Student Story

“Rich and Meaningful and Lively”

This Student Story includes commentary from a French Academy student who truly leaped into the Language Pledge and, as a result, experienced the thrill of discovering a new skill and a new interest.

“I have only amazing things to say about my MMLA experience! I had gone to summer camp for four years in a row prior to MMLA and was used to simply having fun with limited planned activities and days devoid of strict schedules. Worried about participating in a program that was so different from my usual summer routine, I convinced myself that a French immersion program would prove to be wonderful.

My friend mentioned Middlebury and without even researching other options I signed up within that hour. Not only was MMLA the best idea ever but it made me fall completely in love with French. All my teachers were really fun and patient and the “counselors” were incredible. Everyone was super enthusiastic about French and willing to help people out whenever, wherever. We took a language vow and were forbidden to speak English, but this inviting new language made English unappealing and mundane. I no longer wanted to speak English! French was incorporated to every aspect of the day; classes, meals, activities, dorm-room life, etc…I even started to dream in French! It’s really exciting and motivating to be struggling and adapting with so many other people that are in the exact same position as you […]

I was once called to the office to pick up mail and the woman at the desk only spoke English. The rule is, if you’re at the office, you can speak in English to the people at the desk. She was asking me questions but I didn’t want to speak in English. I kept responding in French and she didn’t understand me. Finally I said a few words in English and it made me feel really uncomfortable and awkward. French had become so natural during those four weeks.

I learned so many expressions and gestures that I would never have discovered in a regular French classroom setting. I had one of the most fulfilling and interesting summers of my life. I’ll always remember, when someone has gap teeth, they have “teeth of happiness”- dents du bonheur. That’s why I love French. It’s rich and meaningful and lively.”

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