Structured Independent Language Study (SILS)

 The Emory Structured Independent Language Study program (SILS) is a non-credit program designed for students who need to study languages that are not part of the regular curriculum. Since SILS was created in 2008, we have offered instruction in Albanian, Amharic, ASL, Bengali, Czech, Georgian, Greek (Modern), Haitian Creole, Indonesian, Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali, Serbo-Croatian, Swahili, Thai, Turkish, Twi and Vietnamese.

Please note: Fall 2021 programs will be all virtual, and will most likely be limited to ASL (various levels), Swahili and Turkish as we have resources to provide these online.  All other languages will be considered and possibilities explored. 

SILS students learn their target languages primarily through self-instruction - there is no 'teacher' or 'classroom' in the traditional sense. If you are accepted into the program, you will:

  • adopt a program of study (textbook, audiovisual materials, and syllabus) developed by a specialist in your target language. You will be expected to work individually on your materials on a daily basis.
  • meet every week with a language partner, a native speaker of your target language who will guide you through speaking and listening exercises. You'll meet for two hours a week, either individually or in a small group of 2-4 students depending on enrollment. Exact meeting times are determined at the beginning of the semester; SILS arranges campus space for meetings.
  • receive ongoing support from the SILS staff. There is an orientation meeting at the beginning of the semester, and the director is available to assist you with course materials and other questions.
  • take a final exam (in person or via Skype) administered by a language specialist, and receive a follow-up evaluation and certificate.

Fall 2021 applications due September 1, and Spring 2022 applications due January 18!!
Read our program guidelines and eligibility requirements

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Read about SILS in the Emory Report