Midd, Brandeis create new Hebrew language school

Middlebury College and Brandeis University joined hands to create a ground-breaking school that will be called the Brandeis-Middlebury School of Hebrew. The school will welcome its first students in summer 2008. The joint venture will become Middleburys tenth language school.

According to a college news statement, The curriculum of the seven-week session will focus on modern Hebrew, and enrolled students will adhere to the Middlebury College Language Pledge, a formal commitment to speak the language of study and no other for the entire summer session. The school will also offer optional coursework for qualified students interested in developing their linguistic skills in classical Hebrew. Administrators anticipate an initial enrollment of approximately 40 students.

Middlebury College President Ronald D. Liebowitz said the opening of the Hebrew school is a key facet to the colleges Middle East Studies program.

Just as it would be academically questionable to offer a Latin American Studies program by teaching Spanish and not Portuguese, so would it be academically questionable to offer a Middle East Studies program by teaching Arabic and not Hebrew, Liebowitz said.

The school has named Vardit Ringvald director. Ringvald is a professor of Hebrew and the director of Hebrew and Arabic languages at Brandeis University, where she has been teaching since 1984, according to the college news announcement.

In 2007 the Language Schools added a masters degree in Chinese, which students can earn in four summers at Middleburys Vermont campus, or in two summers in Vermont and an academic year at the Middlebury-affiliated Monterey Institute of International Studies. The Arabic and Portuguese sessions also offer non-degree, graduate-level courses.

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