Concordia Language Villages is an internationally recognized and respected world language and cultural education program serving youth, families, educators and adults. Our mission is to prepare young people for responsible citizenship in our global community.
We are happy to serve as a resource for your story, and can provide subject matter experts in the area of language education for youth, adults and business professionals.
For all media inquiries, please contact:
Concordia Language Villages
901 8th St. S
Moorhead, MN 56562
For information about Concordia College, please contact:
News Bureau Director
901 8th St. S.
Moorhead, MN 56562
Please note that we welcome media visits to the Language Villages, but they must be prearranged. Our programs are closed to the public during session for safety and immersion reasons, and you will likely be turned away if you show up unannounced without prior arrangement. Our programming schedule is varied and we cannot always guarantee a program type or specific language or age group will be in session when you wish to visit. If you are visiting our Summer Villages, we recommend you schedule your visit around one of our two International Day celebrations held each summer. Please contact Lisa Steffens, associate director of marketing at 218-299-3247 or firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a media visit to the Language Villages.
Although our administrative headquarters is in Moorhead, Minn., please note that no programming takes place there and it is 2.5 hours by car to our main Language Villages site near Bemidji, Minn. If you are traveling by air, there is a connection from Minneapolis, Minn. to Bemidji. You will need to arrange for a rental car to reach the sites. We cannot provide overnight accommodation at the Language Villages, but we are happy to recommend accommodations nearby. Whenever possible, a member of our marketing and communications team will accompany you on your site visit. When this is not possible, a staff member from the Village you are visiting will host you.
If interviewing or photographing participants under the age of 18, we require signed releases from guardians before you can publish identifying information. We will make all arrangements to do this.
At the Villages, our immersion methods also includes choosing a new Village name on opening day of the session. Within the program, we refer to staff and participants using only their new chosen Village name. For example, you will note the staff member's name as "Bob" and yet everyone will be referring to him as "Sven." You may find this confusing at first, but it is a lot of fun! We recommend you double check when doing interviews to keep it all straight!
We have granted press passes to local, regional, national and international organizations. Over the years, we have been featured in language and cultural publications, camp guides, business magazines, environmental journals, architecture publications and cooking columns, including:
Fast Company Magazine
Minneapolis Star Tribune
WCCO TV (Minn.)
WDAY TV (N.D.)
Minnesota Public Radio
National Korean Television
Twin Cities Daily Planet
Better Homes & Gardens
The Villages offers programs for all ages year-round. We are best known for our summer language and cultural immersion programs. More than 4,000 villagers from across the country come to Minnesota every summer to immerse themselves in language and culture. Our goal is to provide an environment in which villagers find the courage and confidence to explore the language and culture, to speak and play in it.
In 1960, Gerhard Haukebo, Ph.D., a Concordia College (Minn.) faculty member, suggested the College initiate an experimental program using immersion techniques to teach language. In August 1961, 75 students between the ages of 9-12 attended the first two-week session at the German Language Village, then called Camp Waldsee.
Since that time, the following Language Villages have been added;
1961 German Waldsee
1962 French Lac du Bois
1963 Spanish El Lago del Bosque
1963 Norwegian Skogfjorden
1966 Russian Lesnoe Ozero
1975 Swedish Sjölunden
1978 Finnish Salolampi
1982 Danish Skövsoen
1984 Chinese Sēn Lín Hú
1988 Japanese Mori no Ike
1999 Korean Sup sogui Hosu
1999 English Hometown
2003 Italian Lago del Bosco
2006 Arabic Al-Waha
2008 Portuguese Mar e Floresta
In addition to several seasonal sites at various locations in Minnesota, the Villages have built seven year-round, architecturally authentic Villages in the North Woods of Minnesota on Turtle River Lake near Bemidji. These Villages are mini-worlds designed to invoke an international destination and support the immersion environment. Currently, there are permanent Villages representing cultures that speak Finnish, French, German, Russian, Norwegian, Spanish and Swedish.
Concordia Language Village programs span a variety of options for language learning and cultural exploration:
• Pre-Kindergarten Programs
• Immersion Day Camps
• Summer Villages (ages 7-18) Our flagship program since 1961!
• College Credit for High School Students (ages 16-18)
• Family Weekends
• Family Summer Camps
• Language Immersion Weeks and Weekends
• Cultural Retreats: Norwegian Genealogy
• Professional Development and Corporate Language and Culture Immersion
• Village Weekends for Teachers and Students
• Teacher Seminars on Second Language Immersion Methodologies
• Master of Education in World Language Education
Each year, more than 10,000 participants from all 50 states and more than 40 countries come to Minnesota as either staff or villagers. Whether participants are beginning, advanced or heritage speakers, scholarship recipients, or gifted and talented youth, our programs are designed to fit all levels of ability and interest. The community of learners is supportive of every age and every level. Many of our villagers return to the program year after year and some return as staff.
Each summer, some 800 program leaders and staff come together from around the globe, eager to share their knowledge and experiences with self-motivated and globally aware villagers. Energetic college-aged counselors join internationally recognized researchers, professors and linguists to comprise a world-class team of educators who represent more than 40 countries.
Language Villages staff members are dedicated to helping each participant grow and learn. They are trained to express themselves in a variety of ways to help language learners understand the context of what is being communicated.
Curriculum differs from Village-to-Village and year-to-year, based on the expertise and interests of staff, relevance of activities to world events, and villager requests. However, basic elements of cultural instruction include traditions, holidays, ethnic crafts, sports, historic events, current events, drama, dance and music. Simulations are used as a key component of experiential learning. Learn more about our teaching methods.
The Language Villages is fully accredited by AdvancED. We are also accredited by the American Camp Association and regularly serve and present on the regional and national level at ACA conferences and training events.