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Colin Ren ’17: Summer Language Immersion in the U.S.

By Contributing Writer on November 19, 2015

Colin RenDuring the summer of 2015, I attended Middlebury College Language School with the generous financial help from the Department of German at Colgate. Middlebury currently operates 11 language schools and the year of 2015 is the centennial of the legendary Middlebury method, with the start of the German School in 1915.

The schools implement an immersion method called “The Language Pledge”: students are not allowed to use any languages other than the target language. My German skills were very elementary when I began the program. When I finished the seventh week, though not at fluent level, I had developed a mentality and skill set to speak German without fear.

From brushing in the morning to dancing on Saturday nights, we used German all the time. This not only helped me to learn countless vocabularies and expressions, but also to increase my confidence and comfort level with the language. I also participated in a few extracurricular activities such as theater and radio. The theater club especially helped me in memorizing expressions and putting them into context. All the faculty members were incredibly approachable and we built a close-knit community by the end of the summer.

I highly recommend Middlebury to anyone who wishes to boost their German skills in a short amount of time. And I could not be more grateful for the support that Colgate provided.

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