Situated Learning: Language and Cultural Immersion


The intensive immersion experience will be centered on situated practice that encourages learners to apply their language learning to unscripted, predictable and unpredictable, interpersonal communication. The objective is to expedite language acquisition in an environment that simulates real situations in the context of the target language/culture.

The curriculum of Concordia Language Villages immersion programs distinguishes itself by being designed on the following precepts. Students participate in a grand simulation that creates a purposeful 24/7 environment where participants engage in a community of learners. This setting, centered around community-based learning, creates a focused and supportive environment that facilitates learning from peers and mentors alike.

Formal and informal instruction follows genuine pedagogy considering the adult learner, is language-focused and culture-driven, centered on authentic situational exercises. The intense learning environment is balanced with intentional play that fosters learning through humor, spontaneity and creativity, allowing each individual to be themselves in the target language.

The result is truly lived language and culture through formal and informal interaction with native speakers, authentic cuisine, meal-time norms and traditions, hands-on activities (sports, games, cooking, music), and presentations/discussions, all representing the respective target region. And this entirely occurs in a secluded setting, surrounded by the nature of Minnesota’s North Woods, providing opportunities for integrating a variety of outdoor-focused activities.

The Concordia Language Villages immersion model builds competence and confidence enabling each learner to transfer their expanded skills to real life situations.

Our Teaching Methods

Concordia Language Villages creates a community of learners in which opportunities to interact in a second language and experience other cultures permeate life at the Villages. The ultimate goal of all immersion programming is to create an experience in language and culture that motivates participants to be life-long learners and to become responsible citizens in a global community.

It is often said that the best way to learn a language is to go to a country where it is spoken. This is not necessarily true, unless, of course, you can go there and be surrounded by language teachers. In other words, a stay in a foreign country, although surrounding the visitor with language, will produce little actual learning absent the support it takes to make it comprehensible. That’s where the Villages come in.

At Concordia Language Villages, our approach to language teaching puts villagers into a grand simulation of a trip abroad and into a culturally authentic setting—similar to what you might find in that foreign country—but filled with carefully designed learning opportunities and well-trained language teachers who help villagers understand what they hear, learn how to respond and converse, and practice new skills all day, every day.

Because language education alone does not lead to the formation of world citizens, our language immersion program teaches language and culture in global contexts. The disciplines of geography, history, political science, physical science, environmental science, the Arts, and international relations are drawn upon to create learning situations that prompt villagers to use language as a tool for understanding the complexities of the world around them and to “live the language” in significant and meaningful ways.

Experience-based learning is emphasized in every aspect of the curriculum. The educational objectives of Concordia Language Villages are reinforced through the everyday living, learning, social and recreational dimensions of Village life.

Our Method: The CLVway

The CLVway is the method of immersion at Concordia Language Villages, and reflects the Asian concept of 道or the “way” to excellence through practice