Goodbye English, Hello Language Pledge!
At their first full day at SMC, students were busy getting acquainted and gearing up for their Language Pledge ceremonies.
Our Arabic and Spanish students had a jam-packed and eventful first day with their language academies! The day started off with an early wake-up call for breakfast followed by their first language classes and cultural exploration groups. Students also had the chance to socialize with one another during activities and free time, all while soaking up their last few hours of English-speaking. Groups could be seen playing frisbee or soccer on the Quad with their RAs, or chatting in circles on many of Saint Michael’s green spaces.
Speaking of English, as of about 9:00 PM this evening, ALL of our students have taken their Language Pledge! The Language Pledge is an essential part of the Middlebury Interactive Languages Summer Academies experience. Clara Hoellerbauer, the Language Director of the Spanish Academy notes that, “the Language Pledge is essential to the MIL experience because it represents our community's (academies') dedication to language learning and unifies us to work towards a common goal.” Khalid Madhi, Language Director of the Arabic Academy, echoed Clara’s sentiments, reiterating that, “the pledge is the bond that joins us together as a community." Check out the video above to see clips and highlights from each Language Pledge ceremony.
For the Arabic ceremony, students gathered on the second floor of the student center where they discussed last minute questions as a group then reviewed the paper language pledge in English. They were guided by the drumbeat of one of their classmates (featured in the video above) to their ceremony on the third floor. Christiana (Arabic Dorm Head) read a classic Arabic poem, and Caroline (Teacher) and Tegwa (Teacher) read a two-person narrative in Arabic about embracing individuality. Tyler (Teacher) even lead the students in song! Students then heard from Khalid, the Arabic LD, who spoke about Arabic as “deep sea” of a language that must be explored to unearth its “pearls” and precious gifts. The ceremony concluded with the students taking a verbal pledge in unison. Each student proceeded to sign their paper pledge, which was written in Arabic.
The Spanish Academy assembled in the theater, where they also read a pledge in unison, led by Clara, the Spanish LD. After they recited “La palabra de honor” and chanted “Uno dos tres, no más ingles”, each student, their RAs, and their teachers headed to the stage to formally sign their name in a book of agreement. The ceremony continued with fun music, dancing, and cheers of support from RAs and friends as students signed their pledges.
That’s a wrap on Day One of the Arabic and Spanish Summer Academies. What will the first FULL day of the Language Pledge look and sound like on campus? Stay tuned for an update tomorrow.
Please head over to our Facebook album for more photos of the Pledge ceremonies: CLICK HERE!