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No English Allowed!

Washington & Lee University

For some kids, this summer was all about relaxing and having fun,  but  for 165 students from Virginia high schools, it was a time for some hard mental work. 

They  gave up their cell phones, laptops and iPads to take  part in the annual Language Academy at Washington and Lee – hearing and speaking only French, Spanish or German and – through that language – learning one more language.  

From day one, students at the Virginia Language Academy were only allowed to speak French, Spanish or German, and to avoid hearing or seeing English, they  agreed to give up their cell phones, laptops and iPads.  If you’re someone who struggled to learn a foreign language, that might sound like a nightmare, but these kids began to dream in the language of their choice, and they were thrilled.

Special thanks to Christina Ramsey, Augie Groeschel  Johnson and Matt Glattfelder for providing translations on this story.

For more information about the Virginia Governor's Language Academies, click here.