World Language Academies
News & Announcements
Status notices for the 2020 Governor’s World Language Academies (GWLA) and Summer Governor’s Residential Schools (SGRS) will be delayed until April 27, 2020. By this date we hope to have more clarity around how the summer programs may be affected by the current restrictions on face-to-face gatherings. As the situation regarding the current health crisis continues to unfold, the VDOE and host universities have been in frequent contact regarding the status of the 2020 programs. We are evaluating the situation and the potential impact on the summer programs. Refer to COVID-19 & Virginia Public Schools for up-to-date resources and information.
Since 1987, VDOE has sponsored Governor's World Language Academies, summer residential programs for Virginia's most motivated and talented world language students. As of 2020, more than 9,600 students have completed one of the programs. The 2020 Governor's Summer Residential World Language Academies will include full-immersion academies in French, German and Spanish; a partial-immersion Japanese Academy; and a Latin Academy.
Three 2013 Governor's Foreign Language Academies were the subject of a feature story on WVTF, the public radio station based in Roanoke, VA. Listen to the WVTF report - No English Allowed!
2020 Academies Applications & Resources
All application materials (except for online testing) must be completed and postmarked no later than January 27, 2020. Student status notices for the 2020 Academies will be sent in mid-April. See the sections below for applications and information about specific language Academies.
- Applications for Governor's World Language Academies – forms and instructions for the student nomination and application process as well as staff and teacher observer applications
- Order form (Word) – for the 2020 World Language Academies Online Testing Codes
- Private school Request for SSWS Access-This is a Word document.
- You may also be interested in Summer Residential Governor's Programs
- World Language Academies Purpose & Background
2020 Full Immersion Academies – French, German & Spanish
- Dates: June 20 – July 11, 2020
- Location: Washington & Lee University in Lexington, VA
- Website: Immersion Academies Website
- Contact: Email the Host Site Coordinator
French Academy Website – Welcome packets for students accepted to the 2020 Academies will be available beginning May 1, 2020.
Meet the 2020 Director: Pamela St. Clair
Director St. Clair has been teaching French in Virginia at all levels for the last 19 years. She attended the American University in Paris and Hollins University where she received her B.A. in French. She also has a Master’s degree in French from the American University in Washington D.C. with a concentration in Medieval French studies as well as a Certificate of Expertise in the European Union. She spent time in Paris working as a lectrice at the Sorbonne (Paris IV). Director St. Clair completed her education course work at George Washington University and is certified to teach French, Spanish and ESL in the State of Virginia. She is currently the World Language Department Chair at Rockbridge County High School where she teaches both French and Spanish, sponsors the Student Council Association, and leads the Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica, for which she was recently selected as the Virginia Director. Director St. Clair is also a clinical faculty member of the Rockbridge Teacher Education Consortium (RTEC) and a member of the Virginia Organization of World Language Supervisors (VOWLS). In her leisure time she enjoys reading, traveling, playing tennis and horseback riding as well as spending time with her 3 daughters.
German Academy Website – Welcome packets for students accepted to the 2020 Academies will be available beginning May 1, 2020.
Meet the 2020 Director: Ben Shivers
Ben Shivers has been connecting German and American cultures since his first fascinating trip to Germany as a 13-year-old. Since then, he earned a Bachelor’s degree in international relations and German and a Master’s in German Linguistics from the Technical University of Dresden. With the generous support of two Fulbright grants, he spent four years living, studying, and working in Germany from 2008-2012. He now teaches German at Woodward Academy, an independent school in College Park, Ga.
Spanish Academy Website – Welcome packets for students accepted to the 2020 Academies will be available beginning May 1, 2020.
Meet the 2020 Director: Professor Javier Buenadicha
Director Buenadicha is originally from Spain and has been teaching Spanish for almost a decade. He fell in love with languages in his teenager years and that was the decided to study them in college, where he had the opportunity of enjoying an immersion learning environment in different countries. At the Academy, Director Buenadicha’s goal is to lead students to have a similar life-changing experience. Director Buenadicha holds a BA in History and Mass Communication and two master’s degrees: one in Applied Linguistics and another in Education. Before teaching Spanish in the US, he was doing the same job in Spain, as well as in the Czech Republic and in Poland. This is his third year in the Spanish Academy, having taught Music and Dances of the Hispanic World at the 2018 Academy. Director Buenadicha is very excited to be the Director for the second year in 2020! When not teaching, you will probably find Director Buenadicha outdoors hiking, climbing, caving or kayaking, although you can also see him reading good literature occasionally. He loves travelling and cooking, and is always trying to learn something new.
2020 Partial Immersion Academies – Japanese and Latin
- Dates: June 21 – July 12, 2020
- Location: Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, VA
- Contact: Email the Host Site Coordinator
Japanese Academy Website – Welcome packets for students accepted to the 2020 Academies will be available beginning May 1, 2020.
Meet the 2020 Director: Yoshiko Himata
Yoshiko Himata is excited to organize and lead the Japanese Academy in Summer 2020. A native of Toyama Prefecture, this is her fourth year to direct the Japanese Academy. She currently teaches elementary Japanese and conversational Japanese for advanced class at Randolph-Macon College, and cannot wait to welcome a new group of outstanding Japanese students to campus this summer. Himata-sensei has a passion for teaching and loves to challenge her students every day. She has experience teaching high school in Japan and will bring those connections to the Japanese Academy again this year. By linking the Academy to Toyama University of International Studies High School in Japan, she will provide remarkable new language and the cultural opportunities to the Program by enabling Academy students to communicate with students in Japan and cultivate their enthusiasm for Japanese. Other than work, she loves to explore new places, eat and cook good food (She runs the Japanese cooking class for R-MC students), go outside to take a walk with German shepherd(Ness-chan, 2 years old) and have quality time with her family and friends. Yoshiko Himata and her team are thrilled to be running the Academy at Randolph-Macon in summer 2020 and promise the experience of a lifetime.
Latin Academy Website – Welcome packets for students accepted to the 2020 Academies will be available beginning May 1, 2020.
Meet the 2020 Director: Nikki Carroll
Magistra Nikki Carroll earned a B.A. in Latin and Classics from Randolph-Macon College and an M.Ed. in Latin from the University of North Carolina - Greensboro. She is the World Languages Department Chair and teaches Latin and IB Theory of Knowledge at Trinity Episcopal School in Richmond, VA. This is her eleventh year being involved with the Latin Academy: she was a student in 2005, RA in 2008, teacher from 2012-2014, lead teacher 2015-2019, and now she is thrilled to be serving as director. Her favorite Latin authors are Ovid, Plautus, and Seneca the Younger. Outside of the Classics, she loves hanging out with her dog (Pot Roast), cat (Squeaks), and chickens (Ruth, Edith, and Dolores). You might also find her riding horses, teaching riding lessons, watching Survivor, or listening to true crime Podcasts.
For the full-immersion academies, all functions, from brushing one's teeth in the dormitory to class discussions to going swimming or on field trips, contribute to the academy purpose. Each academy is uniquely designed by its staff. Elements of a student's day in a language academy may include:
- Wake-up, breakfast
- Classes, such as:
- The economics of Latin America
- The unification of Germany
- Life in France seen from an economic perspective
- Great works of art
- Literary samplings
- A second language (Arabic, Korean, Greek, Russian)
- Another class (or two)
- Creative activities, such as:
- Journal writing
- DVD production
- Sports, games
- Films, music, theater, student and faculty talent presentations.
STARTALK foreign language programs
- In addition to The Governor’s Foreign Language Academies, there are other summer opportunities for foreign language students and teachers available through the federally-funded STARTALK programs. The availability of the STARTALK programs is dependent on annual grant funding. For information about STARTALK programs operating in Virginia and elsewhere, please visit the STARTALK website.