Language Training Center Frequently Asked Questions

What information do I need to submit before arrival?

Watch for forms that may be arriving by email, including the Health Form, Transportation Form and Student Needs Assessment form, and return these as soon as possible. These will enable us to coordinate travel arrangements, adjust program elements according to your needs and plan for any dietary or other health-related accommodations you may require. 

Where does the program take place?

Programs are held outside of Bemidji, Minn. on Turtle River Lake, approximately two and a half hours from the Fargo airport. The property includes some small hills, unpaved walking paths, an exercise room and outdoor recreational spaces. 

What can I expect in terms of lodging?

Each lodging unit typically accommodates up to one-four adults of the same gender in semi-private spaces. Bedding, linens, towels, pillows with pillowcases and tissues are provided. Beds will be made before your arrival and fresh towels will be available daily. Custodial staff freshen up bathrooms regularly, but will not enter your sleeping spaces. Each lodging unit includes a table and chairs where students can study. In all but one of the facilities, bathrooms are in the same building as the sleeping rooms. The facility with separate buildings for sleeping rooms and bathrooms is used only from late March to mid-November.

What should I pack?

The Village is a casual, rustic environment and you should come prepared to actively engage in outdoor activities on any given program day. Pack active clothing so you can participate comfortably in a broad range of activities. Northern Minnesota weather can fluctuate significantly from day to day, and training activities only allow for occasional opportunities to return to your residential quarters. We recommend that you bring clothes that you can layer easily to adjust to changes in temperature and activity level. Winters can be extremely cold (with daily highs ranging from 10-20 degrees below zero on some days). You will be more comfortable if you bring adequate gear. Consider the advice in this guide.

For a complete list of recommended items, refer to the Suggested Packing List. You may need to bring more or less depending on the weather and season. Please bear in mind that you will have limited access to laundry facilities.

What technology can I bring to the village?

By and large, the Concordia LTC iso-immersion course is "unplugged." We strongly discourage casual/social use of technology by attendees, primarily to maintain the integrity of the immersion environment. Village technology specialists provide computers for online research, displays for class and devices for taking and sharing pictures, audio and video. If you bring your personal technology (including smartphones) into the Village, plan to limit your use of these items to periods designated in the schedule as personal time.

How can my family reach me in case of an emergency?

During regular business hours (Monday through Friday 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Central Time) the main office at the Bemidji campus can be reached at (218)586-8600. If staff do not immediately answer, callers can leave a message on the voicemail, which is checked frequently. Messages will typically reach you within a couple of hours. An emergency cell phone number where program leadership can be reached after hours will be provided when students arrive.

Can I receive mail at the Village?

Students may receive mail at the village by having it sent to: 
[Your Name]
attn: [Your Language] LTC Training Course
Concordia Language Villages
8659 Thorsonveien NE
Bemidji, MN 56601

Please note that because of the remote location of the training facility, packages may arrive later than projected by the vendor.

What are the smoking and alcohol policies at the Village?

Concordia Language Villages is an alcohol and drug-free environment. While we may serve wine or beer at some meals as part of a cultural activity for students aged 21 or older, our policy prohibits alcoholic beverages brought in by anyone from the outside, and doing so can lead to dismissal from the program. Smoking, including e-cigarettes, is limited to designated areas only. Smoking is not permitted in the cabins or other buildings, nor outdoors except in designated areas, due to the forest environment and generally dry conditions.

*Firearms and other munitions are strictly prohibited from our campus.  Please leave anything like this at home.

What is a typical daily schedule at the Village?

The daily schedule at the village is designed to simulate an immersion experience in-country in its variety of activity and intensity. You should expect to have significantly less personal time than in the balance of your professional/personal life outside the program. You may require more sleep and calories than usual. Starting with breakfast, instructors and colleagues will engage you in conversation. More formal teaching typically takes place in the morning, and the mid-day meal is usually followed by a bit of personal time for rest or exercise. Afternoon activities tend to be more hands-on, such as sports, games, cooking, short hikes, music or simulations of real-life scenarios and practical tasks. After the evening meal, most program schedules set aside time for journaling, study or exercise. In general, you can expect to be engaged with the immersion course from 7:45 a.m. until about 9 p.m. daily, with a midday break for personal time.

See here for a sample schedule.

Do I really need to stay in the target language all day, every day?

Yes. The intensity of the program is designed to simulate the challenges of an immersion experience in-country. The course is paced to provide a minimum of 10 hours of instructional time (formal and informal) each day. Your own progress, and the progress of your colleagues, depends upon your commitment to working through problems and challenges in the target language, especially when you are tired and frustrated. By pushing through confusion and fatigue, you will develop the practical strategies and mental fortitude that are needed to complete tasks in the target language in high-pressure situations. The use of English is reserved for emergency situations.

What meals will be provided?

Mealtime is also instructional time at the Village, and the time you spend at the table counts toward your daily training hours. All meals are eaten together and served family-style, with instructional staff supporting conversation in the target language. The menu will include a variety of authentic regional dishes that may be new or strange to your palate. Part of your work at the Village will be to sample new foods and to discover which regional dishes are most compatible with your physical needs and preferences. Snacks and hot drinks will be available between meals.

What can I expect of the language classes?

The focus of the program is developing interpersonal and presentational communication skills with a teacher-student ratio of 1:3. Lessons focus on functions such as describing, retelling an event, planning an activity, sequencing, asking for clarification and details, comparing, debating, and interpreting authentic texts and listening sequences. Language session topics are designed to meet the directives of organizations requesting training, and as such draw upon FLO (Final Learning Objective) topics, as well as interests and needs expressed in the Student Needs Assessment form and during the course. All courses use analysis of authentic materials to expose students to current events, history and social issues. The course also includes reading and writing components, often assigned as homework.

What is the purpose of cultural activities in the program?

Cultural activities provide variety in modes of language learning and are especially beneficial for tactile learners. They also offer opportunities for you to learn about traditions and practices valued by communities that speak the target language. Cultural activities are selected because of their connection to relevant social issues, events and experiences that influence the thinking, attitudes and behaviors of people in the target region(s). One advantage of a structured immersion setting like this is to connect the academic coursework to the larger cultural context, ranging from related food items, music, games and other cultural activities and traditions. The integrated immersion experience will bring this to life fully, and always in the target language.

What kinds of assessments will be used at the Villages?

Throughout the program, instructors engage in informal formative assessments to make sure that students are grasping course material and are able to perform target functions. Instructors provide real-time feedback on pronunciation, vocabulary choice and grammar. You will have the opportunity to discuss challenges, priorities and learning goals one-on-one with instructors. You will also be asked to reflect on your own progress by completing a self-assessment survey on the first and last program days and at mid-session. On the first and last days of the program, you will sit for a computer-based Oral Proficiency Interview. You will hear a recorded voice, and your voice will be recorded. The test will be rated by two ACTFL Certified OPIc raters from outside the Concordia Language Training Center organization. Results are usually available within five business days of completing the OPIc.

What are the exact class start and end dates?

You can view our course schedule and other useful information. Our course schedule has included the first and last dates as travel dates. 

Is virtual training available for those who are unable to attend face-to-face sessions?

Currently, we have run four successful Virtual Language Training Center sessions for Hebrew, Chinese, Persian/Farsi, and Korean in 2020.  We may offer these Virtual LTC programs in the future. Our goal is to offer in-person, face-to-face training as much as possible.

Who is the POC for enrollment purposes?

Send your emails to ConcordiaLTC@cord.edu One of our staff will be able to follow up regarding any inquiries regarding the Language Training Center.
If you are a military member and a course is not sponsored by your unit/branch you can still apply for a seat in our programs and we will contact our sponsor about your interest if we have seats available. 

Do the students need to bring materials (books, etc.)?

Class materials are provided. The service member may bring a laptop computer in order to access the internet. They will be accessing non-DOD, first-hand material. It is also recommended that the student have any special learning material or supplies they feel is necessary to assist in their studies (pen, paper, flashcards, etc.).