Tips to Accelerate Your Language Learning at the Academy

1. Ask questions - The quickest way to learn new vocabulary is to ask questions when speaking to your RA’s, teachers and friends and make the most of opportunities for conversation. The RA’s will be with you or near you during most of your downtime so you’ll always have the opportunity to learn new vocabulary from them.

What to Wear at MMLA: Your Fashion Guide

A week’s worth of clothes: One of the unexpected benefits of attending MMLA is that you learn to wash and dry laundry if you don’t already know. This is a valuable skill that will undoubtedly be useful in college. On the flip side, ever since I returned, my mom has made me do my own laundry. Thanks, MMLA! What this means is you really don’t need to pack that many clothes. I would recommend bringing 7-10 shirts and a couple pairs of pants/shorts plus pajamas.

The Pre-College Experience at MMLA

When I applied to MMLA last year I didn’t anticipate the added benefit of learning and living in a college environment. As an eighth grade student (and as a ninth grade student now), taking in the university experience wasn’t at the forefront of my mind. A few days on campus, however, proved how fun and valuable the pre-college experience was even for younger students like me. 

The College Experience at MMLA

In late June, I left home unsure what to expect. I had never gone away to camp before and the longest I had been away from home was about a week.  I wasn’t worried about being homesick, but was unsure about how the rooming situation would work and whether I would enjoy living on the Pomona campus. I did end up feeling homesick during the first week of the program due to my difficulty with the language pledge but these feelings soon faded as the program progressed.  Never having lived in a dorm before, I did not know what to expect.

My Top 5 Packing Tips for the Academy

1.  Pack for warm weather – Short sleeve shirts and shorts/skirts are the best choice for staying cool and comfortable while attending classes and activities. I almost never wore a sweater or jeans last summer, and could have saved some space in my luggage by instead packing a few more t-shirts.

My Decision to Attend the Academy

Why I Chose to Come to the Academy
I first decided to study at the Language Academy because I realized that I had been taking Spanish in school for three years but couldn’t speak it. This frustrated me, as my main motivation behind taking Spanish in the first place was the wealth of practical, real world applications I was told it would offer me, especially in a city like Los Angeles.

The Importance of the Language Pledge

The Language Pledge is the foundation of the Academy experience and what differentiated learning at the Academy from my language learning during the school year.

Attending the Academy was the first time I participated in an immersion environment, and while I was nervous about expressing myself and making friends in a second language, I was also excited to be able to speak Mandarin outside the limits of my classroom.

New Site! Photos from Comillas, Spain

Photos from Middlebury Interactive’s Chief Learning Officer Aline Germain-Rutherford’s recent trip to Comillas, Spain, the newest site location abroad for 2014.
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Why I Chose to Come to MMLA

Growing up in a bilingual household and having studied Mandarin Chinese since the age of five, I can’t remember a time when language learning wasn’t a part of my life. I love the challenges presented by learning a new language and the feeling of being connected to a culture entirely different from my own.


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