Fairfield University and The Rassias Foundation at Dartmouth College offer Weekend Immersion Programs in Italian, Spanish and French October 26-28


University College at Fairfield University in partnership with the Rassias Foundation at Dartmouth College, will offer their popular Weekend Immersion Programs (WIPs) featuring Italian, Spanish and French from Friday, Oct. 26 through Sunday, Oct. 28.

Once again, the schools invite advanced beginners and intermediate level speakers in any of the three languages offered to seize the moment and leap to the next level of proficiency.

The WIPs use the Rassias Method® for language teaching and the Dartmouth Intensive Language Model (DILM), which were adapted to the needs of Fairfield University in 1998 by Joel Goldfield, Ph.D., associate professor of modern languages and literatures at Fairfield.  Conceived by Professor John Rassias, the Rassias Method® is a way to develop proficiency in another language through the use of physical demonstrations and frequent guided speaking. The method was developed for training Peace Corps volunteers in the early 1960s and adapted to college level instruction in 1967. The approach is a combination of dramatic techniques, rhythmic drills and energetic reinforcement strategies.

Dr. Goldfield who is also director of The Culpeper Language Resource Center at the university described the optimum learning atmosphere surrounding the intensive weekend programs by saying, "There's a spirit of dedication and good humor. All the participants (who take advantage of these weekends) are already highly motivated to learn the language and as a result, in just three days students will learn more and noticeably improve their ability to speak the language."

The programs are designed for people who are looking to reinforce and improve language skills but have limited time. The aim of the Rassias Method® is to make the student feel comfortable and natural with the language in as short a time as possible. This is achieved through a series of specific teaching procedures and techniques that:

  • Create and maintain a dynamic classroom pace and atmosphere thus capturing and holding the students' attention.
  • Provide for unusually high student involvement in the use of language (an average student response rate is 65 times per hour).
  • Foster spontaneity of expression and creative use of the language.
  • Reduce the learner's natural self-consciousness and fear of mistakes.
  • Emphasize the relevance of the language to the student's own life and experience.

Typically, the WIPs begin with an orientation lunch at noon on Friday and continue with classes through the afternoon into the early evening; the next two days are full days with a graduation in the late afternoon on Sunday.

Tuition is $500, which includes a $100 non-refundable registration fee due at the time of registration. Lunches with staff are mandatory and included in the cost of the program. Breakfast, dinner and transportation to and from Fairfield are not included. The deadline for registration is Friday, Oct. 19. A phone interview is required.

Prospective participants interested in WIPs for Arabic, Brazilian, Portuguese, German, Hebrew, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese and Russian should inquire with University College. Future WIPs are planned for spring and early summer 2008.

For further information, please contact Sandy Richardson of University College at (203) 254-4307 or visit the website at www.faculty.fairfield.edu/jgoldfield/WIP07-08.

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Media Contact: Joan Grant, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2950, jgrant@fairfield.edu

Posted on October 12, 2007

Vol. 40, No. 77