The Self-Instructional Languages Program (SILP) at Williams, formerly known as the Critical Languages Program, contributes to the linguistic and cultural diversity of the curriculum at the College by offering students the possibility of studying important languages (at the beginner level) relevant to their academic interests but not taught on a regular basis at the College. SILP originated in part from requests by a more diverse student body, faculty’s interests in emerging regional issues, and from the need to respond to the pluralistic realities of today’s world. The program can field a limited number of beginner-level courses per year.
The SILP courses are designed to develop fundamental language skills: speaking, listening, reading and writing as well as intercultural competency/humility. Students study in a self-instructional mode and participate in conversational sessions with qualified fluent speakers and in consultation with senior language specialists from partner institutions. Intense work with the recommended textbooks, workbooks and audio materials prepares the student for the biweekly group review sessions with the tutor. Their progress is then measured with midterm and final exams administered by an outside examiner.
The Self-Instructional Languages Program at Williams adheres to the standards of the National Association of Self-Instructional Language Programs (NASILP).
Contact administrative director, Shaina Adams-El Guabli, for more information.