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Residential Language Community Program

Frequently Asked Questions

What language will be chosen for this program?

Spanish is the selected language for the first years of the program. The university is considering adding Mandarin, French, and Arabic in future years.

When does this program start?

The program started in the 2010 fall semester with plans being developed for the fall 2014 program offerings.

How many students will be accepted into the program?

Presently, there is room for 7 students and 1 native speaking language community resident advisor (LCRA).
There will be space for 12 students in the program beginning in fall 2012.

Who is eligible to apply for this program?

Any single, on-campus undergraduate student who is a rising sophomore, junior, or senior is able to apply for this program. Qualified incoming students may be admitted only if there is space available.

Where would students live?

There will be a specially designed apartments in the Regent Village for students in the program. The apartment will be fully furnished, similar to how apartments in Regent Commons are furnished. Most apartments are two-bedroom apartments and each student shares a bedroom with one other same-sex roommate.

Would there be a leader for this program or someone placed in charge of students?

Yes. There is a language community resident advisor (LCRA) who lives in one of the apartments and has a senior leadership and facilitation role. The LCRA serves as the "go to" person for any issues related to this community of students. He or she facilitates and/or leads activities together, is a support person for participants, handles any disciplinary action that may arise among community members, and serves as a liaison to administration at the university regarding any residential life issues that arise. This person may or may not be a student and would be selected by upper level university administration for his/her role in this community. The LCRA works closely with the language community program faculty to facilitate and implement the program.

Would involvement in this program lengthen my degree plan or interfere with classes for my major?

No, it should not. However, there are curricular requirements for the program based on your pre-assessed language proficiency level. Language proficiency assessment will be made available to assist participants in determining their language capacity and what courses are needed to enhance their skills.

Will there be any academic requirements for participants?

Yes. This is an academic program with academic, co-curricular and extra-curricular requirements. The language proficiency levels of students are related to specific Spanish language courses. Further, all students will be required to complete a total of four (4) credit hours of Spanish language and culture courses.

Are there any fees or extra costs for this program that apply to me?

There will be a $55 fee each semester (spring and fall) for oral language proficiency assessments.

Will this program extend through the summer?

No. It will run the full academic year, but not through the summer.

Will I need to quit my current job or contact with friends/family who do not speak this language?

No. However, you will have to plan your schedule carefully to ensure you fulfill all academic requirements of the program.

What kind of goals are there for students in this program?

The residential language community program is characterized by a holistic environment that blends knowledge, skills, and character development to foster a greater understanding of a particular language and culture. The following general goals and outcomes characterize this program:

  • Goal 1: Enhance Language Competence for Students
  • Goal 2: Enhance Students’ Global Competence
  • Goal 3: Strengthen Students’ Christian worldview

What will the responsibilities/expectations be for this community of people?

It is our intention to create a "No English Zone" where students can learn and improve their ability to speak the foreign language and gain a greater understanding of that culture connected to speakers of that language. However, as this is a new program we will accept students at all levels of ability and fluency,and there will be a level of flexibility with how strictly expectations are enforced.

Here are some preliminary ideas regarding expectations, but specifics and small details of community life will unfold as the program progresses throughout the year.

  • At least two weekly "family-style" dinners throughout the academic year
  • Eight mini-courses addressing various aspects of a particular culture
  • Service-learning experiences involving local churches and outreach organizations
  • Attendance at eight worship services in local churches and congregations related to the specific culture
  • Cultural experiences involving festivals, museums, artistic performances, and films
  • A "No English Zone" in the Village apartments seven days per week
  • Weekly one-hour group discussions of world events related to particular countries or world regions
  • Participation in the residential community blog
  • Language proficiency assessment
  • Optional cultural immersion trip related to the culture in question

Can people with spouses/families participate?

No. That will not be possible.

Can engaged couples participate?

It is not advised that engaged couples participate. As stated above, participation and commitment to the community is for a full academic year. If plans for marriage were made and scheduled to take place before the completion of the program, then the individual(s) involved would be disqualified from participating based primarily upon the change in their marital status. Engaged individuals' application for participation would be considered on a case-by-case basis.

How strictly will the "No English Zone" be enforced?

It is our intention to create a "No English Zone" where students can learn and improve their ability to speak the foreign language and gain a greater understanding of that culture connected to speakers of that language. However, as this is a new program we will accept students at all levels of ability and fluency,and there will be a level of flexibility with how strictly expectations are enforced.

What happens when someone needs to just vent by speaking English?

The specifics of enforcing the "No English Zone" are at the discretion of the advisor and the community residents. It is our intention to create an experience that is exciting, fun, and highly rewarding for those involved. If a student should need to vent or cease from his/her attempt to speak the language for a few moments, then he/she should be permitted to do so. One possible scenario might be that students could get 2 "passes" a week. If he/she must speak English during a "No English" time, then they can use their pass. Once the passes are used up, then the student must speak only the foreign language.

Is the experience in this community graded?

Yes. Since this program is considered to be an academic program, there will be academic evaluations or requirements for participants to fulfill.