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Spanish Summer Language Program

Unique Features of the Program

What makes the Spanish SLI a unique learning experience?  The Spanish Summer Language Institute offers an intensive near-immersion program in which students complete beginning and intermediate levels of Spanish instruction in eight weeks - two years of coursework (SPAN 1016, 1026, 2016, and 2026) in one summer! This fast-paced program is unique in that all students sign a pledge to speak Spanish only throughout the entire program. As a result, participants leave the program with a high level of fluency and competency in the language.  Our program structure emphasizes development of linguistic knowledge, the four skills, with a focus on cultural knowledge and cultural competency.  Our faculty  are trained in second language pedagogy and hold years of teaching experience at the college level.  Class time is devoted to the development of listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills, conversation practice and interactive activities, and work in the Language Lab and computer classrooms using internet resources, videos, and other technologies. The intensive student-centered approach to learning Spanish makes the Summer Language Institute different from most summer language programs. SLI participants find the experience rewarding.

Program Structure

SLI classes meet from Monday through Friday for seven and a half hours a day with three different Spanish instructors. Students meet from 9:00-12:00 in the morning for grammar and vocabulary instruction and practice; the afternoon class meets from 1:00-4:00 and focuses on in-depth communicative practice of the material learned during the morning class and includes work in an instructional  technology classroom; and in the evening class from 6:00-7:30, students learn about Hispanic cultures and participate in cultural activities such as cooking meals together, watching films, creating short films or other presentations, guest lectures, and other hands-on cultural learning experiences.  Each Friday, students and teachers meet together for a communal lunch in an informal atmosphere to practice their conversation skills in Spanish. 

Attendance in all three classes (morning, afternoon, and evening) is required of all students, regardless of whether they are enrolled for credit or non-credit. Furthermore, every student, regardless of type of enrollment, must earn a passing grade in each class of the first half of the SLI in order to continue on in the second half of the program.

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Contact Information

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