Jun 12, 2024  
2024-2025 Catalog 
2024-2025 Catalog

Self-Instructional Languages

Director:  Florin Beschea


Highly motivated students with a demonstrated aptitude for language learning may apply for small group instruction in languages not taught in the classroom at Davidson. Students enrolled in the Self-Instructional Language Program (SILP) may not use these courses to satisfy the college’s language or cultural diversity requirement. Most students do not begin study in SILP until their second year, after they have successfully completed their foreign language requirement. A minimum G.P.A. of 2.5 is required.  Auditing is not permitted in SILP courses.

Davidson College adheres to the standards established by the National Association of Self-Instructional Language Programs (NASILP). Each offering is an intensive audio-lingual course utilizing recommended self-instructional materials in combination with regular sessions with a native speaker. Emphasis is placed on the spoken language, although additional skills are also developed. Students spend 150 minutes per week with the drill leader/conversation partner in anticipation of a final examination conducted by a specialist who is usually invited from another institution. The results of the final examination serve as the basis for the course grade. SILP courses are taken for a letter grade.

Since SILP courses can be offered only when there is sufficient demand and when a qualified native speaker is available, students are required to obtain permission from the director each semester that they are in the program. Interested students should contact the director as much in advance as possible and submit an application as well as a letter of recommendation from a Davidson language faculty member. Please note that permission is granted only by the director of SILP. Once students have received permission, they may include their request for a SILP course on the Web tree during the course selection period. The director is under no obligation to arrange instruction for students who apply once the semester has begun.

Davidson seeks to provide self-instructional learning opportunities in languages where study will complement course work in the existing academic program. Students wishing to learn a less commonly taught language not found on the list below are invited to contact the SILP director well in advance of the new semester. Requests for other languages will be considered on a case-by-case basis.