GENERAL VIRTUAL VILLAGE FAQ
Just as each language in the world is unique, each Language Village program has a unique character and elements that vary from Village to Village.
What are the system requirements for the virtual component?
In order to best take advantage of this interactive experience, you will need reliable a internet connection and a computer with access to a microphone, speakers and webcam; headphones are recommended but not required. Use of Chromebooks are not recommended as you cannot access all the features of the Virtual Village platform. High school credit villagers will access Google Classroom to submit assignments. As a program of Concordia College, we are coordinating our efforts with the college so that all virtual platforms will have the necessary and appropriate security features to protect the privacy of users, including compliance with FERPA and COPPA.
Will the instruction be in English or in my target language?
Just like in the residential programs at the Language Villages, the Virtual Village experience aims to be as immersive as possible. Instruction will be in the language you are learning. We will share some helpful strategies for learning in a virtual immersion environment at the beginning of the session. In the event that there are significant technical or other unforeseen issues, English may be used sparingly to get us back on track.
Will I get to know other participants in the program?
We’ll definitely spend time getting to know one another through games and team challenges. You’ll also have the opportunity to interact more informally with friends (new or old) while you practice the language in supervised, virtual breakout rooms and other formats.
What are the expectations for parent/guardian support? Do they need to speak the language?
Not at all! Parents/guardians do not need to have any previous experience with language learning and are not expected to provide language support at home. They do, however, need to provide encouragement and a good environment for learning, ensure regular attendance and purchase any necessary supplies prior to the first meeting day. A supply list will be provided in advance. Additionally, parents/guardians will need to sign a consent form for your participation in the program and agree together with you to an appropriate code of conduct that we will have in place.
What does a virtual one-week session cost?
The cost for a one-week Virtual Village session is $325 for five days of instruction, with approximately two hours of synchronous learning and one hour of asynchronous learning per day.
How do one-week virtual sessions work?
You can sign up for these sessions one week at a time. Sessions will focus around basic patterns of language appropriate for different proficiency levels and will draw on real-life, culturally authentic situations (walking in the woods, creating arts and crafts, etc.).
How much time will these one-week sessions take?
One-week sessions will provide approximately two hours per day of online instruction and one hour per day of offline activity for five days, Monday-Friday, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. (CDT). The Village staff will provide you with a detailed schedule of meeting times at the beginning of the session, but please make sure that you are available for synchronous programming between these hours. The exact timing of these two hours is not set; we will make every effort to accommodate requests for specific timings from those in different time zones.
How will these sessions be different from the credit sessions?
The focus in the one-week session is primarily on understanding and engaging in conversations in fun and captivating ways. You will participate in cultural experiences and activities and projects such as artwork and cooking. While you may spend some time reading and writing in your Village language, the primary goal is to develop confidence in speaking the language you’re learning.
Can I take more than one one-week session?
Yes, we encourage you to try another language for an additional week, or continue in the same language! Typically, the activities offered in a Virtual Village vary from week to week. For specific questions, please contact the Village program.
Who will teach the virtual one-week sessions?
Your virtual one-week session counselors will be a mix of classroom teachers, native speakers and college students or recent graduates with significant experience abroad. Many counselors were also villagers for many years.
High school credit Virtual Village sessions are available in Arabic, Chinese, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Russian, Spanish and Swedish. Please note that not all programs are available at all times of the year.
What does a virtual high school credit session cost?
The cost is $3,860 for either the summer or academic-year course, as both options encompass a total of 180 hours of instruction. This is the equivalent number of hours of our residential credit session. Tuition covers immersion instruction for all levels of language proficiency and is delivered by highly qualified and credentialed credit teachers and staff. The same average teacher-to-student ratio of 1:6 will be used to form credit class cohorts. This tuition cost is the same as the tuition cost for residential credit sessions, minus the cost of room/board.
How do these costs compare with other online language programs?
There are a number of other online options, so it is important to delve into the details of how the content is delivered. Our virtual high school credit program is completely built around real-time interaction with highly qualified instructors. Every day you will engage with your teachers and fellow students in small learning cohorts. You will have the opportunity to explore a wide variety of cultural activities, and also play games in the languages. In short, you will not just earn a full year of credit, but will also be fully immersed to expand your communicative and cultural competence. Other less expensive online options offer very little live contact, so no options for conversational development. Most other programs are online textbooks or lessons that teach grammar and vocabulary in a one-dimensional sense; Concordia Language Villages programs are interactive, with instructors and other participants, bringing the language and culture alive.
Will I still be able to earn one full year of high-school credit in a world language during an intensive summer program?
Yes, just like our residential credit program and our 24-week, academic-year credit program, the virtual credit program is accredited by
Cognia, so you can earn a full year’s worth of credit in an intensive month (180 hours) of virtual instruction that is highly interactive and fun! This is the same “hour” requirement as our residential programs at the Language Villages in northern Minnesota. For French and Spanish, there are semester credit options. Semester course students are in language-level classes with the year-long students and receive their transcripts for a half of year high school credit at the end of each semester.
What does a typical schedule look like?
The typical schedule for a summer, high school credit session involves 7.5 hours per day, six days a week, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. CDT (Monday – Saturday), which includes both synchronous and asynchronous learning, for a total of 180 hours in a four-week time span. Some Villages may offer the credit program over five weeks, amounting to six hours a day, six days a week. Academic-year, high school credit program sessions meet synchronously for 2-3 hours two times each week, with approximately 2.5 hours of asynchronous work per work, in between class meetings.
A typical day might contain two separate group sessions, supported independent work, interactive games, cultural immersion projects, a long-term portfolio project, research assignment and homework.
What does synchronous instruction include?
Approximately half of your time will be synchronous - online at the same time as your teachers and fellow villagers. During this time, you will receive language instruction, interact with other credit villagers, play games, participate in cultural activities and form teams to compete and cooperate with other teams in digital challenges!
For 4- and 5-week summer credit program sessions, online activities will take place in the window of time between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. (CDT) Monday through Saturday. For 24-week, academic-year credit program sessions, online activities occur in the late afternoon or early evening, Central time. Please check the specific dates and times for the session in which you are interested, available on that language's webpage. Your credit teachers will provide you with a detailed schedule of meeting times at the beginning of the session, but please make sure that you are available for synchronous programming between these hours.
What does asynchronous instruction include?
Approximately half of your time will be asynchronous - offline at your own pace. During this time, you will complete homework challenges, do self-directed research on interesting topics assigned by your teacher and engage in cultural portfolio projects.
Depending on goals defined by you and your credit teachers, you may also be asked to create a work of art and show it, learn to sing a song and then perform it or cook a cultural recipe for your family and take a picture of them eating it. You will receive a package or two from us containing essential supplies that are not generally readily available to help you complete these tasks.
Who will teach the virtual credit sessions?
Your teachers will be a mix of native speakers and highly proficient second language learners. Credit teachers are experienced in teaching language and culture in the U.S. and/or internationally. Those students who have participated in our residential programs may already know these credit teachers from past summers! In fact, your Village site in northern Minnesota will be “home base” for all of our credit programs, with some credit staff right there onsite. Even if you have never been to the Language Villages before, you’ll be there virtually with us to walk through and experience all the sights and sounds of the Villages firsthand. Can you hear that distinctive call of the Minnesota loon in the background? Want to see that porcupine in the tree? We’ll bring the experience of Village life to you!
How will my language level be determined?
Prior to the beginning of the session, you will be given a language background self-assessment to help teachers evaluate the appropriate placement level for your language experience. You will be grouped with other villagers of comparable ability, and teachers will check in with you regularly to ensure that you are feeling comfortable yet challenged to grow.
What happens if I do not attend my synchronous sessions?
If you miss your synchronous sessions, it becomes very difficult to complete the 180 hours needed for the full year credit to be recommended. If you miss up to 18 hours of the program (any combination of synchronous and asynchronous) for valid reasons (health issues, etc.), your instructor may allow you to make them up. If you miss more than that, or do not complete your offline assignments during the session, you will not be recommended to receive the credit.