Foreign Language Academies
No English Allowed! – 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!
Since 1987, VDOE has sponsored Governor's Foreign Language Academies, summer residential programs for Virginia's most motivated and talented foreign language students. As of 2016, more than 8,500 students have completed one of the programs. The 2017 Governor's Summer Residential Foreign Language Academies will include full-immersion academies in French, German and Spanish; a partial-immersion Japanese Academy; and a Latin Academy.
Student status notices for the 2017 Academies will be sent on April 14, 2017. See the expandable menus below for applications and information about specific language Academies.
Applications & Resources
- Applications for Governor's Foreign Language Academies – forms and instructions for the student nomination and application process as well as staff and teacher observer applications
- Verification Reports
- Order form (Word) – for the 2017 Foreign Language Academies Immersion Tape/Composition Topics and Latin Test/Essay Topics
- You may also be interested in Summer Residential Governor's Programs
- Foreign Language Academies Purpose & Background
2017 Full Immersion Academies – French, German & Spanish
June 24-July 15, 2017
Washington & Lee University in Lexington, VA
French Academy Website – Welcome packets for students accepted to the 2017 Academies will be available beginning May 1, 2017.
Meet the Director
Catherine Mazzola has taught high school French since 2008 and currently teaches French at Midlothian High School in Chesterfield County, Virginia. She serves on the board of the Virginia chapter of the American Association of Teachers of French and also on the board of the Foreign Language Association of Virginia as Secretary. She has worked at the Virginia Governor’s French Language Academy since 2014 and it is her great pleasure to serve her second term as director in the summer of 2017.
German Academy Website – Welcome packets for students accepted to the 2017 Academies will be available beginning May 1, 2017.
Meet the Director
Frau Anja Moore is delighted to organize and lead the German Academy 2017. This is her second year as a director, and she cannot wait to welcome another group of outstanding German students to the campus of Washington & Lee. Frau Moore is a native of Germany and grew up in the eastern state of Saxony not far from the Czech Republic. There, she attended the world-renowned Leipzig University where she studied languages and pedagogy. She moved to the United States more than twenty years ago and taught Spanish and later German at the Hickory Schools in Chesapeake. Frau Moore developed a successful German program at her high school, where her students achieve outstanding scores on the AP exam and have been recipients of regional and national awards. Languages have always been her passion, and she loves teaching her students not just German but also the culture and perspectives of her native country. Frau Moore is absolutely thrilled to be returning to the Academy, and she and her team will work tirelessly to bring an authentic German experience to the campus of Washington & Lee and to provide the class of 2017 with an experience that will last a lifetime.
Spanish Academy Website – Welcome packets for students accepted to the 2017 Academies will be available beginning May 1, 2017.
Meet the Director
This year will be Señora Gimara Richards third consecutive year participating in the Spanish Academy, first as a Teacher, then as a Lead Teacher and now as the Spanish Academy Director. She is currently a Spanish teacher at Freedom High School in Woodbridge. She has been teaching Spanish as a first and second language for 9 years and have taught English for adults for over 5 years. Señora Richards was born and raised in Panama City, Panama and migrated to the US in 2006. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from the Inter American University of Panama and a Master Degree in Arts of Teaching with Emphasis in Teacher Leadership from Grand Canyon University. She is also a Certified Spanish Interpreter and Translator.
Señora Richards is currently the Advocacy Chair of FLAVA (Foreign Language Association of Virginia) and has been recognized for her excellent presentations at the State Foreign Language Conference. Participating in the Governor’s School Spanish Academy has been one of the highlights of the professional career since she is very passionate about teaching her language and culture. Her goal is to offer students an unforgettable and meaningful experience that will greatly impact their professional and personal plans.
2017 Partial Immersion Academies – Japanese and Latin
June 25-July 16, 2017
Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, VA
Contact the Host Site Coordinator
Japanese Academy Website – Welcome packets for students accepted to the 2017 Academies will be available beginning May 1, 2017.
Meet the Director
Yoshiko Himata is excited to organize and lead the Japanese Academy in Summer 2017. She is a native of Toyama Prefecture, and holds a bachelor’s degree in Global and Intercultural Studies from Ferris University in Japan. She currently teaches intermediate Japanese 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 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. Yoshiko Himata and her team are thrilled to be running the Academy at Randolph-Macon in summer 2017, and promise the experience of a lifetime.
Latin Academy Website – Welcome packets for students accepted to the 2017 Academies will be available beginning May 1, 2017.
Meet the Director
Ms. Jacquelyn Wilkins is a Latin 1-AP Teacher at William Byrd High & Middle Schools in Roanoke County. This will be her ninth year on staff at the Latin Academy, starting as a teacher in 2009 and lead teacher from 2010-2014. This will be her second year as director. Director Wilkins loves the Iliad more than almost anything, and learned ancient Greek so that she could read Homer. When not reading the Iliad or dressing as the hobbit queen of Erebor, you can find her traveling, looking for Thai food, writing, or doing yoga. Her main interests in Classics, besides Homer, are gender and identity studies especially in Julius Caesar, Ovid, Herodotus, and Euripides. Oh, and she really enjoys vanished Bronze Age Civilizations. Are you ready for an adventure?
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.