Why Learn Language at Concordia Language Villages

Immersion + Learning Community = Competence, Curiosity, Courage

Concordia Language Villages is the only immersion experience in the country which intentionally creates a grand simulation to put villagers squarely into the experience of travel and life abroad. Although “Language” is our middle name, that’s just the beginning. We are here to open the beauty and complexity of the world to our villagers.

Immersion

There are many ways and places to study other languages, but most lack the amazing atmosphere of cultural immersion upon which the Language Villages stands. In our programs, villagers live the language while learning how other countries in the world sound, look and feel—and even taste.

Surrounded by rich Hispanic textiles, seated under Middle-Eastern tents or Tibetan yurts, dancing an Argentinean tango, studying science in Waldsee’s BioHaus, learning about peace-making in Norwegian, making an animated Korean video, eating with Chinese lacquer chopsticks, practicing Brazilian arts, participating in a Japanese sado or playing Finnish pesäpallo, villagers become involved in learning and doing in rich and fun ways that cannot be created elsewhere. Days are full of discovery as villagers explore new worldviews and new ways of being.

At the Language Villages, we have serious fun. Direct teaching of a new language surrounded by the artifacts, customs and behaviors of culture improves both the language fluency and world-mindedness competencyof learners. The Language Villages learning environment is playfully engaging, provides meaningful content no matter the age of the learner, is presented in a real-life context.

In this grand simulation, we affect what our villagers come to understand about the world and help them see that there are many paths to developing a world-view, and that there are unique approaches that each group of people employs to do so. Margaret Mead said that “the traveler who has once been from home is wiser than he who never left his own doorstep…” Of course, we can’t take everyone beyond the shore, so bringing what is beyond the shore here is the next best thing. And, in many ways, it is a much more effective learning environment, where the student feels safe and encouraged to take risks, to explore the unfamiliar. No other program is capable of creating this deeply experiential immersion experience.

Learning Community

At the Language Villages, the method of instruction is community-based teaching and learning. Villagers thrive in a supportive learning community, and develop a strong sense of place and bonds of friendship within it. Villagers grow in their independence skills and develop personal responsibility by studying and playing in a community of shared interests and striving to become an actively engaged and contributing member of the Village community.

The secluded, generally unplugged, natural setting of a Language Village, provides a space for accelerated learning. The holistic approach employed by those mentoring the learning in a Language Village, emphasizing cultural immersion as much as language immersion, where you learn language that is relevant to your existence and daily activities, where creativity, fun and friendship rule. It is an approach that is unique, natural, and absolutely effective.

This method, which we describe as the CLVway, creates the ideal setting of place and time for villagers to:

  • Develop competence in language and cultural knowledge and the skills and confidence to speak the target language;
  • Develop curiosity and stretch their horizons, often inspiring villagers to explore new challenges and activities back at home
  • Develop courage to approach and adapt to new situations with more resolve and aplomb, from meeting people of diverse backgrounds to successfully navigating new situations. *

*As reported by teachers, educators and participants