Governor's Foreign Language Academies

Governor's Foreign Language Academies

Starting in 1986, the Virginia Department of Education has sponsored Governor's Foreign Language Academies, summer residential programs for Virginia's most motivated and talented foreign language students. As of 2006, approximately 6,600 students have completed one of the six programs, housed at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond: immersion programs in French, German, and Spanish, an intensive Latin program, and partial-immersion programs in Russian, Japanese, and Chinese.

The 6 academies maintain their individuality and offer activities to expand global awareness, multi-cultural understanding, and international education. The three immersion academies provide an intensive experience and unique challenge for students who have excelled in language study to continue their study of that language in a total immersion environment, which is generally unavailable in the regular school environment. The Latin Academy provides an intensive experience for students who have excelled in the study of Latin to continue their study in a milieu unavailable in the regular school environment and introduces the students to classical Greek. The partial-immersion programs in Japanese and Russian provide an opportunity for interested students to be introduced to the Russian or Japanese cultures and languages, which are not widely taught across the Commonwealth.

The success of the pilot Virginia's Governor's Foreign Language Academies is influencing other states into starting similar programs to encourage excellence in foreign languages.


Initially, each academy was held at a separate college or university in Virginia; however, all academies are now held at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. The students all study, eat, and sleep in the same buildings at VCU. The highlights of the program include day trips, such as to Washington, D.C. to see various museums, academic, and/or cultural institutions that correspond to the respective foreign languages, outings to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and the Foreign Languages Olympics when students from each of the foreign languages participate in a mock Olympics-like competition. At the end of the three weeks, there is a traditional closing ceremony for all including a play performed by the students, one language to a scene.

ee also

* Governor's Schools (Virginia)

External links

* [ Virginia's Governor's Foreign Language Academies]
* [ Virginia's Governor's Foreign Language Academies (Student Work Site)]

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