Chinese Language Course Example

World Language Learning Pedagogical Approach

Middlebury Interactive’s proven world language learning curriculum—adapted for the digital age—uses authentic materials and task-based activities to immerse students in language and culture.

Middlebury Interactive Languages was founded on the principle that proven language immersion curriculum could be applied to digital and blended learning environments as an effective way to teach a new language. In fact, the success of our digital programs has shown that students thrive when they are challenged with rigorous curriculum, engaging learning tools and well-supported and trained teachers. This approach has been followed in the design and implementation of all the offerings (from fully online to blended solutions), for all grade levels (from elementary through Advanced Placement), and all languages (Chinese, French, German, Spanish and English for non-native speakers).

Curriculum for all of our courses was developed exclusively for K-12 learners by Ph.D.-level academics and linguistic experts. Courses utilize principles of the immersive language pedagogy and teaching methodology used at Middlebury College's renowned Language Schools to help students gain a stronger base of comprehension and to accelerate language acquisition.

Middlebury Interactive's language immersion teaching methodology is proven, academic and curriculum-based; our courses and programs align with national standards set by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). This rigorous academic approach sets Middlebury Interactive apart from other world language providers.

Real-World Learning Leads to Greater Achievement

Middlebury Interactive's digital language courses are supported by decades of research showing that students need exposure to authentic materials and frequent opportunities to interact in the target language in order to succeed. Course offerings deliver real-world reading, writing, listening and speaking activities in a digital format. The courses are built with the following building blocks of instruction:

1. Cultural Understanding

Cultural understanding is not a just a nice goal but a critical building block for second language acquisition. So Middlebury Interactive builds cultural connections into the foundation of all the courses by integrating content on local fables, foods and customs of the target language from all over the world.

2. Academic Rigor

Learning a new language isn’t easy but that doesn’t mean instruction should be watered down. In fact, recent studies show that challenging students with rigorous curriculum and content that is just out of their grasp is critical to accelerating language learning. This pedagogical principle, known as comprehensible input, is woven into all Middlebury Interactive's courses. While the students will not understand all of the vocabulary and grammar presented to them, this immersive technique will provide opportunities for students to use language appropriately beyond their current skill level.

3. Contextual Activities

For students to truly learn a language, research shows that the instruction must focus on using the language in real-world and task-based activities. All of our courses use situations that occur during typical conversations and interactions in the cultures of the target languages. This strategy goes beyond grammar practice and vocabulary building, so students understand how to use language in context.

4. Professional Development

Teachers are our most important partners. Middlebury Interactive provides meaningful professional development for thousands of teachers per year. Whether it’s an experienced high school Spanish teacher to an elementary teacher teaching French for the first time, we create customized professional development programs based on the needs of the district. We also can provide our own online teachers, who undergo significant training and are certified in the states in which they teach.

5. Education Technology

We use technology for learning’s sake, not technology’s sake. While the interactive nature of our courses helps students relate to the subject matter and access materials from across the globe, all of the technology tools integrated into the courses must have a direct connection to the curriculum.

For more details on Middlebury Interactive’s academic approach, please read this white paper.

World Language Courses Chart