking, listening, reading, and writing.  In this model of learning, you’ll be actively engaged every day in learning, practice, and application of knowledge, while your teachers will be the facilitators of this process.  As a student, you’ll be responsible for your own learning and the learning of the entire class, which is accomplished through hard work, a positive attitude, a willingness to take risks in learning, patience and tolerance for small setbacks, and compassion and helping others.

Apply Now


Contact Information

Department of Spanish, Italian & Portuguese
Director: Professor Dave Haberly
Wilson Hall 111
(434) 924-7159
dth@virginia.edu