Welcome to the
Middlebury Chinese School!
Please refer to the information below and at the links provided as you prepare for your summer of language immersion at Middlebury College.
Questions and Assistance
Mimi Clark, Assistant Director
Middlebury Chinese School
firstname.lastname@example.org (email contact preferred)
Eight-Week Language Immersion Program
The Middlebury Chinese School, founded in 1966, is the longest running domestic program for Chinese language instruction. The Middlebury Chinese School is an accredited residential language learning program on the campus of Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont. One of 13 languages available through the Middlebury Language Schools, the Chinese School has set the highest standard for Chinese language instruction.
Our curriculum and instructional design are successful due to consistent and intentional teacher-student contact throughout the day and in a variety of settings. Our teaching methods are theory-based and have been proven to be tried and true for decades. Chinese School faculty are dedicated throughout the session to providing the highest level of personalized and intensive instruction to each student, from beginner to advanced.
With the Middlebury Language Pledge in place 24/7, instruction will be solely in Chinese, and students will be expected to use Chinese at all times when communicating with teachers and classmates during academic venues and social activities. Students will be expected to access and take advantage of opportunities to practice new Chinese outside of class, such as listening to Chinese music, watching Chinese dramas, movies, news, and communicating with a Chinese-speaking friend – as doing so will greatly enhance language acquisition and enrich your comprehension in class and overall experience.
- Eight weeks of fast-paced, engaging, and intensive instruction.
- Four units of transferable credit.
- One academic year of college-level material.
- Low student-teacher ratio (average 4:1) with world class, experienced, innovative, and dedicated faculty to ensure each student’s ability to understand, speak, read, and write Mandarin Chinese improves dramatically each day throughout the session.
- Five levels of study, with placement determined by pre-program assessments in grammar, writing, speaking.
- Thirty minutes of individualized guidance every day for focused exploration and practice.
- Daily small groups (lecture: 8-12 students; drill groups: 4-6 students) tailored to students’ needs, and focused on active participation and practice.
- Exclusive use of Chinese by professors during instruction and interaction with students.
- Individualized attention in small-groups and frequent opportunities for conversation and activation of new vocabulary and grammar.
- Serious and motivated students.
- Cultural exploration workshops to practice informal language with students of all skill levels.
- Social opportunities to encourage casual conversation, friendships, and professional networking.
- Tuition: $9280
- Room and Board: $4520
- Credit: 4 units (More info: LS Handbook & Midd Credit Info)
- Financial aid up to 45% of tuition available.
- June 24, Friday – Campus arrival. (See Welcome Weekend Schedule)
- June 26, Sunday & June 27, Monday, June 24 – Orientation Attendance required
- June 27, Monday – Chinese School Language Pledge Start
- June 28, Tuesday – Classes begin. (Classes are held Monday-Friday)
- August 19, Friday – Classes end after morning final exams and presentations.
- August 19, Friday 12:00 pm to August 20, Saturday 10:00 am – Dorm move out.
Welcome Weekend 2022
We all look forward to getting to know you during our Welcome Weekend! Join all Chinese School faculty and fellow students for the official start of our online summer session. Please refer to the schedule details here: https://chineseschool.middcreate.net/welcome8w2022/
Any changes or updates will be made at the online schedule.
Middlebury Language Schools Requirements
The Chinese School plans to be on the campus of Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont, with our usual schedule and in-person, residential format. Prior to arrival on campus, all students, faculty, staff must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19.
Please monitor the Middlebury College website for updates and requirements:
Please review and complete important information and requirements for students of the Language Schools, including how to set up your Middlebury student account and email: https://prearrival.middcreate.net/students/lsmidd/
Chinese School Info & Requirements
The Middlebury Chinese School is an accredited eight-week residential language learning program on the campus of Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont.
The pace of our summer course is very fast, and the volume of material is high. The 8-week session is equivalent to one academic year of college-level language class.
One day is roughly the same as one week of classes in a regular college-level semester. Students tend to study 3-4 hours each day, before and after classes, alongside fitness, social, and organized activities. Co-curricular workshops in language provide students with hands-on exposure to cultural information as well as social interactions with teachers and/or students at all levels. Summer in Vermont is ideal for getting away from it all and focusing on language skills while enjoying the fantastic views beyond campus.
The better prepared you are for the mental and physical challenges of this intensive and immersive experience, the more successful you will be.
Classes and co-curricular activities are scheduled for Monday-Friday, while films, hikes, performances, and social gatherings are scheduled for the weekends. Our typical class schedule:
Pre-Recorded Teaching Video – morning on own time
Class Lecture – 8:30-9:45 am (75 mins)
Small Group Drill #1 – 10:00-10:50 am (50 mins)
Small Group Drill #2 – 11:00-11:50 am (50 mins)
Individual Practice – between 1:30-3:30 pm (30 minutes session)
Co-Curricular Activities – 4:00-5:30 pm
Homework – 3-6 hours per day, depending on your level
Students of all ages and language levels are encouraged to participate in our social activities, sports teams (badminton, soccer, volleyball), lectures, concerts, off-campus lake visit and hikes, and performance night. Please share your talents and expand your interests in music, singing, fitness, cycling, hiking, radio show, dancing, poetry, etc. The more you interact with others in our community, the more you will expand your Chinese and enjoy your summer!
Review Chinese School activities.
The Chinese School provides five levels of instruction in modern Chinese, from beginner to advanced, designed to develop and improve the listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills of our adult students. Our primary goal is to help all students increase their ability to use Chinese as much as possible within the eight-week session, and expand their knowledge of Chinese culture.
The success of the Chinese School is our low student to teacher ratio, and format in which students learn while doing everyday tasks and projects. You will have lots of opportunities to practice vocabulary, grammar, and conversation while participating in a variety of classroom and social activities, in addition to weekly workshops in cooking and calligraphy, or soccer and radio and podcast production!
Please see Course Descriptions.
DINING and MEALS
All Chinese School students and faculty are expected to eat lunch and dinner together in our assigned dining hall during our assigned meal times. Meal times are essential for developing friendships and community, student language acquisition and practice, teacher mentoring, and communication of School news.
The Language Pledge is expected during all meals, including and especially during mixed-School meal times. Eating meals with students in another School in their dining hall is a violation of the Language Pledge.
Campus dining will be designed to accommodate safe and healthy practices and protocols, including take-out options. The Chinese School schedule will be something like:
Breakfast* ……………………… 6:30-9:00 am
Lunch ………………………….. 11:30 am – 12:50 pm
Dinner ………………………….. 5:30-6:50 pm
Weekend Brunch* …………… 7:00 am-1:00 pm
*Breakfast and brunch are available to all Language Schools students at the same time in each dining hall.
The Language Pledge is expected during all mixed-language meals.
Chinese School students and faculty live together in designated residence halls on the Middlebury College campus. Students will be housed in single rooms on gender-specific floors or wings with gender-specific bath/shower rooms. One or all of our dorms will have shared laundry facilities, lounges, and kitchens. Most campus dorms are older with less-than-state-of-the-art air cooling systems so be prepared for warm summer nights.
(Fans can be purchases on campus or in town.)
The Language Pledge is expected in all of our shared spaces and throughout campus.
The Chinese School offers five levels of instruction: Level 1, 2, 2.5, 3, 4. As a student in the Middlebury College Chinese School, you will take part in classes appropriate for your language skill level, and participate in activities with students at all levels. Courses are organized into five skill sections, from Beginner to Advanced.
Admission to the Chinese School does not assume or guarantee placement into a particular level of instruction. Our main goal is to help all students increase their ability to use Chinese as much as possible within an eight-week period. As students come from many different backgrounds and various instructional programs, students may find themselves placed at a level below or above what they may have expected.
By enrolling in the Chinese School, you indicate your willingness to accept guidance from the School as to your placement in the course (level) most appropriate to your needs and current proficiency. Upon completion of an online placement test, and an oral interview on the first day of the session, you will be placed in one of five levels for targeted learning and practice.
LANGUAGE LEVEL PLACEMENT
Language class assignments and course registration will take place after all required placement tests have been completed. Your Level placement will be sent to your Middlebury email after you have completed all placement testing as required. To get a rough idea of where you might place, please view the information about national proficiency standards in Chinese. ACTFL levels roughly correspond to Chinese School language levels: 1, 2, 2.5, 3, and 4. You will be welcome to discuss your placement with Chinese School teachers once classes begin, and throughout the session.
LANGUAGE LEVEL PLACEMENT TEST
Placement level is determined by an assessment of proficiency in four areas: grammar, reading, writing, and speaking. The placement test requires a Middlebury account and email. Instructions and access to the test will be sent by email starting in April.
Placement testing instructions and deadlines will be posted here: https://chineseschool.middcreate.net/8w-placementtest/
See below and our page on Immersion Prep.
While our classrooms will be on campus, students must be able to access course materials online, including PDF documents, video, media, slides, etc. A reliable internet accessible device such as a laptop or desktop computer with audio speakers/headphones will be required.
Required books are listed with each class on the Course Detail page.
Please see information and ordering instructions on the Course Detail page.
Chinese School students, teachers, and bilingual support staff will live together in Chinese-only campus dorms with single gender bath facilities in a hall with mostly single and some double rooms. Members of the Chinese School community (students, faculty, and staff) are expected to eat together at set meal times in the dining hall, as these and other informal gatherings, such as sport and social events, are critical opportunities for language practice and community building. While other Language Schools will be on campus and sharing campus facilities at the same time, all students are required by the Language Pledge to stay in their own language at all times.
Learn more about Middlebury College: https://www.middlebury.edu/about/campus
A campus map is available online here.
On campus, all Language School students will have access to:
In town, students can shop and visit local businesses: Shops, Services, and Restaurants in the Town of Middlebury
CREDIT and GRADES
Please see Course Credit
The eight-week session of the Middlebury Chinese School is approximately the same as one academic year of college-level language material. Students who finish the session in good academic standing and meet expectations for class attendance, assignments, as well as quizzes and tests (including a midterm and final exam) will receive 4 units of credit and a letter grade. Specifically, our accredited program is divided into four 2-week sections, so students will receive 2 units before the mid-term, and 2 units for the second half of the session for a total of 4 units per summer. Credits earned may be transferred to another academic institution upon request with the Middlebury College registrar (or automatically for Middlebury students).
Grades may be viewed online in your Middlebury student account after they are posted: http://www.middlebury.edu/offices/academic/records/bannerweb/grades
Transcripts of your completed Middlebury courses may be obtained from the Middlebury registrar:
For additional information and assistance with transcripts and credit transfer, please contact the Registrar’s Office.
HEALTH and WELLNESS
A variety of resources to support the physical and mental well-being of our students are available on campus, including:
The Anderson Freeman Resource Center provides intercultural support and resources.
The Athletic Center offers an indoor pool, weight room, tennis courts, squash courts, cardio equipment, and indoor track. **The Chinese School will have soccer and volleyball teams, so bring your sports equipment if you wish to participate.
Vaccinations for all infectious diseases are highly recommended/required prior to your stay at Middlebury. Should there be an outbreak on campus, those without proof of vaccination will be quarantined or required to leave campus.
Language Schools Covid FAQ
Vermont requirements for colleges and universities
The International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) office at Middlebury College will send an email to admitted students after March 1 to assist with any visa documentation required to attend the Language Schools. All students who are non-U.S. citizens must please see Item 1.3 here: https://prearrival.middcreate.net/students/lsmidd/enroll/
After March 1, International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) at Middlebury College will contact via email each enrolled student identified as non-U.S. citizen or non-U.S. permanent resident to assist with any visa documentation required to attend the Language Schools.
By May 1, please complete all visa requirements as directed by ISSS.
>>See visa information and requirements here: http://www.middlebury.edu/international/isss/visas
LANGUAGE CAREER SERVICES and RESOURCES
Whether you are looking for job or internship or an employee, wondering about a career, or just gathering information, this is the place to start: https://www.middlebury.edu/office/careers-internships
All Language School students will commit to the focus of their chosen language of study for the duration of the summer session. The Pledge is like a ‘focus bubble’ that will enable you to concentrate on your target language without interruption and thus get the most out of your efforts, studies, and time.
“In signing this Language Pledge®, I agree to use Chinese as my only language of communication while attending the Middlebury Language Schools. I understand that failure to comply with this Pledge may result in my expulsion without credit or refund.”
The Language Pledge supports a solid foundation in language—reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Outside the classroom, the Pledge encourages meaningful engagement and fluency acquisition as students participate in daily activities. Adherence to the spirit of the Pledge and a sincere effort to use Chinese as exclusively as possible during the session will increase language skill. By staying in your target language 24/7, you will assist yourself in training your brain to think in Chinese, and support your peers in their language-learning commitment as well. Students in the Chinese School will commit themselves to the Language Pledge on the first Monday night of the session.
Students who violate the Pledge risk expulsion and loss of future admission to the Language Schools.*
*While conversations with family, friends, and/or colleagues may be necessary, it is recommended that communications not in Chinese (calls, texts, email, social, news) must be firmly limited, i.e. once a week. Non-Chinese conversations must be done out of earshot of other language students. Speaking English in the presence of other students attending the Chinese School, and other Language Schools, is a direct violation of the Pledge and must be avoided at all times.
Details of the Language Pledge will be reviewed during Orientation.
Pick up mail and packages from the mail room in the McCullough Student Center Mail Room.Forward and address packages to:
Your Name – Middlebury Chinese School STUDENT
14 Old Chapel Road
Middlebury, VT 05753
MIDDLEBURY COLLEGE CAMPUS I.D. CARD
Your campus photo identity card is required to enter residential and dining halls, borrow library books, and more.
Please be sure to upload your profile photo prior to your arrival so that your I.D. card is printed and ready for you upon check-in.
See Item 2.3 here:
Instructions and photo upload are located online here:
Each student attending the Language Schools must understand and abide by Middlebury College policies. Please review important policies here:
See list here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ZwYRtwUrGkAaBS2pIqGXgH0-XnKk1i5cJSLwUO2O8N0/edit?usp=sharing
Recommendations include a room and/or desk fan as not all rooms have air conditioning, desk lamp, sports equipment for soccer, volleyball, badminton, hiking, tennis, swimming, tai chi, etc.), musical instruments, and items of special skill for our summer Talent Show!
Bed and bath linens can be ordered through the campus store: https://www.ocm.com/mdl/dorm-life/bedding
TECHNOLOGY (See above)
To plan your campus arrival, see Plan Your Travel: https://prearrival.middcreate.net/students/lsmidd/plan/
Additional travel and local resources are available online:
A tuition bill will be emailed starting in April. To access your tuition bill and make payments online, you will need your Middlebury ID number (See Item 2.2 here.). Final payment of your tuition balance is due before the session begins. See Dates & Fees.
Payment: To pay your tuition, please follow the instructions here:
Cancellation/Withdraw: If you decide that you are not be able to attend the Chinese School, please notify the Chinese School Assistant Director as soon as possible. Please see the Language Schools Handbook for details on withdrawals and refunds.
Please refer to the following resources for additional information: