SAXTONS RIVER -- At the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year, Vermont Academy partnered with Vermont-based Middlebury Interactive Languages (MIL) to explore how adding online components to traditional class-based teaching in Spanish, French, and Mandarin could enhance the overall student experience.

The program is made possible through VA’s participation in the Vermont World Language Initiative (VWLI), an innovative partnership between MIL and Middlebury College. The MIL language initiative has been a rich experience for both VA’s world language teachers and students as they experimented with the best ways to balance the interactive tools offered by MIL with lectures, written assignments, and real-time language immersion activities in class.

Laura Frey, VA’s World Language chairperson, said, "We’re pleased to be one of the first Independent Schools in the area to work with Middlebury Interactive Languages to provide our students with an innovative and interactive world language experience. The program allows us to bring the most authentic environment possible to the classroom outside of traveling to the countries themselves."

Recently, several prominent schools have reached out, as well as visited Vermont Academy, to learn first-hand how VA students have benefited from the program and to determine how they might also work with MIL in the future. Highlighted schools include the Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles and The Galloway School in Atlanta.